How to protect your Apple Watch from scratches and other damage

Protect your precious timepiece with these tips

Apple Watch Being Scratched with Knife

If you've just shelled out £300 (US$349, AU$499) or more for an Apple Watch you're going to want to keep it in perfect condition for as long as possible.

Not only is it a gorgeous piece of hardware, it's probably the most visible gadget you own, and there's also resale value to consider.

If you'll want to upgrade when the inevitable Apple Watch 2 turns up, the only way to recoup your costs is to make sure it stays in good condition. After all, eBay will be awash with the things after a while.

So, how do you keep your Apple Watch looking new? Here are the rules to stick to, and the accessories to can keep the watch safe and sound.

Consider the Sport Watch, not the more expensive Steel version

How to protect your Apple Watch from scratches and other damage

Here's a surprise: the cheaper aluminium Apple Watch Sport is actually a lot less prone to obvious scratches than the fancier stainless steel version. While you might assume the steel is harder and tougher, it's actually softer than the aluminium used in the entry-level model.

Then there's the finish to consider. Like the rear casing of iPods Classics, the steel Apple Watch has a super-shiny chrome finish that shows off scratches very readily. It almost seems like the little guy is proud of the things.

The Apple Watch Sport has a matt anodised finish, more like current iPhones, and it makes scratches a lot less obvious.

There is an argument that the steel Watch could age a lot better over the years, but then, will we really be using the same Apple Watch 3-4 years down the line?

Use a screen protector

How to protect your Apple Watch from scratches and other damage

The Apple Watch has a pretty tough screen. Its casing is more likely to get damaged than the display. However, a scratch on the screen is going to be far more annoying (you may need primal scream therapy afterwards).

Avoid therapy bills with a screen protector. Yep, those things we all used to put on our phones are available for Apple Watches.

Most are made from high-grade plastic, but you can also get tempered glass protectors too. These will be much harder than a plastic protector and able to take more abuse before becoming so scratched you'll need to replace them.

This sort of protector is probably of more interest to Apple Watch Sport owners because it has a less scratch-resistant display than the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

Where the Sport uses an Ion-strengthened glass that is very similar to Gorilla Glass, the Watch and Watch Edition have more expensive and tougher Sapphire Crystal screens.

Get an Apple Watch skin or case

How to protect your Apple Watch from scratches and other damage

There are other protection options too. First, there are cases. These are usually form-fitting rubbery or hard plastic shells that cover the sides of your Watch without touching either the screen or the rear.

This won't change the way you interact with your Watch, while also adding as little bulk as possible. Some models also completely cover the screen too, though, this can affect the feel of the touchscreen. Make sure you know what you're getting before heading to the checkout.

This kind of accessory will protect you from most scratches while also offering some impact resistance, soaking up the force of a collision with the ground, rather than leaving the watch itself to hack it.

A number of the most prolific Watch accessory-makers are already on-board with this kind of protection. Top ones to check out include the Spigen CandyShell, Spigen Thin Fit, X-Doria Defense, Baseus Shell and Orzly Invisicase.