Apple considered offering a black version of the ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5, according to newly-shared images of the prototype casing.
The ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5 was never available in a black color option, only being available in a striking gloss white finish. Apple marketed the ceramic white Apple Watch Edition as a high-end option starting at $1,249, owing to its extremely unique finish.
At the time, Apple lauded the ceramic casing as strong, light, and scratch-resistant, being four times as hard as the stainless steel finish, while also featuring a “pearly, lustrous finish” that is extremely resistant to scratches and tarnishing.
The process of creating the Apple Watch Edition case begins with a high-strength zirconia powder that’s combined with alumina to achieve its rich, white color. Each case is then compression molded, sintered, and polished using a diamond slurry, which results in a remarkably smooth surface and an exquisite shine. With this precise level of workmanship, every Apple Watch Edition case takes days to make.
The black ceramic finish shown in the images looks very similar to the Space Black stainless steel Apple Watch, and while it is slightly lighter in color, it is not unreasonable to speculate that the similarity of the finishes could be the reason why Apple never took the black ceramic case forward.
Apple introduced a ceramic Apple Watch Edition with the Series 2, which went on to offer a gray ceramic option with the Series 3. While there was no ceramic Apple Watch Edition for Series 4 models, Apple revived the high-end white ceramic Edition model for the Series 5. With the latest Apple Watch Series 6, there is again no ceramic version, with the Edition models featuring a cheaper titanium casing only.