Convince me not to get the Aluminum...

vistokid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 26, 2007
485
269
So here's my use case:

Series 0 = Stainless Steel
Series 2 = Stainless Steel then Ceramic
Series 3 = Ceramic (never enabled cellular)

I want the series 4 and I can't decide on the Aluminum or Stainless Steel. I'm in Canada and the price for me to go up to the Stainless is about double. I love the Stainless and Ceramic models and never thought about getting the Aluminum but the price difference is so significant this time around. I will never enable cellular so I have no need for LTE.

My biggest fear is scratching the screen up. I'm pretty careful but I don't want to stress about such things.

So I guess my question would be is the stainless steel worth double the cost to you?

My other option is to keep my Ceramic series 3 which is rock solid.

Thanks!
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,710
2,925
Clearwater, FL
So here's my use case:

Series 0 = Stainless Steel
Series 2 = Stainless Steel then Ceramic
Series 3 = Ceramic (never enabled cellular)

I want the series 4 and I can't decide on the Aluminum or Stainless Steel. I'm in Canada and the price for me to go up to the Stainless is about double. I love the Stainless and Ceramic models and never thought about getting the Aluminum but the price difference is so significant this time around. I will never enable cellular so I have no need for LTE.

My biggest fear is scratching the screen up. I'm pretty careful but I don't want to stress about such things.

So I guess my question would be is the stainless steel worth double the cost to you?

My other option is to keep my Ceramic series 3 which is rock solid.

Thanks!
Seems like you are upgrading often. Trade-in/Resale value for stainless steel watches is very close to aluminum watches of the same series. From a strictly financial point of view, that would be a point in favor of going with aluminum.

As far as durability, I personally had Series 1 aluminum for 2 years without a scratch to the case or glass, but I'm not rock climbing or anything hazardous.

I do like the look of the silver stainless myself, so I can understand going with either.
 

rgyiv

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2018
199
58
I'm almost two years in to my series 2 aluminum and my screen is still perfect, and the case just has a microscopic something that you can't see unless you look for it, and when you see it, it really just looks like a piece of dust.
 
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Jason Hensley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2018
635
573
Stainless just looks fantastic, and would love to own one myself. The reason I didn't however and went with aluminum is because of what tromboneaholic said above. I upgrade often as well, and the resell value is much better with the aluminum than the stainless steel. With Apple's Giveback program, they mostly only care for the internals to be recycles, and not the casing, hence why SS only got an additional $25 over the aluminum models last I checked.
 
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Cowboy1629

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2012
321
135
Indiana
Sorry, can’t do it...

I tried to convince myself to save the money and get the aluminum version but since having the SBSS 42mm S0 since release and still looks like it just came out of the box I just couldn’t do it. This watch has held up great to everyday use both at work and on the form so it hasn’t been babied. I have read too many stories of the aluminum cases showing damage as well as scratches on the glass which I’m sure would drive me nuts.

Now on the other hand if I upgraded every year and wanted the best trade in value the aluminum would probably be the best choice. If I did damage it at least it would be replaced in less than a year.

I finally broke down and ordered the SBSS 44mm S4 on Oct 19 so I guess I still have some time to change my mind and I keep reading posts like this but I’m pretty sure I’m staying with the stainless for durability.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,575
558
If you are happy with the Series 3 - since you have the Ceramic that might be rather attractive option - a beautiful watch/material and a bit more life out of it might be a pretty good thing to do. I was anxious to update because I had aluminum series 3 with a white scratch on the bezel. This time I went stainless and expect to keep it for a couple generations.
 
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hologram

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2007
467
96
Get the aluminum. You’re gonna be second-guessing yourself anyway, no matter which one you choose, so you may as well save $100 while you’re at it. Use the money to buy another band.

Besides, you’ll be getting another watch next year anyway, so it won’t be the end of the world either way.

Convincing enough? ;)
 

BillGates1969

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2008
544
460
Bournemouth
I have recently got a SG Nike+ 44mm

My AW history is a SS Silver S0, SS Silver S2 & SSSB S3. Just kept losing too much money on the resale so bought the Aluminium two days ago on a whim in the Apple Store. Not regretting it yet at all.

Also, I can upgrade this time next year and not feel so guilty that I have lost over £400 in depreciation.

I am hoping it will be durable, but as others have said, if not I am 11 months away from an upgrade anyway :)
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
651
513
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm another with an aluminum watch and am happy with my choice. My AW 2 is in perfect condition both the case and screen--though I have used screen protection. It's honestly not even noticeable until you bang it up. Just peel it off and throw another one on. I recently picked up an AW 4 and the screen size alone has been worth the upgrade. I have no need for LTE, I don't want to pay for a chip I'm not using and just as @killhippie stated I don't want to spend money on a watch that will one day be obsolete. This is technology after all.

I've mentioned in other threads that I attended a work conference a few weeks back and there were MANY Apple Watches worn by well dressed executives, the overwhelming majority of which were Aluminum models with sport bands.

That said, I absolutely LOVE the look of all Stainless models, they're gorgeous and I will own one once the product matures and hardware is proving to last and work very well through several versions of Watch OS.
 

Pseudo-Fed

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2017
509
277
True any of these are sunk costs. I've had S2SS, S3SBSS, and now S4SS AND S4SBSS. My wife has just had S2 Nike and I am picking up her S4 Nike today (Nike political choices argument aside). My wife only wears her S2 Nike during the day and for careful running activities. She switches to a Luminox or Baby G for anything remotely risky. Still, she has a number of fine scratches on her screen which have no effect, but one deeper scratch on upper right that she of course has no idea how occurred. Still, she could not fathom spending $800 on a watch. So, I pick up her $400 watch with no Apple Care later today.

How much of the sunk cost on a quickly obsolete product you plan to sink is up to you.

I'm too risk averse and those products I use constantly and "touch" are of the highest quality. I let the Apple store slap a screen protector on my new XS Max, and I buy Apple Care on my SS watches.

Coming from mechanical and dive watches the aluminum seems to light to me, just as my new Garmin Instinct (great watch) feels like a Casio toy relative to my Garmin Fenix series. Same is true on the AW aluminum vs SS to me. My S2SS and S3SBSS have gone through a damaging shooting hobby with me and except for a few fine scratches on the case of the S2SS, easily polished off, both watches were flawless when I traded them in.... Buy once; cry once.

Good luck.
 

TraceyS/FL

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2007
4,047
185
North Central Florida
Last fall my Aluminum Series0 battery swelled, and when I got it back from repair I couldn't pair it with my phone at the time. I gave it to my very clumsy 13yo at the time. There was a slight thing on the case when i took it back a couple of weeks ago - but that is it. If she couldn't manage to scratch it I feel good about it. When I sent it to repair the only mark on it was from it hitting the bricks on a corner, thankfully more on the case than the screen. No cracks, just a small/minute ding on the glass. I think it is pretty rugged, and since you upgrade all the time why not? Even if you feel the need to replace it because of a scratch - then you haven't spent as much as if you got the SS right? You could see the dinged up one to someone and recoup some of the $$.

I say go for it - got mine today, beautiful!!!!
 

keeper

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
321
88
At the end of the day it’s just an Apple Watch, if it was a real watch I’d say spend the extra.

It’s an electronic tool that will end up with zero value, buy the cheapest and change it when the applications stop doing what they should do.
 

shakopeemn

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2014
22
13
I still can’t see the point of a money pit watch that will one day be obsolete. I’m still rocking my Tag Heur 2000 series, 18 years old going on strong. I’m just still not convinced of the value of wearables yet.
Agreed. The watch is all about technology. It will be obsolete and unfortunately the mechanics / circuit board can't simply be upgraded from one year to another. I do appreciate a sharp watch, however the technology itself does have a limited life.

It's so easy to spend money....
 

fatalogic

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2016
249
241
Might as well keep the ceramic for another year and get the aluminum. That way you have a fancier watch and an every day watch. I have a series 2 aluminum and it’s help up fine, no scractches one the body or screen and I use it everyday. I’m not particularly careful with it either, no case or screen protector and I’m very active with my hands either working out, cooking, swimming, automotive repairs, building things, ect.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,380
30,650
I still can’t see the point of a money pit watch that will one day be obsolete. I’m still rocking my Tag Heur 2000 series, 18 years old going on strong. I’m just still not convinced of the value of wearables yet.
You’re right. This is the worst part about owning the Apple Watch or smart watch in general, especially Apples exorbitant price tags for the stainless models. They don’t hold value and I generally find that the consumer would rather have the aluminum over the stainless as it is, simply because the aluminum is lighter and most consumers seemingly don’t understand or care about the Sapphire display or aesthetics with the stainless model.

As a stainless owner, I would actually recommend the aluminum, as it still holds similar value when it comes to resale. I Personally appreciate the aesthetics of the stainless model, but $750 is not a friendly price tag at all.
 
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Soba1

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2009
182
43
I like watches I have bought a few have one somewhat vintage one. I just bought the Space Blk Series 3 a few months ago. The only reason I am getting the 4 and still might pass is because of the SS gold. It looks nice really nice.
I stopped wearing regular watches because I always had my cell phone handy so to me it made a watch obsolete at least somewhat. Not that you can do so much with these watches I feel naked when I don’t have it
 

PaladinGuy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2014
558
256
I tried an aluminum Nike+ Series 4 for almost 2 weeks. For me, I just can’t handle having to constantly worry about bumping stuff with my arm and scratching the screen. I’ve always hated scratches watch faces.

I know some say they’ve never scratched their aluminum models, but I just can’t stop worrying about it. It would greatly diminish my enjoyment of the watch. Also, the thing I’ve always enjoyed about my steel Apple watches is that I still get to feel like I’m wearing a true watch. The experience and feel of it is just so much better than aluminum, to me that is.

All that to say, I returned the aluminum and ordered a SS Series 4.

If you can tolerate scratches and the feel of the watch doesn’t matter much to you, go for the aluminum. For me, it’s not worth saving $200. I’m also hoping that things will sort of slow down some year to year with the new 64bit chips. I think the only thing that would really tempt me to upgrade would be significant battery gains.
 
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caelius

macrumors 6502
Dec 31, 2015
293
284
Innsbruck, Austria
If you can easily afford the difference, I'd get the SS - it looks nicer and probably will be more durable. If money matters and you don't care about the above-mentioned things, get the Al.

For me it's "go big or go home", so I just spend the 300-bucks-difference for something that just looks way nicer, IMO...
 

bambooshots

Suspended
Jul 25, 2013
1,414
2,870
If you're not planning to enable LTE, the price difference between the aluminum and the stainless – $320 US – seems impossible to justify if you're a yearly upgrader.
I'm coming to this conclusion. And I'm a watch guy that has been wearing watches since fifth grade.

I've had the SBSS original Apple Watch and have been rocking a SBSS Series 3 for a year.

I never plan on using cellular. While SBSS and sapphire are nice, so is saving $320. Worst case scenario, if you have doubts about the longevity, buying AppleCare and replacing the watch once will still be cheaper than buying the SS version by almost $200.

And keep in mind, these are still electronics that will likely be taken out of rotation after a year or two of use.
 

Bazooka-joe

macrumors 68030
Mar 12, 2012
2,753
1,136
Swindon, England
If you can afford the financial hit for the extra expense and depreciation of the SS then that is the one to go for as it looks so classy in all colours. If you have a limited budget and not overly OCD about scratching the screen then go for the aluminium.
A lot of people aren't bothered about cellular but i had it on my S3 ceramic and have it on my SBSS and i wouldn't be without it. Its so useful not to have to remember to carry my phone around with me all the time. I can still stream music to my AirPods or go for a cup of joe in a coffee shop and leave my phone at home or hidden away in the glove compartment of my car quietly charging whilst still connected to CarPlay. Its comforting to know that if I don't take my phone out with me that people can still reach me via text or a phone call . Cellular on the watch is a great option to have.