Bloomberg: $10,000-Plus 18-Karat Gold Apple Watch Edition Sales Fizzled After Just Two Weeks

In a profile of Apple's operations chief Jeff Williams, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has revealed some interesting anecdotes about development of the Apple Watch, which Williams has reportedly overseen since 2013.

apple watch edition video promo
Months before the Apple Watch launched in 2015, for example, the report claims some employees testing the device began having allergic reactions to the type of nickel used in its casing, leading Williams to make the decision to scrap thousands of already-produced units and restart manufacturing with a different kind of nickel.

The amount of nickel eventually included in select Apple Watch models and bands falls below restrictions set by the European Union, according to Apple:

Apple Watch models with a stainless steel or an aluminum case, the stainless steel portions of some Apple Watch bands, the metallic portions of the Hermès bands, and the magnets in the watch and bands, each contain some nickel. However, they all fall below the strict nickel restrictions set by European REACH regulation. Therefore, while nickel exposure is unlikely to be a problem, you should be aware of the possibility in case you're susceptible to nickel-related reactions.

The report claims employees also noticed that the Apple Watch's Taptic Engine was prone to long-term failure from corrosion. In that case, Williams decided to give those few thousand watches to employees, according to Gurman.

As for the $10,000-plus, 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, the report claims Apple's sales were "in the low tens of thousands" of units, with "few after the first two weeks." The line was discontinued in September 2016 after just 16 months and, humorously, the gold models are now stuck on watchOS 4 and below.

Williams now oversees the development of all Apple hardware products, according to the report, and he is widely considered a frontrunner to succeed Tim Cook as CEO when the time comes — the two share similar backgrounds and mannerisms.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

costeta Avatar
37 months ago
Apparently no one wants to spend $10,000 on a watch that’ll be obsolete in 2 years. I’m surprised
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kemal Avatar
37 months ago
If you had purchased a gold Rolex, or equivalent, in 2015, it would still run the most current operating system. That is, provided you still have your index finger and thumb.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
37 months ago
Tens of thousands of units sold is actually quite a high number given the price point. That implies at least $200 million in revenue.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
37 months ago
What’s with the click-bait? I thought MacRumors was better than this.

Newsflash: Apple didn’t produce the gold Watch with the expectation of selling a ton of them. Heck they didn’t even talk about it on stage and never marketed it on Apple’s website. But getting it in the pages of Vogue magazine and on the wrists of a few celebrities probably didn’t hurt from a brand standpoint. Just put it down as a marketing expense.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cardfan Avatar
37 months ago
I remember the apple cheerleaders when this gold watch was announced. "The celebs and rich will eat this up..you just don't understand" "You're not the target." The Mac Pro disease took over.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
37 months ago
Apparently no one wants to spend $10,000 on a watch that’ll be obsolete in 2 years. I’m surprised
My sister still has an original AW that I gave her and wears it every day. It is not obsolete.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...