Today, it seems that the world's best and most expensive smartwatches have screens covered by a single, highly durable material: sapphire crystal. Not only does it sound as though it's high-quality, sapphire crystal is also extremely hard (sapphire is the second strongest jewel on the Mohs mineral hardness scale), making the watches with screens that are made from this material practically scratch-proof under normal use.
In other words, with a sapphire watch screen, you can rest assured that your smartwatch investment will stay protected for years to come.
What's the Benefit of Sapphire Smartwatches?
Unfortunately, since sapphire is so expensive, most watches use mineral crystal instead - which isn't as scratch resistant or as durable as sapphire. On top of that, sapphire screens offer a visual experience unlike anything you could get with a traditional smartwatch (if such a thing exists). If you were to hold two smartwatches side by side, one with sapphire crystal and one without, you'd find that the visual impact of sapphire watches is much greater. Not only would the display be brighter, but it would reduce reflections too, for a better image.
So, if you had the cash to splash on a truly "top-end" smartwatch product, where would you go? Following, we'll look at just some of the most highly-rated sapphire-screen devices on the market today - including those still in development.
The Tissot Smart-Touch
Tissot drew attention to their brand-new smart-touch watch during Baselworld 2016. Marketed as a watch first, and a computer device second, the Smart-Touch offers a range of incredible features that go far beyond the current offerings by T-Touch.
The Smart-Touch is based on the design of the T-Touch solar models, featuring a ceramic bezel, titanium case, and that all important sapphire crystal face. The battery can be charged fully by the sun, and includes a range of useful functions for productivity including alarms, a timer, compass, temperature, and barometer. When it's synced up to your smart phone, this watch will also give you time, weather updates, and allow you to "share" experience with friends.
The Huawei Watch
The Huawei watch is regarded by many in the tech industry to be the most attractive and innovative Android smartwatch around. The sapphire crystal screen and stainless steel chassis come together to create a device that looks like a top-end timepiece. Of course, the Huawei offers far more than just good looks - it also houses plenty of great tech too. For instance, the Huawei's watch has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display, with a 400x400 resolution.
Combine great visual effects with the presence of 512MB of Ram and a Snapdragon 400 CPU, and you're sure to find a smartwatch that delivers incredible results all day long. The only real downside of this watch is that you may need to charge it regularly to maintain heavy use - but most smartwatch users are already used to this.
TAG Heuer Connected
Slick and sophisticated, the TAG Heuer Connected Smartwatch is brimming with fantastic features and great looks. It's swiss made, and built to the highest possible specs, with everything from the sapphire crystal watch face, to the innovative engineering throughout.
The TAG Heuer connected watch is so stunningly well-designed that it looks like a traditional watch under common use, but is loaded with plenty of amazing extras, such as directional wind and weather monitoring, Google Fit, and more. What's more, you can choose between a range of charming custom themes for the display option that best matches your personality and style. If that wasn't enough, the watch itself is built using grade 2 titanium - which helps to resist fingerprint smudges.
The Apple Watch
While the standard apple watch might not come equipped with Sapphire crystal, that doesn't mean that you can't upgrade if you want to. The base-model Apple watch Sport is constructed using entirely different materials than the more expensive versions. The original Sport model uses "Ion-X" glass, which is like Gorilla glass. However, the stainless-steel and gold Apple Watch Edition use a sapphire-crystal face.
Perfect for achieving a brighter, clearer display, with lower reflectance, the sapphire-crystal screen is the must-have choice for those in search of absolute quality.
The Garmin Fenix 3
Finally, the Garmin Fenix 3 is a high-end smartwatch with more features than you can possibly imagine. The Fenix 3 comes with a 1.2" colour Chroma display with higher-than-usual visibility in sunlight. Perhaps one of the more affordable sapphire options on the market, the "Sapphire" model of the Garmin Fenix 3 features a high-strength domed sapphire lens.
Unfortunately, the lower prices of the Garmin Fenix 3 do come with a few compromises. For instance, the screen isn't touch-enabled. However, this watch still comes with plenty of great features, including wi-fi, and sensors for activity tracking too. You can even download customisable screens for your watch face - for a more personalised appearance.