Apple Watch cover/screen protector?

Do you use a cover or screen protector on your Apple Watch? Why do you or don’t you?

And if you do, which one do you use?

No, for me it’s a watch, it’s going to get scratched. That said, I have never scratched one, be it an AW or a Garmin. Even had a couple of crashes/falls with them.

I also generally hate screen protectors on anything though. I don’t baby my electronics, but I have never scratched a screen on anything.


Nope, never used on and have only had a few micro scratches on the screen, invisible in normal use. I’m not exactly gentle but I’ve never banged it hard against something.

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I never use one. I’ve always had the basic aluminum watches. Usually they don’t take enough damage to affect resale or desirability for a hand-me-down recipient. The current one is more beat up because it’s a few years old, but I kind of like how it’s worn in, and I’ll still be able to hand it off when I likely get the 10.

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I’ve owned three Apple watches and never used a cover. The space gray aluminum eventually picks up minor scratches but I don’t recall any serious damage to the crystal. In any event I don’t consider the AW jewelry.


I generally use a screen protector as I sell my watch after the first year. I used to buy one for my phone, which has been on a similar cycle, but I have recently been trading in the phone, and I feel less need to be as meticulous. I last bought an 8-pack from Amazon (LK [8 Pack Apple Watch 40mm Screen Protector Compatible with Apple Watch Series 6/5 / SE 2 / SE 40mm Series 7 41mm, Self-Healing TPU Material, Scratch-Resistant, Bubble-Free, Ultra-Thin Film, Clear

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My first Apple Watch was the Series 3 and shortly after getting it I put a huge gash in the screen just walking by a wall. Through the years more gashes. It was still functional, though it bothered me.

When I got the 7 (my current watch) I first put a screen bumper on it. It made this already chunky watch chunkier so I removed that. Then I used a glass screen cover, but it had a black border on it which obscured part of the screen. Eventually I removed that and I’ve been wearing it plain ever since.

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It’s important to note that the the wall was made of brick and crushed diamonds.

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Been there, done that. I can’t remember whether it was my Series 3 or 5. Specially toughened glass is no match for an entire railway station, as it was in my case.

It annoyed me when it caught the light, even though it was right at the top and outside of the display area. It annoyed me more to have to mention it on the sale listing when I got rid of it.

But… I still don’t use protectors. The only damage I have ever done to Apple devices, since 2004:

  • Put a small divet in my iPhone 3G (my first iPhone) screen with car keys in the same pocket. Keys and phone have been separated ever since.
  • Dropped an iPad mini on the concrete of the garage floor, causing a small “flat” on one corner and a slight lifting of the glass. This is one of two Apple devices I have ever stopped using and not sold.
  • Scratched the watch as above.

4 iPods, 5 iPhones, 4 Apple watches, 5 iPads, 3 Mac laptops. Not a bad run.

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This is a key point. As tech products, smartwatches have shelf lives and are ultimately disposable. They’re not like traditional timepieces that you can buy and hand down to your heirs.

The curved crystal on non-ultra Apple Watches combined with their thickness and height likely makes them more vulnerable to damage than most traditional watches, but I’m probably not going to worry about it.

Covers seem like a great idea for people who work in fields like construction and the trades, but for those of us who mostly work at desks and in coffee shops, they’re not a necessity.

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I have never used a cover on either of my Apple Watches and I don’t use screen savers on my other devices either.

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Nope, they look ugly and add extra bulk. My first 3 Apple Watches have all got scratched sooner or later (my new Apple Watch is only a week or so old)

I put a case on my phone though. Which kinda doesn’t make sense, but hey ho.

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Never used them and never had any annoying visible scratches, until recently…

I wear my watch (a standard Series 7 Cellular) 24 hours/day, except when charging. So I’m also using it when riding MTB trials and doing other “dangerous” stuff, without any problems. But then, on the day I bought my iPhone 15 Pro, I accidentally hit a door when boarding a train, resulting in a very visible/deep scratch. Totally ruined that day and I wish I had been using a screen protector…

Oh, and to be honest: I accidentally dropped my Series 0 after removing it from the charger. The screen hit a wheel of my office chair on the fall and scattered into pieces. Total loss! Not sure though whether a protector would have prevented that.

Well, for one thing you’re a lot more likely to drop a phone onto a concrete floor than a watch that’s strapped to your wrist.

Don’t use one and never have. A watch is a tool and meant to be used. Any marginal benefit I would “gain” on resale are lost in aesthetics and weight.

I don’t put protectors on my Omega watches, and I’m certainly not going to on my Apple Watch.


Do you use one on a phone, or skip it for the same reasons?

Living on a house made of diamonds is how I’m
Able to afford two Apple Watches. Now the Vision Pro, on the other hand…

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For the most part, no—I see them as a tool. I don’t care of the case gains a patina. And despite being a very active, fairly rough-and-tumble guy, I’ve yet to damage the crystal on any of my Watches (granted, all three—Series 0, Series 5, and now an Ultra 2—were sapphire).

That said, when I’m doing something particularly destructive like masonry or running a chainsaw, I’ll slap one of these on the U2 just in case. For the S5, I used a similar cover.

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No, I have had the same watch for years. Steel whatever, I use it for time and notifications nothing else. I used to open my Mac with it, but now I use the touch on my Air, it is as easy. I don’t use a case on my iPhone either. Some scratches on both I think I don’t notice. I did break a screen once on a phone that was right at the end of its life anyway…

I will replace my watch if and only if, I can use the same chain mail band, that is a weird choice I made. I probably will get aluminium. I like the steel but in reality it has obsolescence built in and next time I will go cheaper.

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I don’t use it on my phone either, but to be fair I cycle phones pretty frequently. That being said, even if I didn’t I would use them…I don’t like any weight addition to the phone and I’ve found the screens are strong enough.

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