The $10,000 to $17,000 18-karat gold Apple Watch, which made its debut in 2015, left many wondering who its target audience truly was, beyond celebrities and the ultra-rich. But in retrospect, one might hope that those early adopters anticipated Apple eventually discontinuing support for this luxury timepiece. Well, that day has indeed arrived. Apple has officially classified all first-generation Apple Watch models, including the extravagant solid-gold Edition, as “obsolete,” as reported by MacRumors.
Now, the “obsolete” label carries significant implications. It doesn’t merely signify the end of software support, which had already reached its conclusion. The original Apple Watches, often referred to as Series 0, never received updates beyond watchOS 4.3.2 in 2018. Instead, it spells the end of hardware support, with Apple no longer offering parts, repair services, or replacements for these vintage models.
The solid-gold Apple Watch Edition represented a remarkable venture and somewhat of a passion project for Apple’s former chief designer, Jony Ive. During its initial launch, it graced the wrists of influential celebrities, including iconic German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who, like Beyoncé, paired it with a gold link bracelet that never made its way to the general public.
This Edition marked Apple’s first foray into the luxury watch market, though the solid-gold variant had a short-lived existence, lasting only a year before Apple opted for more affordable (though still far from cheap) ceramic and later titanium Editions. The reality is that most individuals do not possess the financial means of Beyoncé or Lagerfeld. Even those who are willing to invest five figures in a timepiece generally seek longevity and enduring value.
For instance, you could allocate $10,000 to $30,000 for a Cartier Tank and still possess a square-shaped watch that you need not fret about servicing, be it eight years down the line or 80 years later. Luxury watch manufacturers like Cartier, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and others offer first-party repair services, assuring a lifetime of enjoyment. In contrast, if your $17,000 Apple Watch requires repair, your options are far more limited. You can either try your luck with a third-party repair shop, embark on a DIY battery replacement project, or, if you possess the necessary flair, boldly wear it regardless.