Micro scratches on Apple Watch?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by SoN1NjA, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. SoN1NjA, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    SoN1NjA macrumors 65816

    SoN1NjA

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    #1
    So, you just read the title, and you're thinking it's either
    1. A Sport with scratches on the cover glass
    2. A stainless steel with scratches on the case
    3. A Space Black watch with a Milanese Loop
    Neither! I have microscratches on the sapphire crystal of my SS watch

    Do you guys have this too? If only conundrum and diamond can scratch the surface (and I haven't dropped it on asphalt or concrete) how does it have scratches? Maybe this is normal, but I'm pretty sure it's not

    If you guys have them, then I'll stop worrying about them
    And I can't find anyone else online with this problem

    Could they be just scratches to the oleophobic coating? Some of them seem a little deep for that
     
  2. iMi macrumors 6502a

    iMi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    #2
    I have minor scratches. It's a wearable item, so it does wear over time. Totally normal.
     
  3. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #3
    Can you Post pictures?

    Saphirre is the second hardest material to diamond. That said, Saphirre can scratch. It's not easy to do, but it's not impervious either. Of all my Apple Watches I own, I don't have any scratches on my display. If I did have scratches, personally, it would Bother me.
     
  4. SoN1NjA, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    SoN1NjA thread starter macrumors 65816

    SoN1NjA

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    #4
    I don't have a camera that would take a photo like that
    I'll try with my iPhone 7, doubt it'll come out (wish I had a macro lens!)

    Update: Here it is, there's more than this, however this may be the deepest one
    [​IMG]

    Other than my iPhone camera lens and Home button, I don't own any conundrum or diamond, so I'm not sure what could scratch it
    And I know conundrum isn't impervious to scratching, I don't know how this got here
     
  5. pcall1128 macrumors 6502

    pcall1128

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    #5
    I've had a stainless steel Watch since the first one came out and there is not one scratch on my screen. This is not normal, having micro scratches as you say.
     
  6. friednoodles macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #6
    To answer your original question, corundum (note, different spelling to the word "conundrum") and diamond aren't the only things that can scratch sapphire.

    While sapphire is highly scratch resistant (and scratch resistant also doesn't mean impact resistant or indestructible), anything containing silicon carbides can scratch it, and silicon carbides are in tons of stuff around us: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_carbide

    If this is your first sapphire watch, then take comfort in the fact that this is just the way things are: sapphire is not "scratch proof" (nothing is), it's scratch resistant and can be scratched.

    If this isn't your first sapphire watch, note that the particular shape of the Apple Watch makes it more prone to grazing the glass than with most other watches. Most watches have the glass surrounded by the case so that there's no exposed edge of the glass, and that also results in grazing hits hitting the case and damaging it first instead of hitting the glass first.

    But the tl;dr is that it's just the way it is and even sapphire can get scratches. It could be the oleophobic coating but even sapphire scratches.
     
  7. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    From what I can see the one visible scratch in your image is not a micro scratch but a true scratch. If you can feel it with your finger nail it is not in the coating. None of my AW have scratches like this.

    The sapphire is scratch resistant and will scratch. My drunk friend found out when he fell against a brick wall and tore up the face of his SS Watch big time. It is much harder to scratch than the sport model but will scratch.
     
  8. OriginalAppleGuy macrumors 6502

    OriginalAppleGuy

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    Virginia
    #8
    It could be scratches in the oleo coating, not the glass itself. The oleo coating is added to help with fingerprint resistance. There are ways to fix it you'll find by searching for it.

    I've had sapphire crystal watches and at times felt like I abused the heck out of them. Wall corners are the worst. They jump out at you at the worst possible time. The bezel may have saved it at times but I know the glass has had some hard hits and survived without scratching. I'm not sure how you would have gotten what looks like a deep scratch as depicted in the photo. Hopefully it's just the coating.
     
  9. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #9
    I would agree it's an actual scratch embedded into the sapphire display, not a surface scratch. Sapphire is fairly resilient, once scratched, it was subjected to something with impact.
     
  10. Ixidor macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2016
    #10
    Actually, sapphire is the second hardest transparent material after diamond. Sapphire (i.e. Corundum or alumina) is the 2nd hardest reference material on the Moh's Scale of Hardness.

    In other words, there are plenty of materials that are harder than Sapphire but softer than diamond, they'd just be listed between 9 and 10 on the Moh's Scale. None of them are transparent though. Many carbides (boron carbide, titanium carbide etc) are harder than Sapphire.

    To test ceramics, Moh's Hardness Scale is quite subjective. So we tend to use Vickers, Knoop or Rockwell Hardness instead, which gives a more accurate picture of relative hardness between materials.

    I work with some of these abrasive powders all the time and I am always paranoid that they'd scratch my SS AW.

    So yes, there are plenty of materials that can scratch Sapphire, but not many that are encountered on a daily basis.

    That said, rouch impact from a softer material can scratch Sapphire. Just need to be careful not to knock onto anything. But from what I've read, the screen also has a coating above the Sapphire that can scratch.
     
  11. Relentless Power, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #11
    I'm not disagreeing with you regarding the transparency, but what I posted about sapphire being second hardest material to diamond is completely accurate.

    Quoted from Mineral.Net.

    "Sapphire is a very hard, tough, and stable mineral. For all practical purposes, it is the hardest mineral after Diamond, making it the second hardest mineral"

    http://m.minerals.net/MineralDefinition.aspx?name=corundum

    And the material coating above the sapphire display you were referring to is known as the "Oloephobic" Coating. It acts as a buffer for fingerprints and scratches. It eventually dissipates and can be reapplied if one wishes.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/How+to+apply+anti-fingerprint+oleophobic+coating/9682
     
  12. Ixidor macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2016
    #12
    The keywords in your article being "For all practical purposes"

    And in my post I said that "So yes, there are plenty of materials that can scratch Sapphire, but not many that are encountered on a daily basis."

    Not that I need to prove that Sapphire is not the 2nd hardest material, but you can read up the following references if it helps.

    https://www.tedpella.com/company_html/hardness.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness (<see intermediate hardness, materials between 9 and 10 on Mohs Scale)

    Some materials that are harder than Sapphire (also known as corundum/alumina) are boron nitride, titanium diboride, titanium carbide, silicon carbide etc.

    I'm a materials scientist and I work with hard minerals all the time (various carbides) and Alumina/Sapphire ranks rather low on the hardness scale of what I work with. That said, this is a lab setting and is not a "practical purpose" for most people. In my case though, its relevant as if I am not careful, the SS AW will get easily scratched up.
     
  13. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #13
    "For all practical purposes" is exactly how Apple
    Identifies and markets the sapphire display during their demo's. You can be technical as you so wish, but most don't bridge beyond chemical compositions and scientific breakdowns to fully comprehend what they are purchasing . To me, it goes beyond a general marketing analogy most won't understand or care to for obvious reasons.

    In in any case, I researched multiple sources and they confirmed the same basis regarding the sapphire display. I'm not shaming your post(s), but nor am I shying away from what's clearly distributed to any reader.

    And, Absolutely the stainless model will scratch. 316 L is a relatively soft metal and is base metal used in a quite a few Watches. The benefit is it can be buffed out relatively easily with polishing cloths or stainless paste. But once gouged, it's unsightly, but perhaps give the Watch character.
     
  14. Ixidor, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    Ixidor macrumors regular

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    #14
    Which is why there is a huge misconception that only diamond/corundum can scratch sapphire screens of the Apple Watch (for instance, the thread starter's post).

    Also, I was referring to the screen, not the watch case, as is this thread's topic.

    I'm just sharing that there are minerals that can scratch sapphire easily (a single particle somewhere could've landed on watch) and, even softer minerals/materials can do so with sufficient force/impact. An entire scientific field is built around this, which is known as tribology.

    The thread starter could've come into contact with something such that his watch's screen got scratched, something he believed could not happen. I'm just saying that it's actually possible to scratch sapphire as you don't need diamond to do so.

    Besides, if the information I've posted is too technical (I've tried my best not to be), readers are free to ignore it. But I think it's helpful to clear up the misconceptions about hardness and scratch resistance, at the very least, it might help readers to actually know what to expect when they buy something with a sapphire glass.

    Also, hard carbides (harder than sapphire) are not uncommon. They are present in many tools and when used, hard particles may fly around like "dusts", and can be encountered (even if you don't know it) just being outside.
     
  15. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #15
    Again, I'm not refuting anything You're saying, nor am I suggesting you shouldn't post based off your knowledge or experience. I think your slightly deviating from my point (Not the thread topic). I completely understand Saphirre is prone to suffering damage and it's not impervious to outside elements that are unseen or unknown.

    My point is and was for the matter, the typical consumer doesn't correlate dusts, particles, and debris to why it scratched, the owner determines how it scratched. Rather it be a wall scuff or ramming it into something sharp edged. The consumer wants the added protection of knowing it will ultimately protect their investment.

    Apple puts laymens terms into perspective that won't confuse the customer. The technicality of your post(s) go beyond any comprehension someone would even ponder of, which isn't to say you're wrong for doing
    So. The points you're touching on would likely be that of an engineer or beyond.

    It's saying the sapphire display is the better material to protect your device. The oleophobic coating really applies for a limited Time before it wears down. That said, it's not logical to consider the unknown elements to scratch the sapphire, it's the basic facts that how it happened for practical purposes, I.e, everyday hazards or mishaps.

    I understand you're posting your knowledge on the various levels of metals, but it's more so the idea of how for terms of "I scratched my Watch on my car today", not "Random dust particles or other minerals mysteriously scratched my Watch." It doesn't equate to logical thinking.

    The most important part, as stated by both parties, sapphire is an added layer of protection, but doesn't guarantee anything other than that, added protection. More so, on an electronic Watch, it's fairly obtrusive when staring at a black screen or a darker background, versus clear quartz. That's what causes these discussions, because the damage stands out blatantly.
     
  16. Ixidor macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2016
    #16
    Duly noted. I'll think/explain along those lines in future.
     
  17. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #17
    I thought you explained it pretty well.

    Kudos for being a materials scientist. We get a lot of opinionated amateurs in here.
     
  18. OriginalAppleGuy macrumors 6502

    OriginalAppleGuy

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    #18
    Just explain them the way you did. It was great and not too technical for anyone who has even a little sense left in their head.
     
  19. iMi macrumors 6502a

    iMi

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    Sep 13, 2014
    #19
    Ok, that's more like a deep scratch/chip. I thought you were talking about micro scratches. I have quite a few on the edges of the glass and consider that to be perfectly normal. This is something different and you should consider asking Apple take a look. Maybe there is a material defect. Who knows. They may be willing to replace it.
     
  20. SoN1NjA thread starter macrumors 65816

    SoN1NjA

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    #20
    No, there are really small fine scratches too, but Mr Power asked for a photo, and I couldn't take one of the micro
     

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