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How tough is the Apple Watch 7?

Well, let me put it like this, it's tough, but it could be tougher.

"So, just how tough is the Apple Watch?"

I've been asked this a lot.

I've owned the Apple Watch Series 7 since its release back in mid-October 2021. I've been wearing mine daily since that time, only taking it off for charging, if I'm doing something particularly oily or dirty, or there's a chance I'm going to smash a kettlebell into it.

Other than that, it's been on my wrist continuously for the last eight and a half months. That's eight and a half months of swimming, gardening, doing mechanical tinkering, using power tools, being feral in the outdoors, and much more.

So, how's it handled almost 24/7 exposure to, well, me?

Let's put it like this -- it's picked up a few scars.

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the first Apple Watch where I decided to not put it into a protective case. Before that, I'd been using a Spigen Rugged Armor case, and while it doesn't have a screen protector, the raised lip around the edge gave the screen a lot of additional protection.

Or so it seems.

Because my current watch, even after less than a year of use, is looking worse than Apple Watches that I've worn for two years.

While it remains functional, the display has a deep scratch running horizontally across the display. I'm not sure how I did it -- maybe a rock, or maybe it caught on something while I had my hands down in an engine bay -- but something got it.

Yeah, it's pretty scratched!

Yeah, it's pretty scratched!

And it's deep enough that I can feel it with a fingernail, and even feel it when using the display.

This isn't the only scratch, it's just the worst one. The display has a myriad of smaller scratches all over it.

There are also a few dings on the case. Nothing major, but it's far from pristine.

It's pretty beat up.

That said, I'm not disappointed. I'm actually quite impressed.

This Apple Watch has seen a lot of abuse, and yet it works perfectly. I continue to use it in water daily, and its water resistance is clearly still good.

This watch is up there with the likes of a Casio G-Shock for the amount of abuse it can take.

My advice is that if you're worried about keeping your Apple Watch looking like new, get a case of it. I recommend the Spigen Rugged Armor, or, if you want something that covers the display, the Spigen Ultra Hybrid.

They're both under $20 and offer great protection.

If you choose to keep your Apple Watch in a case, remove it from the case every few months for a cleaning. I omitted to do this once and the button stuck down and had to be worked free by putting the watch into warm water.

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