Apple Watch Edition: Hands-on with the redesigned white ceramic Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 introduces the return of the ceramic Edition after being notably absent for the Series 4 lineup. That means this is the first time ceramic has been an option with the redesign that debuted last year, and the new look is stunning. Check out our initial hands-on with the Apple Watch Edition before our full Series 5 review later next week.

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Starting with Apple Watch Series 5, Apple is adding titanium and bringing back ceramic as case material options in addition to aluminum and stainless steel. Titanium comes in two brushed metal finishes, one silver and the other space black. Ceramic returns in the same white finish we saw with Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3, and there’s no gray ceramic finish like we saw with Apple Watch Series 3.

Both ceramic and titanium models are in the Apple Watch Edition collection, although there are fewer packaging perks with Series 5 than we saw with Series 2 and Series 3. Both Apple Watch Edition case finishes include a Sport band in the box in addition to whatever band you choose at purchase (just like the Hermès collection), but two things are missing this year.

Apple Watch Edition models used to include Apple’s Magnetic Charging Dock and a special book on how the material was created. Both are absent with Series 5, possibly to accommodate a standard box for all watches, but the $79 Magnetic Charging Dock can be purchased separately.

Here’s a look at the Series 5 packaging for Apple Watch Edition, which carries over the same experience as Series 4:

Apple Watch Edition tucks the bundled Sport band in the main box and includes both small/medium and medium/large straps (despite ‘What’s in the Box‘ suggesting S/M for 40mm and M/L for 44mm).

Underneath the main box is the band chosen at purchase. Apple Watch Edition can be bought with Sport Loop, Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, Link Bracelet, or Sport bands through the new Apple Watch Studio experience.

The paper sleeve that wraps the main box and band packaging together is similar to what we saw with Series 4, minus some color and band designs.

Since this is the first time the redesigned Apple Watch has been offered in ceramic, it also means the Apple Watch Edition has a different look than Series 3 versions of ceramic.

The back cover shifted from aluminum and steel to all ceramic starting with Apple Watch Series 4, and that continues with Apple Watch Series 5. The back back cover blends with the dark-colored optical heart rate sensor on all Series 4 and Series 5 watches, creating a strong contrast with the white ceramic finish.

The Digital Crown also has a new look with the ceramic Apple Watch Series 5. The original ceramic model had a black cap inside the white crown, then the second ceramic version shifted to a red cap like other cellular watches. The new version — which includes an electrical heart sensor for the ECG app — has a more subtle black cap with a red accent ring.

A new line of Sport Loop band colors debuted with Apple Watch Series 5 this month, including two-tone options like the new Anchor Gray option seen here.

The ceramic Apple Watch Edition still includes a special Sport band with a ceramic pin that isn’t sold separately. Apple originally paired the ceramic watch with an off-white color called Cloud, then the Soft White version seen below was introduced with Series 3.

Apple Watch Edition in ceramic comes in two case sizes, 40mm and 44mm, priced from $1299 to $1749 depending on band selection. Apple Watch Series 5 in other case materials starts at $399; larger displays and cellular models are priced higher, but different case materials include the same features.

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