Stainless Steel Apple Watch Vs Aluminium Apple Watch Sport [MERGED]

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by sam3020, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. sam3020 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 3, 2007

    Sorry I do not know if anyone has posted about this yet but I cannot decide if to go for the cheaper Apple watch Sport or the Apple Watch.

    I would be using my Apple watch at work where i work in a retail environment where it is likely to get knocked about a lot. I was wondering if someone could tell me which one is going to be more scratch resistant and if the Ion X glass is scratch resistant like the sapphire crystal glass is? And also what is likely to scratch more out of Stainless Steel and the Aluminium.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Reason077 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2007
    I'd suggest waiting till the pricing is announced before making your final decision.


    - Ion-X glass is extremely scratch resistant. When was the last time you got a scratch on your iPhone screen? The Watch glass will, presumably, be even more scratch resistant than that.

    - As for the Aluminium, there should be no doubts about the durability and hardness of the Alloy that Apple are using - the question is the durability of the anodised coating. I've noticed that the coating on my Space Grey iPhone 6 - although much more durable than it was on my iPhone 5 - has started to show a few tiny scratches after ~5 months of use.
  3. marvz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2012
    For a watch you'll be wearing everyday I think sapphire crystal glass is a must have. It's inevitable that you'll knock a watch from time to time. If you take a look at your iPhone you probably find some little scratches and trust me, a watch will have to take many more and presumably harder hits than an iPhone screen. I've been wearing daily a watch with a sapphire crystal glass for about 4 years now and there are only some little and tiny scratches which aren't notable at all.

    Yes, there will be a price difference but I think it's well worth it.
  4. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    The SS will be far more durable than the Sport. Sport is more of a nomenclature (had to name it something) geared to appeal to younger less affluent buyers than a description of durability.
  5. FrankySavvy macrumors 65816

    Mar 4, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    My perception is that the ION-X Glass is just as scratch resistant as the ION glass on the iPhones, so it should be fairly scratch resistant.

    But since the watch face will be exposed Sapphire glass would be preferred if you work in a construction environment. You could definitely get away with a sport model in most situations.
  6. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    From my understanding:

    Ion X Glass
    - Used on Sport Model
    - More Scratch resistant and durable than regular glass
    - less scratch resistant than Sapphire Crystal Display
    - Lighter than Sapphire Crystal
    - More durable to impacts than Sapphire Crystal

    Sapphire Crystal Glass
    - Used on Watch, and Watch Edition models
    - more scratch resistant than Ion X Glass
    - Heavier than Ion X
    - More prone to shatter on impacts than Ion X

    If I were to get the Sport model, I would be getting the space gray version, although I'm only concerned with the durability of the aluminum. Watches can get banged around a lot, and I'm worried that the aluminum will scratch off and reveal a lighter aluminum color underneath, similar to how the Space Black iPhone 5 would do.

    I want the Stainless Steal version, although cost might be prohibitive of me purchasing it.
  7. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    We'll have to see how the Ion-X glass works out in real-life use, but we can guarantee that it's not going to be anywhere near as scratch-resistant as the sapphire.

    I think that given the wraparound/domed crystal design with no protective raised bezel, the Apple Watch crystal is going to take a lot of bumps and opportunities for scratching. No matter how good the Ion-X is, the sapphire will outperform it substantially on this front.

    That said, the one thing we're not really worrying about is how Apple Watch is going to perform over a couple decades - it only really needs to last perhaps... 5 years?

    My guess is that the Sport watches perform just fine through the expected life of the watch for almost everyone. And... for most people the sapphire will be flawless after five years of daily wear. It's amazing how scratch-resistant sapphire is. I mean, really stunningly great.

    I mentioned this elsewhere, but I think the DLC coating on the black stainless models is a feature not getting enough attention - it's a very very nice option, and ultra-scratch-resistant (though it can get dinged by major impacts, showing the SS underneath).
  8. Sharkey311 Suspended

    Jan 11, 2013
    ^ which is why I'm not getting the space gray SS. Plus the standard SS will have more band options.
  9. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    It has been used on every iPhone and iPad made. Also it is and has been used on countless other phones and tablets. It is better know by it's brand name (thought Apple never calls it this) Gorilla Glass.:eek:
  10. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    Right - I should have been more-specific that we'll need to see how it works out in this specific application.

    I don't know of any large-scale use of GG in watches that we can draw upon to inform our assumptions - it's great stuff on phones, but the outside of the wrist may be a lot more-vulnerable to scratches.
  11. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    We will or may know a lot more Monday but I see the Sport as a 1 to 2 year nearly "disposable" product (and Apple probably does too). I still believe the SS and Edition may have an upgrade path. Something like S chip and Battery for $300-$400 and replacement crystals (probably $100). Although there is a chance the OLED may be cemented to the crystal which may or may not effect this (it would of course effect price).
  12. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    IIRC, the intro video specified that the display was laminated to the crystal.

    An interesting (at least to me) aspect of this whole thing is that there's no watch manufacturer in the world who's done what Apple's doing. Even a fairly major flop would put a couple million Apple Watches a year on people's wrists, all out there, getting banged around, broken when people fall on them, all the standard electronics failures, etc.

    The service and repair aspect is going to be a big deal.
  13. vigilant macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The cover glass shouldn't really be an issue. I haven't had an issue with scratching for years. I think the glass would actually be clearer but we will have to see.

    As far as actual builds, I'd think the Sport would be lighter then the Stainless Steel. I haven't worn a watch for many many years, but I went through some notable issues with Movados scuffing and scratching. This is definitely a concern of mine. Time will tell
  14. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I'm more worried about the aluminum than the glass. Aluminum is very soft and can get dent easily.
  15. FrankySavvy macrumors 65816

    Mar 4, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    As others have said I think the aluminum ION-X Glass will be just as scratch resistant as an iPhone display, which is pretty darn good, The Aluminum casing would be as scratch resistant as an Macbook or iPhone, so yes i could see it getting a few scratches if you work in a construction environment. Benefits of the Aluminum would be lighter weight and as others have said with more shatter resistant. If athletes are using the Sport watch it needs to be more impact resistant. So there are pros and cons of both, honestly pick the one you like and fits you best. I am sure its durability will be fine.
  16. SuperCub macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2014
    You must be losing sleep over the gold cases, then, yes? :eek:
  17. Lucifer666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2014
    Yikes, you can't be ***** me

    How the heck do we know what this scratch thing is going to do for at least a month?

    And all the freaking out people here. Geesh what a party this is going to be

    Can't wait :D

    note: the real problem as I see it, is that gate watch sounds much better that watch gate. :confused:
  18. NeXT MacRumors macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Which one should I get? Also is the $200 price difference worth it for sapphire glass, steel, and exchangeable straps?
  19. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Knowing nothing about you, I think you should consider the Edition.
  20. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    I concur, you'd be a Romulan to get anything but the Edition. Anyone with logic WILL buy the Edition.

  21. jaymc macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2012
    Port Orchard, WA
    Also the difference between the composite vs ceramic back - what's the difference anyway?
  22. profmatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2015
    This is basically the question everyone is asking. Having read all the threads and all the reviews I am well placed to give you the definitive answer.

    No-one knows.

    Seriously. I'm not being mean like the other posters. No-one knows how scratchable either watch is. We all assume the SS will be better because it costs more.

    Personally I can't decide which one looks better.

    I've become paralysed by choice.

    But enough about me.

    Which do you like the look of? Can you afford it? Yes? Buy that one? No? Which is your second best pick? Can you afford that one? Etc.
  23. AJsAWiz macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2007
    Sport Watch

    I've been waffling back and forth between the Watch and Sport until the pricing information came out Monday.

    Now, I'm back on the Sport bandwagon for a couple of reasons. The lower price and the lighter weight aluminum case. Even though I plan on wearing this watch most of the time, I would like the lighter case for cycling and other fitness activities. The only other decision for me would be the case size. Since my wrist is 154 mm, either case would probably fit fine (according to the sizing information on the Apple Store). I would like the 42 mm and be willing to pay $50 more if the larger screen size would be beneficial

    So, my choice would be for the Sport Watch in Space Grey with the black band.

    That said, this is an individual choice based on that individual's needs and/or desire. No one would know, better than you, which model would be best for you. After all it's your money. Now, if someone is buying it for you that's a horse of different color.
  24. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    I vote Watch Sport. It's the more premium of the two.

    Slightly less scratch resistant, but much more impact resistant glass.
    Lighter weight.
    Steel is so 5 years ago iPhone stuff, Aluminum is the modern kid on the block.


    They all have exchangeable straps, yes, even Sport.
  25. lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2007

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