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Here's where to get a gold plated Apple Watch Edition lookalike on the cheap

You probably don’t want to fork out £8,000 (or more) for a gold Apple Watch Edition (and optionally £1,500 for AppleCare+), but there is a far cheaper alternative – jewellers are now offering to gold plate a standard Apple Watch.

9 to 5 Mac spotted that over in the States, LA-based firm Watch Plate offers to gold plate (with genuine gold) your stainless steel Apple Watch with a “heavy coating of about 35 microns” for $399 (£262) – and rose gold is an option, too, for the same price.

It has to be a steel Apple Watch because the cheaper Sport model is made of aluminium that has a non-conductive layer applied to it, and this means the electroplating process won’t work on these devices.

Also note that to get your Apple Watch done by Watch Plate (the result is pictured above), you have to send them the gadget, and they’ll ship it back afterwards – but they do ship internationally, although that will obviously be a little more expensive.

The company notes: “Shipping from outside the USA is still very reasonable with our volume discount. So, although the turnaround will be longer, our gold plating flat rate still applies.”

The base cost of a stainless steel Apple Watch is £479, so your total outlay for a gold watch would become this plus $399 which is £262, to make £741 plus whatever is charged for shipping. Even at a total of approaching £800, it’s still just a tenth of what Apple charges for the Watch Edition.

Do note that the plating process will likely render your warranty useless, though. Watch Plate says: “Because this is a new service, we don’t know how Apple’s warranty policies could change regarding gold plating.”

Another company, Golden Dreams, is making its own 24 karat yellow gold plated models of the Apple Watch, and 18 karat rose and white gold versions, custom-made in Geneva and they’ll ship worldwide – with optional engraving. These will go for a pricier $3,550 (£2,330) for the 42mm model, and a hundred bucks less for the 38mm version. Still way cheaper than eight grand, of course.

It would be interesting to learn how much the Watch Edition costs Apple to produce – we already know Cupertino is making its biggest ever profit on a device with the Apple Watch Sport, which costs just £55 to make, but sells for £299.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.