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Apple Watch Ultra can get its waterproofing checked - with a catch

Diving with Apple Watch Ultra

If a user suspects their Apple Watch Ultra has been damaged, they can now ask Apple to check it out — but with the caveat that the test could wreck the Watch.

Apple has launched a new Depth and Water Seal Test for the Apple Watch Ultra, which is intended for divers who are concerned that they may have damaged their device.

Any owner can request a test via Apple's support page, but Apple does suggest that users might want one because:

  • You'd like to check the functionality of the depth gauge in your Apple Watch Ultra
  • You might have caused unseen damage to your Apple Watch Ultra

That unseen damage might arise from "crashing while bicycling, or hitting your watch on a rock during a hike," says Apple.

Crucially, Apple advises that if there are any visible cracks on the front or the back crystal of the device, the Apple Watch Ultra should not be used on a dive.

It's so certain that cracks "can allow water to enter and damage your watch, especially if it's subjected to high water pressure," that Apple will look first for any visible cracking. If there are any, Apple just will not conduct the rest of the test.

Apple doesn't specify how its Depth and Water Seal test works, but it presumably must involve submerging the Watch. For Apple does warn that if there is unseen damage, the test "may leave the watch inoperable."

That "may result in a replacement fee" if the device is not under warranty. If the Watch is covered by AppleCare+, then this replacement presumably comes under the accidental damage cover, which means a replacement Apple Watch Ultra is $79.

Whether it's a replacement or you're getting your own Apple Watch Ultra back having successfully passed the test, Apple says it will take "an average of seven to ten days after you send it to us."

There doesn't appear to be a charge for the test itself, which may just reflect how new the Apple Watch Ultra is, that one is likely to still be under warranty. There's also, though, no mention of a limit to how often, or over what period, you can request the test.

In 2022, Apple expanded its AppleCare+ insurance to allow for unlimited accidental damage repairs. Previously users were typically limited to two incidents per year.