Hands-on with the new ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 2

“Today we’re taking a look at the new Apple Watch Edition. This year, Apple switched it up and ditched the all gold models in favor of ceramic,” Dom Esposito writes for 9to5Mac. “Why ceramic you might ask? Well first off, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than solid gold, but it’s also four times stronger than stainless steel, which makes it the most scratch resistant Apple Watch available.”

“Obviously this slick Ceramic white isn’t for everyone, but it’ll look good with just about any band that’s not metallic,” Esposito writes. “It’s white so it’ll go with anything, but that all depends on how flashy you want to be. My favorite combo is definitely the Leather Loop; the white and black piano look is just excellent.”

“Apple Watch is definitely one of the best smartwatches out there and this model is especially brilliant in terms of its beauty. I definitely can’t recommend buying it over standard Apple Watches for obvious reasons. I mean it starts at $1249,” Esposito writes. “It’s totally awesome and quite rugged, but you can get the same functionality for much less if you don’t care for the ceramic look.”

 
Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Apple Watch Edition Series 2’s White Ceramic Case certainly is gorgeous and it looks much better in person – the photos online don’t do it justice.

10 Comments

  1. the $1,500 range is the perfect price point for a higher end Apple watch. The gold version was complete stupidity. if Angela Ahrendts was behind that decision she wasn’t doing her job correctly. They aren’t making Rolex’s. I wonder if they’re using the watch to test out ceramics for the next iPhone???

    1. We may never know how many gold Apple watches were sold, but sales was never the point. I doubt any of us here, or the reporter writing the story, know anyone who bought the gold watch, but we are all still talking about it. The gold watch was a statement piece: Apple was getting into wrist wear meant for an audience far broader than tech geeks.

    2. It would have to be a composite of the material used in the watch bc of weight. They have filed patents for a ceramic phone, but what haven’t they filed a patent for?

  2. Warning: Misleading headline and article.

    For wrist jewelry, ceramic is probably a reasonable choice for underbody material. Nevertheless, ceramic is ** not ** 4 times stronger than stainless steel.

    Ceramics, in general, can be made to be *harder* than common metals. They work fine in compression. But the downside is that even though harder materials are relatively more scratch resistant, they can also be much more brittle. There are no consumer grade ceramics that are more rugged than common stainless steels are. None.

    What the user actually cares about in the long run is a combination of cost, weight, hardness, and fracture toughness.

    Since the gold Apple Watch was a predictable sales failure, it has been replaced by a new model that has low cost, heavy weight (“feels expensive”, like the fake weights Beats uses on its more expensive headphones). Hardness might be nice, but fracture toughness has yet to be proven. I would recommend not dropping it. If you are an active user, go for the steel model.

    1. Wired had an interesting article on the hardness of the ceramics used in the Apple Watch saying:

      Ceramics are brittle because they’re loaded with irregularly distributed pores. These air pockets make ceramics lighter, but they’re structural weak points. Some ceramics, like bricks, have large pores. “The larger the pore, the easier it is to break,” Greer says. If you’ve ever broken a ceramic vase or some such, the break probably originated at a pore.

      Watchmakers use a ceramic material with very fine pores. It’s called zirconia (zirconium oxide, for the chemists reading), and it’s simultaneously hard and resistant to cracking. It also resists changes in temperature and moisture, which is why surgeons often use it in hip-replacement prosthetics. To bolster its strength (and achieve that bright, white color) Apple added alumina, another ceramic. The result is a material that’s pretty much un-scratchable, and, under most circumstances, unbreakable.

      Is it impossible to break? No. “But you’ll probably never experience forces that are high enough to cause fracture,” Greer says. That may be true, but at $1,250 it’s best to not test that theory.

      https://www.wired.com/2016/09/apples-new-high-end-watch-crazy-tough-ceramics-baby/all/1

      1. Yes, like all materials, ceramics have been improving with time. But the reason that ceramics are used in medical implants is a bit more complicated — some of the hardest toughest metals simply aren’t compatible with the human body. Ceramics work fine in compression and as a bearing surface that takes no drop loads, so there you go.

        As for a watch — for many people, it’s a max 4 year investment anyway. If it shatters like an old iPhone screen, they will just buy another one to replace it. We live in a disposable era, sadly.

        1. Ceramic is an interesting choice. The main benefit is scratch resistance. Very useful in a high-end mechanical watch that will last a lifetime. But the average life of this device is maybe 3-4 years. Not long enough for the scratch resistance to really shine (no pun intended). Still, it looks amazing. Perhaps that’s enough reason to buy this premium version.

      2. Wired is correct, but the guy above discusses the fact that the reviewer in the video confuses concepts of hardness and strongness.

        Ceramics (even the best one) is much weaker than steel, not stronger. However, it is few times harder.

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