Jony Ive Says Apple Watch Hermès Doesn't Make Apple 'Exclusive'
Interestingly, the two companies began collaborating on the premium Apple Watch last year, several months before the wrist-worn device was released.
“It’s something highly unusual for Apple to do—to talk about an unannounced project,” said Mr. Ive, 48 years old. They decided to partner over lunch in Paris, where Hermès is based, last October.
Jony Ive believes that, while the Apple Watch Hermès was the most expensive product introduced at Apple's media event earlier this week, the premium watch does not make Apple an "exclusive" company. He later compared the Apple Watch Hermès to the Apple Watch Sport, stating that the same amount of time and effort went into designing both models.
“We don’t think in those terms,” Mr. Ive said in an interview Wednesday, after the Apple Watch Hermès was unveiled. “I’m not comfortable with words like exclusive.” […]
“Look at this next to one of the sport collection,” he says, referring to the $349 rubber-bracelet version that accounts for the majority of watch sales to date, according to people familiar with the matter. “There’s not one that had more care invested in its designing or making.”
Nevertheless, Apple's partnership with luxury goods maker Hermès is further evidence the Apple Watch is being positioned to both the high-end technology and fashion industries. The returns could be lucrative, with the Apple Watch Hermès lineup ranging in price from $1,100 to $1,500.
Apple Watch Hermès watches feature leather straps handmade in France, with ten different models to choose from in Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff designs. The collection will be available for purchase in October at select Apple Store and Hermès locations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Toronto.