I’ve had every Apple Watch that’s been released except for the Series 2, and in each case, I’ve bought the aluminum model. They were less expensive, looked attractive enough and never broke down on me. However, I decided to change things up a bit last fall when the Series 5 was released. I went with the Stainless Steel model to see if the differences justified the extra cost.
My first reason was purely cosmetic. I don’t like the pinkish gold color that’s available on the aluminum Watch models. I bought both to start last year and it just isn’t for me.
The darker, burnished looking gold option for the stainless steel models looks a LOT better, in my opinion. I was a big fan of the original classic gold that was available on the original Apple Watch (a few months after the original release) and the iPhone before it. However, I have to say I like the stainless version of gold better. It’s understated, but beautiful at the same time.
However, $220 extra is a lot to pay for a color choice. The fact that I make a little spare change writing about Apple products softens the blow, but money is far from disposable for me. I needed a little more justification to hang onto a stainless steel Apple Watch, long-term.
I knew that the stainless versions have a reputation for higher durability, which was very appealing for me. I work in a field where I am often in less than hospitable conditions for consumer electronics. Being on my wrist puts my Watch at risk for getting knocked around on metal, concrete and other things I am in close quarters with in my job.
While I have never broken an Apple Watch, I have put my share on scratches and scrapes across the bodies and the screens of previous models. I have always felt compelled to put screen protectors on my aluminum Watches and most of the scratches that I accumulated there were because I hadn’t followed through on that. Thanks to the much harder and more durable sapphire screen on the stainless versions, I decided to leave my Series 5 uncovered right from the start. Despite several significant impacts that had me immediately checking for damage, my Watch’s screen is still scratch and dent free.
The body of my stainless Series 5 has been just as durable. I have hit it against metal, concrete and other hard materials several times over the last year. These impacts would have been enough to leave a mark on my previous Watches, but this one remains unscathed. I know that the stainless version isn’t indestructible, but it does seem to be a better fit for my line of work.
Like I said before, a better color choice alone doesn’t justify $220 extra for a total of $749. However, when combined with the durability that my stainless Series 5 has displayed this year, I do think the end result is worth the extra cost. Whether the Series 6 shows up in a few days or next month, I’ll be sticking with the stainless version this year based on my experience with the Series 5.