Russia’s Caviar has launched specially-customized “Grand Complications” versions of the iPhone XS and XS Max, in which the rear shell has been replaced by precious metals and a working watch mechanism.
The Caviar phones are available in yellow gold, rose gold, or titanium. The watch mechanism must be wound manually, but is exposed for visual effect and decorated with engravings and guilloche (ribbon-like) patterns.
Only 99 units of each design are being sold, likely because of the difficulty of making them and their cost. Even the cheapest option, a 256-gigabyte titanium iPhone XS, currently costs $6,320, half of which must be paid upfront. A standard 256-gigabyte XS from Apple is $1,149.
A 512-gigabyte iPhone XS Max in yellow gold is $8,080 with a $4,040 pre-payment.
A relative handful of luxury makers around the world have dabbled in customized smartphones for the rich, such as the now-defunct Vertu. Apple itself has stayed away from making iPhones with precious metals, but did briefly offer gold Apple Watches via the first-generation Edition line. These started at $10,000 and went as high as $17,000, despite not having any extra functionality.
The company has abandoned the Edition concept entirely with this year’s Series 4 Watch, though rich shoppers can still get Hermes models with custom bands and watchfaces.
Obviously, the Apple warranty is voided by the modifications.