Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
So I have recently migrated over to an Apple Watch (Series 3 Space Grey Aluminium LTE) from a Garmin Instinct and so far I am loving it.

I currently have it in a Spigen Rugged Armour case as I work an outdoors job and my hands have to go into some quite disgusting drains quite often with gravel and jagged concrete edges around the lids which sometimes catch the watch. Plus I am quite clumsy too and sometimes bang my watch off things

With the Garmin Instinct with it being a rugged watch it survived a year of this with barely a mark on it, however I fear the Apple Watch might not be so tough.

I had a forerunner 235 prior to the instinct and I shoved screen protectors on that as it was a flush screen like the Apple Watch and not recessed like the Instinct, I went through a couple of protectors which shattered but the watch survived with barely a mark, but due to the curved nature of the screen finding a decent glass protector for the AW is a bit of a mission plus I am usually useless at fitting them anyway.

My Pebble time I had prior to the forerunner was proper scratched up but survived no problems and the screen was relatively free of scratches, the metal bezel took the brunt of the damage.

As I said above I currently have the case on it now with a Rhinosheild on order but if I am being honest the case feels awful on my wrist and the watch looks and feels a lot better without it.

Minor scratches I can live with it’s completely smashing the screen I am worried most about, it is insured with my home insurance but that is a £100 excess and obviously I’d rather not claim.

What are your experiences with durability of the watch, is the screen tough enough to survive a knock or 2 without total destruction?

Any stories or advice greatly appreciated
image.jpg
 

Duncan68

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2018
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I wore G-Shocks most of my life. The Apple Watch (at least the aluminum) feels incredibly delicate in comparison. If you are reasonably careful, you'll probably be fine. But I had to admit that I personally can't be that conscientious 24/7 and all it takes is one mistake to severely damage it. I went ahead and got an X-Doria case for it.

If I had more money, or if I had gotten a Space Black Stainless Steel or Ceramic model with the sapphire screen, I wouldn't worry that much about it.
 

Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
I wore G-Shocks most of my life. The Apple Watch (at least the aluminum) feels incredibly delicate in comparison. If you are reasonably careful, you'll probably be fine. But I had to admit that I personally can't be that conscientious 24/7 and all it takes is one mistake to severely damage it. I went ahead and got an X-Doria case for it.

If I had more money, or if I had gotten a Space Black Stainless Steel or Ceramic model with the sapphire screen, I wouldn't worry that much about it.
Yeah I agree about being conscious of it 24/7. I am hoping the RhinoShield I have ordered will be more comfortable than the Spigen as it doesn't cover the back, the Spigen covers the back with a small cutout for the heart rate sensor.

Plus the Rhinoshield looks smaller, the Spigen adds 2 chunky rubber bits top and bottom which dont seem to serve any purpose. All I want is a case that recesses the screen slightly to protect against frontal impacts as that is where I am most likely to do the catastrophic damage to it.
 

Pseudo-Fed

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2017
544
316
I shoot pistols competitively. I have S4 SS and S5 SBSS. With the older S4 model, without a case of any kind I did not one, but two idiotic instances of letting the watch rest against a rusty steel frame used for course of fire barricades outdoors. After firing a few rounds from there and realizing the watch experienced recoil while against the rust I panicked. Both times I rubbed off the rust from the sapphire screen and there was no damage. The SS case has a million micro scratches but can be polished. The SBSS watch has seen a few door knobs, door frames, granite counter tops and one stressful bump against my workbench vise. No case or screen damage....
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
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USA
The screen is glass. Despite what the manufacturer "suggests", glass should be considered unpredictable. This line of thinking should prompt the user to adopt habits that prolong the life of the screen.
 

TimothyL

macrumors 6502
May 4, 2019
316
186
The Spigen Rugged Armour case does a great job protecting the glass. Same case I used to use on my 42mm series 3 and never had any problems with the screen.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
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Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
I am definitely thinking a bumper is the way to go for impact protection, the rugged armour for me is a bit too bulky and uncomfortable but the Rhinoshield I have coming looks like it has a nice lip around the screen with a good depth but doesnt have the whole back that the Spigen has that makes it uncomfortable to wear.

I also found with the Spigen case on the extra rubber at the top and bottom stopped the sleeve of my jumper sliding back over the watch keeping it exposed, whereas without it on the jumper slides back over the screen quite nicely adding a bit of extra protection from scratches in the winter months, not so much in the summer though.
 

Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2018
336
224
I have that case, I use it on when I'm riding my bike and when going pool swimming. I have ruined 2 screens when they dropped out of my swim locker onto the tiles so not taking any chances. the raised bezel of the case is the most important thing as the curved screen is the weakness of the AW.
 

Stuey3D

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Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Well I’m convinced to keep using a case, I will put the Spigen back of for now and then the Rhinoshield when it finally arrives.

The Rhinoshield looks like it has more of a lip around the screen compared to the Spigen, and it leaves the back of the watch open rather than covering it so it should be more comfortable than the Spigen too.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Well I’ve just ordered the Otterbox Exo direct from Apple as the Rhinoshield is coming from France and they are all on strike today so it’s likely to be sometime next week before I get it.

Plus Otterbox is a trusted brand and make some pretty hard wearing stuff, so I’m confident it will do the job well.
 

Ketsjap

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2007
82
94
Belgium
4th gen aluminum watch here, ion X glass.

After more than a year of caseless use, the screen has multiple scratches, albeit small ones that are not too noticable. The casing has a few minor dents and scratches.

I'm always careful about my watch, but you can't rule out some bumps or drops along the way. What I do know is that I find a lightly scuffed naked Watch a gazillion times more beautiful than a pristine watch, imprisoned by a butt ugly plastic bumper case.

It's on your wrist. It's part of your clothing. It should look good.

People who pay thousands of dollars for a Rolex would never, ever put some ugly case on it. And those watches last for a lifetime, and are even passed on to next generations. In the mean time an Apple Watch, that will be replaced after 2 or 3 years anyway, should be protect by a silly case? That's bonkers.

Those godawful cases for a watch should be forbidden by law.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
4th gen aluminum watch here, ion X glass.

After more than a year of caseless use, the screen has multiple scratches, albeit small ones that are not too noticable. The casing has a few minor dents and scratches.

I'm always careful about my watch, but you can't rule out some bumps or drops along the way. What I do know is that I find a lightly scuffed naked Watch a gazillion times more beautiful than a pristine watch, imprisoned by a butt ugly plastic bumper case.

It's on your wrist. It's part of your clothing. It should look good.

People who pay thousands of dollars for a Rolex would never, ever put some ugly case on it. And those watches last for a lifetime, and are even passed on to next generations. In the mean time an Apple Watch, that will be replaced after 2 or 3 years anyway, should be protect by a silly case? That's bonkers.

Those godawful cases for a watch should be forbidden by law.
In all fairness I do prefer the Apple Watch naked, after work last night I took it out of the case and it looked and felt sooo much better, however at £330 this is by far the most expensive watch I have ever owned and I am paranoid about breaking it.

Plus the way the Apple Watch is designed whilst nice looking does look like it is one wrong knock to the corner away from total destruction.

Every watch I’ve owned has either had a flush screen or a recessed screen, the Apple Watch is the only watch I’ve had which doesn’t have any form of bezel around the edges to protect the screen and with the way the glass curves around the corners it looks like a prime weak spot for total destruction if you knock a corner and that is what I am trying to protect myself from.

If everyone had come in here and said, nah don’t worry about it the screen can take a few knocks and be fine then I wouldn’t bother with a case, but a few have said they’ve busted screens just by a little drop and that worries me.

Scratches and little dings in can live with, it is a watch after all but I would rather not have to explain myself to the insurance company and stump up £100 if a £20 protector should prevent most daily knocks from killing it completely.
 
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Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2018
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Those godawful cases for a watch should be forbidden by law.

I agree but I've killed 2 already. I only use for sports where an accident might occur. Having a curved screen and no raised bezel is the main weak point of the watch, otherwise it is very robust (SS model)
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
I agree but I've killed 2 already. I only use for sports where an accident might occur. Having a curved screen and no raised bezel is the main weak point of the watch, otherwise it is very robust (SS model)
Yeah that was my fear too, as I said above if Apple released a G-Shock style version of the Apple Watch that thing would sell like hotcakes.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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People who pay thousands of dollars for a Rolex would never, ever put some ugly case on it.

This is a bad example here. A Rolex would never have a case in the first place, because its core structure/rigidity is _much_ more durable than an aluminum Apple Watch with a glass display.

Secondly, no one, and I mean no one who purchases these ‘protective bumper cases’ for the Apple Watch cares about the how they look, they care about the functionality of the case protecting the Apple Watch, pending if they work in a harsh environment. It’s simply an insurance policy with those bumper cases, it was never designed to be aesthetically pleasing. I’m Not trying to single you out, Maybe that’s what you seemingly don’t understand.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
This is a bad example here. A Rolex would never have a case in the first place, because its core structure/rigidity is _much_ more durable than an aluminum Apple Watch with a glass display.

Secondly, no one, and I mean no one who purchases these ‘protective bumper cases’ for the Apple Watch cares about the how they look, they care about the functionality of the case protecting the Apple Watch, pending if they work in a harsh environment. It’s simply an insurance policy with those bumper cases, it was never designed to be aesthetically pleasing. I’m Not trying to single you out, Maybe that’s what you seemingly don’t understand.
EXACTLY THAT!
 

PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
220
193
I repair and tinker with Apple watches as a hobby. The amount of watches with cracked glass on ebay and local classifieds is insane, as well as the price for replacement parts. If you work a job like the OP does or do risky sports, I would definitely add as much protection to the watch as possible. You can always remove an ugly case when you go out in a suit, but you can’t uncrack your screen if the watch gets damaged at work.
 

Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
I repair and tinker with Apple watches as a hobby. The amount of watches with cracked glass on ebay and local classifieds is insane, as well as the price for replacement parts. If you work a job like the OP does or do risky sports, I would definitely add as much protection to the watch as possible. You can always remove an ugly case when you go out in a suit, but you can’t uncrack your screen if the watch gets damaged at work.
That makes a lot of sense, I figured this watch would be a lot weaker than my Garmin and this thread has basically confirmed it. My Otterbox will be here tomorrow, it looks like it will add a nice full rim around the screen whilst keeping the back of the watch completely open which should make it more comfortable than the Spigen I currently have on.

The rubberised back of the Spigen seems to get hot and itchy when under my sleeve whilst I’m at work, when I wore the watch naked that feeling went away so the Otterbox looks like it will be the best of both worlds. The comfort of no case with the protection of a case.
 

Corkster52

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2019
4
6
just ordered the Otterbox Exo direct from Apple

Thanks for the suggestion. I just went down to the local Apple store and picked one up. It does make the watch look a bit bulkier, but I suppose that is the price one takes for protection.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Thanks for the suggestion. I just went down to the local Apple store and picked one up. It does make the watch look a bit bulkier, but I suppose that is the price one takes for protection.
How are finding the Otterbox? Mine arrives tomorrow hopefully.

Does it have a good rim around the screen as I'm finding the Spigen doesnt really seem to offer all that much protection around the screen as the rim is broken up by design.
 
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ManicMarc

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2012
479
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I'd love to see Apple make a G-Shock-esque version of the Apple Watch. Perhaps that could be a differentiator for the Nike watch.
 
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Stuey3D

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
715
751
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
IMG_0033(Edited).jpg


I have the Otterbox now, and instantly it fills me with more confidence than the Spigen. It has a good pronounced rim around the whole screen which looks like it will survive frontal impacts more than the Spigen.

The Otterbox also leaves the back of the Watch fully exposed compared to the Spigen which covers the back too, so the Otterbox is more comfortable on the wrist as its the metal of the watch resting against the wrist and not the rubber of the case.

The Spigen during my week of usage did seem to get bent out of shape a lot and the watch slightly shifting position inside the case which the Otterbox doesnt seem like it will do as it feels a bit more rigid.

The Otterbox also fits the watch better in my opinion and doesn't have the large overhangs over the strap connectors like the Spigen does.

The side button has more tactile feedback in the Otterbox, but the Spigen has better access to the digital crown as the cut out is much larger.

The Otterbox does cover the bottom speaker grille but has a cut out just underneath it though, audio doesn't seem effected by this though so doesn't seem like a drawback in my opinion.

Personally I prefer the aesthetic of the Otterbox over the Spigen, whilst obviously not as nice looking as a naked watch the Otterbox doesn't make the watch look as cheap as the Spigen does and doesn't have "Rugged Armor" & "Shock Resistant" plastered all over the front of it.
Plus as it fits better than the Spigen without the extra overhangs over the strap it the Watch doesn't feel as big on my wrist with the Otterbox.

That said the Otterbox was £20 and the Spigen £10 so I guess its a case of you get what you pay for.

I am very happy with the Otterbox though and to me seems worth the £20 for the piece of mind it gives me and I can highly recommend it based on first impressions. Lets see how well it works going forward with work.
 
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