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ratigator

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2012
216
57
Michigan, USA
A lot of posts and articles out there say the Apple Watch Sport is a better choice than the Stainless Steel version. One reason that is repeated a lot is scratch resistance. Having owned both, I want to make an argument for the Apple Watch (Stainless Steel) model.

I had the stainless steel Watch for 5 or 6 months and decided to sell it. After a few months of seller’s remorse, I recently saw a good deal on the Apple Watch Sport, and decided to pick it up. I used it in the office for one day, and thought I was being very careful not to whack it on anything. To my dismay, the next day I noticed a horizontal scratch straight down the middle of the watch face. I did not remember it even touching anything. I don’t know a good way to describe how deep the scratch is, but it does not buff out, and you can feel it.

Having planned on wearing the watch for at least another year before buying the next model :apple:, I was a little disappointed in how quickly it scratched. By comparison, the Stainless steel Watch did not have any scratches whatsoever after 5-6 months of use, and I know I bounced it off a door frame at least a time or two over those months. Yes, the steel marks up a little bit (probably more than the aluminum version would), but it is reflective enough that you don’t notice it, and it also buffs out easily.

Obviously, this is one person's experience/opinion and if you have the Sport, and you’ve had a different experience, I’m happy for you. But if you don’t have one yet, I personally would recommend paying a little more for the SS version if you can, or at least looking into a screen protector (blech).
 
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Thai

Suspended
Feb 2, 2016
1,459
883
Colorado
Screen protector will make that scratch disappear...if it bothers you.

For watches, sapphire is a MUST for me.

Hell, for me, sapphire anything is a big plus! One day Apple will make the holy grail of smartphones with sapphire! :)
 

shftoptk

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2016
58
32
USA
While my sport is in perfect condition after nine months of wearing it everyday and not treating it kindly, I do agree that people should entertain the idea of buying the SS. I say that because most places, such as Best Buy and target, have great deals on the Watch. Most of the time you can buy a SS from a third party for the price of a new Sport model from Apple.

But if you insist on buying directly from apple, I would say still buy the Sport + AppleCare because even if you have to use your AppleCare insurance, it's still cheaper to make the claim than it is to buy a SS model. But the overall smartest purchase would be a discounted SS from a third party.
 
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ratigator

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2012
216
57
Michigan, USA
Screen protector will make that scratch disappear...if it bothers you.

For watches, sapphire is a MUST for me.

Hell, for me, sapphire anything is a big plus! One day Apple will make the holy grail of smartphones with sapphire! :)

Yeah, I am not a huge fan of screen protectors, and it looks like most of them have mixed reviews.

I failed to mention in my post that I returned the Sport, and complained about the scratch, and was able to replace it with the black stainless steel one for around $150 more. So now I have the same Watch I preordered on day 1, except this time it's the black one vs silver. So far so good.
 

MacCubed

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2014
1,618
494
Florida
Apple will make the holy grail of smartphones with sapphire!
I highly doubt they will, unless there is some super reinforced sapphire that is created. Sapphire is so brittle, and a single drop from the iPhone would crack it. My Apple Watch cracked from a little tap to the corner into a metal doorframe
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,835
5,432
Atlanta
...Hell, for me, sapphire anything is a big plus! One day Apple will make the holy grail of smartphones with sapphire! :)

Original iPhone owner to now (6S) and I have cracked several screens. However I have never had a significant scratch on one. For me glass is a better choice than sapphire for the iPhone. I don't want more cracked screens.
 

ratigator

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2012
216
57
Michigan, USA
My Apple Watch cracked from a little tap to the corner into a metal doorframe
That's crazy. I hit mine on walls a few times, car door, even a brick wall once and didn't have even a mark on it. That's why I was so surprised to get a scratch on the Sport so quickly after being very careful with it in an office environment. Goes to show you anything can happen. Definitely going to get AppleCare+.
 

Thai

Suspended
Feb 2, 2016
1,459
883
Colorado
I highly doubt they will, unless there is some super reinforced sapphire that is created. Sapphire is so brittle, and a single drop from the iPhone would crack it. My Apple Watch cracked from a little tap to the corner into a metal doorframe

That's odd. I have banged mine into doors, walls, and treadmill...doing fine.

Don't forget, most traditional watches above $500 are sapphire. I have worn sapphire watches for decades...never had one cracked.

[doublepost=1456771890][/doublepost]
Original iPhone owner to now (6S) and I have cracked several screens. However I have never had a significant scratch on one. For me glass is a better choice than sapphire for the iPhone. I don't want more cracked screens.

How many times have you cracked TouchID sapphire? Camera sapphire lens?

For me, i always use a decent case...so, i have never cracked glass on phone. BUT, i have scratched my glass plenty...sometimes just by looking at it wrong it seems! :D

Having sapphire = no screen protector = throwing phone into my pockets without fear.
 

MacCubed

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2014
1,618
494
Florida
The thing is that the higher the surface area that sapphire covers, the higher the change it will crack. That's the reason that the camera glass and Touch ID don't crack easily, they are small surfaces. Also, my Watch cracked cause I hit it on the corner where the glass rolled over.
 
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Shanghaichica

macrumors G5
Apr 8, 2013
14,655
13,148
UK
A lot of posts and articles out there say the Apple Watch Sport is a better choice than the Stainless Steel version. One reason that is repeated a lot is scratch resistance. Having owned both, I want to make an argument for the Apple Watch (Stainless Steel) model.

I had the stainless steel Watch for 5 or 6 months and decided to sell it. After a few months of seller’s remorse, I recently saw a good deal on the Apple Watch Sport, and decided to pick it up. I used it in the office for one day, and thought I was being very careful not to whack it on anything. To my dismay, the next day I noticed a horizontal scratch straight down the middle of the watch face. I did not remember it even touching anything. I don’t know a good way to describe how deep the scratch is, but it does not buff out, and you can feel it.

Having planned on wearing the watch for at least another year before buying the next model :apple:, I was a little disappointed in how quickly it scratched. By comparison, the Stainless steel Watch did not have any scratches whatsoever after 5-6 months of use, and I know I bounced it off a door frame at least a time or two over those months. Yes, the steel marks up a little bit (probably more than the aluminum version would), but it is reflective enough that you don’t notice it, and it also buffs out easily.

Obviously, this is one person's experience/opinion and if you have the Sport, and you’ve had a different experience, I’m happy for you. But if you don’t have one yet, I personally would recommend paying a little more for the SS version if you can, or at least looking into a screen protector (blech).

The sports watch is supposed to be more durable but in terms of scratch resistance it's the SS that is scratch resistant with it's sapphire crystal glass. The Ion X glass on the sport is supposed to be more resistant to shattering if dropped. The ion X glass is supposed to be more visible in bright sunlight, which is true in my experience.

Anyhow I started off with the sports watch which I got on launch day I had it until the middle of August. I ended up with once chip on the bezel and one scratch on the screen. They couldn't really be seen it's just that I knew they were there. I don't know how I got them because I babied the watch and didn't bang it on anything. In August I bought the SS watch mainly because I was buying some of the more expensive watch straps (Modern buckle, classic buckle, Milanese loop) and they look better with the SS. I've had the SS for 6 months now and It's held up a lot better. I have no scratches on the screen. The casing has some hairline scratches ( when viewed in certain lighting) but these could be buffed out with polish and a cloth if I really wanted to. I have banged my SS watch into several walls and doors but the screen is still spotless and no major issues in the casing.

The sports is a nice enough watch and I really like to look of the rose gold and gold models but the SS is better not only due to it looking more premium but the materials are higher quality and that is reflected in the price.
 
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ratigator

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2012
216
57
Michigan, USA
It sounds like we've arrived at the same conclusion after trying both. I think if I was more rough with my watch and/or did more strenuous exercise with it, I'd probably have gone with the Sport. (hence the name!)
 
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