One of the late rumors heading into tomorrow’s Apple event is that the Hermès Apple Watch could be discontinued. If true, that could be more interesting for a few reasons.
Hermès demise, part deux
The rumor is based in part on Apple’s apparent shift away from selling genuine leather goods. Apple will instead push a more eco-friendly material it calls FineWoven, based on product leaks leading up to the event.
Hermès has also washed the Apple Watch off its website altogether. Is that about depleted inventory before a hardware revision? Is it about the end of Apple’s years-long partnership with Hermès? We’ll know tomorrow, but something very similar did happen a year ago.
Watch face fate
If the Hermès Apple Watch is indeed going away when the Series 8 is replaced, it won’t be the first time Apple has ended a brand partnership with the Apple Watch.
When Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 8 a year ago, it also stopped offering a Nike co-branded version. Functionally, there was no difference between an Apple Watch and a Nike+ Apple Watch with the exception of Nike branded watch faces.
When the Nike watch went away, the Nike watch faces came to all Apple Watches (except the Hermès version but that’s another story). If the Hermès Apple Watch is discontinued, what will happen with the Hermès face collection?
It would be unfortunate if the watch face collection goes away altogether, but I think that would be the most likely scenario. Alternative outcomes? I wouldn’t predict that every Apple Watch will suddenly gain the Hermès face collection.
More likely, in my view, would be Apple make the Hermès collection semi-exclusive by only offering them on stainless steel models.
Take back space black
Speaking of stainless steel, Apple replaced space black with graphite as the darker stainless steel color option years ago. Space black has lived on exclusively as an Hermès Apple Watch color option.
Hermès going away could be the end of the space black Apple Watch for a while. On the other hand, Apple could shake up the Series 9 line by reintroducing space black as a stainless steel finish without the Hermès premium.
Possibly nothing at all
My final prediction? FineWoven replaces leather iPhone cases and becomes a new band material, but Apple Watch straps and Apple Watch Hermès are unaffected.
What are your predictions? Let us know before the event kicks off on Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.