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$10,000 buys Apple Watch star treatment Retail Store

Apple is planning a premium purchasing journey for sales of the high-end Apple Watch Edition, with dedicated fashion-savvy watch experts on hand to deliver the perfect customer experience.

Those interested in the 18-karat gold smartwatch – starting at $10,000 – will receive a number of customer service perks at the Apple Store, some of which are also extended to sales of the more affordable mid-range steel models. However, Apple Watch Sport customers are out of luck and will get the budget treatment to go with their budget watch. Here are a few things to expect next month.

No wait times

Time is money, and Apple don’t intend for any potential Apple Watch Edition customers to have to waste theirs waiting in line. Edition customers will have priority access to Apple Store staff, reducing the risk they will get frustrated and take their $10,000 elsewhere.

Longer appointments

Apple Stores will have dedicated areas for Edition customers, with private tables for trying on the watch. Potential buyers won’t be rushed into a decision, with appointments lasting up to an hour to allow plenty of time to test drive the device. By comparison, regular Apple Watch customers will be given around 15 minutes at best.

Virtual personal setup

This one is for the stainless steel Apple Watch as well as the Edition. Customers will be treated to a live video chat with Apple employees both before and after purchasing a watch. The online chat will be used to garner information as well as to ‘virtually’ try on the watch – which means that Apple staff will model the various versions on webcam. After a purchase the video chat is available again as a service to help with the unboxing and setup process.

Premium tech support

Apple Watch Edition customers will be given the star treatment for two years after a purchase, with 24/7 phone support – for English speakers only at this point – on dedicated Edition-only phone lines.

Apple is taking the customer service experience very seriously at the moment, and it is expected that all versions of the watch will only be available to those with appointments – at least to begin with. Banning drop-ins while interest is so high should ensure that anyone serious about buying gets a quicker, more personal experience. However, money talks and it looks like the real premium service is being saved for those who can afford it.

The Apple Watch, in all its guises, will be released on April 24 – but is available for pre-order from April 10. In the meantime, you can read more about the watch here.