Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: Which should you buy?
With Apple Watch Series 7 in titanium and stainless steel, we have the option for the harder metal casing. The biggest difference is that titanium has a brushed finish, which hides scratches, but it doesn't come in gold.
- Brushed finish hides microabrasions
- Available in silver or space black colors
- Subtle color is less flashy
- No gold option
- More expensive
The stainless steel Apple Watch is the shiniest metal option for Apple Watch. The gold model almost looks like a luxury watch, and it's the only case material you can get with the Hermés design. Too bad those scratches are so obvious.
- Polished look
- Comes in silver, gold, and graphite colors
- Available for Hermés
- Cheaper starting price
- Shows scratches easier
The titanium and stainless steel versions of the Apple Watch Series 7 are nearly identical in every way. They both come in 41mm or 45mm sizes, and they are both made of harder metal than the aluminum Apple Watch. The differences are minor but might make all the difference in what you decide to buy.
Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: What are the differences?
For Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium, the case materials are so identical that there's no reason for me to lay the details out in a pretty little table, but I'm going to anyway, just to show you how similar they both are.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Titanium Apple Watch||Stainless steel Apple Watch|
|Screen material||Sapphire crystal||Sapphire crystal|
|Back material||Sapphire crystal and ceramic||Sapphire crystal and ceramic|
Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: Brushed vs. polished
One of the most significant deciding factors for most people will be whether to get the brushed metal look of the titanium Apple Watch Series 7 case or the polished look of the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 7. There are a couple of things to consider.
Do you worry about minor scuffs and scratches? If so, the brushed titanium hides micro-abrasions better. The high shine of stainless steel tends to reveal the slightest of scratches, slightly dulling the look over time. Do you want your Apple Watch to look as much like a piece of fine jewelry as possible? The polished stainless steel is more akin to the kind of luxury accessories you'll find at your local jewelers.
Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: Gold or not
Gold is hugely popular for Apple products, and in some cases, a rarity. The Apple Watch Series 7 is an example of that. You can get it in gold if you choose the aluminum or stainless steel models, but the titanium Apple Watch doesn't come in gold. If you're representing gold across all your Apple devices and don't want to break up the matched set, the stainless steel model is more your style.
Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: Hermés or go home
For those high-fashion fanatics, there's only one option. You can't get the Hermés Apple Watch (with the special watch face) in anything but stainless steel. Of course, if you don't care whether you have the official Hermés watch face, you can just buy a Hermés band to go with the Titanium Apple Watch.
There are plenty of beautiful third-party styles that you might think are the best Apple Watch bands anyway. So, you shouldn't worry too much about buying an Hermés Apple Watch.
Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: Price differential
The starting price of the stainless steel Apple Watch is $100 lower than the starting price of the titanium model, so if $100 more is a deal-breaker for you, don't get the titanium Apple Watch.
That being said, the only stainless steel Apple Watches that costs $699 are the ones that come with either the Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, or Sport Loop, so if you're planning on getting a leather band or Milanese Loop (or Hermés brand), you're upping the cost anyway.
Apple Watch stainless steel vs. titanium: Which should you get?
Your decision to go with stainless steel or titanium comes down to the following decisions. Do you want brushed or polished metal? Do you want it in gold? Do you want a Hermés watch face? Does $100 make a difference in your decision?
If you want the brushed metal look but something stronger than aluminum, then the titanium Apple Watch Series 7 is for you. If you want polished metal, a Hermés band, or simply want a strong metal for $100 cheaper than titanium, then the stainless steel watch is for you.
If you want the brushed metal look but want a harder metal than aluminum, titanium is the Superman of Apple Watches.
Polished metal may be your look. Gold may be your color. Hermés may be your style. If so, it's stainless steel for you!
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Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.