Gold Plated Apple Watch Band Ultimate Guide


One of the best reasons to get yourself a brand-new gold-plated Apple watch band is the natively limited selection the iconic brand provides, despite the variations you can self-configure concerning size, case, and wristband.

Gold-plating your otherwise feature-loaded digital Apple watch, especially the series 7 that comes with 50% pressure-resistant sapphire glass front crystal (aluminum and stainless steel models) or lighter retina display indoors and in the dark makes perfect sense.

At least when you want to personalize and give your tap, type, swipe watch that extra glitter the Apple store doesn´t necessarily provide.

There are more reasons and benefits you want to make use of regarding the Apple watch´s gold-plated material or strap options and this watch and band buying guide gives all the key information, including possible drawbacks, for making an unbiased informed jewelry time clock decision.

Can You Gold Plate An Apple Watch?

One can gold-plate two different parts of an Apple watch, mainly the band and theoretically to a minor extent the edges of the case when the latter is stainless steel-based like in the series 7 watch. Most wristbands of Apple watches of the latest generation can be gold layered by replacing the standard strap with a gold-plated band.

The process of gold-plating a jewelry watch band is by coating a base metal like stainless steel with a thin gold layer whereby the stainless steel metal band is dipped into a sulfite solution thereby layering real gold over the stainless steel material’s surface.

Authentically gold-plated stainless steel Apple watch bands are most likely using this tried and tested gold jewelry coating because a 24k real gold strap would, next to extremely expensive, be soft and prone to easily break, and therefore it is common practice within the accessory industry to design and sell 14k gold alloy (mixture) instead.

A 14k gold Apple watch band series 7 is usually more durable and cheaper than a 24k jewelry band, due to the beneficial material properties of 14 karat gold.

Meaning it has to contain 53.6 % fine gold coating by law, and the rest is a stainless steel metal composition metal base (mainly iron, carbon, and chromium), though Apple uses the PVD gold coating process that is slightly different from traditional gold alloy making (see below).

This metal mix makes gold-plated stainless steel Apple watches bands:

  • corrosion and temperature resistant
  • durable and stretchable
  • typically bright yellow hue
  • recyclable
  • non-allergic (e.g. nickel-free)
  • environmentally friendly
  • cost-effective compared to e.g. 18k or 24k gold

These are truly compelling physical, economical, and aesthetical reasons, next to the positive effect on the environment to get yourself the newest thin 14k 41 or 45mm starlight aluminum case with gold Milanese Loop strap or any other gold alloy band of your choice.

Is The Gold Apple Watch Plated?

Some Apple watches strap of the series 7 series and beyond, are gold-plated by precisely applying a gold toning jewelry technique labeled PVD (physical favor deposition). This is a special gold coating dual process whereby the base metal, e.g. stainless steel, is either layered from color change due to PVD (PVD gold coloring) rather than adding gold particles like in traditional gold plating or real PVD gold.

What Is The Gold Milanese Loop Made Of?

The 45mm as well as the 41mm Starlight Aluminum Case with Gold Milanese Loop is made of PVD gold coating applying the physical vapor deposition chemical processing technique over the Apple wristband to finish the mesh strap arm watch jewelry.

This enables the band to be stretchable, durable, and great looking at the same time next to additional advantages like magnetic adjustment thanks to the reinvented Italian Milanese web technology applied to the band.

Does Gold Milanese Loop Tarnish?

Gold Milanese Loop does typically not tarnish due to its properties and material composition which is mainly fine gold plated (toned) stainless steel loop band, which contains real gold on the surface and stainless steel at the core. The stainless steel prevents the gold Milanese loop from tarnishing (green skin effect) and scratches.

Does The Milanese Band Rust?

The Gold Milanese band does not rust as a result of the base metal´s corrosion resistance as well as the strap´s surface fine gold layering using PVD gold coating when exposed to oxygen and other fluids usually associated with wearing a Milanese loop watch like the Apple watch series 7.

What Is PVD on Jewelry?

Current gold Milanese Loop Apple watches do not apply PVD gold coloring which doesn´t add real gold but simply manipulates the core stainless steel metal to change color. Instead, original Apple gold wristband jewelry is made of pure PVD gold-plating that adds solid 14k gold to the stainless steel mesh base for a lasting and unique material finish with a unique visual appeal.

The PVD process in itself is a titanium nitride chemical process that deposits a metallic vapor onto the base stainless steel watch band jewelry metal with the end result of the metal´s surface resembling a gold hue though no real gold was added.

In fact, the opposite.

Meaning the metal’s surface is altered and therefore removing the overall benefits of stainless steel-based jewelry which are, amongst others, durability, scratch-resistance, glittering color, and affordability or environmental friendliness.

Which Material Is The Apple Watch Made From?

Materials and finishes of all the Apple watch series 7, including the Nike and Hermés collections, are made from aluminum, titanium, or stainless steel while series 3, as well as SE, are aluminum metal-based. Furthermore, all three watches´ glass is Ion-X front made whereby the series 7 aluminum and stainless steel watch front glasses of the seven series are sapphire front crystals.

The sport-oriented Apple Nike watch is from aluminum while the luxury Apple Hermés is stainless steel finished.

The series 7, as well as Apple, watch SE both possess ceramic and sapphire gemstone crystal backs that turn the watch´s back into an extremely solid material.

Seemingly Apple is pushing these feature-rich and newer watches (series 7, series 3, and SE) while dialing back on the older models Apple watches series 1,2,3,4,5, and 6.

An Apple representative I contacted in April 2022 confirmed that one of the key ingredients of the Apple 7 series watch is the PVD process used to add gold particles on the stainless steel material which enables Apple´s wristband to magnetically be adjustable (double folding clasp) by any Apple watch owner while keeping the unique finish.

Can I Use Hermés Strap On Apple Watch?

There are currently 5 original Hermés Jumping Single Tour straps, as well as more than 9 Hermés Single Tour Swift wristbands, or 6 Attelage and 2 Barenía leather armbands of the Apple watch that can be used and changed to showcase your style concerning material, color, and clasp technique to choose from.

Can You Buy The Hermés Apple Watch Band Separately?

Apple offers nearly more than 2 dozen Hermés watch straps for their series 7 watch series that can be bought separately. This is especially convenient for the user who doesn´t like the band purchased or gifted and prefers another material or color as an add-on or new jewelry wristband showcase.

Be aware of fake Hermés Apple watch strap sellers online and offline that are trying to make a quick dollar off naive consumers and the luxury brand’s famous for its handmade artisan fashion products. You can safely purchase official Apple Hermés watch bands directly from the Apple store and Hermés only, though alternatives may exist. The latter may involve risk on warranty and counterfeit issues.

Can You Buy Hermés Sport Band?

You can purchase a watch strap for a Hermès Double Tour Apple watch or any other Hermés and Apple collaboration collection accessory from classic link bracelets with custom butterfly closure folds to high-performance fluoroelastomer Starlight sports watchbands in eleven colors.

How Much Does It Cost to Gold Plate Apple Watch?

Gold-plating an Apple watch costs around $60,00 to $110,00 (10 microns minimum) depending on the karat coating applied (ranging from 14kt to 24kt). Additional costs of up to 20% may add up as a result of scratch removals and polishing of the watch surface. On the other replacing the strap bracelet only by electroplating a base metal like stainless steel or silver (gold-plated) costs $20,00 – $75,00.

Obviously, gold plating an Apple watch requires an artisan capable of plating watches, rings, earrings, and other jewelry pieces, next to the owner´s desire to invest a bit of time and money in altering his watch.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

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