Aluminum > Stainless Steel

BigAppleNYC123

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Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
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I owned a series 0 stainless steel and upgraded to a S3 aluminum recently.

1) Aluminum is lighter. With the series 3 already packing a larger battery than series 2, those of us who dislike feeling like we have a weight strapped to our wrist have incentive to go aluminum.

2) Aluminum has a matte finish, which in my view is nicer looking than the stainless steel, which has a metallic finish. I felt my Series 0 was too shiny.

3) Aluminum costs more as a material than steel. Inexpensive cars are made from steel. Luxury cars are made from a mix of steel, aluminum and sometimes carbon fiber. By pricing the aluminum model below the steel, Apple makes the aluminum model a bargain.

4) the screen will always be brighter on aluminum versus steel.
 
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576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
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I've had an SS S0 since launch and I'll be getting the silver aluminium Nike+. I use my Watch for fitness more than anything else now, and I only use my Sport band, so I don't wear it for fashion anymore. Can't justify the price premium for the SS, and I think I agree about the aluminium looking slightly better. Depends what you want from a Watch, the SS is definitely weighty and has a more premium feel to it - but that can also be a bad thing.

I agree with your point about the aluminium Apple Watch being a great price too. It's one of the only appropriately priced Apple products you can get. But that's only because Apple know they can rinse people willing to pay too much for a product like Apple Watch. Which is what you're doing if you get steel or ceramic.

Which colour did you go for? Think I'm leaning towards the silver purely for customisation, cause the Space Grey doesn't look good with many of the bands.
 

BigAppleNYC123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
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I think SS way over aluminum, but to each their own. Go with what you like.
True true.
[doublepost=1506716635][/doublepost]
I've had an SS S0 since launch and I'll be getting the silver aluminium Nike+. I use my Watch for fitness more than anything else now, and I only use my Sport band, so I don't wear it for fashion anymore. Can't justify the price premium for the SS, and I think I agree about the aluminium looking slightly better. Depends what you want from a Watch, the SS is definitely weighty and has a more premium feel to it - but that can also be a bad thing.

Which colour did you go for? Think I'm leaning towards the silver purely for customisation, cause the Space Grey doesn't look good with many of the bands.
Agreed. I did silver aluminum and got the dark blue band. I like the silver /
Blue combo a lot.
 
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jthiele87

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2017
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Give it a few months of daily use. Once you see that first scratch....
I've had an aluminum for years. Series 1 and 2. This time I went for the SS Space black. Night and day.
But to each their own. I've always loved the weight of the aluminum though.
 

satchmo

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
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I've had an SS S0 since launch and I'll be getting the silver aluminium Nike+. I use my Watch for fitness more than anything else now, and I only use my Sport band, so I don't wear it for fashion anymore. Can't justify the price premium for the SS, and I think I agree about the aluminium looking slightly better. Depends what you want from a Watch, the SS is definitely weighty and has a more premium feel to it - but that can also be a bad thing.

I agree with your point about the aluminium Apple Watch being a great price too. It's one of the only appropriately priced Apple products you can get. But that's only because Apple know they can rinse people willing to pay too much for a product like Apple Watch. Which is what you're doing if you get steel or ceramic.

Which colour did you go for? Think I'm leaning towards the silver purely for customisation, cause the Space Grey doesn't look good with many of the bands.

This is the case for me as well going aluminium. While you can add a sport band to SS, it still looks kind of dressy for a workout.

Perhaps if one only occasionally works out, then SS is fine. But for someone who truly sweats and hits the gym hard, aluminium just feels more 'appropriate'.

And frankly, the Apple SS as a dress watch is just okay. If you're going to spend upwards of $600-$1000, I would get a nice automatic that IMO look better.
 

576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
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If you're going to spend upwards of $600-$1000, I would get a nice automatic that IMO look better.
Well that's it. If you're buying the SS because you want the Apple Watch as a dressy Watch, you're making a mistake. The resale value is much lower than other Apple products. The Watch just isn't worth sinking money into. You could get a much nicer traditional Watch for the same price. The SS/ceramic are like a fitness tracker wearing a tux, spend your money elsewhere. But then some people have too much money to burn, as I see frequently on a forum such as this. :p
 

shox2k2

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2010
360
50
Wichita, KS
I like the black s/s followed by the white ceramic. The space gray aluminum also looks good. I can't really stand the silver of the sport or s/s. Not my cup of tea. That said I work outside and use my hands a lot so the s/s is the models that align with my needs. I can't really even feel the watch on my wrist so I don't see how weight is even an issue.
 

BigAppleNYC123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
211
153
Well that's it. If you're buying the SS because you want the Apple Watch as a dressy Watch, you're making a mistake. The resale value is much lower than other Apple products. The Watch just isn't worth sinking money into. You could get a much nicer traditional Watch for the same price. The SS/ceramic are like a fitness tracker wearing a tux, spend your money elsewhere. But then some people have too much money to burn, as I see frequently on a forum such as this. :p
I think the steel gets extra love because it’s priced higher and Apple people have too much money to burn, so they go steel.
 

BigAppleNYC123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
211
153
I like the black s/s followed by the white ceramic. The space gray aluminum also looks good. I can't really stand the silver of the sport or s/s. Not my cup of tea. That said I work outside and use my hands a lot so the s/s is the models that align with my needs. I can't really even feel the watch on my wrist so I don't see how weight is even an issue.
I do like the white ceramic. Looks great with blue bands which are my favorite.
 

co1f

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2014
107
37
Had S0 aluminum SG, returned it for SS. Like the look of SS, but noticeably heavier. Sold it after almost a year. Just got the S3 in aluminum SG, mostly due to the weight. Also, it’s a little less expensive. I’m hoping it doesn’t get scratched!

[edit] and agree, aluminum screen is noticeably brighter on the S0
 
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justinf77

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2003
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This is the case for me as well going aluminium. While you can add a sport band to SS, it still looks kind of dressy for a workout.

Perhaps if one only occasionally works out, then SS is fine. But for someone who truly sweats and hits the gym hard, aluminium just feels more 'appropriate'.

And frankly, the Apple SS as a dress watch is just okay. If you're going to spend upwards of $600-$1000, I would get a nice automatic that IMO look better.
I went with the Space Black SS this year and to me this is perfect because it looks appropriate in the gym without being flashy like the regular SS, but can also be dressed up with a couple nicer bands. When I had my Series 2 SS, I was too self-conscious to wear it to the gym because I'm pretty serious about working out and the SS never felt suitable for the gym.

Honestly, if the aluminum had a sapphire screen, I would go with it for its light weight, but the durability of the SS is more important because I can't stand seeing scratches on the screen.
 

BigAppleNYC123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
211
153
Give it a few months of daily use. Once you see that first scratch....
I've had an aluminum for years. Series 1 and 2. This time I went for the SS Space black. Night and day.
But to each their own. I've always loved the weight of the aluminum though.
By the time it gets super scratched up, I think it’d be time to upgrade. I think I would rather jump to white ceramic tbh tho. The steel just wasn’t for me I guess. If they had a light gray ceramic or silver ceramic I would Have gotten that.
 

Cogsworth

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2015
333
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I had a SS Series 0 and I've upgraded to SS Series 3. I don't know if it's fair to say one material is better than the other, I think they serve different purposes. The aluminum is definitely the sporty model, with a lighter weight and matte finish. The steel is more of a traditional jewelry type watch. As a former "watch guy" I prefer stainless steel and sapphire crystal like the traditional analog watches in my collection. The sapphire crystal is way more scratch resistant and any scratches on the steel body can easily be polished out with a Cape Cod cloth.

So it's personal preference, and what you're going to use it for.
 
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xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
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I had an original stainless steel model. Just received my new S3 LTE yesterday. I chose to go with aluminum. My reason is that I probably will upgrade sooner than the 2.5 years I waited to upgrade to the S3, so I didn’t want the price of entry to be so high again so soon.

Actually, I had two S0 models. Also own a gold aluminum I bought on sale for like $150 off which I wore sometimes just to change things up.

This time I went with the Space Gray aluminum, and I really like the way it looks paired with the Space Black link bracelet I had for my other watch. May not be stainless but still looks very professional.
 

saltd

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
759
346
The lightness of the Aluminum is definitely nice, but the SS just feels and looks so much more premium. I don’t use it for exercise though, so maybe I’d feel differently about the weight in that scenario.

Also, the Sapphire glass is a huge upgrade. Too bad they don’t offer that on the Aluminum models....
 

Farrellcollie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2011
511
159
I get aluminum because I think of this as a two or around that year sort of indulgence. I wore timex weekenders (or whatever they were called before the weekender name was placed on them) before I got my first apple watch (sports model -used) - so I am clearly not in the daily watch as a major piece of jewelry/fashion statement camp. I do have a couple of handed down to me good old watches which I love -but daily my watch is more of a tool than a statement. I don't particularly think the steel looks better and I can't say when I see others wearing the apple watch that I notice what model they have. It is not something that registers with me.
 
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joshen

macrumors regular
May 27, 2015
115
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Aluminum might be lighter and a better deal, but SS looks much better and more premium than both aluminum and ceramic in any color.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I went with the Space Black SS this year and to me this is perfect because it looks appropriate in the gym without being flashy like the regular SS, but can also be dressed up with a couple nicer bands. When I had my Series 2 SS, I was too self-conscious to wear it to the gym because I'm pretty serious about working out and the SS never felt suitable for the gym.

Honestly, if the aluminum had a sapphire screen, I would go with it for its light weight, but the durability of the SS is more important because I can't stand seeing scratches on the screen.
The SBSS is practically bulletproof. Over 2 years and my S0 is still pristine (will be getting the S3 when/if my carrier supports it...if they drag their feet too long, I'll wait for the S4).

Sorry, but I've never understood people talking about the weight. I never notice it. :)
The space black stainless watch is one of those watches that you have to give a chance, it's extremely durable and if one can look past the difficulty of pairing bands, I think it's the best Apple Watch in their entire lineup with the diamond like carbon coating.
 
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haruhiko

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Sep 29, 2009
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I bought a first generation Apple Watch SS version with the Link Bracelet, man it was expensive. But when I realised that I would replace it with another one in just two years (the speed of the first gen is intolerable now), I couldn't justify to buy anything more expensive than the Aluminum version. Also, Apple made the very wrong decision by equaling LTE connection with the SS version, which made the SS version unavailable in my country for the first time since the launch of the first gen. So I happily got the alunimum version and won't go back to more expensive versions anymore.
 
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