New hotness

Titanium Apple Watch Series 5

Shiny metal

Stainless steel Apple Watch Series 5

Now that Apple Watch comes in titanium, we have two options 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.

From $799 at Apple

Pros

  • Brushed finish hides microabrasions
  • The newest material for Apple Watch

Cons

  • No gold option
  • More expensive

The stainless steel Apple Watch may be an "old" look, but it's still the shiniest on the block. 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.

From $699 at Apple

Pros

  • Polished look
  • Comes in gold
  • Available for Hermés
  • Cheaper starting price

Cons

  • Shows scratches easier

The titanium and stainless steel versions of Apple Watch Series 5 are nearly identical in every way. They both come in 40mm or 44mm 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.

Titanium vs. stainless steel: What are the differences?

The two different material cases 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.

Titanium Apple Watch Stainless steel Apple Watch
Starting price $799 $699
Weight 35.1g (40mm)
41.7g (44m)
39.8g (40mm)
47.8g (44m)
Screen material Sapphire crystal Sapphire crystal
Back material Sapphire crystal and ceramic Sapphire crystal and ceramic
GPS-only No No
Finish Brushed Polished
Colors Silver
Space black
Silver
Space black
Gold

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 case or the polished look of the stainless steel Apple Watch. 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.

One last thing to consider is whether showing off the newest Apple device matters to you. If you're sporting the brushed titanium Apple Watch, everyone will know you're wearing the lasted model.

Gold or not

Gold is hugely popular for Apple products, and in some cases, a rarity. The Series 5 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.

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.

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 Sport Band or the Sport Loop, so if you're planning on getting a leather band or Milanese Loop (or Hermés brand), you're upping the cost anyway.

Bottom line

Your decision to go with titanium comes down to these 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? Actually, let me add one more. Do you want everyone to know that you're wearing the latest Apple Watch by just looking at the case?

Newest look

Apple Watch Series 5 Titanium

If you want all your friends to know you're wearing this year's model, titanium screams, "I'm new!"

Shiniest metal

Apple Watch Series 5 Stainless Steel

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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