Space Black vs Regular Stainless Steel

JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
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I have an Apple Watch Sport series 0, silver. I'm planning on getting the Series 2 around Christmas, and this time I want to upgrade to the stainless steel model.
I'm torn between the two colors. I know it's kinda just personal preference, but hoping to get some opinions from others who had the same choice. The regular stainless shows scratches more so than the space black (right?), so that's an advantage for the SB, but I have a silver Milanese loop that I use sometimes so that wouldn't look as good with the SB I'm thinking, same goes for the white Sport Band and maybe Pearl nylon. So that's an advantage for the regular stainless. Also I'm kinda thinking the SB looks a bit too much like the aluminum space grey, is this true?
I'd appreciate any input from fellow AW wearers.
Thanks!!!
 

BarracksSi

Suspended
Jul 14, 2015
3,902
2,626
The SB is black, not grey.

But, if the SB scratches, you won't be able to make the scratch go away. You can buff scratches out of the SS and it'll look like new.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,345
30,600
I have the Stainless and any band pairs well with it. So that's a benefit. The Space Black looks nothing like the aluminum Space Gray. The Stainless 316 L does scratch easily, being it's a soft Metal, but can be buffed out. I owned the Space Black and it's not nearly appealing as the Stainless in my Opinion.

And the pearl woven nylon band looks awesome with it and feels good to.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
 

JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
1,993
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The SB is black, not grey.

But, if the SB scratches, you won't be able to make the scratch go away. You can buff scratches out of the SS and it'll look like new.
That's a good point. I guess scratches aren't a big deal if you can get them out easily. I haven't had a problem with wear on my aluminum sport. So I guess that's not a deciding factor. Mainly just the factor of how it pairs with bands. However, does the space black show wear a lot?
 

Nell

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2012
561
246
London
I have a silver aluminium watch and the straps you mention (plus a few more sports straps). If it get an AW2 it'll be the silver stainless steel. It's personal taste but the darkness of the screen coupled with the grey or black just looks wrong to me.
 

JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
1,993
481
I have the Stainless and any band pairs well with it. So that's a benefit. The Space Black looks nothing like the aluminum Space Gray. The Stainless 316 L does scratch easily, being it's a soft Metal, but can be buffed out. I owned the Space Black and it's not nearly appealing as the Stainless in my
Opinion.

And the pearl woven nylon band looks awesome with it and feels good to.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the info!
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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That's a good point. I guess scratches aren't a big deal if you can get them out easily. I haven't had a problem with wear on my aluminum sport. So I guess that's not a deciding factor. Mainly just the factor of how it pairs with bands. However, does the space black show wear a lot?
The Space Black will show scratches very easily. Like anything Black, it looks fantastic when clean and pristine, but will show damage when visible.
 

JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
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The Space Black will show scratches very easily. Like anything Black, it looks fantastic when clean and pristine, but will show damage when visible.
Does the coating I've heard about make a difference? I thought it was supposedly scratch resistant.
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Does the coating I've heard about make a difference? I thought it was supposedly scratch resistant.
It depends. A light scratch might not affect it. But a deeper scratch will likely not be very resilient to damage. I never scratched my Space Black since I sold it. I prefer the look of the Stainless.
 

JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
1,993
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It depends. A light scratch might not affect it. But a deeper scratch will likely not be very resilient to damage. I never scratched my Space Black since I sold it. I prefer the look of the Stainless.
Thanks, good to know. I won't let scratches be a deciding factor. Just how it pairs with bands. Even though I did get my sliver Milanese on a discount and don't wear it all the time (I stick with my nylons most of the time), I don't really want to get another Milanese in a different color, actually like the silver Milanese better; and I don't think it would look as good with the SB. Same with the white Sport Band, pearl woven nylon, and also perhaps the bright colored bands I have, like scuba blue woven nylon and green Sport.
I think I've made up my mind! I like the shiny look of the stainless steel better, the SB doesn't "pop" as much and doesn't work as nicely with my existing bands.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Thanks, good to know. I won't let scratches be a deciding factor. Just how it pairs with bands. Even though I did get my sliver Milanese on a discount and don't wear it all the time (I stick with my nylons most of the time), I don't really want to get another Milanese in a different color, actually like the silver Milanese better; and I don't think it would look as good with the SB. Same with the white Sport Band, pearl woven nylon, and also perhaps the bright colored bands I have, like scuba blue woven nylon and green Sport.
I think I've made up my mind! I like the shiny look of the stainless steel better, the SB doesn't "pop" as much and doesn't work as nicely with my existing bands.
I think the stainless is the way to go. Good luck.
 

shox2k2

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2010
360
50
Wichita, KS
I've had the space black for almost a year. I work outside most of the day for my job. I wear it on runs, working in the yard and around the house. I cannot see any scratches on it what so ever on here. Still looks brand new. I don't like the stainless look at all and I'm glad I went w/the black. When I'm ready to upgrade to series 2 it'll be the space black again. Stainless just looks basic and bland. The black looks sleek and goes great w/most bands as well.
 

myfoneisdank

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2009
154
30
I had both in hand and returned the space black. The regular SS just looks so much classier in my opinion. The black almost suffers like the ceramic in that it's super high quality but can end up looking cheesy with the wrong band. The regular you can pair with pretty much everything
 

BarracksSi

Suspended
Jul 14, 2015
3,902
2,626
I've heard more SB owners -- like shox2k2 above -- say that their watches don't show any wear, and I believe them. Like I said, once a coating is scratched it stays scratched; but reports of nasty SB Watches are very rare (almost nonexistent).

All that being said, I think a black-coated watch is meant to look like a tool and not a piece of jewelry. They look better once they show a bit of wear. Like old binoculars or cameras or military equipment, a little glint of base metal adds some history of use.

 

MrGimper

macrumors 603
Sep 22, 2012
6,101
6,384
Andover, UK
I had the SS from launch and I sold it about 2 weeks ago looking pristine. It got some scratches on it during its life, but all these buffed out easily and without much effort with a Cape Cod cloth. I was tempted to go with SBSS for my Series 2, but I just like the look and ease of maintenance of the normal SS so went with that again. Goes with every strap I have, and there are many:

Apple OEM
White Sport Band
Product Red Sport Band
Walnut Sport Band
Midnight Blue Sport Band
Cocoa Sport Band
Pearl Nylon
Black Nylon
Royal Blue Nylon
Coffee/Caramel Nylon
Bright Blue Leather Loop

3rd-Party
Moko Milanese Loop
Click! Light Brown Leather Strap
Click! Grey Leather Strap
 

JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
1,993
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I've heard more SB owners -- like shox2k2 above -- say that their watches don't show any wear, and I believe them. Like I said, once a coating is scratched it stays scratched; but reports of nasty SB Watches are very rare (almost nonexistent).

All that being said, I think a black-coated watch is meant to look like a tool and not a piece of jewelry. They look better once they show a bit of wear. Like old binoculars or cameras or military equipment, a little glint of base metal adds some history of use.

Yeah I definitely get that appeal of the SB. I just like the way the SS looks with the Milanese and other bands I have.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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30,600
I've heard more SB owners -- like shox2k2 above -- say that their watches don't show any wear, and I believe them. Like I said, once a coating is scratched it stays scratched; but reports of nasty SB Watches are very rare (almost nonexistent).

All that being said, I think a black-coated watch is meant to look like a tool and not a piece of jewelry. They look better once they show a bit of wear. Like old binoculars or cameras or military equipment, a little glint of base metal adds some history of use.

I'm not sure about your above statement. The Space Black looks nice, but I have seen some battered Space Black watches used and the damage was widely apparent from a distance. A used 1911 45 ACP looks good with the weathered slide showing the black finish tarnishing, but the Apple Watch Space Black in my opinion, does not. And it would ultimately kill the resale value, being when black is scratched like a Jet Black iPhone or Space Black Watch, electronics don't compare to used Swiss Watch's in terms of value or appeal.
 

Karnicopia

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
429
247
I owned the space black since launch and wore it every day and can't see a single scratch on the thing. It is a very durable finish. The only thing I have that bugs me is when I saw the space black milanese it did do some micro scrathes on the screen but it's not really noticeable. Not having as many bands kind of sucks but they have 3rd party adapters so I got a great 3rd party leather band and just switched between that, the link and sport bands. In the end I really didn't miss the classic buckle because I like the custom band better anyway.

I also bought a stainless series 0 when best buy dropped the price. Can't speak to durability because I just got it but I'm not too worried about it. Even if it does get dinged up you aren't going to be keeping these things forever so really who cares enjoy the watch. I've been wearing it a lot and I really like the different look. Tried the classic buckle but I think I like my other leather band better so i'm just going to go that route again anyway and get a 3rd party custom brown leather band. So really in the end the band thing didn't make too big of a difference to me. I may check out a hermes band or something if they release the deployment clasp but I just ended up returning the classic buckle. It's a nice band but these custom band people can IMO do better for about the same or probably even less money and you get a strap designed for you specifically which is cool.

To me the difference is mainly that the stainless is more flashy and the space black is more understated but still looks amazing. I like having both honestly that would be my main advice is don't go out and buy the same watch you bought last time try something new and switch between them. If I had to choose one I'd take the black but it really comes down to which look you prefer.
 
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Vihzel

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2010
385
43
I'd go regular SS over SBSS for sure. I absolutely love the combination of regular SS with black nylon band. It's just so classy and works very well as a daily wearable. I tried on the SBSS at the Apple Watch just 2 days ago and it's just way too much black. I really like the contrast of the black screen and shiny stainless steel. Like other posters have said, it goes well with pretty much any band, while you're a lot more limited with the SBSS.

I got the single tour Hermes band to go with my regular SS and it basically looks identical to an Hermes watch, which is fantastic. I wouldn't use any of the Hermes faces as I really enjoy the activity ring watchface.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,099
1,370
It's definitely a personal preference. I picked up a SBSS with the black Milanese band and my wife a regular SS with the regular Milanese band. Can't go wrong with whatever one you prefer.
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
3,004
877
England
Since you already have the silver ML and white/pearl bands I think you should get the SS. Don't worry about scuffs or marks. - cape cod cloths polish out all but the deepest (which is rare) blemishes. My series 0 SS looks as perfect as the day I opened it. I polish it once a month. Those cloths are amazing and every SS owner should have them.
I also have a SBSS and it has zero marks on it too. It's so tough it's almost unscratchable. I've hit mine off things this year but it too looks flawless still. I only have the ML, SBLB and Black Sport band and black nylon band for it but it's enough. The other bands just don't match well so bare that in mind. If you can, having two watches is great!
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,555
1,279
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Now into the 16th month with my space black. I now have 11 bands (so, yes, there's lots of options) - the brighter sport bands really pop with the contrast of the black watch.
People that have actually managed to scratch these are VERY rare indeed. You have to find something approaching diamond for hardness to do so. The DLC coating on mine is still flawless and (other than initially), I haven't been overly cautious with this watch at all. Worn it doing all kinds of projects. It's banged off of a number of materials - nadda.

Pick whichever one appeals to you the most from a looks standpoint. The regular SS gets scratches. The SB with DLC coating doesn't.
 
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JerTheGeek

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 15, 2014
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I'm still thinking regular stainless steel, but just for comparison, does anyone have a space black with a silver Milanese that they could share pics of?
Thanks
 

mhoutman

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2016
484
245
just my 2 cents but I have a original Hermes and ordered the SB SS Series 2 to enjoy best of both worlds: the Hermès with leather bands AND the SB with sport bands..... :)

IMHO if you consider original Apple bands, the SS really has one big advantage as it can be mixed with more bands than a black or dark grey AW... but that is a matter of taste.