10 amazing Apple Watch facts

The Apple Watch is an amazing piece of design and craftsmanship. Here are 10 mind-blowing facts and stats about Apple's latest product.

By

  • 1 Apple Gold Apple's metal matrix
  • 2 work hardened Tough gold
  • 3 Poured back to ingot Work hardened
  • 4 precision cutter Precision cutting
  • 5 gold being rolled Flat packed
  • 6 hand finish Hand polished
  • 7 surgical steel Surgical Steel
  • 8 allergy free Allergy-free
  • 9 laser clean Laser cleaning
  • 10 million a week 1 million at launch
  • More stories
Next Prev

Apple's 18k gold has less gold in it than other gold watches

Getting good Apple Watch facts and figures is tough, because the hype around Apple's latest launch has lead many a writer to hyperbole.

First here's one claim that you might hear that's unlikely to come true: Apple is going to use 30 per cent of the world's gold supply to make the Apple Watch.

As GoldSilverBitcoin says: "Any serious gold investor never took seriously the bold claim that Apple’s new phone might use up 30% of the world’s gold supplies. The reality is, Apple will be watering down its gold content."

The gold Apple is using in the Watch Edition has less gold in it than usual. Apple gold is a metal matrix composite rather than a standard alloy. This is because Apple mixes its gold with ceramic. This Apple Gold article has more information on Apple's metal matrix composite gold.

Next »

Next Prev 1 Apple Gold

Getting good Apple Watch facts and figures is tough, because the hype around Apple's latest launch has lead many a writer to hyperbole.

First here's one claim that you might hear that's unlikely to come true: Apple is going to use 30 per cent of the world's gold supply to make the Apple Watch.

As GoldSilverBitcoin says: "Any serious gold investor never took seriously the bold claim that Apple’s new phone might use up 30% of the world’s gold supplies. The reality is, Apple will be watering down its gold content."

The gold Apple is using in the Watch Edition has less gold in it than usual. Apple gold is a metal matrix composite rather than a standard alloy. This is because Apple mixes its gold with ceramic. This Apple Gold article has more information on Apple's metal matrix composite gold.

 

Apple's gold is tougher than usual

While it's tempting to think of Apple's metal matrix gold as cost saving, it's actually to make the device much more stable. Apple gold is a harder and more scratch resistant than other forms of gold. Gold is, it turns out, a really rubbish material to make things from. It dents and bends easily. Jony Ive told The Financial Times: "the molecules in Apple gold are closer together, making it twice as hard as standard gold."

 

Work hardened: Apple stresses its metal to make it more durable

Apple is also using another process known as Work Hardening to make its watch. This means that the metal in the watch is bashed around prior to being made. According to Engineer's Edge this "produce[s] additional plastic deformation and the metal apparently becomes stronger and more difficult to deform". So the metal is carefully stressed and reformed by Apple to make it more durable.

 

The Apple Watch takes precision to a whole new level

Jony Ive describes in his video how Apple doesn't cast the gold into shape. Once the gold has been mixed and stressed it is cast back into ingots, and these are then precisely machined using an index cutter. According to Atomic Delights this enables Apple to control the dimensions of the ingot to within 0.01mm.

 

How Apple rolls (its gold)

Apple doesn't finish toughening up its gold. Once the watch shape has been cut; the gold shape is passed back and forth between two rollers. This takes a few microns out in each pass, which toughens the gold even harder.

 

The Apple Watch is polished by hand

While Apple uses a complex construction process to build the Apple Watch, the video shows with each watch being hand polished. This will also enable an expert human eye to gauge each expensive Watch Edition and ensure that it's up to scratch (or scratch free, to be more precise).

 

The Apple Watch uses surgical steel

The Apple Watch (the regular model) might not have toughened gold, but it isn't just made from any old stainless steel. Apple is said to be working with ASM 316L steel, which is often referred to as "surgical steel" (because it is commonly used to create surgical instruments and implants).

 

The steel watch should be allergy-free

Many people have an allergic reaction to wearing steel (it causes a rash on the skin). This is one of the main reasons we believe Apple is using surgical steel over a regular grade; the very reason this grade steel is used in medical instruments is because there is less seepage of metal particles (hence less reaction). Greg Koenig, co-founder of Luma Labs says: " I suspect a large focus of Apple's metallurgy and process design was on the nickel allergy issue.

 

Cleaned by laser: a unique new process

Koenig also draws attention to a completely new process Apple seems to be using. The milling process often leaves tiny 0.5mm burrs that are razor-sharp. Apple appears to be using lasers to clean up the finishing defects from the Apple Watch. "I would consider this (quite long) blog post a success if the engineer or designer who thought that trick up reads this and knows that this is an astonishingly brilliant trick they cooked up. Bravo!" says Koenig. His amazingly detailed analysis of the Apple Watch production process brought much of Apple's manufacturing process to light; it is well worth a read.

 

Apple will sell 1 million in first week

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Apple to sell 1 million Apple Watches in the product's first weekend on the market. "I think the clear takeaway is this: The first quarter is going to be a decent quarter because of the fanboys. It'll probably die down a little bit, and then this really goes vertical a year plus from now".

Elsewhere on IDG sites
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

Halloween Photoshop & Illustrator tutorials: 20 step-by-step guides to creating spook-tacular artworks

Halloween Photoshop & Illustrator tutorials: 20 step-by-step guides to creating spook-tacular…

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Comment créer, modifier et réinitialiser un compte Apple ?

Comment créer, modifier et réinitialiser un compte Apple ?