FOR MANY OF us, when the gold-plated Apple Watch Edition was revealed, our inner argonaut screamed, “Yes!” but our bank accounts said, “Um, no.” The fact is, few people have 10 grand to drop on a gadget. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the willful have created a few ways for tightwads and those of, shall we say, less affluent means to look like a million bucks.
For somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 to $700, a growing number of third-party vendors are only too happy to plate your stainless steel Apple Watch in a decidedly more opulent metal. Of course, this is a new endeavor, for a new gadget, and significantly more involved (and expensive) than covering your iPhone 6 Plus in a new case. Skepticism abounds, as do questions. For starters: Who exactly is doing this? It’s a mix of guys who simply saw a demand and decided to fill it, and seasoned companies with a long history of refinishing fine watches.
Let’s start with the n00b. That would be Ryan Flynn, the fellow behind Watch Plate. He fell into it almost by accident. Ryan is an early adopter, one of those diehards who stayed up into the wee hours the day Apple started accepting orders, constantly refreshing the page, trying to secure a watch. Frustrated and seeking instant gratification, he turned to Craigslist, willing to fork over whatever necessary to secure a pre-order.
“I went and paid a premium on Craigslist for any Apple Watch,” he says. “I ended up with a 38mm, which was a little small for my wrist.”
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