If you are in the market for a new smartwatch, you have likely come across some watches with an IP68 water resistance rating. But what does that mean? And is it important? In this blog post, we will explain IP68 water resistance and why it matters when choosing a smartwatch.
What is IP68
IP68 is a rating system developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to classify the degree of protection against solid objects and water. The first number, “IP” stands for “ingress protection” while the second number, “68”, corresponds to the specific level of protection.
Is IP68 Important for a smart watch?
Water-resistance is always an important factor to consider when purchasing any type of electronic device. But for a smartwatch, it is especially important since the watch will likely be worn during activities where it could be exposed to water, such as swimming, sweating during a workout, or being caught in the rain.
Different IP Ratings
There are actually different levels of IP68 protection, with the highest level being IP68K. However, most smart watches on the market have an IP68 rating, which is still very good.
|Level||Protection against||Effective against||Details|
|X||—||—||X means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to these criteria.|
|0||None||—||No protection against ingress of water|
|1||Dripping water||Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no unsafe effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM.||Test duration: 10 minutes water equivalent to 1 mm (0.039 in) rainfall per minute|
|2||Dripping water when tilted at 15°||Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes.||Test duration: 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt (10 minutes total)
Water equivalent to 3 mm (0.12 in) rainfall per minute
|3||Spraying water||Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield. Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b) is conducted (with a shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum.||For a spray nozzle: Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes Water volume: 10 liters per minute (0.037 impgal/s) Pressure: 50–150 kPa (7.3–21.8 psi)For an oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes Water volume: 0.07 liters per minute (0.00026 impgal/s) per hole|
|4||Splashing of water||Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either:a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with no shield. Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes. b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.||Oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes, or spray nozzle (same as IPX3 spray nozzle with the shield removed)|
|5||Water jets||Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm (0.25 in)) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes later volume: 12.5 liters per minute Pressure: 30 kPa (4.4 psi) at a distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)|
|6||Powerful water jets||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm (0.49 in)) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes later volume: 100 liters per minute (0.37 impgal/s) Pressure: 100 kPa (15 psi) at a distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)|
|6K||Powerful water jets with increased pressure||Water projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm (0.25 in the) nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects. Found in DIN 40050, and not IEC 60529.||Test duration: at least 3 minutes
Water volume: 75 liters per minute (0.27 impgal/s) Pressure: 1,000 kPa (150 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)
|7||Immersion, up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) depth||Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) of submersion).||Test duration: 30 minutes.Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1,000 mm (39 in) below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm (5.9 in) below the surface, whichever is deeper.|
|8||Immersion, 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) or more depth||The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions that shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion.||Test duration: Agreement with manufacturer depth specified by the manufacturer, generally up to 3 meters (9.8 ft)|