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Is the Apple Watch Series 9 waterproof?

Should you be getting your Apple Watch wet?
By

Published onMarch 8, 2024

An Apple Watch Series 9 rests in Low Power Mode.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Are you considering getting yourself an Apple Watch Series 9? We know water resistance is one of the most important factors when considering a smartwatch. After all, people often take their watches everywhere. They may get caught in the rain, spill a drink, or simply don’t want to take it off when going for a swim. So, is the Apple Watch Series 9 waterproof? Let’s tell you all about the topic.

QUICK ANSWER

The Apple Watch Series 9 is water resistant and can withstand up to 50 meters of submersion. According to Apple, this means you can use it to swim in shallow water in a pool or the ocean.

All this said, you should still be relatively careful about exposing your Apple Watch to water. Apple's limited warranty does not cover water damage. Our general advice is that you still try to keep your Apple Watch Series 9 away from water, if possible.


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Is the Apple Watch Series 9 waterproof?

Apple Watch Series 9 portraits
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

No Apple Watch is truly waterproof. In fact, there are no genuinely waterproof pieces of modern tech. A true waterproof product would be able to withstand submersion at much greater depths for extended periods of time.

That said, the Apple Watch Series 9 is more water resistant than what we’re used to. Current higher-end tech, like the iPhone 15, is usually rated IP68. To receive this certification, a device must withstand water immersion of at least 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. The Apple Watch Series 9 does much better than this.

The Apple Watch Series 9 has a WR50 rating under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means it is tested to survive water dunks at depths of 50 meters.

50 meters is quite a bit, but the manufacturer still doesn’t recommend pushing the Apple Watch water resistance too much. Apple claims this is good for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or even the ocean. It also suggests you don’t take your Apple Watch Series 9 scuba diving, or expose it to high water pressure situations, such as water skiing.

It’s also worth noting that water resistance isn’t a permanent condition. Water-resistant gaskets and sealings will degrade over time. Not to mention, things like salt in ocean water and chemicals in pools can speed up the degradation process. Eventually, the device won’t be as water resistant as when you first bought it.

What does IP6X certification mean?

An Apple Watch Series 9 user review their Smart Stack widgets.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

We’re focusing on water resistance in this post, but it’s important to know the Apple Watch Series 9 is also rated IP6X. You can read all about IP ratings in our dedicated guide. In short, IP stands for “Ingress Protection,” while the first number following it represents the level of dust resistance the product is rated for. The second number represents the level of water resistance.

In this case, the number six tells us the Apple Watch Series 9 has the highest dust protection level. It is dust-tight.

What about the “X”? Well, this technically means the device doesn’t have a certification for water resistance under the IP standard. But this is because the Apple Watch surpasses the water resistance this standard measures. Instead, Apple has added a separate WR50 rating for water resistance.

What does WR50 water resistance mean?

An Apple Watch Series 9 rests alongside its charger.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The WR50 represents a wearable product’s water resistance, and it indicates what conditions the device can handle. A WR50 rating means the watch is water-resistant at depths of up to 50 meters. As mentioned earlier in this guide, you should still be careful about exposing your device to water.

Word of caution for Apple Watch Series 9 users

An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the app screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

It’s fantastic to see such excellent levels of water resistance on the Apple Watch Series 9. Indeed, this will make you feel safer when running in the rain, accidentally spilling some water on it, or maybe even taking it for a swim from time to time.

That said, we still recommend that you don’t purposely expose your Apple Watch to water without worries. For starters, these devices were only made to resist fresh water. Saltwater, chemicals, minerals, and other elements can also affect the phone; you often find these in water.

Additionally, Apple doesn’t cover water damage as part of its limited warranty, even if it promises the product can handle a certain level of water exposure. If you have an AppleCare Plus plan, water damage will count as accidental damage.

Apple Watch Series 9Apple Watch Series 9
AA Editor's Choice
Apple Watch Series 9
Powerful processor • Upgraded display with 2000 nit brightness • Gesture controls and Siri features
MSRP: $399.00
Apple's most convenient smartwatch
The new S9 chip makes the Apple Watch Series 9 the most capable, and battery friendly Apple watch to date. Enjoy improved security, improved functionality in low-connectivity situations, and improved health tracking. Introducing new Double-Tap gesture.

Should you upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra 2?

Apple Event 2023 Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple

If you want to feel a little safer about getting your smartwatch wet, you might want to upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra 2. This higher-end device is significantly more expensive at $799, but it is rated to handle 100-meter depths under ISO standard 22810. According to Apple, this smartwatch can actually be used for recreational scuba diving to 40 meters, as well as high-speed water sports.

Still, Apple warns that water resistance is not a permanent condition. It also still won’t cover water damage under the warranty. You’ll get a bit more peace of mind, though.

Apple Watch Ultra 2Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Extra buttons and functions • Great battery life
MSRP: $799.00
The ultimate Apple smartwatch
One step closer to having a fully functional smartphone and fitness tracker strapped to your wrist, the Appel Watch Ultra 2 offers powerful connectivity and communications features, great outdoor functionality, and a semi-rugged design. The Ultra line offers a larger display than the standard Apple watches.

FAQs

The Apple Watch Series 9 is rated to handle water submersion up to 50 meters. This means a low-pressure water activity like showering should be fine to do with the Apple Watch. That said, we don’t recommend doing this. The warranty doesn’t cover water damage, and water resistance can degrade over time.

Again, we don’t recommend it, but Apple claims shallow water swimming with the Apple Watch Series 9 should be safe.

While the Apple Watch Series 9 is water resistant, the same doesn’t always apply to the bands. Commonly, no leather or metal bands are water resistant. Make sure to pick the right Apple Watch band if you know you’ll be getting the device wet.

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