Will Space Gray Aluminum color wear or chip off with dings?

amitdoc2b

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 25, 2008
872
12
Let's face it.. dings here and there are unavoidable, especially in busy cities like NYC where people bump into each other. It happens all the time even now with my current watch. My current watch is an Oakley Minute Machine (Diamond Edition) that has Sapphire Crystal display.

I'm currently considering to get an Apple Watch because it would be something less costly that I can wear daily on non-fancy occasions. Considering it's a first generation product and we don't know how often they'll update it (maybe annually or every 2 years), I didn't want to go all out because technology gets outdated..that's different than my current watch I have had for 7 years.

Hence, I wanted to get the Sport Watch in Space Gray (42mm) for $399. I don't want the sports strap though, so I planned to get a leather one for another $149 more. That would make the watch about $548 before taxes. However, my concern was the Ion-X possibly being prone to scratches, but more importantly that the Space Gray coating may come off when the watch has some unavoidable dings.. especially in the summer when it's not covered in a long sleeve shirt or jacket.

Considering this, I looked into the $699 version of the Apple Watch with the leather strap and sapphire crystal. For just an extra $151, it solves my two concerns (chipping, if it really does happen?) and potential scratches on the face. However, it causes 1 new problem.. which is that I was actually looking forward to the Space Gray color so now I will have to live with my second color choice on top of paying $151 more. Obviously, since I was looking not to spend too much for this watch, I am not willing to go the $1099 Space Gray stainless steel/sapphire model.

Considering this scenario, what do you fellow Apple enthusiasts suggest?

$548: Space Grey aluminum (will it chip off the color?) + leather strap
$699: Silver (with Sapphire) + leather strap but lose the Space Gray color I wanted

Thanks! :)
 

czecho7

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2010
100
1
Let's face it.. dings here and there are unavoidable, especially in busy cities like NYC where people bump into each other. It happens all the time even now with my current watch. My current watch is an Oakley Minute Machine (Diamond Edition) that has Sapphire Crystal display.

I'm currently considering to get an Apple Watch because it would be something less costly that I can wear daily on non-fancy occasions. Considering it's a first generation product and we don't know how often they'll update it (maybe annually or every 2 years), I didn't want to go all out because technology gets outdated..that's different than my current watch I have had for 7 years.

Hence, I wanted to get the Sport Watch in Space Gray (42mm) for $399. I don't want the sports strap though, so I planned to get a leather one for another $149 more. That would make the watch about $548 before taxes. However, my concern was the Ion-X possibly being prone to scratches, but more importantly that the Space Gray coating may come off when the watch has some unavoidable dings.. especially in the summer when it's not covered in a long sleeve shirt or jacket.

Considering this, I looked into the $699 version of the Apple Watch with the leather strap and sapphire crystal. For just a $151, it solves my two concerns (chipping, if it really does happen?) and potential scratches on the face. However, I was actually looking forward to the Space Gray color so now I will have to live with my second color choice on top of paying $151 more. Obviously, since I was looking not to spend too much for this watch, I am not willing to go the $1099 Space Gray stainless steel/sapphire model.

Considering this scenario, what do you fellow Apple enthusiasts suggest?

$548: Space Grey aluminum (will it chip off the color?) + leather strap
$699: Silver (with Sapphire) + leather strap but lose the Space Gray color I wanted

Thanks! :)
Yea, I think that the color of the Space Gray Sport will definitely scrape off if it's hit or scraped against something to hard.

Having said that, it's very likely that over time either watch will show signs of scratches, especially since the Stainless Steel version is so polished.

I was wondering the same thing as you, and I decided that I would go with the Space Gray Sport, since it is the first generation and I don't want to spend so much, so I'll try to be as careful as I can and live with whatever scratches or dings happen. Hopefully it won't scratch too easily.
 

amitdoc2b

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 25, 2008
872
12
Yea, I think that the color of the Space Gray Sport will definitely scrape off if it's hit or scraped against something to hard.

Having said that, it's very likely that over time either watch will show signs of scratches, especially since the Stainless Steel version is so polished.

I was wondering the same thing as you, and I decided that I would go with the Space Gray Sport, since it is the first generation and I don't want to spend so much, so I'll try to be as careful as I can and live with whatever scratches or dings happen. Hopefully it won't scratch too easily.
Thanks for your reply. I can live with some scratches on the silver, but could not live with scratches on the face or the Space Gray color scraping off. I think the color chipped off would be more noticeable than some scratches on the silver. But I like the Space Gray color much more, but would have to accept Silver as my color (but I gain Sapphire) for $151 more. It's quite a dilemma because even though I pay extra, I don't necessarily get everything I want based on the combinations available. Ideally, I would have liked the Space Gray with Sapphire Crystal with a leather strap for $699.
 

Wallabe

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
660
205
Whatever you get, it'll be outdated soon enough. Get the one you're reasonably comfortable with. When the new models come out, people will have the newer version, while you're stuck with the first generation that you paid close to $1000, including bands you bought for it, and you're hard-pressed to upgrade.

Aluminum will scratch, stainless steel will scratch, gold will scratch. Pick your poi$on.

;)
 
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amitdoc2b

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 25, 2008
872
12
Whatever you get, it'll be outdated soon enough. Get the one you're reasonably comfortable with.

Aluminum will scratch, stainless steel with scratch, gold will scratch. Pick your poi$on.

;)
But does Space Gray color scrape off easily? That's more of my bigger concern than the scratches themselves.
 

Wallabe

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
660
205
But does Space Gray color scrape off easily? That's more of my bigger concern than the scratches themselves.
No one really knows until they have it in their hands and they show it on youtube. Will the scratches show? Definitely.

Here's an old video on one of Apple's product.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/29/how-anodizing-aluminum-finishes-apples-products/

Apple can say they give it a coating to make it scratch resistant, but if the bump and scratch is hard enough, it will show. As to it being "scraped off", no, this isn't paint, the color is within the aluminum. The color is seeped into the metal itself.

They use this same process for the aluminum watch case. It will scratch, but there is enough of a thickness so you won't see any silver shining through, unless it's a very deep scratch.

For the stainless steel, they just add a layer of carbon. Meaning the silver layer will show on the stainless steel if scratched.

For gold, they use copper in the alloy to give it a rose gold look. It will scratch, but it will be the same color. The whole case is rose gold, not just the surface layer.

Listen to what is said in the videos in this link on the process they used to make the colors.
http://www.apple.com/watch/craftsmanship/
 
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uwdude

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2014
914
462
I have the space grey iPhone 6+, and if they use the same material for the watch, I can tell you that scratches will not expose a silvery layer like the slate iPhone 5 did. The scratches on the iPhone space grey just look grey still.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,118
9,213
It will look like a space grey iPhone , that has been used without a cover. Watches get hit all the time .

----------

I have the space grey iPhone 6+, and if they use the same material for the watch, I can tell you that scratches will not expose a silvery layer like the slate iPhone 5 did. The scratches on the iPhone space grey just look grey still.
That is good to know. It's was real obvious on the 5
 

czecho7

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2010
100
1
Thanks for your reply. I can live with some scratches on the silver, but could not live with scratches on the face or the Space Gray color scraping off. I think the color chipped off would be more noticeable than some scratches on the silver. But I like the Space Gray color much more, but would have to accept Silver as my color (but I gain Sapphire) for $151 more. It's quite a dilemma because even though I pay extra, I don't necessarily get everything I want based on the combinations available. Ideally, I would have liked the Space Gray with Sapphire Crystal with a leather strap for $699.
Yea, I'm concerned about scratches on the Sport watch face as well. I've never scratched any of my iPhones or iPads, but this will definitely be a different situation since the watch face will be so exposed. I'd much rather have the Sapphire screen with the Space Gray as well, and the leather strap is what I have my eye on too.

Overall, I have a feeling that the aluminum and Ion-X glass of the Sport will be pretty strong, and that it'll take some real force to scratch the screen or take off any of the Space Gray color. And I plan on being very cautious when wearing the watch, but accidents or things that are out of my control may still happen.

Ultimately, I'm prioritizing the Space Gray color that I want, as well as the lower cost. And I'll get the leather strap. You just have to decide what the most important aspects are, and make your choice based on that. It sucks, but since the watch combinations are somewhat limited, I think a lot of us will have to make a choice that may not give us everything that we want.
 

czecho7

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2010
100
1
But does Space Gray color scrape off easily? That's more of my bigger concern than the scratches themselves.
As to it being "scraped off", no, this isn't paint, the color is within the aluminum. The color is seeped into the metal itself.

They use this same process for the aluminum watch case. It will scratch, but there is enough of a thickness so you won't see any silver shining through, unless it's a very deep scratch.
Yes, I should've been more clear when saying scraped off. I didn't mean it'll chip off, because the color is not a layer covering the metal, it's a part of the metal itself.

I have a tendency to swing my arms when I walk at a brisk pace, so when I said scraped off, I imagined walking too close to something like a brick wall and accidentally swinging my arm in such a way that the watch scrapes against the brick.

----------

I have the space grey iPhone 6+, and if they use the same material for the watch, I can tell you that scratches will not expose a silvery layer like the slate iPhone 5 did. The scratches on the iPhone space grey just look grey still.
That's great to know, thanks! Can you share any pics of the scratches on your 6+ so we can get an idea of what it might look like on the watch?
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,221
934
San Antonio, TX
I have the space grey iPhone 6+, and if they use the same material for the watch, I can tell you that scratches will not expose a silvery layer like the slate iPhone 5 did. The scratches on the iPhone space grey just look grey still.
Yep, I have some scratches on the back of my space grey iPad and though they are noticeable it's not exposing a lighter silver underneath or anything. They are actually pretty subdued as far as scratches go. I'm definitely getting the space grey Watch.

EDIT: I wear a stainless steel Fossil watch every day currently, and it has some very noticeable scratches. I've worn it for nearly ten years so it holds up, but they are definitely there. I figure on a watch a few scratches are just added character.
 

czecho7

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2010
100
1
Yep, I have some scratches on the back of my space grey iPad and though they are noticeable it's not exposing a lighter silver underneath or anything. They are actually pretty subdued as far as scratches go. I'm definitely getting the space grey Watch.
Awesome, could you share a pic of the scratches on your iPad?
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,221
934
San Antonio, TX
Awesome, could you share a pic of the scratches on your iPad?
I took some pics and will update this post with a link when I get them uploaded. I have to say, though, that under the fluorescent lights of my office they are a bit more noticeable and lighter than they appeared when I was at home and first noticed them last night. Angles and stuff play a part so I took shots from a few angles.

Doesn't change my desire to get the space grey Watch, but I can see why some others might change their minds.

EDIT: http://imgur.com/a/L3zQI
 

sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
2,057
395
The space grey on the iPhone and iPad weathers pretty well, but it does nick and scratch with abuse.

I have no problem with that. I welcome having my tools look like they're actually used.

Speaking personally, I'm not interested in the Watch as jewelry, but rather for its functionality. If you are (and don't mind the weight), then the stainless steel might be a happier purchase over time for you as there is no doubt it will look new longer.

(I hasten to add that there are other good reasons to go for a SS model and don't mean to imply it's only for "jewelry" purposes.)

My current titanium Casio Pathfinder PAW-1300T is a bit banged up by now after about five or six years, with one noticeable scratch on its hardened (but not sapphire) crystal. Good service for a watch, and I love it dearly, and I'd wear it forever if there were no compelling reason to switch to something else. But the Apple Watch's additional functionality has me ready to drop my Casio like a bad habit.
 

czecho7

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2010
100
1
I took some pics and will update this post with a link when I get them uploaded. I have to say, though, that under the fluorescent lights of my office they are a bit more noticeable and lighter than they appeared when I was at home and first noticed them last night. Angles and stuff play a part so I took shots from a few angles.

Doesn't change my desire to get the space grey Watch, but I can see why some others might change their minds.

EDIT: http://imgur.com/a/L3zQI
Awesome, thanks a lot. They don't look too bad at all. This definitely makes me feel like I'm making the right decision with the Space Gray Sport. Thanks again!
 

ChinaRye

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2007
357
214
Washington, DC
This is my main concern. I am not completely sold on the Apple Watch yet, but if I do breakdown and order one, I would go for the aluminum in space grey. But since I can't put the watch in a case, I would be worried about the dings and the color wearing off. This alone would compel me to order the SS instead. Or perhaps wait and hear of user experience. ;)
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,917
Jacksonville, Florida
Just about everything you wear will take hard knocks sooner or later. Can't tell you how many times I have banged my watch on a door casing, etc. I can get the scratches to the watch body buffed out and the crystal is sapphire so my watch stays looking new.

No doubt the Apple watch will be the same the the black finish will get damaged sooner or later.
 

01silver4

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2014
609
116
Florida
Let's face it.. dings here and there are unavoidable, especially in busy cities like NYC where people bump into each other. It happens all the time even now with my current watch. My current watch is an Oakley Minute Machine (Diamond Edition) that has Sapphire Crystal display.

I'm currently considering to get an Apple Watch because it would be something less costly that I can wear daily on non-fancy occasions. Considering it's a first generation product and we don't know how often they'll update it (maybe annually or every 2 years), I didn't want to go all out because technology gets outdated..that's different than my current watch I have had for 7 years.

Hence, I wanted to get the Sport Watch in Space Gray (42mm) for $399. I don't want the sports strap though, so I planned to get a leather one for another $149 more. That would make the watch about $548 before taxes. However, my concern was the Ion-X possibly being prone to scratches, but more importantly that the Space Gray coating may come off when the watch has some unavoidable dings.. especially in the summer when it's not covered in a long sleeve shirt or jacket.

Considering this, I looked into the $699 version of the Apple Watch with the leather strap and sapphire crystal. For just an extra $151, it solves my two concerns (chipping, if it really does happen?) and potential scratches on the face. However, it causes 1 new problem.. which is that I was actually looking forward to the Space Gray color so now I will have to live with my second color choice on top of paying $151 more. Obviously, since I was looking not to spend too much for this watch, I am not willing to go the $1099 Space Gray stainless steel/sapphire model.

Considering this scenario, what do you fellow Apple enthusiasts suggest?

$548: Space Grey aluminum (will it chip off the color?) + leather strap
$699: Silver (with Sapphire) + leather strap but lose the Space Gray color I wanted

Thanks! :)
I think the 42mm SG will be just as durable at: $400, here is why. The pure 7000 series aluminum that Apple is using is already strong. And and then adding magnesium & zinc to it, is like aluminum on steroids. then to finish it off with anodizing making the surface area really hard. The result making more resistant to scratches etc. This reminds me of my 2014 Caad 10 anodized black with carbon fork. After over 5000mi of road use not a scratch, chip, or ding. the bike still look as new as the day i bought it. So for the money i think the sport is really a good buy, especially seeing that it will have the same functions as the others. and i really like the look of the SG with the different color bands. :D