Scratching the $1300 dollar Apple Watch – is it really ‘Sapphire’?

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In front of me today I have the $1,300 dollar
series 3 Apple watch – the one with the special red dot on the side. This particular box contains the most premium
version made from a sapphire screen and ceramic body. And because of these premium materials, the
price jumps considerably compared to the $329 dollar base model. Is it worth it? And more importantly, is Apple using pure
sapphire on their watch this time around? Or is it the same sratchable sapphire they
put on their camera lenses? There's literally only one way to find out.

Let's get started. [Intro] The presentation inside this box is rather
exquisite. There is a definite premium feel emanating
from the packaging. The back of the watch lists it's build materials:
sapphire and ceramic. Pretty premium stuff. Top of the line construction. I purchased another pure sapphire crystal
Tissot watch to test as well, and I'll be honest, it hurts me more to scratch the Tissot
than it does the Apple watch. Let's hope the Apple watch can hold it's own
against my Mohs hardness picks. The Mohs hardness scale has been used to differentiate
between minerals for over 200 years, with talc powder being a level 1, and diamonds
being the hardest at a level 10.

Every mineral has it's place on the scale. Normal glass is a 5.5, so we see most smartphones
scratching at a level 6, since something can only be scratched by a material harder than
itself. Sapphire crystal, like on one of Tissot's
premium high-end watches, scratches at a level 8 or 9. Even HTC managed to use real sapphire on one
of their HTC U Ultra sapphire edition displays. That was pretty impressive. I've been slowly working my way around the
numbers of the watch face with each corresponding Mohs pick, finally reaching a level 6. This is normally where we would see regular
glass start scratching.

Sapphire should still be immune to this pick,
but we start seeing permanent marks on the surface of the Apple watch. The pure sapphire crustal on the Tissot watch
is still impervious to the scratching. I've even been wearing this watch for a while
now and there are zero blemishes. Let's bump it up to a level 7 and see what
happens. And yet we have another line on the sapphire
crystal surface of the $1,300 dollar Apple watch. Sapphire, while a premium material, is not
exceptionally rare, nor does it need to be that expensive. This Tissot watch only costs about $300 dollars
– a $1,000 dollar price difference between the two.

And the sapphire on the Tissot watch gets
no damage from the level 7 pick in the exact same lighting. It looks pristine. Finally, let's take it up a notch to level
8, where sapphire should normally start to scratch. And here is another mark on the Apple watch. Giving Tissot a turn with the same level 8
pick is where we finally start to get a reaction. Damage has been done at a level 8 – right
where we would expect sapphire to be. So what does this mean? Did Apple lie to us about their sapphire being
sapphire? Before we grab any pitchforks, Apple's not
lying. This tool detects heat conductivity in gemstones,
sapphire and diamonds being some of those gems.

And the display of this series 3 Apple watch
registers as a gemstone, which means that the sapphire is present, the same way that
this Tissot watch registers. Glass however, like on this iPhone 8, transfers
heat differently and does not register as a gemstone. This means that the Apple watch does have
sapphire in it. I tested the lens on my Galaxy S8, which is
also made from glass, and it has no reading on the diamond selector tool. But the sapphire camera lens of the iPhone
8 does register.



So if the iPhone 8 camera lens and Apple watch
screen are registering as sapphire, why do they scratch at an earlier level than they
should? I studied a cross section of the camera lens
under an electron microscope and made a whole video about this subject which I'll link in
the video description of this one. I found that the camera lens is made from
aluminum oxide, which is sapphire, but has impurities, while the Tissot scan came out
as an aluminum oxide as well, but with no impurities. So Apple is using sapphire, but in my opinion,
it's not as pure as it should be – hence the fracturing and the damaging that happens
earlier than it should.

Checking the ceramic body shows that it scratches
at a level 8 in the bottom corner, but no marks were made with a level 6 pick in the
top right, or 7 in the bottom right. So no issues with the ceramic – it's normal. In all honestly, Apple's version of sapphire
is most likely more scratch resistant than regular glass. It's just not as scratch resistant as sapphire
on the Tissot watch face, or HTC's sapphire screen on the Ultra.

I think the Apple watch is revolutionary and
truly a fantastic invention legitimately shaping the future of wearables. I'm not saying don't buy the Apple watch,
but you might be better off buying the base version, as it does the same thing, and save
yourself a thousand dollars. The stainless steel has sapphire in it as
well at $600 dollars – just don't buy it specifically for the sapphire It did occur to me that the permanent fractures
that appear on the watch could be from the oleophobic coating that covers the surface
of the screen.

When I've done my burn test on the 75 different
smartphones on my channel, the flame always removes any oleophobic coating in the spot
that's burning. So in theory, if the oleophobic coating is
scratched and then evaporates, the marks should be gone. As I remove the flame from the Apple watch,
the marks remain and don't rub off. Oleophobic or not, the marks are permanent. And here is the Tissot watch one more time
in the exact same lighting and the exact same zoom on my camera, with no markings at a level
6 or 7.

So what do you guys thing about all of this? Let me know down in the comments, and remember,
I'm just one guy with one watch, but I have a pretty solid sample size of scratch phones
and watches on my channel. And Apple's sapphire is just, well, unique. The rubber seems to be legit though. Thanks a ton for watching, and I'll see you
around..

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