Series 4 Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel worth the $750?

  • Yes (worth the money)

    Votes: 72 66.1%
  • No (get the aluminum)

    Votes: 37 33.9%

  • Total voters
    109

frosty18

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 10, 2018
152
129
Pennsylvania, United States
I currently have a space gray aluminum Apple Watch series 1 and want to get a series 4. My screen is in awful condition right now because of scratches. My question is if the sapphire glass on the stainless steel version is really that much more durable. I also love the look of the space black stainless steel and can somewhat justify the price now that an Apple Watch is essential to me. What is your opinion on the durability of your stainless steel Apple Watch and is it worth the extra money?
 

OBirder

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2015
362
255
I currently have a space gray aluminum Apple Watch series 1 and want to get a series 4. My screen is in awful condition right now because of scratches. My question is if the sapphire glass on the stainless steel version is really that much more durable. I also love the look of the space black stainless steel and can somewhat justify the price now that an Apple Watch is essential to me. What is your opinion on the durability of your stainless steel Apple Watch and is it worth the extra money?
I have a Series 0 stainless steel. I am an outdoor enthusiast and have been wearing it for 2.5 years and still using it at night.

I did wear it working in the yard and working in warehouses.

Compared to my wife’s Aluminum the screen has no scratches and looks almost like day one. The case has lots of micro scratches. I am not polishing it, since in my view it’s part of the character.

I now have the Space Black Stainless steel since a year and I am extremely happy.
 

frosty18

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 10, 2018
152
129
Pennsylvania, United States
I have a Series 0 stainless steel. I am an outdoor enthusiast and have been wearing it for 2.5 years and still using it at night.

I did wear it working in the yard and working in warehouses.

Compared to my wife’s Aluminum the screen has no scratches and looks almost like day one. The case has lots of micro scratches. I am not polishing it, since in my view it’s part of the character.

I now have the Space Black Stainless steel since a year and I am extremely happy.
thank you I will seriously consider the stainless steel it looks so much better and I'm glad to hear there's added durability as well.
 

MCube74

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2010
1,066
394
Hong Kong
To me Aluminum watches are light and is more suitable for sporty look. For a business man like me, stainless steel is more suitable. I also don’t like light watches.
 
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Mabus51

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2007
1,342
831
As an owner of the S0 & S3 SBSS models. Durability of that model is impressive. Even with moderate care it will stay looking new. It’s difficult to scratch and markup. I used my shirt and sometimes jeans to wipe the screen of fingerprints and it was fine, no scratches. The resell value on the other hand is pure garbage.

Durability 10/10
Resell 0/10

The S4 is the first aluminum I’ve purchased. So far I’m happy with it. I put a Armorsuit screen protector on it cause I know my greyhound would scratch the screen. The SS model I wouldn’t bother with a screen protector. My S0 took a hit from a metal door frame and didn’t chip or scratch. My S3 I accidentally hit with the metal from my seatbelt buckle directly to the screen. Again no chips or scratches.

For durability the stainless is awesome. But the resell ugh. The battery won’t last to make up for the price, neither does the tech inside it at this point in time.
[doublepost=1538536094][/doublepost]
To me Aluminum watches are light and is more suitable for sporty look. For a business man like me, stainless steel is more suitable. I also don’t like light watches.
I feel the same way on this. However I see more aluminum watches on lawyers, doctors & CEOs than I do anywhere else. I’m not a sport person at all either and work primarily in office environments.
 

Farrellcollie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2011
521
176
I am a lawyer with an aluminum 44mm. I have always gotten aluminum. First, I really don't find that the stainless looks better or more expensive or anything, and second to me it is not a fine heirloom piece of jewelry - it is a tech watch that I will be upgrading every couple of years. I had the gold stainless 44mm and took it back and swapped for the 44mm space black aluminum because I like the way it looked better than the look of the gold ss.
If you really like the stainless better and you have the money - no reason not to get the stainless. But for someone like me, the stainless just is not that enticing. I also pay absolutely no attention to what other people are using for their own watches.
 

Knowimagination

macrumors 68020
Apr 6, 2010
2,042
905
I'm struggling with this same thing. I have a Series 0 SS that the body is super scratched on the stainless but the screen is flawless.

I don't mind the weight but I'm seriously considering getting aluminum this round because I want to feel better about potentially updating more often. One of the reasons I kept my series 0 for so long is because they weren't worth anything and I struggled to justify the cost.

So for that reason I'm planning on going Space Gray Nike for the Series 4.
 

SHKLMRE

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
469
235
Pennsylvania
I have a series 0 SS and just sold my series 3 SBSS for only 1/2 of what it was worth when it was released. I got tired of buying such an expensive tech item only for it to be replaced a year later. So for me, price wise, the aluminum made much more sense.
 
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aloecool

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2011
258
44
My S0 SS's screen after all these years of use is flawless, and I like the weight/look of the SS, so to me it is worth it and I went SS again with the S4. No regrets.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,248
34,260
My S0 SS's screen after all these years of use is flawless, and I like the weight/look of the SS, so to me it is worth it and I went SS again with the S4. No regrets.
I share your sentiments. I realize the stainless does not hold it’s value, but the Apple Watch as a whole struggles in terms of resale, especially now that it seems the Apple Watch is on an annual release. But in terms of actually enjoying the watch, I do really like the weight of the stainless and the protection of the Sapphire, those two things combined justify the additional expenditure for me.
 

Bazooka-joe

macrumors 68040
Mar 12, 2012
3,144
1,426
Swindon, England
I don't think that the SS loses any more monetary value than the iPhone. The SS loses between 60 and 70% of its value in the first year which relates to around a loss of £350 to £400. Its no different or even worse for the iPhone X which has lost £400 to £550 of last years retail cost
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,248
34,260
I don't think that the SS loses any more monetary value than the iPhone.
Except the difference being that the iPhone is a ‘primary’ device that holds way *more* value than an Apple Watch, because the Apple Watch is an accessory to the iPhone. It’s also a superflurous device, compared to an iPhone is much more pivotal in terms of those relying on it for almost everything in their daily lives.
 

brianric

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2011
211
113
Except the difference being that the iPhone is a ‘primary’ device that holds way *more* value than an Apple Watch, because the Apple Watch is an accessory to the iPhone. It’s also a superflurous device, compared to an iPhone is much more pivotal in terms of those relying on it for almost everything in their daily lives.
What you're saying is partially true, as I do not consider the Apple Watch superfluous in my use. I have Parkinson's and A-Fib. I use the app Medisafe to remind me to take my Parkinson's medicine three times a day and blood thinners and a beta blocker twice a day for my A-Fib condition. When I'm out on a photo shoot I would be late or miss doses of life saving medicine if I depended on the phone. I will notice a "buzz" on my wrist a lot more to remind me to take my medicine. What maybe superfluous to you is life saving to me. The Apple Watch series 4 has the additional bonus of determining if I'm in an A-Fib condition so I can take countermeasures, like taking deep breaths and relaxing, or something simple as to drink water in event I'm dehydrated, which can case an A-Fib attack.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,248
34,260
What you're saying is partially true, as I do not consider the Apple Watch superfluous in my use. I have Parkinson's and A-Fib. I use the app Medisafe to remind me to take my Parkinson's medicine three times a day and blood thinners and a beta blocker twice a day for my A-Fib condition. When I'm out on a photo shoot I would be late or miss doses of life saving medicine if I depended on the phone. I will notice a "buzz" on my wrist a lot more to remind me to take my medicine. What maybe superfluous to you is life saving to me. The Apple Watch series 4 has the additional bonus of determining if I'm in an A-Fib condition so I can take countermeasures, like taking deep breaths and relaxing, or something simple as to drink water in event I'm dehydrated, which can case an A-Fib attack.
Good post and thank you for sharing this. In light of your situation, I think the Apple Watch serves your purpose very well. I think when the Apple Watch first started, it was more of a device in the sense of just being a communication extension of the iPhone, but now that it’s adding more health sensors and becoming more health oriented, with the detecting abnormal heart conditions, EKG, etc. it is changing the way we use the watch on a daily basis for our health and fitness lifestyle.
 
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dotnet

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,183
852
Sydney, Australia
Except the difference being that the iPhone is a ‘primary’ device that holds way *more* value than an Apple Watch, because the Apple Watch is an accessory to the iPhone. It’s also a superflurous device, compared to an iPhone is much more pivotal in terms of those relying on it for almost everything in their daily lives.
The iPhone is just as superfluous, as evidenced by the fact that people got by just fine without it before 2007. Owning a smartphone is a choice, just like wearing a smart watch. A very popular choice currently, but still just a choice.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,248
34,260
The iPhone is just as superfluous.
Technically, it’s not. Because the Apple Watch _relies_ on the iPhone, therefore the iPhone it can’t be superflorous if we are on subject, where the Apple Watch is an accessory, not a necessity like the iPhone would be in terms of communication primarily in today’s tech era.
 

OBirder

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2015
362
255
I don't think that the SS loses any more monetary value than the iPhone. The SS loses between 60 and 70% of its value in the first year which relates to around a loss of £350 to £400. Its no different or even worse for the iPhone X which has lost £400 to £550 of last years retail cost
Even for Apple it is a huge difference.

On their new trade in program Apple gives back for series 3 cellular:

- 38mm Aluminum Sports band: $225 - very fair after a year

- 42mm Space Black stainless steel with Milanese loop: $250

While new they ask for a premium difference, they give you $25 on the trade in. Really?

So from a financial perspective everyone here is right: It’s better to stay with the Aluminum.

I still love my stainless steel, but need to stay on the 4 for 2+ years.
 

MCube74

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2010
1,066
394
Hong Kong
I am a lawyer with an aluminum 44mm. I have always gotten aluminum. First, I really don't find that the stainless looks better or more expensive or anything, and second to me it is not a fine heirloom piece of jewelry - it is a tech watch that I will be upgrading every couple of years. I had the gold stainless 44mm and took it back and swapped for the 44mm space black aluminum because I like the way it looked better than the look of the gold ss.
If you really like the stainless better and you have the money - no reason not to get the stainless. But for someone like me, the stainless just is not that enticing. I also pay absolutely no attention to what other people are using for their own watches.
It is not just about the look but also the feel.
I believe the aluminum watches look and feel more like a toy. It is suitable for sports and teenagers.

Watches have always been stainless steel.

Don’t think big watch companies release their watches in aluminum.
 

MCube74

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2010
1,066
394
Hong Kong
I'm struggling with this same thing. I have a Series 0 SS that the body is super scratched on the stainless but the screen is flawless.

I don't mind the weight but I'm seriously considering getting aluminum this round because I want to feel better about potentially updating more often. One of the reasons I kept my series 0 for so long is because they weren't worth anything and I struggled to justify the cost.

So for that reason I'm planning on going Space Gray Nike for the Series 4.
I also upgrade often but then I feel the next watch will have the same form factor and probably just a faster processor. If so I will be using the Series 4 SS for 2 years. The resale value for SS watches are roughly $150 more than the aluminum watches which is the downside. But I still prefer the SS anytime.

Also the screen on the aluminum watches can crack a lot easier which is not good. Plus the aluminum watches can dent or get damaged easier.
 

MCube74

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2010
1,066
394
Hong Kong
My S0 SS's screen after all these years of use is flawless, and I like the weight/look of the SS, so to me it is worth it and I went SS again with the S4. No regrets.
I sold my Silver SS about $250 less than what I bought it for but then I bought the Gold SS this year for $50 discount.

I lost $200 in my upgrade which is not that bad considering that I used it for 1 year.
 

Jason Honer

Suspended
Aug 13, 2018
114
244
Boston MA
I currently have a space gray aluminum Apple Watch series 1 and want to get a series 4. My screen is in awful condition right now because of scratches. My question is if the sapphire glass on the stainless steel version is really that much more durable. I also love the look of the space black stainless steel and can somewhat justify the price now that an Apple Watch is essential to me. What is your opinion on the durability of your stainless steel Apple Watch and is it worth the extra money?
I’ve gotten the aluminum every time and have no scratches on the glass, no screen protector tors. Save the money and get the glass.
 
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OriginalAppleGuy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2016
620
561
Virginia
Forget resale value - it doesn't really matter. I've had my SS for about 18 months. Main reason I went SS was durability. The sapphire glass face is the main selling point for me. I have a horrible tendency to smash my watches against something and that held true with this watch. Screen has survived just fine. I have some abrasions on the SS body, but I know they can be polished out. I also think the SS body in Silver is the most versatile body for the plethora of available bands out there.
 
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xDKP

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2011
1,497
1,114
Denmark
I’m on my third Apple Watch now with S4, all of them steel and sapphire. The display is a big reason I go for the steel as I hate scratches. In my years with the watches not a single scratch has caught the display even though I’m wearing them all day, every day.

Having had both space black and two normal steel watches they look amazing as well
 
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MCube74

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2010
1,066
394
Hong Kong
Forget resale value - it doesn't really matter. I've had my SS for about 18 months. Main reason I went SS was durability. The sapphire glass face is the main selling point for me. I have a horrible tendency to smash my watches against something and that held true with this watch. Screen has survived just fine. I have some abrasions on the SS body, but I know they can be polished out. I also think the SS body in Silver is the most versatile body for the plethora of available bands out there.
Yes SS Silver has always been my choice but this time the gold matches several bands nicely.
 
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