Aluminium owners

ivanwi11iams

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 30, 2014
1,761
1,060
Atlanta, GA
Evening all,

Those who have owned an Aluminium Apple Watch, would you say it is/isn’t hard to scratch?

Thus far, I have owned an AW2 & AW3, both Stainless Steel.
With the latest prices, I am seriously considering the Aluminium edition.

Thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ghost31 and moptart

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
759
606
Pittsburgh, PA
I've got 2 years in my SG AW2 and the case looks as good as the day I first brought it home. If I'm not in the shower or it's not on the charger, it's on my wrist. Yardwork, fishing trips that involve hiking, bike riding, tennis, time at the gym and nary a scratch or imperfection of any sort to the aluminum. I do use and would recommend screen protection though, I've had that since the beginning and it's saved the face from scratches, I'm sure.
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,205
468
NJ
my series 0 ive owned since release and just replaced with a series 4 has no scratches I can recall at all. and ive beat it up, accidental knocks into walls and drops in a correctional facility. and it was worn almost 365 days a year.
 

mcaswell

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2013
240
109
Yes and no. I just got an S4 (40mm silver alum), replacing an S2 (38mm gold alum) that I have worn every day for about a year and a half. As I was getting ready to sell the S2 and was writing the description for Ebay, I expected to only have to mention a little ding in the casing on the bottom just below the screen, because I thought the screen was "perfect". But when I examined it closely under a desk lamp, I noticed that the screen did indeed have some scratches.

In other words, yes, the screen does scratch, but at least in my case, the scratches were unnoticeable until I really started scrutinizing it. In contrast, the S0 SS that I first owned had an absolutely perfect screen when I sold it. However, given that the SS is almost double the price, that reason alone wasn't enough to justify the difference.
 

artfossil

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2015
1,150
1,177
Florida
my series 0 ive owned since release and just replaced with a series 4 has no scratches I can recall at all. and ive beat it up, accidental knocks into walls and drops in a correctional facility. and it was worn almost 365 days a year.
Same with my Series 0, replaced in July. I wore it every day, with lots of knocks and drops. It still looks like new!

Because light weight is important to me, my Series 3 is also aluminum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ivanwi11iams

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,405
156
Americas
I was thinking if the stainless steel is the same that they used for the iPod Touch and early iPhones, you will get scratches on it whenever dirt get trapped behind it. I opted for the Aluminum because it doesn't scratch as easy. Mine has 0 scratches on it. Even after hitting it on something or tossing my keys on it or reaching inside a bag.

The Aluminum is really close to what an analog watch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ivanwi11iams

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
1,429
740
would you say it is/isn’t hard to scratch?
That's a quirky question to answer, because it's so relative. I didn't scratch the body of my watch to any visible degree (bought july 2015) and there's barely any visible scratches on the glass either (what's there is tiny and only shows up if you go looking for it), and I've banged it into stuff by accident and so on. Then there's others who have scratched up theirs and cracked the display inside a few weeks.

So TL DR, if you're careless and don't respect your belongings you're gonna wreck it. Otherwise you'll be fine.
 

Farrellcollie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2011
517
169
I have had the apple watch 3 aluminum space gray or black (I forget what they named it) since launch day. I have worn it every day for every activity I do during a day - it is not scratched at all. I do use a skin protector on the crystal because I have accidentally cracked the crystal on every (usually timex or victorinox) watch I have owned except the apple watch.
 

sbuntin

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2011
145
49
Portland OR
My SS S0 lasted three years without any screen scratches. I wasn't particularly careful with it. My Al S3 has three or four 1/4 inch scratches on the face. I've been more careful with this one.

I gave in and ordered S4, back to SS for that one.
 

mackie8

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2014
878
628
Just got my GPS series 4 i came from series 3 SS too because my gold SS is backordered im trying to like this... its not so bad after all no scratch after a week too... i used nike series 3 before i upgraded to SS S3...

Once u go stainless its hard to go back to aluminum
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,205
468
NJ
I gave up on the cheesy screen protectors offered for my series 0 when it first came out. they weren't shaped correctly and never worked right (both wet apply peels and glass protectors). I stopped using them within weeks and wore is with no protections (not even my spigen case), and allowed my apple care to lapse since I never used it. my series 0 had taken some HARD knocks into walls while walking down hallways and dropped a few times. it somehow got a small scuff/scratch in the top of the screen, where it meets the edge and its barely noticeable. hell, it held up so well over the past 3 years, when I bought my series 4, I didn't even consider apple care on it or any kind of screen protector.
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
1,429
740
Btw, on the topic of aluminium watches; I was going to get a space black stainless S4, but I've now reconsidered and will again go with the silver aluminium, Nike+ this time, for the exclusive white sport loop with reflective yarn. Stainless you can either buy with a too expensive (and pinchy!) metal mesh band or a boring ole rubber band which I already got one of. Sport loop is more interesting to me since I don't have one of those yet. Also;

Aluminium model advantages:
  1. Cheaper
  2. Lighter (IE less distracting during exercise)
  3. Stronger haptics feedback (due to being lighter)
  4. Less reflective, brighter display (higher contrast, especially under strong lighting conditions like outdoors on a sunny day)
  5. More scratch-resistant case (vs. plain stainless)
  6. More shatter-resistant display (theoretically anyway... In practice I don't know if there's a very huge big diff honestly.)

Also, while not exactly an advantage as such I'm personally a very big fan of the pearly, shiny anodizing Apple is putting on the aluminium models, to me it looks really really great. While it clashes stylistically with the shiny stainless lugs of metal and leather armbands, it goes really well with all the other band varieties. Too bad Apple's discontinued the woven nylon bands though, makes me wish I'd hoarded a bunch, but at over €50 a pop... Jesus! lol Hopefully they'll come back someday though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ghost31

DNAppleGold

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2009
306
33
my series 0 ive owned since release and just replaced with a series 4 has no scratches I can recall at all. and ive beat it up, accidental knocks into walls and drops in a correctional facility. and it was worn almost 365 days a year.
Ditto. I gave my wife the series 0 silver. Saying it’s like new is too much but very little wear and tear
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,874
31,171
I converted from being an aluminum owner to a stainless owner. Reason being strictly because of the Ion – X Glass on the sport model, I never was impressed with the durability, even though it resembles the iPhone glass that they use as well. I owned the sport model when it first launched for approximately two weeks, and I was shocked how easily it scratched, and I was cautious with the watch as well, I never treated it poorly.

I Then sold the aluminum watch and upgraded to the stainless ever since. The Sapphire display has never let me down to the point where I have not found one scratch on the display itself. I know Apples prices are not cheap and there’s a substantial difference in price point between the aluminum and stainless model, but if that means it gives me the confidence of using my watch without having to worry about scratching the display, then I will gladly pay that price to enjoy the watch without having to see micro scratches on the display. And the bonus is, I really do enjoy the weight and appearance of the stainless.
 

iggypod

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
703
44
My launch day series 0 aluminum still looks great. Not a micro scratch to be seen and it was used daily.

No screen protectors or cases. It took quite a few hard bumps on the walls and accidental knocks on our granite countertops. There were many times I grimaced expecting to see damage of some sort - but nothing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DianaMR

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,587
2,529
East of Eden
I'm careful with my things, but I bump into things a lot. I had figured I would pick up dings and dents, and probably shatter the screen at least once. None of that happened - the aluminum S3 that I wore every day for 50 or 51 weeks looked like new when I traded it in. I also think that the lighter weight of the Sport version outweighs the (to me) better esthetics of the stainless models. YMMV, though.
 

ivanwi11iams

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 30, 2014
1,761
1,060
Atlanta, GA
I have the option to pickup an Aluminium model today. Once I get to the Apple shop, I will review it, prior to picking it up. Still very unsure, probably because I already have a AW3 SS SB...
 

Gamer-Dad

macrumors regular
Aug 11, 2018
154
125
Pasadena MD USA
My original Apple Watch series 0 was stainless steel. When the series 2 came out, I purchased the aluminum model after seeing how bad the resale value of the SS was. I also did not like the weight of the SS compared to the aluminum. My SS had microfine scratches on it. My series 2 basically was worn everyday for 2 years, and was out through a lot. I'm an electrician and am always banging around things, go to the gym with it getting banged on exercise equipment, yard work, outings, etc. There wasn't a single scratch on the face nor the aluminum. I upgraded to the 44mm aluminum and hope this one is as durable as my 42mm S2.
 

mcaswell

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2013
240
109
My original Apple Watch series 0 was stainless steel. When the series 2 came out, I purchased the aluminum model after seeing how bad the resale value of the SS was. I also did not like the weight of the SS compared to the aluminum. My SS had microfine scratches on it.
Similar story here, though I first bought an S0 aluminum, then exchanged it a week or so later for an SS after I realized that the urge to baby the screen of the sport and protect it from scratches (with crummy screen protectors) was going to be far too annoying. However, by the time the S2 came out, I was both ready to downsize to a 38mm, and had gotten over the "I must keep my Apple watch in mint condition!" mindset, not to mention recognizing that it was a losing proposition to spend more money on the SS watch for the primary purpose of avoiding scratches, so I went with aluminum, as I did with the S4.

Interesting that yours held up with no scratches though... again, I THOUGHT my S2 had no scratches on the screen, until I examined it closely, so that was another lesson (minor scratches that are likely to occur are not a significant issue).
 

squirrrl

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2013
853
258
San Diego, CA
I have had the apple watch 3 aluminum space gray or black (I forget what they named it) since launch day. I have worn it every day for every activity I do during a day - it is not scratched at all. I do use a skin protector on the crystal because I have accidentally cracked the crystal on every (usually timex or victorinox) watch I have owned except the apple watch.
What brand of screen protector do you use?
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
759
606
Pittsburgh, PA
What brand of screen protector do you use?
I know you asked the other member but I've used these.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G7UJI2M/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The one that is on the screen now has been on there for well over 6 months and is showing no sign of peeling at any of the corners. A couple of drops of dish soap in water, stirred and then applied generously to the back of the skin and watch face. This one in particular has been on longer than any screen I've used. Before this I went with Zagg because of good experience with other products. Their watch protection kept peeling at the corners and it became a PITA to file for replacements not to mention more expensive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DianaMR

ericg301

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,256
638
Aluminum looking as good as new after a year would be rare. Anything worn on the average human will take it’s knocks and scruffs.
Both my S0 aluminum (after 2 years) and my current S3 aluminum (after 1 year) still look brand new. I keep a screen protector the face, but the body is perfect. I’ve banged it against furniture, etc but nothing hard enough to have any affect.

I just can’t justify the price of the steel, knowing that I’m only going to keep it for a few years and the resale value is going to be garbage. Especially since Apple creeps up the base cost with every new series.