Apple Watch withstands 1,200m swim, simulated depths up to 40m

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2015
The Apple Watch may be much more resilient against water damage than Apple has advertised, a series of informal underwater tests shared on Sunday suggests.




Officially the Watch is IPX7-rated to a depth of just one meter, and Apple in fact recommends against swimming with the product or even showering with it. However, in the tests -- conducted by triathlete blogger Ray Maker -- the Watch survived a 1,200-meter (3,937-foot) swim, dives off of a 32-foot platform, and even a waterproofing test chamber set to conduct two simulated dives down to 40 meters (131.2 feet).

For the swim test, Maker noted that the Watch doesn't have any software options for tracking swimming, and that wrist detection rarely works underwater.

The chamber test reportedly saw the Watch survive the same pressures as devices rated to 50 meters (164 feet), such as the Fitbit Surge or the Garmin Vivoactive. One difference with the Watch is that it has no warranty coverage for any kind of intentional water exposure, much less intentional submersion. Apple may have been conservative in assigning Watch's water resistance rating in order to avoid too many public complaints or warranty repairs.

Maker's tests are not entirely unique -- late last month an Australian website subjected an Apple Watch Sport to a 15-minute swim, and left it at the bottom of a 1.5-meter (4.9-foot) pool for 5 minutes. In those impromptu tests, Apple Watch came out unscathed.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    adybadyb Posts: 199member
    Under promise, over deliver - that's a good way to do it!
  • Reply 2 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,732member
    but...but... Fandroids said...

    Never mind...
  • Reply 3 of 49
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    Under promise, over delivery
  • Reply 4 of 49
    schlackschlack Posts: 708member
    hmm...i think i'll go for a 1,200 meter swim after work. sounds fun.

    how many laps in the pool is that? 12?

    not that impressive.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 946member
    schlack wrote: »
    hmm...i think i'll go for a 1,200 meter swim after work. sounds fun.

    how many laps in the pool is that? 12?

    not that impressive.
    Go buy one, swim 250 laps, dive to a depth of 500 meters and report your findings back to us.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AdyB View Post



    Under promise, over deliver - that's a good way to do it!

     

    Yea, but that gives Apple all the advantage when it comes to warranty. 

  • Reply 7 of 49
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    As a watch collector I can tell you that this is a foolish proposition. Every individual watch should be pressure tested before any serious diving activity, even ones advertised with much greater waterproofing than the Apple Watch. They are all different, and the slightest break in a seal could do serious damage to the watch components. That's why Apple doesn't want you engaging in any water activity with their product. They could conduct this test with another Apple Watch that came off the line right after the one they used and the results might be different.

    The seals also deteriorate with time. You might be able to swim with it one day, then a year later the same activity destroys the same watch due to a break that developed in the case. Jony Ive and his team (also watch collectors) are aware of all this and they don't want the mess on their hands. So it's on you to heed their advice and keep your Watch out of the pool.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    cy_starkmancy_starkman Posts: 652member
    schlack wrote: »
    hmm...i think i'll go for a 1,200 meter swim after work. sounds fun.

    how many laps in the pool is that? 12?

    not that impressive.

    Yeah my thoughts exactly. I am bottom of the barrel as a swimmer and my morning routine when I was able to be into it last year was a bit more than 1200m in half an hour, so this guy was probably only in the water for 15min.

    Personally I have always thought Apple's main resistance to water proofing hasn't been a lack of care or lack of tech in protecting things from water rather that the devices don't work properly wet, such as the touch screen or in this case the heart rate monitor.

    Imagine the touch gate frenzy if Apple said its phone or watch was waterproof/resistant for general use.. and then no one could make the touch screen operate.

    Once they solve that then we will see "works when wet" Apple tech
  • Reply 9 of 49
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    The baby from the Nirvana cover's all grown up!
  • Reply 10 of 49
    Liquid damage can be progressive. Liquid could have entered but hasn't started corroding and damaging things yet.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    schlack wrote: »
    hmm...i think i'll go for a 1,200 meter swim after work. sounds fun.

    how many laps in the pool is that? 12?

    not that impressive.

    ...says the guy who posted "i want to buy one but i can't come up with any real benefit", and "amazing that apple was so shortsighted as to not test it with tatted up people. apple shouldn't fail in this way"

    i take it youre not a fan of the AW, probably havent tried one, and wont be impressed anytime soon. welcome to Trollville, population you!
  • Reply 12 of 49
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    I would worry about scratching the watch on a pool surface. At least you know that its probably fine in the shower...
  • Reply 13 of 49
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

    As a watch collector I can tell you that this is a foolish proposition. 

    What is foolish proposition?

     

    This was not a proposition. It was an actual test.

    No one is suggesting it is now okay to go swimming or diving with it.

    Simply that you do not need to freak out if you take a sip of water while wearing an Apple Watch.

    Quote:


    Every individual watch should be pressure tested before any serious diving activity, even ones advertised with much greater waterproofing than the Apple Watch


    Uh, the Apple Watch is tested to what it is rated. Why would Apple test & rate them to much higher standards if they are not intended for that market?

  • Reply 14 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,732member

    Yep... all the Internet Armchair Aquatic experts are out in full-force here.  People complain that the Apple watch isn't rated for anything more than a splash in the water.



    Now wait!!  Now, those whiners are complaining that 1200 meters of swimming, platform jumps and 40-meter pressure ratings is "no big deal".



    Trolls are out, and as usual... the mods aren't.



     

  • Reply 15 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,463member

    Make no mistake about it, all this ‘testing’ is a smoke screen. These people are desperately searching for a ‘-gate’ they can hammer Apple with. No other wearable tech gets this kind of attention and ‘testing.’ In every basement nerd’s cave they are trying every conceivable way to come up with a failure they can hang around Apple’s neck. I’d bet my IRA on it. The Apple discussion forums are rife with claims of scratches on the sapphire screen and they all claim, “I didn’t do nuttin’. It just scratched all by itself.” Complaints come from people with large wrists in excess of 210mm that the bands don’t fit them. Of course there’s tattoo-gate to harp on. Apple haters claiming the watch isn’t waterproof at all. In short it’s the all out assault that happens whenever a new Apple product is released, the dedicated effort to bring the company down. Its truly amazing stuff the lengths these types will go to.

  • Reply 16 of 49
    jetlife2jetlife2 Posts: 11member

    I'm a diver. If anyone wants to loan me a watch I will happily take it to 40m for real.

  • Reply 17 of 49
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,399member

    I haven't looked into the specifications for water proofing for 20 years, since I worked as a Divemaster.

     

    But I remember at the time that a watch pressure tested to 200m was given a 50m rating.

    Pressure testing to 100m (as my cheap watch was) was rated for swimming.

    Pressure test to 50m and it was able to be used in the rain without a problem.

     

    I had thought it was a funny system - but essentially it's a very controlled test that allows standardised comparisons between watch makers.

    ie: 100m in a perfectly still environment is either a pass or fail, no debate

    ... and the testing system considers it equivalent to a rigourous diving and jumping combination in shallow water.

     

    Otherwise you get something like our far less controlled "battery life" estimates - where different manufacturers test the battery under vastly different conditions, and a claim of "24 hours battery" is difficult to convert.

     

    (btw: I wore my 100m watch for diving, no problems)

  • Reply 18 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jetlife2 View Post

     

    I'm a diver. If anyone wants to loan me a watch I will happily take it to 40m for real.


    I wouldn't even lend you one. :D

  • Reply 19 of 49
    globalpixglobalpix Posts: 30member
    Watch expert macvita has me convinced not to go diving, or even swimming, with an Apple Watch, but what about wearing in the shower.? That's supposed to be prohibited as well and is much more of a practical issue for me. Any thoughts now?
  • Reply 20 of 49
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,317member
    But wait, all the filthy trolls have been screaming from the rooftops that this product is useless because it will basically explode if a drop of water falls on it?
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