Apple Watch survives brutal barrage of waterproofing tests

Apple Watch
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Despite the IPX7 water-resistance rating, Apple plays it safe when it comes to talking about exactly how waterproof the Apple Watch is. The company even explicitly states, “Apple Watch is splash and water resistant but not waterproof.” One man decided to take it upon himself to see how true this statement was.

Blogger Ray Maker is no stranger to testing how waterproof a watch is, but until now, most of the watches he tested were rated much higher in terms of water resistance. For the Apple Watch, Maker took a look at the list of things that the manual implores users to avoid and decided to test every single one of the water-related items, aside from wearing the watch in a sauna.

For the first test, Maker took the Apple Watch for a 1,000 meter swim. “It’s the wrist hitting the water that’s so difficult for watch waterproofing due to the impact forces,” Maker wrote, “so that’s really the piece I was interested in testing.” After swimming for more than 10 minutes, the watch was just fine.

The next test was a bit more intense: a series of high dives. Maker arranged for a total of three jumps. He made the first two himself from 5-meter platform, and for the third he recruited a dive-tastic volunteer to jump from a 10-meter platform. As with the swimming test, the Apple Watch continued to work after the divers emerged from the water.

The final test was the most torturous of the three. Maker placed the Apple Watch inside a waterproofing test chamber of his own design to simulate the water pressure of various depths. The Apple Watch — which is only rated for submersion of up to a meter — continued to work after a simulated depth of 40 meters, or 131 feet.

For a look at the first test in action see the video below, and for a more detailed look at all of the tests, see Maker’s post on his DC Rainmaker blog.