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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

What’s up with Apple Watch Edition’s Digital Crown?

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Apple Watch edition

Something odd struck me recently as I perused the Apple Watch product pages. Several pictures of the Apple Watch Edition—aka the Super-Fancy Gold-That’s-Better-Than-Gold Spectacular model—show the center of the Digital Crown as different colors: I count black, white, navy blue, and red. Generally they seem to be color coordinated with the strap shown in the picture.

Okay, sure, that makes sense. After all, the Edition is a piece of jewelry that most people expect is going to cost in the thousands of dollars. Naturally you’d expect a little design flourish here and there.1

I’m mainly curious about the logistics involved: Is each accent color model a different SKU? Can you buy one where the color doesn’t match the band? What if you buy multiple bands? Are the dots interchangeable—are they perhaps little magnetic pieces that click into place? Are the crowns themselves interchangeable? What if the center of the crown is actually a miniature LCD screen that changes color depending on what band you attach?!2


Reel it in, Moren, reel it in. Okay. Let’s go with the simplest solution: you’ll probably pick the accent color when you buy it, and then basically be stuck with it, no matter which band you choose. The thinking perhaps being that most people will stick with a single watchband, viewing the whole watch-plus-band as a single unit (like most fancy watches).3 Cool as swappable crowns would be, I’m hard pressed to imagine that the crowd Apple wants this model to appeal to—the fashion-conscious market—is going to be keeping track of or swapping out replacement dots/crowns.

  1. This contrasts with the Apple Watch Sport, in which the crown is the same color as the case—silver or space gray—and the standard Apple Watch, where the crown is always black. 
  2. Full credit to my Rebound co-host John Moltz who suggested this particular crazy theory during our most recent episode. 
  3. Unless, say, they’re swapping to the plastic one for working out, in which case maybe they don’t care if it matches? 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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