First AW.... Cannot decide between SBSS or SS. Help me end this indecision.

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
I've wanted an AW since Series 2... and am finally committing to purchasing a Series 4. I know I'm going stainless - just cannot choose between Stainless Steel or Space Black. I had originally thought I wanted SS, but after some input from friends who all think I should get SBSS and even after trying both out in store I simply cannot decide. Help me figure this out.

A couple points that might be relevant...
  • I'm in the gym doing something active 6 days a week, and yoga the other day. Most of my gym-gear is black... and admittedly, I think the SBSS is a better touch as the SS sticks out like a sore thumb while working out.
  • I work in health care, and occasionally worry that the shine of the SS will be offputting to some of my patients. That being said, I do think that the SS is easier to dress up for business-casual wear.
  • I have fairly tan skin, and my wardrobe is, in general, not very colourful.
  • I'm torn for the band choices.. I know the SS has more combinations but realistically, considering how often I'm working out, it's probably going to be the sports band or loop on it 99% of the time. I also doubt I'd buy Apple OEM bands considering how many good (and more affordable) alternatives there are...
  • Is there durability considerations for the SS vs. SBSS? After some light reading, I get the sense that the SBSS is slightly more durable and less prone to scratches, which in any case can be buffed out.
What did you choose, and why? Happy to answer any other questions so I can finally get down to this and just buy a damn watch!
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,330
30,569
My opinion is to opt for the space black stainless. And the reason I say that, is the space black stainless actually is much easier pair bands with then you would think. And I’m talking a variety of colors, (I.e slate colors, a variety of blues, even brown leather bands), and I even own a black stainless link band and regular stainless link band for more formal occasions.

The Most important consideration for me with the space black stainless watch, was the diamond like carbon coating that surrounds the casing, it’s equally as hard as diamond and it’s very difficult to scratch the casing.

With the regular stainless steel Apple Watch, it will scratch much easier, because it’s Raw 316 L stainless unprotected, but you can polish out the scratches with a polishing cloth.

Personally, I think the black stainless is much more sleek looking, but either way, you can’t go wrong with either option.
 

AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2018
1,891
1,889
Space Black is very hard to distinguish from the regular aluminum watch. Honestly there’s no point.

The SS is actually OK! I think you’re overthinking this. It does not “stick out like a sore thumb” or anything like that, it’s just a watch. Silver-colored wristwatches have been in widespread use since the early 20th century. Nobody will care/look/think twice about what’s on your wrist, be it at 24h Fitness or otherwise (unless they’re trying to rob you).

Would your patients be upset by a normal watch?

TBH I think your only valid point is fashion/band combinations, and that’s a very personal choice. Get the one you think looks best visually on your wrist.
 
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wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Space Black is very hard to distinguish from the regular aluminum watch. Honestly there’s no point.

The SS is actually OK! I think you’re overthinking this. It does not “stick out like a sore thumb” or anything like that, it’s just a watch. Silver-colored wristwatches have been in widespread use since the early 20th century. Nobody will care/look/think twice about what’s on your wrist, be it at 24h Fitness or otherwise (unless they’re trying to rob you).

Would your patients be upset by a normal watch?

TBH I think your only valid point is fashion/band combinations, and that’s a very personal choice. Get the one you think looks best visually on your wrist.
Appreciate the perspective. I also had a similar vibe too.. and when a colleague had the space grey aluminum i did wonder why I'm thinking of paying the premium for the SBSS....

More to think about.
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,073
397
Tokyo, Japan
The SBSS looks awesome, and the DLC is far more scratch-resistant than the 316L stainless steel of the silver SS watch. That said, if it DOES scratch, the scratches cannot be buffed out. That's why I've always gone with silver SS
watches and will continue to do so. They scratch easier, but even deep scratches (gouges, even!) can be buffed out. When I sell my SS watches, they look literally BRAND NEW.
 
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MacDevil7334

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2011
1,128
1,311
Austin TX
I opted for the silver SS on my Series 2 because it looks the most like a classic mechanical watch. I agree with an earlier poster that nobody really cares what color you have. The Apple Watch has been around for long enough now that most people don’t give them a second look. I wear mine at the gym all the time.

One comment about the silver SS, yes it does scratch. People on this forum seem to obsess over that fact to the point that some will get the SBSS to avoid it, even though they really wanted the silver. But, here’s the thing: the watch is so shiny that literally nobody can tell it’s scratched unless they are really, really close to your hand. At a normal viewing distance (even, say, during a handshake) you just see shiny silver, and can’t tell if it’s scratched. I have never polished my SS Series 2 and it has a couple of deeper scratches from an encounter with a metal shelf in a store. You can’t tell unless you’re the one wearing the watch.

In my opinion, the scratching is a non-issue for the regular SS. Don’t let it stop you if that’s the color you want. You can always polish the scratches out with a Cape Cod cloth if they really bother you. I also agree with others that silver is not too bling-y. It just looks like a normal watch.
 
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waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,154
188
i would go for the stainless over the black

i had a gray s0, and changed to "silver" when i upgraded last year

space gray just doesn't look right with "silver" or light colored bands, in my opinion.

have a milanese loop (amazon $15 version) and it just seemed mis-matched.
my black leather band with silver hardware (also cheap amazon version), looks better with the silver body
 
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RonFromOregon

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2008
100
67
Owning both SBSS S4 and SS S4, I enjoy the SBSS much more. It always looks brand new. And, despite what I read here on this form, I find that most bands match perfectly with the SBSS.
 
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noteple

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2011
1,407
323
My first Apple watch was SBSS with the black link band.
Loved it.
That band looked terrible on the Space GRAY Aluminum watch.

For the Series 4 I ordered the Stainless and stainless link band.
It looked like every other watch out there.

So I'm back to SBSS. Every band matches just fine without the flash or the scratch.
Used along with a matt screen protector and its very subdued
 
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wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Appreciate all of your insights. Will be heading into the store today to give it one last trial and error and hopefully placing my order this evening!
 

Mapple86

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2015
347
50
With the silver SS you can use every Band. There is no color which would not match. And more important: Very much banda have the shiny ss silver connector which matches the ss silver body.
I dont like the silver connector in a black watch. Beside this, black connectors looks ok in the silver watch.
 

puke

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2007
305
50
Sweden
SBSS, easily. It's more durable and it looks clean. Silver with a black streen as a watch is not very appealing imo. On the SBSS the screen and the body almost melts in with eachother. Clean.
 

phpmaven

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2009
3,375
441
San Clemente, CA USA
My first Apple watch was SBSS with the black link band.
Loved it.
That band looked terrible on the Space GRAY Aluminum watch.
I had the same setup as you, but I would disagree that it looks "terrible". I had the original SBSS band and used it with a Series 3 space grey. Wore it for a year. Most people would never even notice, but it always bugged me a bit that the color didn't quite match. I actually got a space grey Series 4 and ended up returning it for a series 4 SBSS. Looks much better now with my SBSS band. If you have the old SBSS band and want to use it with a space grey watch, it looks pretty darn good and most people would never know the difference.
 

anthonymoody

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2002
2,529
601
The scratching issue is way overblown IMO. With SS, you can't see scratches but for verrrry close up, and, they can be buffed out. With SBSS, it's more resistant to scratching, but, if scratches do occur they're essentially permanent. To me, it's a wash.

In terms of bands, IMO bands with polished silver lugs don't look good with SBSS. Many others feel the same. Some disagree. Also IMO, brightly colored sport bands look absolutely wicked with the SBSS and is probably my single favorite visual combo for an AW.

That said, because waaaaay more bands are sold with silver lugs, way more bands look better with SS assuming you agree that silver lugs on the SBSS look bad.

I went with SS (Hermes edition) because IMO it's the most versatile and classic looking.

Get the one you like the looks of best.