Apple’s Bittersweet Announcement: Marking the End of an Era with a Nod to Apple Watch


The original Apple Watch has now become ‘obsolete.’

During the weekend, it came to light that Apple had refreshed its catalog of discontinued products, and this update now encompasses the initial series of Apple Watches, which made their debut back in 2015. This information surfaced via a report from MacRumors, which cited an internal document as its source.

The decision by Apple to retire the original Apple Watch might not come as a shock, considering that eight years is a considerable lifespan in the world of devices. Nevertheless, this news may have a distinct impact if you happen to have invested in one of the exclusive 14K gold Apple Watch Edition models, which could set you back upwards of $10,000, or even one of the slightly more affordable Hermes models.


The mystery of who purchased a solid gold Apple Watch and, more significantly, why they did so, remains unsolved. However, if you’re still proudly sporting one, exercise caution, for Apple has officially discontinued repair support. This entails the cessation of part availability and battery replacement services. Interestingly, it’s the battery replacement that carries the most weight. While there’s nothing you can fix on the original Apple Watch to bring it up to speed with modern watch faces and apps, a battery replacement would, at the very least, ensure its continued functionality, even if its software remains forever frozen in time.

Individuals who made the decision to acquire the original “Series 0” Apple Watch likely did so with the awareness that consumer electronics have a finite lifespan. At the very least, they expected that the batteries would eventually degrade to the point of being unable to hold a charge, rendering the devices inoperable. It’s noteworthy that Apple designates a product as obsolete approximately seven years after it ceases to be available as a new purchase.

It’s reasonable to assume that those who invested in a gold Apple Watch probably didn’t anticipate it appreciating in value. Apple has never disclosed the exact number of Apple Watch Edition models sold during that initial year, but it’s probable that most purchasers did so simply because they had the means and the desire to own one.

Nevertheless, when you make an investment of $10,000 or even $15,000 in a timepiece, it’s typically with the understanding that this is an item meant to endure, not just for a few years, but with the appropriate maintenance, something you can confidently pass down through generations. It’s a possession that tends to appreciate in value over time rather than steadily advance towards obsolescence.

Certainly, the Apple Watch, as a category of device, endures. Even though this year’s enhancements may not be groundbreaking, they represent a continuous progression in quality. Apple consistently introduces fresh features, refines components, releases updated software, and delivers enhancements to improve the overall user experience with each passing year.

As time progresses, older models of the Apple Watch naturally lose support as the software evolves beyond the capabilities of aging hardware. It’s also not environmentally sustainable to continue stocking parts for older models that cannot run modern software versions effectively.

While the Apple Watch may not hold the same level of significance to Apple as the iPhone, it has undeniably made a substantial impact on the market and culture. In fact, it has earned the title of the best-selling watch model worldwide. To put this into perspective, just four years after the debut of the original Apple Watch, the company sold an astounding 10 million more watches than the entire Swiss watchmaking industry in 2019.

Undoubtedly, the Apple Watch has undergone significant changes since its inception. It has grown in size, improved its display technology, and incorporated substantially more powerful components. However, the fundamental design ethos of the device remains rooted in that original model.

The announcement is bittersweet because, on one hand, it serves as a reminder of the remarkable evolution of the Apple Watch. The original Series 0 may not have excelled as a miniature computer on your wrist or as a replacement for a more traditional and less expensive timepiece. Yet, today’s Apple Watch boasts an array of sensors capable of monitoring body temperature changes, blood oxygen levels, and even performing electrocardiograms.

Fast forward eight years, and the Apple Watch stands as the pinnacle of wrist-worn computing. Most importantly, it has found its identity, primarily serving as both a notification companion for the iPhone and a robust health and fitness tool for its users.

Conversely, it signifies the conclusion of an era marked by Apple’s foray into the world of fashion-centric wearable devices. This endeavor failed to gain significant traction, as the Apple Watch could not compete with watches designed to endure as timeless fashion pieces meant to be passed down through generations. Now, this initial fashion-focused effort has become obsolete in the ever-evolving landscape of wearable technology.

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