Apple Watch Ultra 2 for Scuba Diving - Honest Review & Test 2024

By Julius
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Apple Watch Ultra 2 review

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 as a dive computer brings together the deep tech of Apple with the deep waters of the sea...Wasn't that poetic?! ✌🏼😎

Apple Watch Ultra dive computer

Jokes aside, the first introduction of the Apple Watch Ultra as a fully-fledged dive computer in 2022 made the scuba diving community go absolutely nuts.

In typical Apple fashion, they absolutely delivered and put out one of the best smartwatches money can buy which just so happens to also be one of the best dive computers on the market.

The second iteration is nothing short of spectacular and if you are an Apple fan person, like us, you will want to grab one of these!

Apple Watch Ultra 2 Review - Table of Contents
(Click to expand)

Of course, we also read other opinions online but in the end, nothing beats real world experience. So we took the time for a thorough Apple Watch Ultra 2 test and review! Below you find everything you need to know, including features, specs and what we like, and don't like about it.

Review Summary

Social Diving Editor's Choice

Apple meets diving = Amazing! 😍

Our Rating

4.8 / 5.0

What We Like

  • Amazing design
  • High quality
  • Great connection to the Apple ecosystem
  • Good for recreational diving
  • Mega bright multi-color display
  • Good compass
  • Heart rate monitor and other vitals
  • Good GPS
  • Super easy Nitrox switch
  • Uses Bühlmann ZHL-16C algorithm+
  • Has a safety siren

Reasons to Avoid

  • Rated to 100m (328 ft) but gauge only works down to 40m (130 ft)
  • Only about 36 -50 hours of battery life
  • Dependence on a paired iPhone for full functionality
  • Not for technical diving
  • Additional cost for the Oceanic+ app subscription for full feature access

Important Specs & Features

  • Fully featured smartwatch

What could be improved

  1. Extend depth rating

Get it here

First Impression

In a hurry and looking for the gist of things? Here is our review in short. Keep reading for the entire version.

The Apple Watch Ultra and the newly released Ultra 2 are two of our favorite innovations in the dive computer industry. In a groundbreaking move for tech-savvy divers, the Apple Watch Ultra paired with the Oceanic+ app turns one of the best smartwatches on the market into a full-blown dive computer.

Let’s make this short: If you love Apple, you will love the Ultra 2.

It features the brightest and most colorful display of any dive computer we’ve ever used and we LOVE everything about it. Heart rate monitorcompassGPS, and multi-sport capabilities complete the offering. As with all Apple products, it fits perfectly into the rest of the ecosystem and the connection to your iPhone, table, MacBook, etc. is painless.

Please be aware, however, that you will need an ongoing subscription for the Oceanic+ app to use it for diving!

On the diving side, the Apple Watch is only suitable for recreational divers and freedivers. Although it is rated for 100m/328 ft, the internal gauge has a maximum operating depth of 40m/130ft. It supports Nitrox and the switch is super easy, however, other gases aren’t supported. Sorry, tech divers.

We like the Apple Watch Ultra 2 (and the Ultra) for being super unique and being a complete smartwatch. If you are a casual recreational diver, this could very well be your next purchase!

Usually, the first thing we talk about is a product’s maker and reputation. However, we kinda think that’s pointless for a company like Apple. So we start with the obvious:

In a groundbreaking move for tech-savvy divers, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 paired with the Oceanic+ app aims to redefine the diving experience. Or so Apple says at least. Oh who are we kidding, they are right!

Build Quality

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a typical Apple product. Extremely well made, flawless design, and pricey.

Its titanium build exudes durability and the flat sapphire crystal display is really nice. Its WR100 rating and compliance with EN13319 standards prove its water-resistant capabilities suitable for depths down to 100m / 330ft.

HOWEVER, the diving gauges and instruments are only rated for 40m / 120ft…so, no technical diving unfortunately.

Nevertheless, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 will last for a long time!

Our rating: 5 / 5


As expected from Apple, the design is one of the watch’s strongest points. It has an ultra-bright display – in fact, the brightest of all dive computers we’ve ever tested – and from the menu to the layout and finish, it’s flawless.

Please be aware though, it’s a bit larger than a normal Apple Watch, which gives you a more legible display underwater but may feel bulkier on smaller wrists.

Our rating: 5 / 5+

Apple Watch Ultra 2 on wrist
All Apple Watches look absolutely gorgeous.


The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has by far the best display of all dive computers. There, we said it. It is bright and big and beautiful and the touchscreen is incredibly smooth!

I mean, that makes sense, too, since it is primarily a smartwatch and dive computer second (or third…).

The only “drawback” we found was that the display is really prone to fingerprints, as you can see below:

Apple Watch Ultra 2 dive computer fingerprints
After a couple days you should wipe the display.

But as a diver, there is an easy fix to it, which is obviously diving with it. 😁

Our rating: 5 / 5+

Apple Watch Ultra 2 as a Dive Computer

The Oceanic+ app transforms the Apple Watch Ultra 2 from an amazing smartwatch into a super cool dive computer. It displays key metrics such as current depth, dive time, water temperature, ascent rate, and no-decompression limits – all really easily accessible, too.

During our tests, all features worked seamlessly, providing clear and immediate feedback. Since it is fully aimed at recreational diving, don’t expect crazy staging gas configurations, but most divers don’t need that anyway.

The app’s interface is well-designed, making information easy to read at a glance, which is crucial underwater.

We just wish it had a higher depth rating!

We also think it would be better if the watch provided more info on the pre-dive screen.

Our rating: 4 / 5

Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus app underwater
The Apple Watch is really bright underwater, even at close to 60ft!

Features and Performance

We’re all about diving, fitness, outdoor, and sports, so we judge the Apple Watch Ultra 2 from two perspectives: As a dive computer and as a smartwatch in general.

As we said above, with the Oceanic+ app, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 functions as a full-fledged dive computer, providing everything you need for recreational diving within the commonly accepted depth limits. So as long as you stick to the rules and are purely a recreational diver, you will love this watch!

It has a good Nitrox mode, a convenient compass, and good controls. The touchscreen works without pause and makes navigation very smooth. No air integration though! We also think it’s unfortunate that an extra subscription is needed to access diving features.

A standout safety feature is the Ultra 2’s emergency siren, which, while not directly related to diving, adds an extra safety layer for surface emergencies. We haven’t seen this on other dive computers so it’s a welcome and well-thought-out innovation we like!

The Ultra 2 also offers advanced health and fitness tracking features, making it a versatile tool for a wide range of activities beyond diving. We like it for simple step tracking, but also running and of course, as an everyday smartwatch.

We think as a fitness smartwatch it gets full points, but since this is a review for the Apple Watch Ultra 2 for scuba diving, we have to take points for the missing features here.

Our rating: 4 / 5

Ease of Use

We found the entire interface of the watch really great and easy to use. Navigation is easy, the setup is guided, and customizing it s a breeze. The combination of a touchscreen and physical buttons, along with the intuitive watchOS, makes the Ultra 2 easy to use both on land.

That is until you enter the scuba diving mode. While it works without issues underwater, it is a bit confusing on land at first. For example, with the Garmin Descent Mk2i, you just click on “diving” in the activities tab and get all your options there. With the Apple Watch, you need to be careful not to trigger some accidental alarms instead when testing it in dry mode.

Our rating: 4 / 5

Apple Watch Ultra in cyrillic
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 can be set to any language you like, e.g. Ukranian here.

Apps & Connectivity

As a smartwatch, the Apple Ultra 2 provides a host of connectivity features including calls, messages, and app notifications. It integrates perfectly into the rest of the Apple ecosystem and we wish other brands had the same smooth connectivity.

The integration with Apple’s Health app and third-party apps like Oceanic+ enhances its functionality as a dive computer and fitness tracker. While they cost extra (boooh), they work great and make sure each functionality is developer separately and maintained.

As a smartwatch and dive computer, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 gets double points here!

Our rating 6 / 5 (it’s just too good, really!)

Battery Life & Charging

Nope, not its strongest point… 😕

It’s rated at 36 hours in diving mode or 72 hours in default and while this MIGHT be true if you turn the display brightness down all the way and set it to low power mode…this is simply not practical.

After a full day of diving and walking around the dive center, we had around half the charge left and the next day we were below 50%. Sure, for one or two dives, this can be enough, but for a 4 dives per day liveaboard safari, this will definitely stretch it.

The watch uses Apple’s magnetic fast charging, which is convenient but requires the proprietary charging cable. When connected it takes a few hours to recharge and be ready again, but the drawback is of course that you don’t really want to put it off between dives.

For normal sports and activities, it’s fine though. After all, we’re all pretty much used to charging our devices every day, anyway.

The battery life of the Apple Watch Ultra, while impressive for a smartwatch, is something to consider for longer dive trips. While it can last through multiple dives in a day, charging between dive days is advisable!

Our rating: 3 / 5

Decompression Model

The Oceanic+ app, utilized by the Apple Watch Ultra for dive computer functionality, employs the unmodified Bühlmann ZHL-16C algorithm for real-time calculation of dive profiles. This algorithm, also used by renowned brands like Garmin and Shearwater, is highly regarded for its reliability in decompression planning.

It calculates the safe ascent rate and necessary decompression stops by monitoring nitrogen absorption and release in the diver’s body. Those seeking a more conservative dive profile can customize their experience by adjusting the gradient factors within the app.

We like this choice of algorithm and features so full points here, as well.

Our rating: 5 / 5


The Apple Watch Ultra, coupled with the Oceanic+ app, represents a significant innovation in diving technology, bringing dive computer capabilities to a mainstream smartwatch. It offers the convenience of a smartwatch with the functionality of a dive computer for recreational scuba diving.

We like the display, build quality, features, and the smartwatch as a whole. For casual divers who love staying connected and appreciate the crossover between daily tech and diving gear, the Apple Watch Ultra with Oceanic+ app is a compelling, though not definitive, choice. It’s clearly for those who want a smartwatch and buy get an extra dive computer.

If you are an advanced technical diver looking for a dive computer, you should instead check out the Shearwater Teric or Garmin Descent Mk2i!

If you have any other questions or need advice, leave us a comment below and get the conversation started.

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Where to Buy

Apple Watch Ultra 2 dive computer
MSRP: $899
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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

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Social Diving is your #1 online source for scuba diving, scuba travel, water sports, learning, and having fun in and under water. We have scuba online articles, review plenty of (scuba) gear, and regularly post travel guides around the world.


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