Thanks for the replies. I opted for the space black ss, so am glad to read this.A screen protector isn't necessary on the steel model's sapphire crystal.
If it takes a hard enough drop to shatter the crystal (which can happen if you drop it from arm height onto, say, concrete or tile), it'll shatter regardless of whether there's a thin plastic film on it.
And anything less than a hard drop won't scratch the sapphire at all, so the screen protector has no benefit. (Unless you carry the watch in a pocket next to sharp diamonds for some reason, which would cut through the screen protector anyway.)
The steel body is another story. That scratches with the slightest contact with anything. But that's just part of having a polished steel watch — most steel watches scratch just as easily, and it just builds toward its "charm". If this ends up bothering you, Apple does offer two finishes that are effectively scratchproof: the Space Black steel models (very strong DLC coating), and the white ceramic Edition.
So I've had the watch since Thanksgiving now and don't have a screen protector or any case on it. I don't worry about hitting it or scratching it on anything. Looks like the day I bought it!I've been using my series 2 w/ sapphire for lifting and swim workouts for the past few weeks with absolutely no visible scratches on the screen or case.
If the crystal is any bit as thick/strong as it is on Rolex/omega/etc you should be fine without a screen protector. The body/casing may show some scratching/wear and tear, but imo that's what a watch is supposed to show! (To an extent)
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