Milanese Loop (Generation 1, Gold Stainless Steel, 44mm, Fall 2018)

The Milanese Loop was among Apple’s original Apple Watch band designs. In the press release in September 2014 announcing the original Apple Watch, Apple wrote: “Apple also created an entire range of watch straps [including] the Milanese Loop in a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh.” The original Milanese Loop was available only in silver, but has been offered in a total of five colors: Silver (Spring 2015), Space Black (Spring 2016), Graphite (Fall 2020), and two shades of Gold (Fall 2018, Fall 2020).

This example is the Generation 1 version of the Gold Stainless Steel Milanese Loop. (The Generation 2 version released in Fall 2020 had a slightly less red tone.)

Apple describes the Milanese Loop:

“A modern interpretation of a design developed in Milan at the end of the 19th century. Woven on specialized Italian machines, the smooth stainless steel mesh wraps fluidly around your wrist. And because it’s fully magnetic, the Milanese Loop is infinitely adjustable, ensuring a perfect fit.”

Apple specifies that the Milanese Loop is not water resistant and cautions that the band contains magnets that may cause interference with the Compass on the watch.

The 38/40/41mm version of the band band fit 130–180mm wrists, while the 42/44/45/49mm version fit 150–200mm wrists. Although this design and color was released in 2015, this Milanese Loop is dated 2019 on the packaging, and the product was still available on the Apple website as of March 2023 (for $99).

Source: Apple (Newsroom, product)

iPhone 8 (gold, 64GB, 2017)

The iPhone 8 was announced September 12, 2017, at the same time as the iPhone X (iPhone ten). Except for a glass back (replacing a metal back), the iPhone 8 (and the iPhone 8 Plus) were similar in design to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models that preceded them. The iPhone 8 was arguably eclipsed by the iPhone X with Apple’s first edge-to-edge screen with no Home button and a design that hinted at future designs of iPhone and iPad devices.

The iPhone 8 had a 4.7-inch Retina HD touchscreen (1334×750 at 326 ppi). Its solid-state Home button used Apple’s Taptic engine and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Its front camera was a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, and its back camera was a 12-megapixel 4K camera with a six-element lens system with augmented reality (AR) support.

The iPhone 8 was first offered in gold (white front with gold glass back), silver (white front with silver glass back), and space gray (black front with dark gray glass back), and Apple later added a (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition model (black front with a red glass back).

Internally, the iPhone 8 used an A11 Bionic processor with six cores, 2 GB RAM, and was offered in storage options of 64, 128, and 256 GB. Wireless connections included 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (4G), and NFC (Apple Pay). Its only wired connection was the Lightning port (the headphone jack had been removed from the previous iPhone 7 models).

Qi wireless charging was also introduced with the iPhone 8—and also the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, introduced at the same time.

This example of the iPhone 8 is gold.

Sources: EveryMac, Wikipedia

Apple Watch Woven Nylon Band (42 mm, Gold/Red, Spring 2016)

The Apple Watch Woven Nylon Band was available from 2016–2019. This band design was the first to include plastic connecting “lugs” to attach to the watch.

This Gold/Red Apple Watch Woven Nylon Band was available beginning in Spring 2016. This example fits the 42mm Apple Watch. The design features tightly woven threads in red and gold in a wavy pattern on the exterior of the band. The interior of the band uses three colors including light orange, light green, and light blue. The buckle is silver, and the plastic closure plastics match the gold color of the thread.

According to Apple:

“Every Woven Nylon band is made from over 500 threads woven together in a unique, colorful pattern. Monofilaments connect four layers of the weave to create a single durable band with a comfortable, fabric-like feel.”

Unlike the Apple Sport Loop bands that shipped with two sizes in one box, each Woven Nylon box included one size band with twelve notches. The 38 mm version was designed to fit wrists 125–195 mm, and the 42 mm fit 145–215 mm wrists.

No new Apple Watch Woven Nylon band styles were introduced after Summer 2018.

Source: 9to5mac, Bandbreite app

Apple Watch Series 8 (45mm, Starlight Aluminum, with Pistachio Braided Solo Loop band, 2022)

The Apple Watch Series 8 is similar to the previous Series 7 model, but has a few more features including temperature sensors for health monitoring, a new Crash Detection feature, and a new Low Power Mode. Apple’s press release touts:

“Apple Watch Series 8 features the beloved design of Apple Watch, including a large, Always-On Retina display and a strong crack-resistant front crystal. With all-day 18-hour battery life, Apple Watch Series 8 builds on best-in-class health and safety features like the ECG app and fall detection by introducing temperature-sensing capabilities, retrospective ovulation estimates, Crash Detection, and international roaming.”

Like all previous Apple Watch models, the Series 8 uses a Digital Crown and a touch display. The 45mm size uses a 396×484 “Always-On” Retina OLED screen with Ion-X glass (the same size introduced with the previous Series 7).

The aluminum GPS models were available in four colors: Silver; Midnight (dark gray, almost black); Starlight (warm silver); and (PRODUCT)RED. Three Stainless Steel colors were available: Gold, Silver, and Graphite. All colors were available in 41mm and 45mm.

Two Stainless Steel Series 8 Apple Watch Hermès models were available in Silver and Space Black; thus, Space Black Stainless Steel was exclusive to the Hermès Series 8.

No Series 8 Apple Watch Edition models were offered. (Apple Watch Edition Series 7 models were offered in titanium and space black titanium.)

During the release of the Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone 14, an extended demo of the Crash Detection was presented. Apple describes the feature:

“To enable Crash Detection, Apple developed an advanced sensor-fusion algorithm that leverages a new, more powerful gyroscope and accelerometer on Apple Watch… To create the algorithm, data was collected from these new motion sensors at professional crash test labs with common passenger cars in simulated real-world accidents, including head-on, rear-end, side-impact, and rollovers. In addition to motion data, Crash Detection uses the barometer, GPS, and the microphone on iPhone as inputs to detect the unique patterns that can indicate whether a severe crash has taken place.”

Soon after the the release of Crash Detection, media began reporting incidents of false positive reports. 9to5Mac reported that “even though Apple uses all-new hardware, an advanced algorithm, and over a million hours of crash data, false positives are still possible… roller coasters have been causing a number of erroneous automatic 911 calls by tricking Apple’s Crash Detection.” The Verge reported, “Apple’s iPhones and watches contain sensors and safeguards designed to trigger Crash Detection only in a true emergency. But skiers and snowmobilers are unknowingly setting it off.”

The release of Apple Watch Series 8 coincided with the release of watchOS 9. Among other features, for the first time, watchOS 9 allowed all Apple Watch users to access previously exclusive Nike watch faces: “Starting this fall, any Apple Watch user running watchOS 9 — even those without a Nike model — will be able to access all the Nike watch faces, including the fresh colors coming to the Bounce face.”

This Starlight Aluminum 45mm model shipped with a Starlight Sport Band. It is shown here with a Pistachio Braided Solo Loop band.

Sources: Apple (Newsroom, Product), EveryMac, 9to5Mac, The Verge

The Golden Apple Club ceramic tile (1992)

This white ceramic tile was acquired from the estate of a former Apple Education employee. It is printed with a negative-space white Apple logo on a shimmering, metallic gold circle with the words “THE GOLDEN APPLE CLUB,” also printed in metallic gold. The tile’s border is surrounded with dark-green-printed shamrocks and the words “Ireland ’92” in an Old English typeface.

I was able to find a few references to the “The Golden Apple Club” in my research. One source in the Online Archive of California in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford shows a listing in a collection archive titled, “Guide to the Apple Computer, Inc. Records M1007” (1998). The reference catalogs the item as “Vanity Press Items” with the entry: The Golden Apple Club: the best of the best., 1991. The complete record specifies that the university collection includes approximately 600 linear feet of items from 1977–1998 including: “organizational charts, annual reports, company directories, internal communications, engineering reports, design materials, press releases, manuals, public relations materials, human resource information, videotapes, audiotapes, software, hardware, and corporate memorabilia.”

A former Apple Regional Sales Manager on LinkedIn lists that he was a “Golden Apple Sales Award Winner” in 1998.

The long-running podcast RetroMacCast Episode 261 (October 21, 2012): “Frito Residue,” includes a reference to a 18K gold Golden Apple Club pin (selling for $1,049.99) and later included a conversation about the Golden Apple Club program. The podcast host discussed several Golden Apple Club items he had purchased in a kit, including a deck of cards, heavy-duty black plastic luggage tags, a neck pillow in a gray vinyl pouch, and a small portfolio—all with the Golden Apple Club logo. The “Club” was described as a program for sales representatives who had exceeded planned sales goals for a fiscal year. Reportedly, one of the “prizes” for Golden Apple Club members included a trip.

Based upon this information, this tile may have been received by a Golden Apple Club award winner on a trip to Ireland in 1992.

Perhaps worth noting, Apple has had facilities in Cork, Ireland, since 1980 and specifies that Cork “serves as Apple’s European headquarters, supporting customers across the continent and beyond.” There is no indication that this trip was to Cork, and this connection is pure speculation.

The tile measures 4.25 x 4.25 inches, 3/16-inch thick, and has a cork bottom.

Sources: Stanford, Apple, RetroMacCast

Apple Watch Sport Band (42 mm, Midnight Blue, gold pin, OEM packaging, Fall 2015)

The Apple Watch Sport Band was made from a flexible rubber material called fluoroelastomer with a metal pin closure. Sizes ranged from S/M, M/L, or L/XL. When purchasing an Apple Watch Sport Band, the S/M and M/L sizes are included in the box, allowing the band to fit wrists 140–210 mm.

Apple described the Apple Watch Sport band:

“Made from a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer, the Sport Band is durable and strong, yet surprisingly soft. The smooth, dense material drapes elegantly across your wrist and feels comfortable next to your skin. An innovative pin-and-tuck closure ensures a clean fit.”

This version of the Midnight Blue (Generation 1) Apple Watch Sport Band includes a gold pin to match the gold Apple Watch models of the time. Alternate versions of the band had a silver and a rose gold pin.

This band did not come in Apple’s retail packaging. It was purchased from a website that sold Apple replacement parts and used Apple’s OEM packaging.

Source: Apple