Are Apple Watches Waterproof? Water Resistance Capabilities

Diego Martinez

black Apple Watch at 4:45

Water resistance is important for wearable technology users, especially for those who want to use their devices during different activities. Apple Watches are designed to be water-resistant, allowing wearers to use them in certain wet environments. It’s important to understand the extent of this feature. While Apple Watches can handle being in water to some extent, they are not completely waterproof. From Series 2 onwards, Apple Watch models were designed to withstand water to a certain degree, such as for tracking swimming workouts.

They follow ISO 22810:2010, a standard for water resistance in watches, rated for depths up to 50 meters. However, exposure to water over time can reduce a watch’s water resistance, making newer models more reliable in terms of water protection. The Apple Watch Ultra offers water resistance up to 100 meters, specifically for divers. Taking care of an Apple Watch’s water resistance is an ongoing task. Users should avoid exposing the watch to high-velocity water and should regularly clean and dry it after exposure to liquids. By doing so, the device’s water resistance can be maintained, thus extending the life and functionality of the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch and Water: A Deeper Dive

Water Resistance, Not Waterproof

Apple Watches are designed to be water-resistant, but not entirely waterproof. This means they can handle splashes, rain, and even swimming, but they’re not meant for deep-sea diving or prolonged exposure to high-pressure water.

Different Models, Different Depths

The level of water resistance varies across Apple Watch models. Most models, like the Series 8, SE, and older generations, are water-resistant up to 50 meters. This makes them suitable for swimming in a pool or ocean, showering, and other water activities.

The Apple Watch Ultra takes water resistance to the next level, being able to withstand depths of up to 100 meters. It’s designed for more intense water sports like scuba diving and freediving.

Apple Watch ModelWater Resistance
Series 1Splash and water resistant
Series 2 and later (except Ultra)Water resistant up to 50 meters
Apple Watch UltraWater resistant up to 100 meters

Apple Watch Series 9 Water Rating

Apple Watch Series 9 has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean.

Apple Watch Ultra Water Rating

Apple Watch Ultra has a water resistance rating of 100 meters under ISO standard 22810. It may be used for recreational scuba diving (with compatible third-party app from the App Store) to 40 meters and high-speed water sports. Apple Watch Ultra should not be used for diving below 40 meters.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 Water Rating

Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a water resistance rating of 100 meters under ISO standard 22810. It may be used for recreational scuba diving (with compatible third-party app from the App Store) to 40 meters and high-speed water sports. Apple Watch Ultra 2 should not be used for diving below 40 meters.

Important Considerations

  • Water resistance can decrease over time: The seals that keep water out can degrade with wear and tear. It’s a good idea to have your Apple Watch’s water resistance checked periodically, especially if you use it frequently in water.
  • Not all water activities are safe: While most models can handle swimming, Apple doesn’t recommend using them for high-speed water sports like water skiing or jet skiing. The Apple Watch Ultra is the only model designed for such activities.
  • After water exposure: If your Apple Watch gets wet, make sure to dry it thoroughly, especially the Digital Crown. You can use the Water Lock feature to eject any water that might be trapped inside the speaker.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Watches feature water resistance but are not entirely waterproof.
  • They adhere to ISO 22810:2010, with recent models offering up to 50 meters of water resistance.
  • Maintaining water resistance requires regular care and avoiding high-velocity water exposure.

Understanding Apple Watch Water Resistance

Apple Watches are water resistant which means they can handle water to a certain extent. The level of water resistance varies by the series of the Apple Watch.

Water Resistance Ratings and Standards

Apple Watches carry a water resistance rating that adheres to international standards. These watches meet ISO standard 22810:2010. This rating means they can handle activities like swimming. However, they have limits. For example, they should not be used for scuba diving or water skiing. The standard defines water resistance up to 50 meters but this is not a guarantee for all activities. These ratings tell us that each watch has seals and other measures to prevent water from getting inside but these can degrade over time.

Comparing Different Apple Watch Series

Different Apple Watch series have varying levels of water resistance. The original Apple Watch, now referred to as Series 1, has a water resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529. This means it can handle immersion in water up to one meter for a short time. Apple Watch Series 2 and later models have water resistance to 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means they are suitable for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. The Apple Watch Ultra goes a step further. It is designed to be used for high-speed water sports and can be taken to greater depths for activities such as recreational scuba diving up to 40 meters. The user needs to know that water resistance is not a permanent condition and may diminish over time. Regular checks and maintenance improve the longevity of the water resistance feature on their device.

Limitations and Care for Apple Watch Water Resistance

The Apple Watch is designed to be water resistant but not waterproof. Proper care and avoidance of certain activities ensure the longevity of its water-resistant features.

Activities to Avoid With Your Apple Watch

Apple Watches are not suitable for all water-related activities. Users should avoid submerging any Apple Watch in deep water or subjecting it to high-velocity water. This includes avoiding activities like scuba diving, waterskiing, or other water sports involving high-speed water or deeper submersion than the recommended limits. Also, it is important not to press the buttons of the watch while underwater or performing water sports.

Maintaining Water Resistance Over Time

Water resistance in an Apple Watch isn’t permanent and can diminish over time. To maintain protection, it is crucial to avoid exposing your Apple Watch to soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and perfumes, as these can negatively affect water seals and acoustic membranes. After exposure to sweat or liquid other than water, cleaning your watch with a lint-free cloth is wise, but one should steer clear of cleaning products, ultrasonic cleaning, and external heat sources or compressed air. Watches should also be resealed or checked by a professional if they undergo servicing or battery replacement to ensure water resistance is intact.

Using Features Related to Water Exposure

The Apple Watch comes with a Water Lock feature, which can be activated from the Control Center when engaging in a swimming workout to prevent screen activation while in the water. Once finished, turn the Digital Crown to clear water from the speaker and microphone. Lay the Apple Watch speaker-side down for a short time to help any remaining water droplets to drip out. Additionally, maintain microphone performance by avoiding blowing air into or using sharp objects to clean the microphone and speaker.