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Apple Watch Series 7: We put Apple's water and dust resistance claims to the test

Apple asserts that the Series 7 is "the most durable Apple Watch we've ever made." Find out how the new smartwatch stands up to the company's bold claims.

When Apple announced the new Apple Watch Series 7 in September, the company highlighted the new smartwatch's improved durability. As well as what Apple promises is a more crack-resistant front crystal, it also pointed out that the Series 7 is rated IP6X, meaning that it's certified dust-tight.

The Series 7 is also water resistant, just like Apple's previous watches, with a WR50 rating. Rather than let these claims go unexamined, I decided to conduct a couple of experiments to see if these durability ratings were legit.

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Chris Parker/CNET

Read more: Apple Watch Series 7 vs. SE: Why Apple's cheaper smartwatch is the right choice for most people

I went online and found advice on creating two different apparatuses: one for water and one for dust (or in my case, flour).

The water chamber allowed me to apply enough pressure to approximate the conditions at a depth of 50 meters. Apple doesn't say the watch is rated for 50 meters under water -- the WR50 rating means it's fine for swimming and splashing around, not prolonged submersion.

That didn't stop me from trying it, though.

watchwater
Chris Parker/CNET

I also put together a vacuum chamber so I could introduce the watch to a dusty environment with the ambient air pressure removed.

Neither of these experiments are truly scientific tests. They are just meant to demonstrate how the Series 7's water and dust resistance might hold up in the real world.

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Chris Parker/CNET

How did the watch perform? Take a look at the embedded video to find out.

For even more analysis, be sure to check out Lisa Eadicicco's full Apple Watch Series 7 review.