Apple Watch Ultra stress test: Table breaks before the sapphire glass screen

Testing the durability of the Apple Watch screen by repeatedly hitting its sapphire crystal cover glass with an iron hammer is one way to do it.

  • What’s happening? In a stress test unlike any other, a YouTuber drops his Ultra, puts it in a jar of nails and hits the display repeatedly with a hammer.
  • Why care? Apple has made some lofty claims in terms of Apple Watch Ultra’s durability. This non-scientific stress test is one way to figure out if Apple’s marketing is simply being too creative or maybe even flatly lying to us.
  • What to do? Watch the video if you’re concerned about breaking the display.

Apple Watch Ultra screen: How durable is it?

TechRax published its stress test of the Apple Watch Ultra’s hardened display on YouTube. Apple says the Ultra uses a sapphire crystal glass cover for added protection versus other models which only use the sapphire crystal on the back.

The reviewer drops an Ultra a bunch of times from around four feet high. Then, they shook the device in nails before proceeding to repeatedly hit the flat sapphire glass out the front with a heavy hammer. While the front sapphire crystal will break after a while, in the video above the table breaks before the Ultra’s screen does.

Repeated hits with the hammer did seem to damage the internals because the Ultra wouldn’t turn on after several direct hits on the front sapphire glass.

In a series of scratch tests, the titanium case also developed surface scratch marks and scuffs, but that was expected—titanium is very tough, but not scratch-proof. Still, the case shows no scuffs after being shaken in a jar of nails.

The Ultra arrived in stores last Friday so there are plenty of review videos available on YouTube to kill your time. Earlier today, we published a hands-on video that showcases all three bands for the Ultra from Apple.

The toughest Apple Watch yet

“It’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Apple at the launch of the Ultra. TechRax isn’t just some random blogger destroying gadgets for views, it’s a Ukrainian YouTube channel that specializes in videos that test the durability of popular products. Read: How to watch YouTube on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Ultra being hit on the front sapphire cover glass with a heavy hammer
Which breaks first, the table or the display? | Image: TechRax / YouTube

Aside from tough cover glass, another way Apple has made the Ultra a rugged device is the choice of material. Whereas regular models use materials like aluminum and stainless steel, the Ultra has a case made from “aerospace-grade” titanium, making it even stronger than a steel one and corrosion-resistant.

The rugged smartwatch is certified to the relevant aspects of MIL-STD-810H, a standard used for rugged military equipment.