You may think you don't need a protective case for your Apple Watch, until that one time you take it to work and it gets all scratched up. Don't make that mistake.
I love wearing my Apple Watch sans case. It looks good and is easily identifiable as an Apple Watch, which makes me feel like I'm part of a special club. But, I'm no dummy. I always keep a case or shell nearby in case I want to go on a nature hike, or if I'm doing some house painting. I want to be able to continue wearing my Apple Watch without fear of ruining it's beautiful stainless steel shine.
If you feel the same way, take a look at these protective cases for Apple Watch. You can wear one all of the time, or only take it out occasionally to keep your Watch protected from the elements.
- Spigen Rugged Armor
- SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro
- Twelve South's ActionSleeve
- Griffin Survivor Tactical Case
- Catalyst Waterproof Case
Spigen Rugged Armor
Name the phone or accessory and, chances are, Spigen makes a case for it — and a great one at that. Things are no different with Spigen's Rugged Armor case for the Apple Watch, which is made from flexible TPU so it feels smooth and comfortable on your wrist.
Stephen Chan of Superphen went hands-on with the Rugged Armor and called attention to the fact that, even though it's thick, it still looks streamline on the Apple Watch.
"The case looks quite cool and nice with the Apple Watch to be honest despite adding thickness to the watch body. It is also very light but less bulky than expected.
It goes on easily and holds tight; you won't feel it wriggling around on your Apple Watch. A metal button covers your Apple Watch's Side Button, but doesn't interfere with functionality, which means the scratchable surfaces are covered all the way around. The Digital Crown is left completely open and is entirely unhindered, thanks to the Rugged Armor's great fit. Though the screen is scratch resistant, Spigen has left nothing to chance, providing you with two screen protectors.
You can get it in black or white and it comes in 42mm and 38mm versions.
SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro
"Rugged" and "SUPCASE" are synonymous, especially when we're talking about their Unicorn Beetle Pro series.
This case has an easy front cover snap-on design, which makes installation a breeze; you don't have to try and slide the straps through flexible silicone. It's made from hard polycarbonate on the outside — to withstand hard bumps and scratches — and soft TPU on the inside, so that it doesn't scratch up your Apple Watch.
All of the necessary buttons are available and the great fit doesn't hinder any sensors, so Activate on Wrist Raise works every time.
You also have the added benefit of a SUPCASE band. Yep, it's a case and a band! It changes the look and feel of your Apple Watch from delicate electronic device to rugged superhero equipment.
I just ordered the SUPCASE myself. I would have had one earlier, but I didn't realize until recently that the company made the SUPCASE for the 38mm Apple Watch. I can't wait to try it on and see how tough I look. I'll let you know if I get any superpowers when I wear it.
Note: SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro does not actually grant superpowers.
i-Blason's pack of soft TPU cases is all about value. You get five in a pack and they're each a different color, including clear — for those who don't want to change the look of their Apple Watch too much.
The flexibility of these cases make them very shock-absorbent and quite comfortable. They leave the Side Button and Digital Crown totally open, so there's no worry of any type of interference. It's more of a protective shell than a full case.
My mom loves these cases. She actually changes them out almost every day to match whatever outfit she is wearing. She loves that they are cute, but also protect her Apple Watch from scrapes and scuffs. They are so inexpensive that you can have fun with the colors and mix-and-match them with your various colored Sport bands.
There are options for both 42mm and 38mm Apple Watches. Just make sure you're buying the right size at checkout.
Twelve South's ActionSleeve
If you're a heavy lifter, contact sport enthusiast, or don't have a wrist to wear an Apple Watch on, you will be happy to see what Twelve South has to offer. The ActionSleeve is an armband fitted with a silicon outer frame to protect your watch's casing. It has an adjustable neoprene strap for a flexible, but snug fit. The armband is designed to allow you to keep your wrists free for contact sport activities, but will still monitor your heart rate (and maybe even more accurately) while you move.
If you've always wanted to be able to use your Apple Watch while punching a bag, lifting weights, or playing rugby but don't want it getting in the way, check out the ActionSleeve. It'll keep track of your fitness while staying away from your wrist.
Griffin Survivor Tactical Case
This thick, protective outer casing for the Apple Watch is a complete protection powerhouse. It is designed to absorb impact and includes a cover for the screen, which does not limit touch screen usage. It actually covers the Digital Crown on top, while leaving the bottom exposed, to keep out dirt and provide protection from getting whacked on the wrist.
When it first came out, Mobile Reviews took the Survivor Tactical Case for a test drive and noted the unique design.
The most noticeable feature of the Griffin Survivor Tactical Case for the Apple Watch is the design of the case and the digital crown.
It adds a lot of bulk to your Apple Watch, but for people that work in construction, or some other industry where dirt, dust, or paint falls from above regularly, the Survivor Tactical is a great protective cover from the elements.
It comes in black, neon green, white, and coral. It is only available for the 42mm Apple Watch.
Catalyst Waterproof Case
Catalyst makes the ultimate waterproof cases for your gadgets and it paid special attention to creating the perfect waterproof case for the Apple Watch. The Series 1 (and Series 0) Apple Watches are not waterproof. They are water resistant. With the Catalyst, you can jump right into the deep end. It is rated at 5ATM and you can go as deep as 50 meters under water with it.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "But, I have the Apple Watch Series 2 and it's already waterproof." It may be waterproof, but with the new, updated version of Catalyst for Series 2, you can swim as deep as 100 meters under water!
The case is multi-layered and specially designed to absorb the shock from drops as high as six feet.
Catalyst uses a special touch-sensitive membrane on its waterproof cases that make it possible to use such features as Touch ID and heart rate detection. I have a Catalyst for my iPhone and can attest to its usability with Touch ID.
Seriously, if the Catalyst were available for the 38mm Apple Watch, I'd have one on my wrist right now. Luckily, the Series 2 version does come in 38mm and is expected to launch by March 2017.
You can get the Series 1 version for 42mm on Amazon today.
Do you use a case with your Apple Watch? If so, which one and why does it work for you?
Updated January 2017.