Dive into the Details: Can You Swim with Your Apple Watch

Ready to plunge into the world of water-friendly wearables? If you own an Apple Watch, get ready to make your swimming sessions even more exciting! Apple Watches are well-known for tracking workouts and daily activities, but can they withstand the water?

Introduction to the Apple Watch and its Features

The Apple Watch, launched in 2015, is a popular wearable device designed to be more than just a timekeeping tool. It serves as a powerful companion, helping users stay connected, organized, and on top of their health and fitness goals.

One of the standout features of the Apple Watch is its water resistance. This has led many users to wonder if they can swim with it. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the Apple Watch and examine the features that make it suitable for swimming.

Water Resistance Rating

Apple offers different models of the Apple Watch with varying levels of water resistance. The first-generation Apple Watch had an IPX7 rating, allowing immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes.

However, starting with Series 2, all Apple Watch models have a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means they are suitable for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or the ocean.

Water Resistance of the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is a versatile smartwatch with an array of features, including fitness tracking and communication capabilities. One common question among Apple Watch owners is whether the device is water-resistant and, if so, to what extent. Let’s explore the water resistance of the Apple Watch and its capabilities for swimming and other water-related activities.

Not all Apple Watches have the same level of water resistance. The first three generations of the device (Series 0-3) are splash-resistant, able to withstand minor exposure to water such as rain or accidental splashes. However, Series 4 and later models significantly improved in terms of water resistance.

The Series 4, 5, 6, and SE models are rated “water-resistant up to 50 meters” according to ISO standard 22810:2010. This makes them suitable for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, they are not recommended for high-velocity watersports such as scuba diving or waterskiing. Additionally, it’s important to note that prolonged wear and tear may affect their water resistance over time.

Swim Tracking on the Apple Watch

Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise, and for those who like to track their fitness goals and progress, Apple Watch offers a comprehensive swim tracking feature. With the latest models, you can take your workouts to the pool or open water and rely on your smartwatch to measure your performance.

The Swim Tracking feature on Apple Watch utilizes advanced algorithms and sensors to accurately monitor your swimming sessions. It provides detailed information such as the number of laps, strokes per lap, pace, distance covered, and even heart rate data. This allows you to keep track of your progress over time and set new goals for yourself.

To start a swim session, swipe left from the watch face until you see the workout app, then select the appropriate mode based on your swimming location: “Pool Swim” for indoor pools or “Open Water Swim” for tracking outdoor swims in lakes or oceans.

Once selected, hit “Start” and begin your swim. The watch will automatically detect when you start swimming and pause when you take breaks. You can also manually pause or end your session by pressing the Digital Crown button at any time.

Limitations and Considerations for Swimming with an Apple Watch

Swimming with an Apple Watch can greatly enhance your experience, but there are limitations and considerations to keep in mind before taking the plunge. Here are some important factors to consider when using your Apple Watch for swimming:

Water Resistance Rating: Check your Apple Watch’s water resistance rating before taking it into the water. The latest models (Series 2 and above) are certified water-resistant up to 50 meters, allowing safe submersion up to that depth.

Type of Water Activities: While the Apple Watch is suitable for most swimming activities, high-intensity water sports like diving or surfing are not recommended as they may exceed the watch’s water resistance capabilities.

Pool Chemicals: Rinse your watch with fresh water after each swim session to prevent damage from exposure to chlorine or saltwater.

Swimming Stroke Recognition: The swim tracking feature is optimized for freestyle strokes, so keep in mind that tracking accuracy may vary for other strokes.

Tips for Swimming with Your Apple Watch

Swimming with your Apple Watch is a convenient way to track your progress. Here are important tips for a smooth swimming experience:

Use the Water Lock Feature: Activate the Water Lock feature on your Apple Watch to prevent accidental taps or swipes while swimming and to expel water post-swim.

Rinse Your Watch After Swimming: Rinse off your watch with fresh water after each swim session to remove any damaging chemicals and prolong its lifespan.

Choose a Suitable Swim Workout: Select the correct swim workout mode on your Apple Watch to ensure accurate tracking of your activity.

Check Your Heart Rate Monitoring: For precise heart rate readings while swimming, consider using a compatible chest strap monitor, as the watch’s heart rate monitoring may be affected underwater.

Alternative Waterproof Wearables for Swimming

If you’re seeking a dedicated swimming wearable, here are some waterproof alternatives to the Apple Watch:

Garmin Swim 2: Specifically designed for swimmers, the Garmin Swim 2 offers dedicated swim tracking features such as distance, pace, stroke count, and SWOLF score. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro: With a waterproof rating of up to 50 meters, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro provides automatic swim tracking for various strokes, heart rate monitoring, and built-in GPS for accurate distance tracking in open water.

Moov Now: An affordable option with a waterproof rating of up to 30 meters, the Moov Now offers advanced swim tracking features, including lap tracking, strokes, distance, and calorie burn.


After exploring the features and capabilities of the Apple Watch for swimming, you now have a clearer understanding of whether it’s safe and practical to swim with your Apple Watch. With the right precautions and understanding of its water resistance capabilities, you can make the most of your Apple Watch during your swimming sessions. Happy swimming!

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