Apple Tested Ceramic Apple Watch Edition Two Years Before It Launched

The ceramic Apple Watch Edition dated back to 2014, despite the high-end model not launching until 2016 with the Apple Watch Series 2, according to newly-shared images of a prototype casing.

ceramic apple watch series 0 2
The images, shared on Twitter by the prototype collector known as "DongleBookPro," show a prototype white ceramic original Apple Watch casing that was manufactured in 2014. The device runs internal software for testing purposes and it was made long before the first release of watchOS, but it looks largely identical to the white ceramic Apple Watch Edition that launched in 2016.

ceramic apple watch series 0 3
The images of the 2014 prototype show that Apple had reached a far stage of development on the ceramic Apple Watch Edition, but for unclear reasons, the company elected to only offer the original Apple Watch Edition in 18-carat gold, and held back the ceramic casing to replace the gold version in the lineup when the Series 2 launched in 2016.

ceramic apple watch series 0 1
Apple marketed the ceramic white Apple Watch Edition as a high-end option starting at $1,249, owing to its extremely unique finish.

At the time, Apple lauded the ceramic casing as strong, light, and scratch-resistant, being four times as hard as the stainless steel finish, while also featuring a "pearly, lustrous finish" that is extremely resistant to scratches and tarnishing.

The process of creating the Apple Watch Edition case begins with a high-strength zirconia powder that's combined with alumina to achieve its rich, white color. Each case is then compression molded, sintered, and polished using a diamond slurry, which results in a remarkably smooth surface and an exquisite shine. With this precise level of workmanship, every Apple Watch Edition case takes days to make.

Apple introduced a white ceramic Apple Watch Edition with the Series 2, and went on to expand the ceramic options by introducing a gray version with the Series 3. While there was no ceramic Apple Watch Edition for Series 4 models, Apple revived the high-end white ceramic Edition model for the Series 5. With the latest Apple Watch Series 6, there is again no ceramic version, with the Edition models featuring a cheaper titanium casing only.

Some fans of the unique white finish hope to see a ceramic option for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7, which is seemingly made more likely by the alternating availability of the model in recent years, but there is no word on whether such a casing will again become available with the launch of the Series 7 later this year.

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

Top Rated Comments

caliguy Avatar
16 weeks ago
How long did they test Apple Card?


Attachment Image
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
16 weeks ago
I've only ever bought the Sport Aluminum ones. The "Premium" ones aren't worth the price.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ouimetnick Avatar
16 weeks ago
I’ve never understood the idea behind a $1200+ ceramic or $18,000+ gold Apple Watch. It’s not like these are classic time pieces. They are obsolete with in 8-9 years, and they will not retrofit new internals inside of the old enclosure. Unless you are trying to flaunt your wealth or are insanely rich, it seems like a poor way to spend money.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
16 weeks ago
I love the Apple watch, especially for how much technology has been compressed into such a small space, but I don't think of luxury when I think of the Apple watch or any of the other similar watches (i.e., wrist computers). For luxury watches, I think of Rolex or Patek Philippe. Not because the exorbitant price, but for the intricate workings and finishes of those watches, which in some cases requires over 1,000 hours to create.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Howard2k Avatar
16 weeks ago

The Safire used Apple Watch is not pure enough to be as scratch resistant as Safire in "real" watches.
Apple Watches are real, I can assure you. We have a whole forum dedicated to them here. I know it might seem like some crazy consoiracy theory, but they really do exist. Check your local Apple store, they will even sell you one.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CWallace Avatar
16 weeks ago

The images of the 2014 prototype show that Apple had reached a far stage of development on the ceramic Apple Watch Edition, but for unclear reasons, the company elected to only offer the original Apple Watch Edition in 18-carat gold, and held back the ceramic casing to replace the gold version in the lineup when the Series 2 launched in 2016.
I expect that reason can be explained with two words: Jony Ive.

I would not be surprised if he wanted the gold to be the only launch Edition model and a "cheap" (at a tenth the price) ceramic model would be seem as "devaluing the brand".
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple watch edition series 5 ceramic black prototype

Apple Planned Black Ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5

Wednesday June 16, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
Apple considered offering a black version of the ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5, according to newly-shared images of the prototype casing. The images, shared on Twitter by the prototype collector and leaker known as "Mr. White," show a prototype black ceramic Apple Watch casing, alongside the white ceramic version. The ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5 was never available in a...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
apple watch 6s 202009

Apple Discontinues Apple Watch Series 6 as Series 7 Pre-Orders Begin

Friday October 8, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6, introduced by Apple in September of last year, has been discontinued following the launch of the new Apple Watch Series 7. Following pre-orders of the Apple Watch Series 7 opening up earlier today, Apple has removed the Series 6 from its website, no longer offering it to purchase for customers. The Apple Watch Series 7 replaces the Series 6 and now leaves the Apple...
apple watch pro

Retail Demo Unit Suggests Apple Considered 'Apple Watch Pro' Branding

Tuesday October 26, 2021 5:03 am PDT by
A file within an Apple Watch retail demo unit suggests that at some point, Apple considered using "Apple Watch Pro" branding for some models of its smartwatch. The file, shared by Apple Demo on Twitter, dated February 26, 2015, is contained within a folder of other Apple Watch logos, including a logo for the Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch Sport. The image suggests that at some point,...
apple watch series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 Pre-Orders to Start This Friday, Available on October 15

Monday October 4, 2021 6:02 am PDT by
Apple today announced that pre-orders for the new Apple Watch Series 7 will start on Friday, October 8, with availability on Friday, October 15. While Apple announced the Series 7 alongside the iPhone 13 last month, the company didn't provide any information on availability besides saying it will be available "later this fall." The new Apple Watch will officially be available for pre-orders ...
Apple Watch 7 Pre order live feature

Apple Watch Series 7 Now Available for Pre-Order

Friday October 8, 2021 5:01 am PDT by
Apple is now accepting pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 7 models through its online storefront and the Apple Store app. Pre-orders are available in more than 50 countries. There were no major design changes to the Apple Watch Series 7 as was rumored, but the new models feature a larger display with slimmer bezels and new 41mm and 45mm case sizes. Charging is 33 percent faster thanks...
Apple watch series7 lineup 01 09142021

With Pre-Orders Open in Less Than 24 Hours, There's Still a Lot We Don't Know About the Apple Watch Series 7

Thursday October 7, 2021 8:19 am PDT by
Pre-orders for the new Apple Watch Series 7 open in less than 24 hours. Despite that, Apple has still not shared basic information that customers would logically need ahead of pre-ordering any product, including information as fundamental as pricing. The Apple Watch Series 7 has been shrouded in a cloud of mystery ever since its announcement at Apple's event last month. At its announcement,...
Rugged Apple Watch Text Feature

Rugged Apple Watch 'Explorer Edition' Could Arrive Next Year

Friday July 2, 2021 3:11 am PDT by
Apple is considering offering an "Explorer Edition" variant of the Apple Watch that features a more rugged casing as soon as next year, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Gurman's report explains that Apple may release a rugged Apple Watch model to offer an appropriate option for individuals who need a more durable smartwatch:Apple Inc. is considering launching an...
series 7 vs series6 screen size

New Image Offers Clearer Look at Apple Watch Series 7 Screen Size Compared to Series 6

Thursday October 14, 2021 2:27 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 7 officially hits the shelves and starts arriving with customers worldwide tomorrow. While we have seen media reviews of the new watch, we've yet to see a clear real-world comparison to last year's Apple Watch Series 6 until now. Apple says the new Apple Watch Series 7 features a 20% larger screen than the Series 6, primarily thanks to reduced bezels that allow the...
apple watch dock 1

Proprietary Dock Apple Uses to Wirelessly Troubleshoot Apple Watch Series 7 Surfaces in Regulatory Database

Friday October 15, 2021 10:26 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 7 models lack a diagnostic port under the band, which means Apple has to use another means to troubleshoot and restore Apple Watches that come in for repair. Apple Watch Series 7 models are equipped with a module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer as we discovered in FCC documents in September, with that data transfer capability designed to be used with a...