Hands-on: New gold and rose gold Apple Watch cases add more personalization to Apple’s wearable

Alongside the iPad Pro and new iPhones, Apple introduced two new case colours to its aluminum Apple Watch Sport line, gold and rose gold.

The shades were previously only available in the company’s ultra-expensive Edition line, whose 18-karat gold casing retails for over $13,000 CAD, but after intense demand Apple figured out a way to get similar colours — absent of garish bronze sheen — to the entry-level Watch.

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The prices are identical for the new models, ranging from $449 for the 38mm model to $519 for the 42mm variant. Each one is bundled with one of Apple’s new fall-inspired sport bands, including lavender on the 38mm rose gold, stone (off-white) on the 42mm rose gold, antique white on the 38mm gold, and midnight blue on the 42mm gold. The straps are being sold separately for $69 each if the bundled one doesn’t pique your interest.

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Gold appears to be Apple’s, and much of the tech industry’s fashion obsession at the moment. Nearly every smartwatch and smartphone vendor releases its flagship with a gold or, more recently, rose gold option.

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Apple also released new sport bands in orange and blue, bundled with the standard aluminum Sport models in 38mm and 42mm, along with new Product(red) sports bands in each size, with proceeds going to HIV/AIDS awareness and research.

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On the stainless Apple Watch side, the company is now bundling a black sport band with the popular black stainless steel case, at $699 for the 38mm version and $779 for the 42mm model. And my personal favourite, the saddle brown classic buckle, is now available with the regular stainless model starting at $849 and $919 for each size, respectively.

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Finally, Apple announced the first of likely many partnerships with fashion brands, this one with well-known fashion designer Hermes. The stainless casing comes with a Single Tour, Double Tour or Cuff leather strap in a variety of colours (red, blue and standard brown) in either 38mm or 42mm sizes, with a custom Hermes watch face designed by the company. Prices start at $1500 and rise to $2050 for the various sizes, straps and models, and will be available at Toronto’s Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Apple stores beginning October 5th.

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With Apple releasing watchOS 2 next week, and the back to school and shopping buying seasons in full swing, Apple is trying to appeal to as many tastes, budgets and wrist sizes as possible in order to woo its way onto prospective customers’ wrists.

The new Apple Watch Sport models and accompanying bands for both Sport and Watch are available today from Apple.ca.

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