Is the sapphire of the Apple Watch Series 3 better than glass?

Peter, 26 September 2017

The base Apple Watch Series 3 comes with the same ion-strengthened glass that the iPhones use. The pricier Edition model has sapphire crystal instead, which is harder and more scratch resistant. But are all sapphires the same?

JerryRigEverything set out to test this, using a $300 Tissot watch as a control (which also has sapphire crystal). The results? Well, here’s the video and there spoilers are below it.

While Apple is indeed using sapphire, it’s not the best quality. Impurities make it more fragile than the sapphire crystal used on a typical Swiss watch.

The same test performed on an iPhone 7 (ion-strengthened glass) showed scratches at a Mohs hardness of 6. This means that Apple’s sapphire crystal isn’t any tougher than its scratch resistant glass (the Tissot meanwhile scratched at level 8).

A crash course on the Mohs scale: each level is twice as hard as the previous level. That means that Mohs 8 is four times as hard as Mohs 6.

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Reader comments

  • Swede

Thanks a lot for all the good work you are doing!

  • ME

Does GSMArena knows that there are many more gadgets in the world but this ugly ladies smartwatch?, Look at your mane page ... apple apple apple iwatch apple iwatch apple.

  • AnonD-704238

I am not saying this is the case, but I know a lot of high-end watches, more expensive and better than that $300 Tissot, that have an anti-refective layer on top of saphire (and bellow), so you can scratch that layer, but no saphire, with a below 9 M...