Apple Watch Edition: A luxury shopping experience starts in the store.

There’s a $17,000 Way to Skip the Line for an Apple Watch

There’s a $17,000 Way to Skip the Line for an Apple Watch

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
March 30 2015 1:35 PM

There’s a $17,000 Way to Skip the Line for an Apple Watch

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24/7 support included.

Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images

When Apple debuted the gold-cased Apple Watch Edition in early March, it made clear it was selling prestige and luxury. The Apple Watch Edition line starts at $10,000 and runs up to $17,000 for the top-of-the-line version. As Will Oremus wrote in Slate at the time, the elite who purchase the fanciest Apple Watch will “get the chance to own an Apple product that the plebes can’t afford. They aren’t paying for a device, really. They’re paying for prestige.”

It looks like that prestige extends to the Apple’s notorious waits for its new devices, according to new details from 9to5Mac. “Apple has developed a unique Apple Store purchasing experience just for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition,” the site reports. “When a customer interested in the Apple Watch Edition enters the store, he or she will be given no-wait access to a dedicated Expert, who will provide a personalized ‘journey’ from the beginning of the appointment until the end, as much as one hour later.” Only two gold Apple Watch Edition models will be brought out simultaneously, and stores will have private stations for trying the premium device on.

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With their purchase of an Apple Watch Edition, customers will gain access to an exclusive, 24/7 Apple Watch Edition support line for two years (to start out it will only be offered in English). Sources also tell 9to5Mac that the Apple Watch Edition will initially only be available in Apple’s “largest markets” but will slowly come to other stores.

One thing to ponder: Could such private, hands-on treatment ultimately help Apple not just in selling luxury to its richest consumers, but also in avoiding offending its middle-of-the-road ones? After all, it’s a bit harder to resent the guy buying a $17,000 watch—not to mention the store selling it—if you don't have to witness the spectacle of him cutting the queue and trying on such an opulent timepiece in front of all the other customers. Until the device hits stores, it’s hard to know whether that will be the case. For now, this basically looks like a $17,000 way to skip that most annoying thing for Apple early adopters: the line.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.