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Many people worry that an Watch screen replacement may cost an absolute fortune. Replacing an entire screen assembly, in some cases, can cost almost as much as a brand new watch, but there is another, much more affordable, option.
It may be possible for an experienced, skilled, repair technician to replace only the damaged parts of the screen whilst retaining parts that are still functional. This can save a considerable amount of cash!
Below we will take a look at the different screen components and their jobs, so we can diagnose the part(s) that needs to be replaced:
The Watch screen assembly is made up of 3 main layers, bonded together with special adhesives, think of it like a high-tech sandwich:
The front glass, front screen or touch screen is the top layer and the part you touch when interacting with the watch.
The digitizer is the next layer and is replaced with the front glass, this is typically made from a thin, transparent plastic. This part is responsible for the touch function. The digitizer is connected to the next layer via a flex cable.
The LCD (liquid crystal display) is like an ultra-thin, tiny computer monitor and is responsible for displaying images, video etc. It is the most expensive component of the screen assembly and very fragile when not bonded to the digitizer and glass.
This will depend on how the damaged Apple Watch is behaving:
The front glass is cracked but the display is still displaying / working correctly. In this case, LCD is still functional and so it will only need the front glass and digitizer replacing.
The front glass is cracked and dark blobs/lines appear on the display. Unfortunately, this would indicate that the LCD is damaged and a full screen assembly would be required to repair the device properly.
It is a difficult task to successfully perform an Apple Watch screen repair. As the fragile components are bonded together, it is a job requiring lots of patience, skill and specialist equipment. It should only be attempted by experienced repair technicians.
To give some idea of what is involved in this type of repair, the below step by step example details the replacement of the front glass whilst retaining the original LCD on an Apple Watch:
This is a very time consuming step - much care and the use of precision tools are required to ensure no internal damage occurs.
Now the screen is free from the watch pebble, an even more delicate touch is needed. The internal components are very fragile!
Specialist, state of the art equipment is needed for this step. When used by an experienced technician, the broken glass can be removed without damaging the LCD.
The replacement front glass and digitizer is laminated to the original LCD using OCA glue and laminator machines. This process ensures the screen assembly looks as good as new!
The watch is then reassembled and closed using a special water-resistant adhesive. It then is fully tested for functionality.
As you can see from the above example, an Apple Watch screen repair is a long, delicate process, but when done correctly by a skilled professional, it can save a lot of money.
So, go get that annoying crack on your watch repaired, and next time be more careful!
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