Weak glass on Apple Watch SE?

I bought Apple Watch SEs for my wife and myself last month.

I have previously used FitBit Charge, Huawei and Polar smartwatches/fitness trackers and, after 5 years, I’ve never had any problems with scratched displays. The same for my 25 year old Seiko and my 20 year old Casio watches, they have some light scratches, but nothing bad.

After about 2 weeks, I noticed a few fine scratches on my watch, so I ordered screen protectors (Spigen EZ Fit) for the watches. Mine went on without any hassle and I can’t see the scratches under the protector, super!

Then I looked at my wifes watch, when she got home from work. She works in an industrial kitchen and rides a bike to work every day. All 4 corners of the display were severely “scuffed”, the glass was almost mat! And there were a couple of large scratches on the display.

I cleaned it up as best I could and put the protector on, but, because so much glass had been rubbed away, there were air bubbles on 3 corners that couldn’t be gotten rid of and the touch doesn’t work as reliably as it should - it took 4 or 5 attempts to type in her PIN to re-activate the phone… I think it has settled down again now.

She swears, she hasn’t scraped the Watch on any rough surfaces, this seems to be from wearing winter riding gloves and a winter riding jacket, for the most part (the scuffing) - she rides 25KM to work on the bike, so the Watch spends 25KM inside the gloves/jacket, but they aren’t rough and don’t cause her any skin irritation or rashes due to rubbing.

So, the question is, are those Watch displays really made from such poorly protected glass? For something like a watch, that is always going to be prone to knocking off things and being scraped along walls, for example, this seems like a huge mistake in the choice of material. Or is it poor design?

Why do they scratch so badly, compared to other watches, both smart and non-smart?

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Because they are flush IMO. I wear sports/smartwatches when riding and that extra protection of having a bezel does seem to reduce damage. All my watches have scratched bezels but the glass is OK.

The SE is also missing the Ion-X and sapphire glass options I think.

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Yes, that was my thinking as well, but that the glass can’t stand up to 2 weeks of “normal” use is a bit worrying.

Annoying. I sometimes leave the zip on my left sleeve open on one of my bike jackets if it’s a mucky ride, stops the rubbing (plus I can see the watch.) Surprising how abrasive a fabric can be, especially if wet.

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I got an SE for Christmas 2021 and there are also scratches on it. I wear long sleeves because of the New Hampshire weather so it’s covered most of the time, and still scratched. Very frustrating Apple.

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