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Is Apple Watch Scratch Resistant? Let’s Find Out


An Apple Watch’s screen real estate is bigger than some smartwatches. Furthermore, the display is so clear that you can view clear details even under direct sunlight. But is Apple Watch scratch resistant?

Generally, an Apple Watch display is scratch-resistant. Some models, and especially those made of Sapphire crystal glass, can stand up to accidental drops and keep performing. However, these watches are not scratchproof, which means they can scratch easily if they drop on hard surfaces.

To be abundantly clear, every Apple Watch model has a series of layers for the display. If you notice scratches on the screen, it’s likely on the outer coating of the screen.

It’s normal for the coating to wear out under normal use. And it might scratch without affecting the state and performance of the screen underneath.

Do Apple Watch Screens Scratch Easily?

Apple Watch screens feature ion-x and sapphire glass build, making them the most durable displays if well maintained. They do hold up quite well in harsh environment, and they can stand up to occasional accidental drops.

Take the Apple Watch Series 8, for example.

It boasts of the most crack and scratch-resistant crystal front that protects the screen underneath from abrasive materials that could cause cracks and scratches. And it’s apparently one of the most durable smartwatches in Apple’s collection. 

However, scratch-resistant doesn’t mean scratchproof. The display can break if the screen hits a hard surface, with the Aluminum models scratching more easily than the Titanium and the Stainless Steel.

I’m not casting a spell that your Apple Watch will fall off and hit a hard surface. But it can happen, anyways.

And since prevention is better than having a cracked or scratched screen, it would be best to use a screen protector for Apple Watch to keep the display in the best condition possible.

Scratches vs Cracks on Apple Watch: What’s the Difference?

Scratches and cracks on the Apple Watch display don’t mean the same thing.

Let me explain:

If someone says their Apple Watch screen has scratches, they mean the screen has sustained marketing, which, in most cases, are shallow cuts on the screen.

But because they tend to look odd on a smartwatch that should supposedly be classy, scratches require buffing with paste to restore the quality of the display.

Cracks, on the other hand, is a sign than an Apple Watch screen has sustained deep cuts. Apparently, cracks can make your Apple Watch touchscreen fail to respond to taps and swipe.

If your Apple Watch display has cracks, the only solution is to get a new screen for replacement.

Causes of Cracks and Scratches on Apple Watch Screen

The following are the possible reasons to explain why your Apple Watch screen most likely has a scratch:

1. Placing Your Apple Watch on Abrasive Surfaces

Where do you place your Apple Watch when you take it off?

If you’re the kind that places the smartwatch on any surface after a long day out, there’s a high chance you might even have placed it on abrasive surface.

Such surfaces have small particles of sand and stones, which can easily scratch the screen of your Apple Watch.

My advice is simple, really.

Don’t be the “I’ll place my watch anywhere I want” type of person.

Placing the device on a table, sofa, and office desk with the display facing upwards or sideways can go a long way to keep the screen in the best condition possible.

2. Accidentally Dropping Your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 5, 6, 7, SE, 8, or Ultra can get scratches – possibly even crack – if it drops on a hard surface.

Such drops while adjusting the straps as you run or cycle are hardly ever intention, but they can affect the overall quality and performance of the device.

You don’t have to worry that the screen broke if the watch dropped. It just might be in good condition regardless.

Still, given that accidental drops isn’t something you plan for, it’s best to ensure they never happen in the first place.

3. Beaching

If you are an Apple Watch user who loves spending time around the beach, the watch just might develop scratches at one point in time. 

Here’s why:

Beaches are great places to hang out with families and friends. But they’re as full of sand particles of different sizes that can denature the look of your Apple Watch’s display.

Leave your Apple Watch at home before you go to the beach. But if you must bring it with you, consider adding a screen protector to the outer screen. 

How to Fix Scratches on Apple Watch

There is nothing more devastating than seeing scratches or scuffs on your expensive Apple Watch.

But don’t panic, because it’s possible to remove the scratches and scuffs from the watch and make it look like new.

1. Determine the Extent of the Damage

Identifying the extent of the damage goes done to your Apple Watch screen goes beyond knowing the type of screen the device has.

Apple uses Ion-X and Sapphire glasses to make its watches. And while the brand boasts of these materials being scratch and crack resistant, Apple doesn’t guarantee that they’re foolproof.

So regardless of the type of glass your Apple Watch screen is, check the extent of the damage to determine whether the scratch on the surface or gone too deep.

If the scratch is too deep, or you noticed that the screen cracked, the only best solution would be to get a new Apple Watch screen.

2. Use 0.5 Micron Lapping Paste or Micron DP3 Dia-paste

If the scratch on your Apple Watch screen isn’t deep, you can use the 0.5 Micron Lapping or DP3 Dia-paste to remove the scratches from the display.

  • Add a few drops of the paste on the watch’s screen.
  • Use a soft, clean piece of cloth to scrub the paste gently

Keep applying and gently scrubbing the paste until you are satisfied that all the scratches have disappeared.

3. Use a Scratch Remover to Rub the Scratches off the Apple Watch

Another way to repair Apple Watch screen is to use a scratch remover that can get rid of all the visible marks on the display. 

Rolite scratch remover is a good option to consider.

Rolite is a cheap yet extremely powerful paste that removes P1200 and finer scratches, including abrasion marks.

The result is a better gloss finish that makes your screen look as if it were new.

To use this scratch remover: 

  • Remove the bands off your Apple Watch.
  • Apply a tape around the body of the watch to prevent the paste from flowing to other parts of the watch.
  • Apply the polish on the surface of your Apple Watch.
  • Use a soft cloth to buff the scratches off the screen.

And that’s it.

You’re done.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Apple Watch Still Waterproof with Scratch?

Whether an Apple Watch is waterproof or not with scratches depends on the extent of the scratch sustained.

A shallow scratch on your Apple Watch isn’t something to worry about at all, as the device is more than likely still water-resistant up to a depth of 50 meters.

Deep scratches are a whole lot altogether, because water, especially at great pressure, can penetrate through deep scratches, get to the vital parts of the watch, and damage the inner components.

Final Thoughts

You’re going to tap and swipe on your Apple Watch’s screen more times than you can count in a day. So avoiding scratches to its entirety is almost impossible.

No matter how Apple assures you that their watches are scratch resistant, you can still end up with some visible scratches on your watch.

A solution I’ve found to keep Apple Watch screen from developing scratches is by adding a screen protector on the outer coating.

The protector adds a layer of protection, giving you the peace of mind that your watch won’t develop scratches from every day use. 

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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