Apple declares its $17,000 solid-gold watch officially obsolete, ending repairs and servicing


Facepalm: In another illustration of why paying up to $17,000 for a traditional luxury watch is a better investment than spending the same amount on a smartwatch, Apple has listed its solid-gold first-gen Edition Apple Watch models as “obsolete.” That means not only have they stopped receiving software updates, but they’re also ineligible to receive parts, repairs, and other services.

Apple launched the first generation of its smartwatches – known as Series 0 – in 2015. In addition to the standard models that started at $349, there were the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition models retailing for between $10,000 and $17,000.

The solid-gold watches were discontinued just a year later and replaced with the $1,299 ceramic Apple Watch Edition. The 2015 wearables were never upgraded to WatchOS 5, which arrived in 2018.

With software support already killed off five years ago, MacRumors reports that an internal Apple memo shows the Series 0 watches have now been added to Cupertino’s list of obsolete products. As such, they can’t be repaired or receive other services at Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Provider locations.

The 38mm and 42mm first-gen Apple Watches with aluminum and stainless-steel casings have also been classed as obsolete, though owners are unlikely to be as annoyed as those who paid $17,000 for a solid-gold Edition model. Apple classifies its products as obsolete after more than seven years have passed since their original launch date.

Not many people are willing to pay so much for a smartwatch, of course, so Apple only produced these in limited quantities. The Verge notes that some of the celebrities who were seen showing off their purchases in 2015 include German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and Beyoncé, both of whom also sported a gold link bracelet that was never made available to the public. It’s unlikely they’ll be losing sleep over the lost money they spent on the wearables (assuming Apple didn’t just hand them over as gifts), but non-millionaires will likely lament not using the cash on a traditional luxury watch – or pretty much anything else, for that matter.

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Masthead credit: Megan Geuss



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