Advice from a long-time watch owner: SS polishes, Al doesn't

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by diablo2112, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. diablo2112, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    diablo2112 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Brief point you may not have considered. Long-time watch guy here. One very nice feature of stainless steel is it is easily polished and scratches removed by any jeweler. I've had a number of SS cased watches polished up to good as new after a few years wearing them. Can't do that easily with anodized aluminum. May not matter to you, but another consideration in you're choosing between models.
     
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #2
    I'm assuming you meant anodized aluminum and not anodized stainless steel, but good point nonetheless. The stainless steel also has a sapphire crystal, which is MUCH less likely to scratch (unless you have diamond sandpaper around).
     
  3. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

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    #3
    9 to 5 Mac has a good article on types of stainless metal used in various watches and removing scratches on the SS. Short version, the Apple watch is very easy to polish and shows how to do it.
     
  4. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000

    D1G1T4L

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    #4
    And remember to take care of the sapphire as it is less scratch prone but does break.
     
  5. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #5
    Yes, but it'll likely be obsolete before it's in dire need of a professional polish.
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #6
    I've had sapphire crystals on watches for years and haven't shattered one yet. That said, iFixit says that the display looks to be fairly easily replaceable (the S1 chip, not so much), so I'm guessing Apple is expecting a decent repair business.
     
  7. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a

    catalyst6

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    #7
    As an avid diamond sandpaper enthusiast and collector, I guess I am out of luck :(
     
  8. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000

    D1G1T4L

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    #8
    Same here but just don't want people to think because it is sapphire it won't shatter. Great for scratches but still can shatter.
     
  9. diablo2112 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Yes, that was indeed a typo. Polishing anodized aluminum is nontrivial, and you lose any coloring.
     
  10. edlex macrumors 68000

    edlex

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    #10
    I'm sure a little flitz and a Dremel buffing wheel at low speed should do it. Works on my feed ramps#
     
  11. wepiii macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Will the space gray SS be able to be polished as easily?
     
  12. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a

    catalyst6

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    #12
    I doubt it since it is coated steel...but I am not entirely sure.
     
  13. macgeek01 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    But SS scratches easily and anodized aluminum doesn't so seems like a toss up.
     
  14. diablo2112 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Not quite. Anodized aluminum actually scratches more easily than SS. What's happening is this: SS is highly polished; Al isn't. You see the tiny little scratches in polished SS; those same scratches aren't visible in the matte finish anodized Aluminum.

    Regardless, I've worn nice polished watches for decades, and have gotten very good at treating them well. Worst case, my Jeweler polishes the case every couple of years, takes literally 3 minutes for him.
     
  15. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #15
    Except there's no indication Apple is using the stronger type II anodization (hard anodizing) on the Watch compared to what's currently used on iDevices. Anyone that has scratched up the iPhone knows how susceptible it is to scratching as well as wearing down of the coating (particularly obvious on the black and slate iPhone 5).
     
  16. macgeek01 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    All I know is that there are already a lot of people that have scratches on their SS but have not heard about any on the aluminum not to say it hasn't happened.
     
  17. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #17
    Yes, but those are microscratches which are normal with SS watches, also known as patina. The real question is which is more susceptible to deep scratches that stick out like sore thumbs.

    Either way, I don't think it matters because people will upgrade after 1-2 years and we do just fine with iPhones, even when carrying naked assuming we're careful enough. Get what you like rather than worry about deeper damages because they'll likely be obsolete in a few short years anyway.
     
  18. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #18
    I agree. I have worn watches with sapphire crystals for the last 35 years and have BANGED the hell out of them. Even to the point the the bezel surrounding the crystal had to be replaced and yet the sapphire did not suffer even a scratch. It can happen as I have seen a Rolex with a broken crystal but it is very rare.

    I will take sapphire over "Ion Glass" any time!
     
  19. Deanster macrumors regular

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    #19
    No - it's PVD-DLC, so it shouldn't scratch under normal conditions. You can knock off a chunk with a sharp enough blow, and then you're jacked, as there's no repair, but well-applied DLC (which I think we can assume Apple is doing) should be essentially scratch-proof.

    It's a really amazing material - I'm actually surprised Apple hasn't made a bigger deal of the DLC-coated version.
     
  20. macgeek01 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Those micro scratches would annoy the hell out of me along with polishing all the time but a scratch on the face would be a different story. (Not to say a scratch on my SG aluminum wouldn't annoy me) Too bad you can get the aluminum with Saphire but it seems like the X Glass is still pretty damn scratch resistive.

    Good point BTW!

    ----------

    Didn't know that thanks for the info. If I went SS it would def be for SG then.
     
  21. Cuyler, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    Cuyler macrumors 6502

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    #21
    MacRumors had an article mentioning the watch's series 7000 aluminum case. It quotes Apple saying "a special anodizing process creates a hard, clear outer layer that helps protect against scratches and corrosion". Apparently, the tech used in the watch's aluminum is an improvement over the iPhone's.

    iMore has an article, Apple Watch and durability, which provides more details. It says "most likely, Apple uses the high currents and chilled baths of Type III anodizing to produce a dense, thin layer". The article's author was impressed, but still worries that the anodized aluminum will show wear quickly, especially on the space gray version (mostly at sharp edges, like the digital crown's ridges).

    The article also discusses the space black stainless steel "diamond like carbon" finish. Apparently it's really hard to damage, but any scratches you do get cannot practically be removed.
     
  22. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #22
    That says nothing about the type of anodization used. Any type can be "special" in terms of marketing. Trust me, they'd market the hell out of "hard anodizing," which is thicker and takes significantly longer what what's currently used on iDevices and MacBooks, just as they're doing with the stronger aluminum alloy itself used in the Watch.
     
  23. 8CoreWhore, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    #23
    I think of my SG Sport as pure utility and will display the dings and scratches proudly. The best way of dealing with these issues is to simply adjust your attitude and simply not give a s***.

    That said, don't be afraid to paint the thing someday. (just don't screw it up)

    Which of these two rifles looks better? ;) (zoom in)
     

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  24. Appl3FTW macrumors 603

    Appl3FTW

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  25. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    #25
    Unlike Apple's other alum products, the Watch is made with 7000 series aluminum, which is harder than the 316 stainless steel used in the Watch. I'm too lazy to google it, I'll leave that to someone else.

    But ANYTHING will scratch. Forget about polishing or buffing the Space Gray alum, or the black DLC stainless steel.
     

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