SG Sport Watch Anodization Issue?

Trivor

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 25, 2015
8
0
I have an early space gray 42mm sport, and I've been noticing a mark above my digital crown for a while now.

Anyone have any idea what this is? Anyone seen this issue before? It looks like the anodization has come off. Photos below:

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maclemat

macrumors newbie
May 28, 2015
18
6
Same thing happened to me, except the mark was on the edge near the screen. I called Apple, shipped it to them, and had a new one in 4 days
 

Trivor

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 25, 2015
8
0
Update: Back when I made my post in late June, I called AppleCare to complain about the defective anodization on my space gray sport watch and they sent me a replacement Apple Watch Sport space gray body. Fast-forward a couple months, and the same thing with the anodization started happening again.

I agree with JayLenochiniMac that this problem looks like defective anodization. The best thing I can think of is that during manufacture, the case is left with a sharp edge from the tool that cuts through the case where the digital crown comes out, and sharp edges are known to leave gaps in the anodized layer because the anodization grows outward in flat planes, "The anodic layer grows outward from the aluminum surface as a part is anodized. As such, very sharp inside or outside corners on a part can cause gaps or voids to develop- especially with thick anodic layers such as Type III hardcoat anodizing. Avoid very sharp inside or outside corners when possible, and allow a radius of at least .015"(1/64th")." It seems like the aluminum starts to corrode from this edge underneath the anodization, possibly gaining access to the aluminum through a defect in the anodized coating at this edge. This effect is probably worse with the space gray case for any number of reasons, since the anodization is much darker than the metal underneath, and possibly with the space gray just being less durable, with all the photos of the anodization flaking off the back. I should also say that I don't handle any caustic chemicals or do anything strange with the watch. It just gets exposed to air and water and a little errant soap from handwashing from time to time, which makes this issue all the more egregious. Also, if this is an anodization issue, you would expect to never see this kind of issue with the stainless steel Apple Watch, which I think is true.

So after this happened again with the new watch body (along with my peeling black sport band, of which I am on my third, currently), I called AppleCare back. They then showed some photos I took of the case to the engineers, and it was deemed that this constituted "cosmetic damage" and would not be covered. No one at Apple bothered to even physically inspect the case before issuing that decree. It turns out that the first time they replaced the body, it was done simply as a one-time courtesy, and no one at Apple bothered to physically look at that case, either.

With all the marketing that Apple did to highlight the aesthetics of the device, how this was the most personal device they had ever made, the high price, and the fact that this is a first generation product, Apple should stop hiding behind their old "cosmetic issues are not covered" policies developed for computers. The aesthetics of a watch are a lot more important than a desktop Mac, so the policies should be different for cosmetic issues. They are going to lose customers if they keep telling people that yes, your watch looks bad (and YOU must be to blame for it, there's no such thing as an "Apple-caused cosmetic defect"), but no, we are not going to do anything to help you.
 
Last edited:

convergent

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2008
2,998
3,048
It looks to me like it's wear from your fingernail rubbing when turning the crown. If its happened to you with two watches it's highly unlikely you got two with the exact same defect. I have SS and I have wear in a similar spot, but the benefit of SS is that it can be buffed out. This is why I bought SS. All the others will show wear at some point.
 

Trivor

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 25, 2015
8
0
You have this kind of issue on a SS Apple Watch? Can you post a picture of that?

As for the issue with my Apple Watch Sport: It's very difficult to get your finger to touch the case right next to the crown, because the crown sticks out and protects that area. I also tend to use the crown like a scroll wheel on a mouse, so my finger is always above the crown on the screen side and not the case part where this issue is occurring. Needless to say, my fingernail (or even my finger) does not rub against that part of the case, so that's not what's causing it.

This still looks like a defect with the anodization, which gets worse over time. I'm guessing the anodization isn't perfect right at that edge, and water from handwashing gets in contact with the aluminum, and it starts corroding under the anodization. As far as why it's happened on the second watch, remember that I am also on black sport band number three due to peeling, so it is definitely possible for Apple to make something with the exact same defect. Even after it gets replaced it can still fail the same way.
 

convergent

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2008
2,998
3,048
SS is not a coating, it's solid. I was just saying that I can see where in that area my fingernail is making a mark. I'm sure it won't show in a picture. And with SS you get marks like that and you can just buff them out.
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
3,003
877
England
It looks to me like it's wear from your fingernail rubbing when turning the crown. If its happened to you with two watches it's highly unlikely you got two with the exact same defect. I have SS and I have wear in a similar spot, but the benefit of SS is that it can be buffed out. This is why I bought SS. All the others will show wear at some point.
It's ridiculous to say a finger can rub off anodization. My stainless steel does not show any wear from my finger. It's a defect and the OP is being palmed off. I'd push this forward to get another watch send out.
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
3,003
877
England
SS is not a coating, it's solid. I was just saying that I can see where in that area my fingernail is making a mark. I'm sure it won't show in a picture. And with SS you get marks like that and you can just buff them out.
What are your fingernails made of? Iron wool?
 
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convergent

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2008
2,998
3,048
It's ridiculous to say a finger can rub off anodization. My stainless steel does not show any wear from my finger. It's a defect and the OP is being palmed off. I'd push this forward to get another watch send out.
What are your fingernails made of? Iron wool?
Not sure what your problem is, I was just trying to help the OP. If you read the thread you'd know that he already had it replaced and the same thing happened again very quickly to the second one. If he got two defective watches with the exact same problem, he sounds pretty unlucky. Regardless, I never said my SS was "scratched", I said I could see some wear around the crown that I assume came from me turning the crown. It's SS so I don't really care. It gets wear marks and they can be buffed out. Sometimes sharing information can help spark an idea, even if you have deemed it ridiculous.