The stainless steel Apple Watch and the higher-end Edition variant come with a sapphire crystal display, according to Apple itself. However, there’s a lot of debate going around, with a good portion of fans and non-fans alike, suggesting that sapphire crystal on a device of this nature is a pure gimmick, and not really the material which Apple alleges it to be.
One thing is pretty clear, the glass on the Apple Watch Sport is more scratch prone than the panels on the other two higher-end models. The Sport model comes with an Ion-X glass panel, the same used in the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the latest iPad Air 2. So what’s on the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition really? This video from Unbox Therapy should finally help settle the sapphire crystal vs. non-sapphire crystal debate once and for all.
In the video, sapphire crystal comes face-to-face with a diamond tester, which simply tests for conductivity of various materials. Where standard glass should not provide any reading, the tester should be able to offer readings on the sapphire crystal based on its conductivity.
In the video, the stainless steel Apple Watch is compared to a traditional $300 Tissot watch, which also carries a sapphire crystal panel. Among other items thrown into the comparison are the iPhone 6, LG G Watch R, and an Ion-X panel from the Apple Watch Sport. Naturally, the diamond tester offered no readings from all these gadgets, but the Tissot and Apple Watch had a different story to tell. The Tissot watch resulted in a reading of 8 on the scale, which is the highest you would get. As for the Apple Watch, it followed up with an 8 as well.
So there you have it, the stainless steel Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition both sport a sapphire crystal panel, just like the one you will find on traditional luxury watches – gimmick-free. One of the biggest reasons why people doubted the existence of sapphire crystal on the Apple Watch was because of the manufacturing process, where the rounded edges design has never been seen before. As the video explains, the process of manufacturing a sapphire crystal panel is much more complex than we can imagine, and Apple has literally re-written that process with this unique design.
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