If you are an Apple fanatic like me, you probably own an Apple Watch. I’m currently wearing a Series 6 and I love it.
But if you ask me how many times I scuba-dived with my watch, the answer will be “never”. You should never wear your Apple Watch when you go scuba diving because it is very likely to break. This claim is true for all models that are out at the moment of writing this article – June 2022.
In this article, I will break down the reasons why you shouldn’t rely on manufacturers’ claims about water resistance and what “water-resistant 50 meters” actually means.
Let’s dive in!
Apple Watch Water Resistance by Model
|Watch Model||Water Resistance||ISO Standard||Safe for Scuba Diving?|
|Series 1||Splash Resistance||None||No|
|Series 2||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
|Series 3||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
|Series 4||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
|Series 5||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
|SE||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
|Series 6||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
|Series 7||50 meters||ISO 22810:2010||No|
As shown in the table above, none of the Apple Watch models are safe for scuba diving. All models starting from Series 2 are advertised as water-resistant up to 50 meters of depth.
This doesn’t mean that you can actually dive 50 meters below sea level.
What Water Resistance of 50 Meters Actually Means
You’ve seen it in ads – “This product has a water resistance of up to 50 meters”. But what they don’t say in the ads is that it’s not technically true. In fact, if you were to go scuba diving even at 20 meters, your watch would most likely break.
The problem with “water resistance” is that it’s a vague term. But what does it actually mean?
It means that under perfect conditions like still water, no pressure, no dynamic movement, and a multitude of other factors, the watch SHOULD survive. This is why Apple specifically says that none of their watches are suitable for scuba diving.
Also Read: How many calories do you burn scuba diving?
What is ISO and Why it is Important?
ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. It’s an international organization that establishes standards for products and awards proof of compliance. You’ve definitely seen it before. Usually, when a manufacturer says that their watch is water-resistant, right next to it you will see “ISO 22810:2010”.
ISO 22810:2010 is awarded to manufacturers that have passed standardized technical tests and were approved by the ISO members. 22810:2010 is the standard for water-resistant watches.
You might ask yourself why an international organization awards water resistance standards to watches that are not suited for scuba diving. Well, there is an ISO standard specifically for diver watches – ISO 6425:2018. Unless you see this on your package or watch, along with specifically saying that it is a diver’s watch, please do not wear it when you go scuba diving.
Also read: How to Pre-Treat a New Scuba Mask
How Long Can You Stay Underwater with Your Apple Watch?
First, let’s define what underwater means in this case – up to 1 meter or 3.2 feet. According to Apple themselves, you can stay submerged wearing a Series 2 or later Apple Watch for up to 30 minutes.
As always, I recommend erring on the safe side and not testing the limits.
Can You Go Into Salt Water with Your Apple Watch?
Yes, all Apple Watch models later than Series 2 can be used in shallow salt water. It’s important to remember that Apple emphasizes “shallow”.
Unfortunately, even if the watch can withstand shallow water, this doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for scuba diving.
How Deep Can You Dive with An Apple Watch?
Apple specifically mentions on their site that you should not dive with an Apple Watch of any model. The latest models are only water-resistant in shallow waters such as ocean or sea shores or swimming pools.
The reason why no one is able to give a straight answer to this question is that there are too many variables that can influence it. Type of water (salt or freshwater), depth, time spent at a specific depth, pressure levels, and dynamic movement.
These factors will vary case by case, and that’s why we recommend erring towards the safest options. If you have a later model, feel free to take it to the swimming pool or even in the shallow sea or ocean, but do not take it when you go diving.
You may also like: Does Scuba Diving Dehydrate You?
What is the Difference Between an Apple Watch and a Diver’s Watch?
A diver’s watch is a watch manufactured specifically for diving. They are resistant to pressure changes, dynamic movement, and longer time underwater. They have a minimum water-resistance of 100m (330ft), but most are resistant from 200 to 300 meters in depth (660 to 980ft).
All dive watches will have the ISO 6425:2018 standard and will specifically say that they are made for diving. These watches, unlike Apple Watch, will have lume applied to them for easy readability underwater.
Apple Watches are great, but they can’t tick all boxes. You can’t have a watch with tons of functionality, great quality, and lots of use cases for different sports, and also perfect for scuba diving. It’s just too niche.
Sadly for us Apple lovers, you cannot scuba dive with your Apple Watch. Although all models since Series 2 are water-resistant, this doesn’t mean that you can dive up to 50 meters wearing them.
All we can do is hope that Apple comes up with a scuba diving watch someday. But until then, you should really get yourself a professional diver watch.