Is SS worth the extra money?

Denis1987

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 8, 2015
17
1
In Europe SS S5 44mm model is around 70 % more expensive than Aluminium model (470 eur vs 800 eur). Is it worth to pay extra or is it better to just get some screen protection for Aluminium model? What is your experience comparing both models?
 

sigomez

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2009
279
96
Houston, TX
In Europe SS S5 44mm model is around 70 % more expensive than Aluminium model (470 eur vs 800 eur). Is it worth to pay extra or is it better to just get some screen protection for Aluminium model? What is your experience comparing both models?
I think it also depends on how long you plan on keeping...if you intend on upgrading every year i wouldn’t bother with the SS.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,324
2,198
US
"worth" is something only you can really answer.

In the US the price difference is $220 between the $529 aluminum cellular model and $749 stainless steel.

I had aluminum S2 and S3 models, went to stainless for my S5. It's been worth it for me. With the aluminum models I was always extra careful and yet my heart would jump any time I banged my wrist into a doorway or similar. Most of the time no scratches or damage, but sometimes there was... which I subsequently saw every time I looked at the watch. The stainless model, with the same treatment, hasn't scratched at all and still looks mint. Even if I get none of that $220 difference back in resale, it's been well worth $18/month for that peace of mind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tommyboy9996

Otflyer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2017
1,236
796
SF Bay Area
I have only bought stainless steel watches since series S0 for looks and screen durability. I agreed with poster above it depends on how long you plan to keep it. If I traded yearly, I would go for aluminum.
 

rugmankc

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
2,158
632
YES, for all the reasons above.

I run a yard trimmer with mine and mulch kicks up and hits the screen.

Also, banged it into the steel strikeplates on door jambs in my house.

Not a single mark-----
 

DADDYDC650

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2015
288
210
I would say no it isn’t worth unless you don’t mind paying the price. Save your money and get the aluminum with apple care+ If you upgrade every year.
 

Aniseedvan

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2012
1,100
212
UK
YES, for all the reasons above.

I run a yard trimmer with mine and mulch kicks up and hits the screen.

Also, banged it into the steel strikeplates on door jambs in my house.

Not a single mark-----
I had a SS0, currently a SS3 and have got an SS5 coming. I’ve scraped both down walls numerous times and yes the steel is scratched but the face is perfect.
I do always take care not to take it off on a hard floor though for fear of dropping it on an edge...
 

Gamal

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2008
3
0
Having two Apple watches, one constantly on charge and ready to go would be sweet!
 

Jim Lahey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2014
779
1,412
Sunnyvale
The stainless model is far more durable. Not just the screen, but the body. Stainless is rock hard compared to aluminium. The watch also feels higher quality overall, probably in no small part due it being a little heavier. Whether or not it’s worth the higher price is a question that only the individual can answer. Personally I think it is.
 

bmacir

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2009
329
27
Yes! No question about it. Not just because it's SS but for the better screen.
The only reason not to go for SS would be because you buy a new watch every year. Only in this case I would consider going for Aluminium.
 

Mercenary

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,152
557
Make no mistake. The Aluminium screen is VERY durable. I've used mine every day since S4 launch. No protector, no being crazy careful. If im knocking down walls then yeah, I take it off. But I've worn it for workouts, weights, putting it in and out of bags with keys and more. Just the usual, barely visible in direct sunlight hairline scratches.

The case is in A1 perfect condition which is a problem with the SS models. Screen is always perfect but the case gets scratched easily enough, even with the new diamond touch coating. Its a weird trade off. An alu with sapphire would be so durable but hey ho. (hmm, given the titanium looks like the alu but has sapphire I guess thats the best model for me... apart from that price. There is no way the materials have that much added value).

I plan on upgrading every 2-3 years and an apple watch is NOT an investment like a fine Rolex or Omega is. People moan all the time how their Ceramic is now worth the same as a SS model.

What to go for? I wouldnt make a decision on durability but purely looks and what you want to go for.

I wanted light, barely there and cheap.
 
Last edited:

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors G3
Jan 17, 2013
8,111
12,670
Wales, United Kingdom
It’s entirely up to the individual and what they want. You can’t really answer this factually.

For me it’s not worth the extra as I find the aluminium offers enough. It’s looks good, costs £399, and I’m happy to chuck it in a drawer after 3 years knowing I’ve got my monies worth. I’m not obsessed with scratches like many here either.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,507
2,556
Perth, Western Australia
Depends how badly you want the stainless steel - and how much disposable income you have combined with how willing you are to part with that disposable income for the stainless.

Currently, I consider the watch a disposable/short lived device (unlike a traditional watch). I've gone through two watches with the same iphone so far. This may change once the feature-set and performance settles down, but right now i do not see the point in spending a lot more money for stainless steel when i'm going to replace it inside 2-3 years anyway.

With that viewpoint in mind, from my particular perspective the stainless steel is a complete waste of money at the moment. I have a black milanese loop that looks fine with my space grey s2 or s4.

Again though, like i said - if the feature set and performance settles down and apple provide a service/repair program for watches older than a couple of years in the future, that may change.


As far as durability goes - my S4 sport is un-marked. My S2 sport has a cracked screen (as a result i use it for exercise or if i am doing something where there's more of a risk of damage, e.g., working on the car, etc.), but i am pretty sure that is apple-defect related rather than from impact as the watch has never sustained an impact in that area, and there are no other marks on it.

Apart from that damage, both the S2 and S4 took a few knocks from time to time and are both otherwise un-marked. As i said, i fully believe the S2 damage is a manufacturing defect as there is no chips or scratches, etc. apart from an edge crack. The sport glass is a lot more durable than i expected. I haven't abused it, and i do try to look after my stuff... but i honestly expected at least some scratches in the time i've owned them. I do not plan to buy Stainless Steel any time soon as i think the Sport is definitely "durable enough". And even if i do break it, i can buy another one, likely the next year's model and not be too far out of pocket vs. the cost of the original stainless watch.


It’s entirely up to the individual and what they want. You can’t really answer this factually.
I think the OP is more concerned with opinions, as yes... "worth it" is entirely subjective. :)

Having two Apple watches, one constantly on charge and ready to go would be sweet!
This is another reason to go Sport :D Upgrade more often (for same outlay over time), keep the old one as a secondary. I'm doing this with my S2/S4 combo at the moment.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Shirasaki

Khedron

Suspended
Sep 27, 2013
2,149
4,182
Unless you love the look of SS then SS on a "disposable" watch like the Apple Watch is waste

You can buy this year's watch and almost all of next year's too for the same price as SS, so even if it did get scratched why worry?

Don't bother with AppleCare either, put that money towards your next watch
 
  • Like
Reactions: throAU

Jim Lahey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2014
779
1,412
Sunnyvale
Stainless steel is far harder and more durable than aluminium.
Actually, in fairness, I will amend this statement. While stainless steel is very hard and tough compared to aluminium, the watch body can sometimes exhibit 'buffs' on its super shiny surface if it's knocked about a lot. But in the same circumstances the aluminium would be scratched and chipped, so I guess it's personal preference to an extent. Either way I feel that, on balance, the stainless body is more hardwearing.

Of course none of the above necessarily means that anyone should choose one over the other. It's still personal preference, and definitely a matter of perspective as to whether or not the SS is worth the price premium.
 
  • Like
Reactions: throAU

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,507
2,556
Perth, Western Australia
Also, banged it into the steel strikeplates on door jambs in my house.

Not a single mark-----
To be fair, i do this reasonably often with my sport models - and not a single mark. Again, apart from the S2 crack which i am sure is apple-defect related, as per the service program/replacement they announced.

The sport really is pretty hard wearing (vs. my expectations) in my experience at least... and i really don't treat mine particularly carefully. Originally went sport to spend minimal amount to see if i even liked the watch idea, haven't felt reason to spend more yet.

As per a poster above - i'd worry less about durability and base your decision on looks and weight. If you care about bands at all - by the time you add one of the stainless watch bands to a sport you're most of the way up to stainless price (my loop was > half the price of my S2 sport :D lol). But... the bands (like the loop) can so far be kept across upgrades so there is that...
 
Last edited:

Mercenary

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,152
557
I think to answer OP. Do you like/want the SS model?
Can you afford it without buyers remorse?
DO NOT PUT A SCREEN PROTECTOR ON ANY AW! It's hard to scratch the screen on any model and it's not worth having the uggliest watch in all of existance to protect it for the next person who buys it.

The only exception should be for those who work in construction or similar jobs but then any AW is probably not the best idea.
 

cardfan

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2012
2,288
3,021
It’s worth it if you keep 3-4 years. If I was upgrading sooner than that than no.

But that’s why I’m sticking with s3. Canceled order. S5 seems cool but I was annoyed with same chip being used. That already makes it a year old imo.

Besides I’m in no rush. S3 works fine. Looks good. Hope to see better internals in s6.
 

Mercenary

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,152
557
Hmm, next year is 15 year wedding anniversary and thats always 3 days after new apple gadget day. Might hint that if she really loves me she would get me an S6 y'all!
 

Otflyer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2017
1,236
796
SF Bay Area
I had a SS0, currently a SS3 and have got an SS5 coming. I’ve scraped both down walls numerous times and yes the steel is scratched but the face is perfect.
I do always take care not to take it off on a hard floor though for fear of dropping it on an edge...
Minor scratches will buff out.
 

Otflyer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2017
1,236
796
SF Bay Area
Make no mistake. The Aluminium screen is VERY durable. I've used mine every day since S4 launch. No protector, no being crazy careful. If im knocking down walls then yeah, I take it off. But I've worn it for workouts, weights, putting it in and out of bags with keys and more. Just the usual, barely visible in direct sunlight hairline scratches.

The case is in A1 perfect condition which is a problem with the SS models. Screen is always perfect but the case gets scratched easily enough, even with the new diamond touch coating. Its a weird trade off. An alu with sapphire would be so durable but hey ho. (hmm, given the titanium looks like the alu but has sapphire I guess thats the best model for me... apart from that price. There is no way the materials have that much added value).

I plan on upgrading every 2-3 years and an apple watch is NOT an investment like a fine Rolex or Omega is. People moan all the time how their Ceramic is now worth the same as a SS model.

What to go for? I wouldnt make a decision on durability but purely looks and what you want to go for.

I wanted light, barely there and cheap.
Durability is one of the primary reasons to get SS over aluminum if you don’t upgrade every year or two. The sapphire screen is highly scratch proof. The SBSS has the diamond like coating which is very hard to scratch. The bright SS scratches (mainly micro scratches) but, most all scratches buff out. I can attest to this as I have both and have owned only SS since series 0.