Over the course of a little less than two hours on Tuesday, Apple showed off a range of new products to the world. One of those was the Apple Watch Series 5, which is available for order on Apple’s website right now.
It looks like a slick upgrade to Apple’s chief wearable line, with the Retina display “always on” — meaning you don’t need to lift up your wrist just to tell the time — and the addition of a built-in compass. That’s all very cool, but the problem with the new Apple Watch is just how expensive you can make it if you start tacking on fancy accessories.
I took a few minutes to add all the most expensive accessories Apple is willing to include with the new Apple Watch so you didn’t have to. if you want all the cosmetic upgrades, a relatively affordable device becomes significantly less affordable.
The non-cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 5 starts at $399. Considering everything it can do in conjunction with an iPhone, that’s not the worst price in the world. (It will cost you an extra $100 to add cellular connectivity to the Apple Watch.)
From there, you can add $50 to the price by making it four millimeters larger. It’s when you change the case that things start getting really silly. There’s a gradient to the case prices, but for the sake of this article, let’s jump all the way to the white ceramic case, the most expensive one on the store page.
Adding four millimeters of size and a white ceramic case makes the price jump by $950. That’s more than twice the cost of the watch itself, with zero accoutrements. It must be a very nice case.
This isn’t the end of the Apple Watch ordering journey. You still need to choose a watch band; it’s possible to add an extra few hundred dollars onto the final price tag through these alone.
Scroll all the way to the right on the watch band section and you’ll come across the cream of the crop. The space black stainless steel band brings the total price up to $1,749.
All told, your brand new Apple Watch can come perilously close to costing $2,000. That’s a lot of money for a smart device.
Of course, materials are expensive and watches are status symbols as much as they are timekeepers.
But that doesn’t make the price of a high-end Apple Watch Series 5 any less striking. If you see anyone with one of these, assume they’re loaded. Or maybe that’s the point.