The back of my Apple Watch cracked. Now what?

We were approached by a close friend whose Apple Watch 5 fell. The back of the Apple Watch got cracked. It is not broken, but you can see the crack on the back. His Apple Watch works fine though. What options do Apple Watch owners have if the back of the watch cracks? And what are the likely impacts of the crack on the Apple Watch? We look at the options available for Apple Watch owners with cracked back covers of the watch.

Do you have warranty or AppleCare extended warranty for the Apple Watch?

For back cover cracks, the best option is to seek a replacement under the warranty terms or the AppleCare extended warranty program. Apple will still charge you $69 or $75. But, you will get a replacement Apple Watch without any other incidental charges. This is by far the best option for Apple Watches with cracked back covers.

However, you may want to understand that Apple Care’s extended warranty does not cover watch defects arising out of accidental damages or damage due to water impact. So, the final decision about offering a replacement watch for an Apple Watch will rest with the technician at the Apple watch store.

For most practical reasons, Apple does send in a replacement if the watch’s back glass gets cracked due to a genuine issue. For major cracks, the Apple support technicians are pretty good at deciphering if it was accidental damage. So, your best bet remains to check with Apple support. This is assuming you have an Apple Care extended warranty.

Apple Watch’s back is cracked and no AppleCare warranty.

Let us look at the options available for Apple Watch owners without an AppleCare extended warranty. The back watch glass is cracked, and you are out of warranty. In such cases, you cannot hope to get any support from Apple support. You will have to get a new Apple Watch. However, if the cracks are not of a dangerous nature, you may want to consider applying a glass sealant and tape to cover the crack. Having said that, this may not sound like a piece of sane advice because of the following reasons:

  • if the back of Apple Watch is cracked, your Apple watch’s water resistance is compromised. You are practically wearing a watch that is not fully water-proof. Therefore, it is prone to water damage.
  • if there are multiple cracks on the back of the Apple watch, your Apple watch’s cracks will be rubbing against your skin. Again, this is not a very good situation to be in, especially for skin related issues.
  • Finally, a cracked back of Apple Watch will affect heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen saturation tracking. Anything that relies on Apple Watch’s wrist based sensors will get affected. So, you are basically, compromising two of the strongest health monitoring aspects of the Apple Watch.

There are people who have applied tape on the back of the watch. And, they continue to use the Apple Watch without sparing a thought about heart rate and other health-tracking features. The choice, finally, rests with you.

For out-of-warranty Apple Watches, your best bet is to forget about this watch. Get a new watch.

Local repairs of Apple Watch for cracked back glass?

For an Apple watch with a cracked back glass, some people may consider a local watch repair service. This, in our opinion, is seldom successful. There are three reasons that make it virtually impossible for an Apple Watch to be repaired by a local watch technician.

  1. Apple Watch parts are not available in the local market. This means that the back cover of your watch cannot be procured from the local market or watch repair shops. In fact, you will have a hard time in looking for the part number of the back glass of Apple Watch.
  2. Apple Watch is a compact watch. It comes as a single packed piece. Taking off the watch cover, repairing the watch and replacing the watch cover requires compact machinery. This sort of watch repair machinery is, generally, unavailable at a local watch repair service. Disassembly and re-assembly of the Apple watch is seldom successful.
  3. The water resistance of the Apple watch gets adversely impacted if it is not sealed properly. Aside from the impact on water resistance, there is a high chance that disassembly of the Apple Watch would lead to potential problems of a different nature.

Summary

Apple Watches with broken or cracked back glass can be seldom repaired successfully. The best option is to seek support under the AppleCare extended warranty program or under the normal warranty program of Apple Watches. If you are lucky, you may end up getting a replacement Apple Watch for an incremental expense. We do not suggest wasting money and time in getting an Apple Watch repaired at a local watch repair service because of the multiple reasons explained above. Apple Watch repairs are, generally, not successful.

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