We spent the last week on the Frio River, in Concan, Texas. We tubed the river, we swam, we jumped off rocks. The Apple Watch handled two out of the three like a waterproof champ. More accurately, the watch handled all of them. The watch band had a slight problem (that could have been prevented, had I not spaced out for a moment).
For those who don’t know, tubing a river involves a lot of floating, a fair amount of backstroke paddling (during which your watch is dunked in the water repeatedly with every downstroke), and an occasional tumble down the rapids after your tube flips. I wore my Apple Watch the entire time, and it was completely unaffected by the water. In fact, after the first hour of the first float, I didn’t think about it again. My watch spent a lot of time under water, and handled it perfectly.
There is a tall rock we always jump off near the end of one of the floats (Happy Hollow, for those of you fortunate enough to be familiar with the sacred waters of the Frio). As I was climbing the rock, I thought “I need to hold my watch when I jump, so it won’t fall off.” But when I jumped, I naturally forgot to do that. Yep, my watch (sports band) came off when I hit the water. Fortunately, my buddy Kyle performed some amazing Jacques Cousteau action and managed to find it 10 feet or so beneath the surface on the river bottom. It was down there for a minute or two, and- no problem.
In sum, the Apple Watch seems pretty darn water-proof, and it is clearly fit for tubing rivers. Jumping off tall rocks, not so much.