Why is the Apple Watch stainless steel chain strap so expensive?

Mosi Li
Mosi Li

Director Project Engineer at 3Q Machining - China top CNC Machining Custom Part Manufacturer

apple watch with space black chain strap

We all know that there are many kinds of Apple Watch straps, such as finely woven nylon straps, elastic silicone straps, woven single loop straps, Fluoroelastomer sports straps, leather straps, stainless steel straps, and so on. The price of straps made of different materials varies greatly, especially the price of stainless steel chain straps is very expensive. Because our company 3Qmachining is engaged in CNC machining, we are familiar with CNC machining and have a fanatical interest in excellent CNC machining products. Our company has studied the processing and manufacturing methods of this stainless steel watchband and learned some techniques used in processing this watchband. According to Apple’s description, this chain strap contains more than 100 components and is made of the same 316L stainless steel alloy as the watch case. The watchband’s processing technology keeps improving, and it takes nearly 9 hours to cut just one chain link of the watchband. The special design is that the butterfly buckle is integrated with the watchband. Multiple chain links are equipped with simple and easy release buttons. You can add and remove links without any special tools.

According to our research, the following technologies are used in the manufacture of this stainless steel watchband:

  1. A multi-axis CNC machining center is used. Each section of this watchband, including the butterfly buckle, is carved and milled with the CNC machining center, polished, laser welded, and finally assembled. Apple company says it takes nearly 9 hours to cut, it is true.
  2. One or more sets of precision stamping dies are used to manufacture stainless steel shrapnel, each section has shrapnel.
  3. Using laser welding technology, the shrapnel is laser welded at the interface of each section.
  4. Using CNC lathe, each axis is processed by CNC lathe, the precision is extremely high, and CD patterns are also made on the two outsides.
  5. Using precision in-mold injection, inject the two small black buttons at the position of the stainless steel shrapnel on the stainless steel shrapnel.
  6. In addition to these devices, tolerance control in every link is extremely demanding.

The processing time is long, the processing precision is high, and the appearance is exquisite. Few companies can achieve this kind of processing technology and requirements, and the price of this kind of product is naturally high.

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