Most durable SS colour?

gadgetgirl85

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 24, 2006
3,575
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At the moment I have the space grey SS but am thinking of returning for the gold (when it is back in stock). Out of the two, which would be the more durable?
 

roncito

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2015
679
504
Poconos PA
At the moment I have the space grey SS but am thinking of returning for the gold (when it is back in stock). Out of the two, which would be the more durable?
The space black. That’s what I have always had since series 0 and now with my series 4. The space black is a DLC process which is a diamond like carbon. The gold is PVD.

This is from an article on iMore.com from when the first Apple Watch was released.



“In the basic PVD process, a part is cleaned thoroughly and placed in a vacuum chamber, along with a consumable sample of plating material. Once the air is evacuated from the chamber, the material sample is vaporized by a heater and eventually condenses on the target part. PVD is a highly competitive, advancing technology with applications across many fields — anti-reflective, UV blocking, scratch resistant sunglass coatings. PVD — and the process is often heavily modified. The gist remains the same.

The PVD process is used to create a vast array of coatings, but the current gold standard for hardness and wear resistance is DLC. Essentially, a DLC coating is a 1-3 micron layer of carbon that self arranges into a structure similar to that found in a diamond, thus imparting some of a diamond's surface hardness properties.

The term "DLC" itself isn't just one kind of coating, there are 7-8 different basic chemistries, and each manufacturer of equipment and service provider often creates their own proprietary recipe and processes. (Tungsten DLC, for example, deposits a layer of tungsten on the part before the DLC layer is applied, promoting better adhesion).

So just how tough is DLC? The best way to put it is that the watch industry is a second or third tier user of DLC coatings. The vast majority of research and application of DLCs goes into highly engineered components that depend on DLC's hardness, friction reduction, corrosion resistance, and tribology advantages. (That's the study of how one material interacts with another during contact and sliding.) You'll find DLC coatings on shock absorbers and engine pistons in F1 cars, across the leading edges of fan blades in jet engines, coating critical medical implants, and the cutting tools inside the CNC mills and lathes that made the Apple Watch itself. (DLC extends cutter tool life, improves cut quality and allows for dramatic feed/speed increases.)”

https://www.imore.com/apple-watch-and-durability
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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At the moment I have the space grey SS but am thinking of returning for the gold (when it is back in stock). Out of the two, which would be the more durable?
Space Black trumps any other Apple Watch model with the DLC. The Gold stainless would be second with the PVD coating, which doesn’t have the ‘hardness’ as the Diamond Like Carbon coating has.
 
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cap7ainclu7ch

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2010
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I'd go for silver if you could because you can easily just wipe it down with a polish cloth every few weeks for a perfect finish. If you scratch either other color you are stuck with it, and there's already a thread showing a wrecked SBSS S4. My SS S0 looks like brand new. Any large impact will damage the coating on the colored models and even if you dent the SS it won't show. However if you don't want silver than the SB is definitely stronger compared to the gold.
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,229
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Tokyo, Japan
But only the silver SS can be restored in minutes to a literally PERFECT finish, using either Mother's Magnesium and Aluminum Polish or a Cape Cod Cloth (I've used both) ... it may not be as durable, but it can always be restored to an absolutely perfect shine, if you're so inclined. And this is precisely why every Apple Watch I've owned has been SS, silver.
 

Bazooka-joe

macrumors 68040
Mar 12, 2012
3,145
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Swindon, England
So how many times can the SS be polished? My understanding is that any metal polish is like a cutting compound as it removes a thin layer to get through to the fresh metal underneath and that’s why the scratches disappear. No different to polishing the swirl marks out of the lacquer on car paintwork
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,271
34,274
So how many times can the SS be polished? My understanding is that any metal polish is like a cutting compound as it removes a thin layer to get through to the fresh metal underneath and that’s why the scratches disappear. No different to polishing the swirl marks out of the lacquer on car paintwork
As a regular stainless steel owner of the Apple Watch in the past, I have used the Cape Cod cloth dozens of times to remove micro scratches, and it’s never tarnished or diminished the 316 L stainless finish at all. You don’t need apply a lot of pressure, light rubbing, and polish whenever you feel the need to do it. Just make sure the polishing cloth does not coming to contact with the display, as it is abrasive and can affect rob oleophobic coating.
 
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