Monday, December 4, 2023
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Apple Watch rarities: Unreleased gray ceramic Series 4 and first-gen model restored to tick

It appears that Apple may have once considered a second color option for the now-discontinued ceramic Apple Watch Edition. Meanwhile, someone has managed to turn an obsolete original Apple Watch into a fully functioning mechanical watch – and it actually looks nice!

Apple Watch Edition has an interesting history. The first-gen Apple Watch Edition came in yellow or rose gold and ranged in price from $10,000 to $18,000. Apple promptly dropped actual gold materials from the lineup with the Apple Watch Series 2.

The shiny gold finish was later replicated with a gold-colored stainless steel option starting with Apple Watch Series 4.

The gold Apple Watch Edition switched to a very attractive white ceramic finish for Series 2. A year later, a gray ceramic option joined the white version for Apple Watch Edition Series 3.

Ceramic as a watch material took a generation off with Apple Watch Series 4, then it made one last appearance in white with the Apple Watch Series 5 – this time with an always-on display.

Brushed titanium replaced ceramic for Apple Watch Edition Series 6 and 7, and Apple Watch Ultra sort of took the place of Apple Watch Edition for Series 8. Apple Watch Hermès is the last premium-priced watch in the lineup for now.

And while Apple Watch Edition only came in gray ceramic for one generation with the Series 3, a new leak purports to show what could have been a gray ceramic Apple Watch Series 4 … or perhaps 5. @KosutamiSan on Twitter has photos:

Personally, I’m all in on the Apple Watch Ultra these days, but the Apple Watch Series 5 in white ceramic is by far my favorite Apple Watch I’ve owned. I would trade battery life and the bigger screen for a white ceramic Apple Watch Series 9 in a heartbeat, and it would certainly cost more than $799.

If that’s not cool enough, check out this awesome video of someone successfully converting a first-gen Apple Watch into a functioning mechanical watch.

The original Apple Watch has long been discontinued in terms of iPhone compatibility and software support, but I would value a functioning version paired with a compatible iPhone higher than a converted ticking watch. Still, it’s a very cool exercise in engineering and converting e-waste into something a bit more timeless.

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