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


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. in front of me today I have the $1,300 series 3 Apple watch the one with a 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 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 scratch well sapphire they put on their camera lenses there’s literally only one way to find out let’s get started the presentation inside this box is rather exquisite there is a definite premium feel emanating from the packaging the back of the watch lists its build materials sapphire and ceramic pretty premium stuff top-of-the-line construction I purchased another pure sapphire crystal T so 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 its own against my most hardness picks this 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 its place on the scale normal glasses of 5.

5 so we see most smartphone screen scratching at level 6 since something can only be scratched by a material harder than itself sapphire crystal like on one of T so spree Miam 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 most pic finally reaching a level 6 this is normally where we would see regular glass star 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 crystal on the T so 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 we have yet another line on the sapphire crystal surface of the $1,300 Apple watch sapphire while a premium material is not exceptionally rare nor does it need to be that expensive this TSO watch only costs about $300 a $1000 price difference between the two and the Sapphire on the tee so 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 as 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 and did Apple lie to us about their sapphire being sapphire before we grab any pitchforks apples 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 walked 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 S 8 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 the 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 impurity 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 eight in the bottom corner but no marks were made with a level six pick in the top right or seven in the bottom right so no issues with the ceramic it’s normal in all honesty Apple’s version of sapphire is most likely more scratch resistant than just regular glass it’s just not as scratch resistant as sapphire on the tee so watch face or HTC 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 six hundred 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 mark 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 Tisa 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 think about all 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 sapphire is just well unique the rubber seems to be legit though thanks for watching and I’ll see you around

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