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Apple Watch's IPX7 water resistance good for washing hands, but not for swimming

One of the last remaining questions surrounding the Apple Watch was answered Monday, when Apple revealed that its forthcoming wearable would be rated to the IPX7 waterproofing standard.

Under the IPX7 designation, the Apple Watch will be able to withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. This means that a session in the shower, getting caught in the rain, or washing your hands will not cause damage, but prolonged exposure — such as swimming — would be harmful.

Apple says that users "can, for example, wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain, and while washing [their] hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended." The water resistance rating applies equally to each model of the watch.

IPX7 is a common rating for small portable electronics that are designed for use outdoors, but are not considered "rugged." Many handheld GPS units, for example, carry IPX7 ratings.

Apple will begin taking pre-orders for the Apple Watch on April 10, with shipping slated to begin on April 24. The Sport model will start at $349, with the base price rising to $599 for the stainless steel variant and $10,000 for the luxe Edition version.