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The first Apple Watch ‘scandal’? Stainless steel model scratched after just three days

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:59PM EST
Watchgate: Apple Watch Stainless Steel Scratches
Image: Chris Smith, BGR

Going through tech news late on Sunday, I noticed on 9to5Mac that some buyers are already complaining that their stainless steel Apple Watch models are suffering from scratches. “Not mine,” I chuckled to myself. Little did I know that, after just three days of using and testing it in the wild, mine would also have scratches of its own. Upon thorough inspection I found the first scratch marks, which left me literally scratching my head about how it could have happened.

Will I have to fly 1,000 miles to return this thing now that it’s scratched? Not so fast, there’s a simple do-it-yourself fix available.

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The Apple Watch should be even more durable than the Sport model. Its body is made of 316L stainless steel, it has a sapphire crystal screen cover and a ceramic back. But that kind of steel will clearly and inevitably scratch.

Even though this is something you can easily fix, and even though it’s too early to call this a Steelgate or Watchgate, it’s definitely understandable if you’re annoyed about the matter.

You can and should take your stainless steel Watch to Apple before taking matters into your own hands and ask them to deal with it. After all, it’s annoying that you paid more for the more durable version of the Apple Watch only to see scratches appear so quickly from regular use. On the other hand, it’s not like Apple can prevent stainless steel from scratching.

What you can do about your Apple Watch when it eventually scratches is either to see a professional watch repairer to buff out the scratches, or do it yourself using affordable metal polish for it that you can find anywhere.

9to5Mac already has a handy video up (see it below), showing how to iron out this problem, every time it appears. However, make sure you pay attention to the available instructions. The publication advises against getting polishing cream into the Watch’s holes and it says you shouldn’t polish the watch too often or else you’ll wear down the stainless steel.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.