Apple has given us a look into how Apple Watch is created and manufactured from a range of materials though a series of craftsmanship videos, showing us how each Apple Watch is created through a unique and precise process.
Apple Watch is created from three different types of raw materials: Aluminium seen in Apple Watch Sports, Stainless Steel in Apple Watch and 18-Carat gold for the Apple Watch Edition each engineered by Apple metallurgists.
In the own words of Apple – “Apple Watch was designed with a deep reverence for the art of fine watchmaking.”
It’s important for Apple to keep Apple Watch Sports as light as possible, with that in mind they chose Aluminium due to it’s natural light yet durable characteristics.
Apple starts with a ‘7000 Series’ aluminium the same used in major competition bicycles creating a custom made alloy that’s just as light yet 60% stronger than most other aluminium. The raw material is heated to a liquid molten state, with magnesium and zinc added to create a strong compound. The material is then finally ‘jet cooled’ and casted creating an even compound.
Each case is machined and polished and finally coated with ‘microscopic zirconia beads’ to achieve it’s final texture. This outer layer plays an important role as it protects the watch from scratches and corrosion.
The most popular and long used material in watch making is stainless steel. In the words of Apple it’s ‘strong and beautiful.’
Each Apple Watch starts with an alloy of stainless steel, it’s then made even stronger through a number of custom processes designed by Apple metallurgists.
When in it’s molten state Apple ensure the composition is tightly controlled to ensure hardness. The material is then made up to 80% harder by a specialised cold forging process, protecting the Apple Watch from scratches and dents obviously important for a device worn around your wrist.
Each Apple Watch is accurately machined and polished creating a mirror-like finish.
Impressively, it’s not just the watch but the steel bands which go through the same process. The links bracelet is made from an unbelievable 140 individual parts, while the loop is made from a fine steel mesh coils finishing with a material/felt-like feel. The machining process is so precise, it takes nearly nine hours to cut the links for a single strap.
Finally the Apple Watch Edition, made from 18-Carat solid gold it’s twice as hard as gold, and is made from a Apple custom alloy.
Apple metallurgists pour the gold – not into the shape of the watch – but into a compound which is then precisely milled and compressed down. Ultra-sonic scanners are used to detect any defects in the final gold material before it’s moulded down into the shape of the final Apple Watch Edition case.
Each case is then hand-polished leaving a final product that is elegantly crafted and designed.
Apple Watch will be available in Australia from the Apple Retail and the Apple Online Store from April 24th with pre-orders starting on April 10th.