clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Apple Watch Is Here. You Have $17,000? (Video)

"We think the Apple Watch is going to quickly become integral to your day," Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

Apple gave its Apple Watch a formal launch party — complete with an appearance from supermodel Christy Turlington Burns.

Chief Executive Tim Cook used the stage at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco to tout the smartwatch’s now familiar features, such as its ability to deliver message notifications at a glance; serve as a health and fitness companion; or make purchases through Apple’s mobile payment feature, Apple Pay.

“We think the Apple Watch is going to quickly become integral to your day,” Cook said, adding that the wearable device is designed to boast all-day battery life.

Cook said the Apple Watch will have 18 hours of battery life — addressing speculation about how frequently the device would require charging. It works in conjunction with your iPhone over Bluetooth, a range of about 30 feet. It can also work with your phone over the same Wi-Fi network.

It’s also water resistant, so you can’t go swimming with it, but spills and rain should be OK, according to the company.

The Apple Watch Sport, the entry-level model with a lightweight aluminum case and flexible strap, will range in price from $349 to $399. The stainless-steel version, with myriad bands, will be priced from $549 to $1099. The luxury 18-karat gold Apple Watch edition will be available in limited quantities, starting at $10,000 and up to $17,000 for the one made of rose gold.

The watch goes on sale April 24 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. The luxury Apple Watch Edition will be found in select boutiques in major cities across the world including colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin.

On stage, Cook talked about how the Apple Watch will include a variety of third-party applications designed to deliver Facebook updates, CNN headlines or American Airlines flight status notifications.

Apple Watch also takes advantage of Siri voice commands, allowing the watch to fetch weather reports or make note of reminders. The watch will display messages through messaging services, such as China’s WeChat, and respond with brief messages or little animated characters.

You can use the watch to pay for groceries using Apple Pay or hail an Uber. And while traveling, the Apple Watch will display the boarding pass bar code to get through security and gate information from American Airlines. Because Starwood Hotels have developed an application, the Apple Watch will allow you to bypass the front desk and unlock your hotel room door at the W Hotel.

At home, the Apple Watch can take advantage of Apple’s HomeKit home automation technology — and open the garage door remotely, with a tap on the wrist.

A version of the Shazam music identification app will display the name of the band, the song title and lyrics at the wrist.

Cook notes the Apple Watch has been designed to work with the iPhone; you go to the iPhone to see apps, browse apps and download apps within iOS 8 to find apps for the Apple Watch. It will feature how-to videos and decide which notifications you want available to the watch.

Though there are times when the Apple Watch will work independently of the iPhone, playing a select playlist of songs saved to the device.

The stainless steel version of the Apple Watch felt substantial without feeling bulky, as do many of its smartwatch predecessors. It fit snugly, with its magnetic mesh band clasping securely around the wrist.

In a hands-on demo, the Apple Watch appeared infinitely customizable — with a watch face that switched from traditional to decorative with the flick of the finger. A gentle swiping gesture delivers information at a glance — a quick look at the weather, say, or stock prices, or a glimpse at the day’s calendar appointments.

The Apple Watch uses the familiar watch crown as a navigation tool, allowing the user to select from among a group of frequent contacts and place a call, send a pre-composed message or (if they also happen to own an Apple Watch) send a private illustration.

This article originally appeared on