The Apple Watch can do a lot of things. In fact, the recently released Apple Watch Series 7 offers you an always-on retina display, faster charging capabilities than previous models, and enhanced durability.
With a WR50 water resistance rating, the Apple Watch 7 is better able to resist water than any previous Apple Watch model. But does that make it actually, fully, undeniably waterproof? Or is it just somewhat water-resistant? If it is submerged in water, how deep can it go, and how long can it be underwater? Can you even shower with an Apple Watch on? Can you wear it while swimming in the lake, pool, or ocean?
The truth is, water resistance is going to depend on which Apple Watch model you own. If you just bought the brand-new Apple Watch 7 Series, then you’re probably in the clear. But if you have one of the older versions, you might want to take heed and learn more about the Apple Watch’s water-resistant capabilities.
Is the Apple Watch 6 Waterproof?
The Apple Watch 7 is rated for WR50 water resistance, which means that it can be submerged in up to 160 feet of water. Its adhesives and seals make it so that water should not seep in and cause any damage to the electronic components. However, older Apple Watch models are rated for less water resistance and could endure damage if submerged in water.
Which Apple Watch models can you submerge in water without any issues? What are the WR ratings for older models? And what can you do if your Apple Watch accidentally sustains water damage? Read on to get your questions answered.
Water Resistant vs Waterproof
There is a difference between water resistance and being waterproof. Quite simply put, water resistance is the ability to resist the intrusion of water, although this low-level form of water protection cannot serve as a guarantee.
Now, if something is water-repellent, it has hydrophobic coatings that repel the intrusion of water. This offers a moderate level of protection from water intrusion but still isn’t a surefire thing.
If something is waterproof, then it is fully submersible in water without any intrusion. It is fully impervious to water.
There is also such thing as being splash-proof, which is what a lot of older Apple products – like the Apple Watch – are rated as being. They cannot be submerged in water at all but are generally safe from a few water droplets from the rain. Rating uses the IP scale, and most electronics are rated for IP67. IP67 products are able to experience full water immersion at a depth of 3.28 feet for up to 30 minutes (but not longer or deeper than that).
Which Apple Watch models are waterproof?
No Apple Watch model is waterproof. Water-resistant, yes. The Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch (1st generation) are water and splash resistant, but it is not recommended that you submerge either of them.
The Apple Watch 2 is rated for swimming at shallow depths, such as in a pool or at the beach. It is not recommended that you wear it while scuba diving, water skiing, or while doing any other high velocity water sport where it could incur damage. You can shower with the Apple Watch 2 and newer, but it isn’t a good idea to expose them to common toiletries like shampoos, conditioners, body washes, or lotions. Those products can damage the water seals and acoustic membranes, putting the watch at risk.
Bear in mind that water resistance isn’t permanent. The seals and adhesives can break down over time. When this happens, the Apple Watch becomes vulnerable to water intrusion and subsequent damage.
To keep the water-resistant seals and adhesives secure, you should definitely avoid:
- Wearing an Apple Watch in a sauna or steam room
- Exposing the Apple Watch to soapy water
- Exposing it to high velocity water
- Exposing the watch to insect repellent, perfumes, or other items with chemical compounds that could cause wear and tear on the seals and adhesives
- Dropping the Apple Watch or otherwise subjecting it to types of impacts
Can I wear my Apple Watch swimming?
Unless you own the Apple Watch 1, you can wear your watch swimming. Just don’t think about taking it scuba diving, especially if it isn’t rated WR50. If you have the Apple Watch 7 Series, you should be fine to swim with it or take it for a shallow dive. Absolutely avoid deep sea diving in these watches. They won’t withstand the increased pressure.
Can I wear my Apple Watch 5 in the shower?
You can wear your Apple Watch 5 in the shower, but be careful about exposing it to soaps and shampoo. Keep it away from chemicals that can wear down water resistancy, and you should be good to go. If you insist on wearing it, try placing a Ziploc bag around your hand and wrist and securing it with a rubber band. It sounds silly, but it could save your watch. Otherwise, just leave it on the bathroom counter as you hose down.
Can I shower with my Apple Watch 6?
Again, you can, but it isn’t really ideal. Just because you can submerge this device in 160 feet of water doesn’t mean you should shower with it. Your body wash, soap, shampoo, and conditioner could wreak havoc since they contain chemicals that might cause the water-resistant components to wear down.
What to do if my Apple Watch gets water-damaged?
Here’s the deal: If your watch gets spritzed with water, just gently wipe it down with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. If the speakers start sounding fuzzy, you need to refrain from inserting anything into the watch’s openings or shaking it to remove the water. Instead, let it charge overnight to see if you can speed up the water evaporation process.
If water gets into the air vent on an Apple Watch 3 or newer, you might notice that measurements from the barometric altimeter are less accurate. Once the water has evaporated, though, these readings should return to normal.
The Apple Watch 1 Series or earlier
Here’s what to do if your Apple Watch 1 Series gets wet. First, you need to check for any water residing in the speaker or microphone by placing the device speaker-side down on a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth. Note if any water drips out. The speaker might get degraded if there is water in the port; the microphone performance might also suffer until the water fully evaporates.
The Apple Watch 2 Series and newer
Okay, the Apple Watch 2 and newer are a little different because of how they’re rated for water resistance. Water Lock should automatically engage when you start swimming. When you are done, you need to turn the Digital Crown so that you unlock the screen. Then, you need to clear away any water from the watch.
To manually clear the water, swipe up on the bottom of the watch face. This will open Control Center. Then tap Water Lock. After that, turn the Digital Crown to unlock the screen. After doing that, clear the water out from the speaker.
Some damage cannot be undone. Remember, Apple will not cover water damage under its warranty. You will have to replace the watch entirely.
The Apple Watch has some water-resistant capabilities. But is it waterproof? No. You will need to exercise caution and use your best judgment when exposing your watch to any type of water, whether it is in the shower or on a scuba dive. Water resistant components can wear down over time, so keep an eye on your watch and how it is performing in the water.