Apple has officially discontinued repair services for its premium gold Apple Watch Edition, which had a hefty price tag ranging from $10,000 to $17,000 upon its launch in 2015. This decision was revealed through an internal memo, as reported by MacRumors, and was effective as of September 30, 2023.
In Apple's protocol, a product is classified as obsolete if it has not been sold for more than seven years. Once a product attains this status, all hardware servicing is halted, and authorized service providers can no longer order replacement parts for it. While the current official list of obsolete products from Apple includes the Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 as vintage items (discontinued for over five years but still eligible for service and parts), the original Apple Watch, sometimes referred to as Series 0, does not appear on this list. It's possible that this list has not been updated to reflect the status of the original Apple Watch.
The discontinuation of repair services for the gold Apple Watch Edition holds particular significance due to its premium nature. This luxury variant of the Apple Watch directly competed with high-end, traditional timepieces that often emphasize longevity as a key selling point. Now, individuals who own a malfunctioning gold Apple Watch Edition may find it nearly impossible to obtain repairs, potentially leaving them with limited options.
The decision to discontinue the gold Apple Watch Edition just one year after its introduction underscores the unique challenges of servicing high-end luxury tech products, especially those made with precious materials like gold. This development serves as a reminder of the evolving landscape in the luxury tech industry and the importance of considering the longevity and serviceability of such premium offerings.