Frequently Asked Questions

Gold-Plated Link Band

How do I get my Apple Watch plated?

You have two options:

i. Traditional: Send in your watch/band for plating, or have Apple ship your order directly to us for plating (to save on shipping costs).
Begin by purchasing the plating here using our shopping bag system and pick the Traditional category. We will begin the process as soon as your watch arrives. Turn around time is 3 business days or less.

-OR-

ii. Personal Shopper: Let us order your watch/band from Apple for plating . We will order and pick up your watch/band from Apple locally and begin the plating process .
Begin here using our shopping bag system and pick the Personal Shopper category to purchase your items and plating.  Turn around time is 1 to 2 days for Apple procurement and 3 business days or less for plating. If your item(s) are not stocked locally at an Apple Outlet, we will order them (timing for this may vary per Apple).

How long does it take to get an Apple Watch gold plated?

Your completed watch will ship within 5 business days after we receive it at our shipping address. Note: If your tracking information states “it is awaiting pickup” there is no need to notify us. We have daily pickups and sometimes the pickup status is not updated by the post office in a timely manner.

Other sites offer a lower price for plating an Apple Watch. Why?

We guarantee our plating for 2 years, because we know how to make it last. Other companies offer a 30 day guarantee. Will you stop wearing your watch after 30 days? Of course not. There is tremendous value in a finish that will last the lifetime of your watch. We have been refinishing fine watches for 20 years and we know how to do it right.

There are also other factors involving: Color Matching, avoidance of hazardous materials, durability, and Plating Method. See Next Question for details.

Please Note: We have received many requests from customers who sent their watch somewhere else for Gold plating because it is now peeling or rubbing off after a short time. They want us to fix their watch and plate it right. This is labor and cost prohibitive, and due to the high volume of requests we are no longer fixing watches plated elsewhere. In the end it would be quicker and less costly to star over with a new watch plated properly by us.

What’s so special about your Apple Watch gold plating services?

A. METHOD: Our plating is applied using our exclusive micro-pulse plating method which can only be described as unique using the principles of traditional bath plating.  This does not require a Nickel base-layer and our chemistry is Nickel free. In fact, it provides a hypoallergenic barrier from the Nickel in Stainless Steel, and prevents Nickel Rash.

The Gold plating provided by other Platers is “brushed” on. This is a process called brush-plating and relies on the operator skill. This is done by first brush plating a layer of Nickel because the Gold layer will not bond to Stainless Steel directly. This Nickel layer will cause problems with Nickel Allergy rash for some people. Stainless Steel itself contains nickel and this can also cause Nickel Allergy. Brush plating must be polished to level out the uneven surface that results. Brush plating cannot produce the same color as the Apple Edition Watches. Brush plating is not practical for Rose Gold, and other finishes we offer.

B. COLOR: Our finishes Match the exact color of the Apple Watch Edition Gold and Rose Gold colors. Our names are 18kt Aura Cupertino and 18kt Rosa Cupertino. Other Platers do not offer a color match. In fact the Method used by other Platers can result in a darker yellow/brown color which will not match the Apple Edition Colors.

C. QUALITY: Our micro-pulse plating results in a very strong and unbreakable bond between the base metal and gold layer. The Gold/Nickel layers of Brush plating used by other Platers will be much weaker and susceptible to peeling, blistering, and shipping. Brushed on gold can also result in a tendency to change color over time.

D. HARDNESS: Our micro-pulse plating produces a very high hardness alloy of Gold that is harder than the Apple Edition Solid 18K Gold. The formulas available for Brush plating do not produce the same levels of hardness and are more prone to scratching.

E. THICKNESS: Our thickness meets the ISO3160 plating standard for luxury watches to maximize the wear and beauty of the plated layer. This is twice the thickness of Gold Vermeil which is called Heavy Gold plating. It will easily last the life of a watch under normal wear. While a thicker layer is possible, it is problematic. A thicker layer can induce stresses which cause delamination or blistering. Thicker layers result in a large grain structure which reduces brightness.

On the Apple Watch, a thicker layer will start to interfere with the tolerance of the watch band interface making it difficult to install bands without damage. Any claim of thicknesses in excess of this is highly suspect. Brush plating is much thinner and is less than half of the ISO3160 standard, and most brush platers are not even achieving that thickness.

Will this hurt my Apple Watch?

Our process will not harm your watch in any way. No high temperatures or hazardous chemicals are used. We do not use anything with Nickel as this can cause an allergic rash. Your fine leather band will also not be harmed or affected in any way. A full functional test is performed before and after work for verification.

Will the plating match the colors of the Apple Watch Edition?

Yes. Our Aura Cupertino Gold and Rosa Cupertino Rose Gold finishes will exactly match the Apple 18k Edition watch colors. We also offer additional finishes not available from Apple. These include White Gold (Rhodium), Platinum, Ruthenium (like dark chrome), and a deeper yellow color similar to Rolex® 18K gold called Sunset Cupertino.

What guarantee do you offer? How long will the plating on my Apple Watch last?

We provide a 2 year guarantee that it will not peel, blister, or fade, but we expect it to last the lifetime of the watch as we have in our 20 years in business restoring watches. We also guarantee a gold layer thickness that meets the ISO3160 standard for luxury watch plating, and also that the color will be stable.

As with any metal watch finish, we do not guarantee against scratches, or gouges. Although our finishes are very hard (harder than stainless steel) Any metal will scratch and we provide a customer care sheet to care for your watch after plating. Hard or metallic objects which come in contact with your watch can cause damage such as bracelets, rings, and other jewelry. They can cause scratches or gouges which is not covered by our warranty. Avoid such contact to prevent this damage.

Will plating hide the scratches on my Apple Watch?

No. Plating will reproduce the surface contour exactly. This is why we offer to polish scratches out prior to plating, if desired (Choose this option during ordering).

How thick is the gold-plating?

THICKNESS: We meet the ISO3160 standard for luxury watch plating to maximize the wear and beauty of the plated layer. This is twice the thickness of Gold Vermeil which is called Heavy Gold Electroplating. It also exceeds the ASM standard for Fine Gold plated watches. It will easily last the life of a watch under normal wear.

There is a lot of misinformation being put out by other companies that is misleading concerning gold thickness. One company, for example, has been saying they plate to 32 microns in thickness. A customer of theirs asked us to fix their Apple Watch because the plating had worn through in only one week. When we measured the thickness it was far less than 1/2 micron.

Therefore, what we do say is that our plating meets the ISO3160 gold thickness requirements for luxury watches. This is twice the thickness of Gold Vermeil which is called Heavy Gold Electroplating and insures a thickness that is long lasting and durable. Easily lasting the life of the watch under light wear and is a 10year finish for watches experiencing daily to moderate wear. That’s why we have a 2 year warranty for plating. Since we have been restoring and plating watches since 1995 we know what it takes to make them last.

What finishes do you offer for Apple Watches?

We offer the following finishes:

  • “Aura Cupertino” 18kt yellow Gold to match Apple 18kt Edition yellow Gold Watch
  • “Sunset Cupertino” a deeper 18kt yellow Gold matching the Rolex® 18k Gold color.
  • “Blanca Cupertino” to match your white gold jewelry (Rhodium)
  • “Rosa Cupertino” 18kt Rose Gold to match the Apple 18kt Edition Rose Gold Watch
  • “Cupertino Platina” Platinum which is a medium bright Silver
  • “Noir Cupertino” Dark Ruthenium, a stealthy high-tech color which is like Dark Chrome

What if my watch gets scratched in the future? Can you fix that?

Yes. If we have previously plated your Apple Watch and it has accumulated scratches which you would like to have fixed, let us know and we will refinish and plate your Apple watch at a reduced cost to you. Should you decide to change the finish on your watch previously plated by us we will do so at a reduced cost (call or TXT +1 (248) 623-2569 for a quote).