A local jeweler is using state-of-the-art technology to bring a whole lot of bling to the already impressive Apple Watch.
Bailey’s Fine Jewelry opened in 1948, and 67 years later, the traditional jeweler is continuing to adjust to modern times.
When Apple unveiled its hotly anticipated Watch that allows users to summon voice-activated assistant Siri, check emails, track fitness goals and even play games, Trey Bailey knew some of his customers would want in on that actions.
Bailey, who is director of operations for the jeweler, said designers began working on a customized Apple Watch that upgrades the already $17,000 accessory.
“The high-end Apple Watch is an 18-karat gold watch that starts at $10,000 and goes up to $17,000,” Bailey explained. “What we are going to do is customize that watch.”
Using a computer program called Matrix 3D Jewelry Design Software, Bailey’s team matched the watch’s exact specifications to customize the case as well as its bracelet.
“Right now it doesn’t come with diamonds or anything on it,” he said “So we in our workshop designed to add diamonds around the case of it, to custom design the bracelet with all 18-karat gold and all diamonds.”
Lead designer Chris Strickland explained that once the team has the design, it is sent to a 3D printer where a mold will be printed in exact form and a cast can be made.
“When we first started, everything was built by hand and we’d fabricate everything,” Strickland explained. “Now with the computer-aided technology, where we can design stuff in the computer before we start making stuff out of metal, it gives us a lot of time and we can make our jewelry perfect.
“We can get everything exactly how we want.”
Bailey said the store is already getting a lot of inquiries about the accessory. Once the Apple Watch is available to the public on April 24, Bailey’s says it plans to begin selling its diamond-studded edition for $42,000.
Apple will also offer a aluminum Sport edition of its watch for $349 or $399, depending on the size of the watch face. The company will also offer a steel Watch that ranges from $549 to $1,049, depending on the size of the watch face and type of band.
It’s 18-karat gold Watch Edition ranges from $10,000 to $17,000.