Apple Now Offering Depth and Water Seal Tests for Apple Watch Ultra

Apple today published a new support document letting Apple Watch Ultra users know that they can request a Depth and Water Seal Test by Apple to determine if their watch's depth gauge and seals are working properly.

depth gauge ultra watch
The document describes a couple of scenarios under which users might want to have their watches tested, including assurance of proper functionality of the depth gauge for those who rely on it such as for diving and to check for unseen damage in the case of impacts to the watch.

Apple Watch Ultra owners can request a Depth and Water Seal Test for their device via Apple's normal online support channels. Apple will perform a visual inspection of the watch to look for any visible damage, and if the device appears intact, Apple will then test the water seals and depth gauge.

Users are cautioned that unseen damage could compromise the watch and that the Depth and Seal Water Test could render the device inoperable in such situations, necessitating a replacement fee unless the issue is covered by warranty.

Apple doesn't specify whether there is a cost for this service, so you'll need to check with Apple if you wish to have the tests performed on your watch. Once your watch has been sent to Apple, it should be returned to you within seven to ten business days.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra 2
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

anthogag Avatar
15 months ago

This seems like somebody in Apple legal realized that the risk of an Apple Watch Ultra failing as a dive computer and resulting in the death of a diver would be a huge liability and as preemptive CYA, Apple could get out ahead of it by offering free quality/safety inspections like this. Very few people will take them up on it because of the hassle, but Apple will have a stronger defense in the event a diver drowns because their Watch seal failed
Dive equipment is checked all the time. Tanks are re-certified periodically. Everything is inspected before a dive. Regulators are serviced periodically. There are backups.

Apple worked with divers when designing the Ultra. Divers surely said equipment is always checked and tested and a leak and pressure test for the Ultra was likely planned before the Watch launched.

Apple stated Ultra's dive app is for dives down to 50'. There are no time limits or decompression stops for dives within 50 feet from sea level; especially if it's just the one dive.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
visualseed Avatar
15 months ago
I'm reminded of the old Timex commercial where they put the watch on the propeller of an outboard boat motor in a water tank and it disappeared.

Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
searls Avatar
15 months ago
This seems like somebody in Apple legal realized that the risk of an Apple Watch Ultra failing as a dive computer and resulting in the death of a diver would be a huge liability and as preemptive CYA, Apple could get out ahead of it by offering free quality/safety inspections like this. Very few people will take them up on it because of the hassle, but Apple will have a stronger defense in the event a diver drowns because their Watch seal failed
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
15 months ago

Dive equipment is checked all the time. Tanks are re-certified periodically. Everything is inspected before a dive. Regulators are serviced periodically. There are backups.

Apple worked with divers when designing the Ultra. Divers surely said equipment is always checked and tested and a leak and pressure test for the Ultra was likely planned before the Watch launched.

Apple stated Ultra's dive app is for dives down to 50'. There are no time limits or decompression stops for dives within 50 feet from sea level; especially if it's just the one dive.
Nice having some context and facts to counter the reflexive and expected (paraphrased) "it's just another money grab by greedy Apple."

Thank you.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
15 months ago
Wow! This is some serious type of service. I wish it was offered when I pre-ordered my ⌚️ Apple Watch Ultra tho.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NQHE Avatar
15 months ago

Not sure I really understand why you'd want this in place at pre-order time - this service is intended for an AWU that has undergone some type of incident that may have compromised its waterproof integrity, such as physical damage, over-pressure or significant ageing, it's not meant to be a QC check on brand new watches.

In terms of diving watches, periodic pressure-testing is pretty much par for the course. Until recently, most dive watches used replaceable non-rechargeable batteries, and you'd always get the unit pressure tested when getting the batteries changed.

What I'm not clear on though is whether the pressure-test is non-destructive. Is it a matter that the results of the test would either be 'yes, your watch is still working, so it's still waterproof', or 'your watch now is dead and full of water, so the seals were compromised' - or do they have a way of telling before damage to the watch occurs? If not, unless you're actually planning to expose the watch to high pressures (e.g. scuba diving) or have good reason to believe the seals will be damaged, then you might not want to take the risk of testing it. Plus, depending on how they offer this service in terms of price and warrantees, if might be quicker/cheaper to get it done at a specialist dive shop that offers pressure testing.
I registered an account just to respond to your last point.

I work in a service centre for both Apple and Samsung processing warranty repairs and I thought I might have some helpful insight on this.

Both manufacturers use specialised jigs that inject air/pressure and measure the output from the device that registers either a pass or fail result based on the readings over a period of time. Changes that are too quick result in a fail (leakage) and changes below a certain threshold register as a pass.

No actual water is involved for these tests as air leakage information is sufficient. A test fail would not ruin the device and it’s just a matter of reworking the seal and retesting until a pass is achieved. This test is more accurate on devices with a built in barometer, however devices such as Samsung A-series without a barometer go through a slightly different test where the barometer is in the jig and connected via Bluetooth, however the concept remains the same.

Our service centre has offered the seal check service for Samsung devices for about 2 years now and yet I had to find out about Apple doing it via this article lol
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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