Apple Watch Accessories

Catalyst Waterproof Case Apple Watch Review


Go ahead, go swimming with your Apple Watch!

(Scroll down for the written review)

Catalyst Waterproof Case Apple Watch Review – It’s ocean-proof!

Today we’re going to review a waterproof Apple Watch case by Catalyst. We’ve put the case through its paces, submerging the case with an Apple Watch in it for 10+ hours in the Pacific Ocean as well as the taking it past the 16.4 ft depth protection. The Catalyst Waterproof case for the Apple Watch is one of the more useful Apple Watch accessories that we’ve used to date.

This Apple Watch case provides water protection up to 16.4 ft and drop protection of 6.6 ft and based on several hours of underwater usage; we’ve given this Apple Watch accessory a score of 4.4 Eh’s out of 5. Out of all the Apple Watch cases, this is one of the higher rated products due to the usefulness of the product. With all the praise out of the way, there is one thing that we hope Catalyst fixes on the case as we question the long-term usability of the case. This product is the only waterproof Apple Watch case that we’ve reviewed as of January 2016.


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Design – Adds a bit of bulk to the Apple watch

Catalyst Waterproof Apple Watch - Screen less protection

In terms of fit, the Catalyst case doesn’t feel flimsy unlike other Apple Watch bumpers that we’ve reviewed. The sleeve + hardshell setup is very similar to how Dog & Bone does the Wetsuit (no screen protector) which means that you don’t have any sort of screen sensitivity loss which is great. The edges of the case aren’t as high as other Apple Watch accessories which means getting to your device is a breeze.

This waterproof Apple Watch case follows the general shape of the device but will bulk it up though the case is slick enough that it won’t get caught on shirts like the ActionProof.

We will note that installation/removal of the Apple Watch inside the Catalyst case is a little more difficult than your typical Apple Watch accessory as it requires you to pop the device out from the back which requires a bit hand strength. On our first case, we broke snap the back in half due to improper hand placement.

Catalyst Waterproof Apple Watch - Rusty screws

When it comes to the aesthetics of the case, it makes your Apple Watch look like it’s sitting in an old school diving suit. This is a sportier Apple Watch accessory so we’re ok with that. The only thing that we’re not a big fan off is the fact that the screw used to secure the front/back pieces will start rusting after it gets wet.


Protection – Ensure your Apple Watch is waterproof (even in salt water)

Catalyst Waterproof Apple Watch Review - Ocean footage

When it comes to protection, the Catalyst waterproof case for the Apple watch is waterproof up to 16.4 ft that allow you to easily take it on any snorkel adventure that you want. For our Catalyst Waterproof Case Apple Watch review, we used the setup over a period of 10 days by submerging the Apple Watch in the Pacific Ocean several times a day. We had no issues with the waterproofing of the Catalyst during the test period and found nothing on the Apple Watch after the vacation that would indicate that saltwater had reached the back of the device.

Now some viewers/readers have pointed out that their Apple Watch is already “water-proof”. Officially, according to Apple, the Apple Watch is water resistant up to iPX7 and not meant for continuous submersion past 1m so showering and the occasional soaking in a kitchen sink won’t be a problem, not continuous submersion in an ocean with the occasional dive past 15 ft.

Salt water and electronics don’t mix so why would anybody take that chance with their Apple Watch?


Practicality – Not completely annoying to use on dry land

Catalyst Case Apple Watch Review

In terms of practicality, we would only use this case on vacation BUT unlike other waterproof cases (like the HitCase and Optrix XD6) we didn’t rush to take it off after a vacation. The Catalyst case isn’t annoying enough that we itched to take it off.

We continued to use the Apple Watch with the Catalyst a couple of weeks after vacation and had no problem with it on a day-to-day basis, but the size does take away from the sleekness of the Apple Watch. Getting to your Apple Watch is a tad more difficult as the sound is a little muted coming from the Apple Watch and phone conversations seemed a little “staticky”.

The digital crown doesn’t feel as fluid or fast but is usable. The heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch still works as the green light seems to have no problem passing through the rubber sleeve that the Apple Watch sits in, but we did notice that heart rate readings took a little longer to register during lifting sessions. There were no issues with the heart rate readings in the water.


Again, for our Catalyst Waterproof Case Apple Watch Review, we gave this Apple Watch case a score of 4.4 Eh’s out of 5. Questions? Please ask them on our Google+ page or our Facebook page or our About Us page.



  1. Ralph F

    January 19, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Nice video. What was the case(s) you were using on your iPhone during the snorkeling?

  2. Timo

    April 23, 2016 at 8:39 am

    How long is the Wristband?

  3. Alfred L

    July 5, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I bought one of these when it first came out and I have had it inside the case for several months (just some periodic cleaning, and back in it goes). The problem I have with it is that the Pins in the Band that snap to the hinges of the Case / Watch are not very strong. Even taking the watch off, if you accidentally pull too hard, the straps snap right off! What worries me is getting the watch caught on something and it ripping right off my arm. Did you have this issue? I swim regularly in indoor pools, and I had no issues with the screw rusting surprisingly. Like you, 100% confidence with the waterproofing abilities of the case and now don’t think twice about it being wet.

  4. Cesta Sol10

    August 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

    lovely watch

  5. David Berlach

    March 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Does your Apple Watch face have scratches? Is it not the product you hoped it would be? Maybe your friends make fun of you for wearing something useless. Whatever your reason is Catalyst has created a full proof way to take you out of your misery! Just put your watch in this case, submerge in water, and presto, your watch will die a painful water death and take you out of your misery. Why do I need a case to perform this function you ask? Why not just put it in water without a case? Our special moisture seal technology keeps the moisture in to enhance and speed the breaking process.

    Interested in a refund? We’ve got you uncovered! We have special legal mumbo jumbo that makes it that we don’t need to refund you for even the price of the case! You’re all set with Catalyst, the #1 best way to break your Apple Watch! Guaranteed!

  6. Henry

    May 6, 2017 at 10:11 am

    It’s a piece of crap wrecked my Apple Watch scratched the case and made the watch unwareable without a cover never again. Only lasted less than 6 months the silicon tore and the plastic became brittle

  7. Lauren

    June 26, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Not for everyday land use..

    I purchased this mostly because of its protective yet not terribly tacky design (even though it did look quite bulky on my arm.

    It says in the manual that this case extends the safe temperatures for use of the watch, but I beg to differ; yesterday was the second time the watch shit off due to heat– and I blame the case.

    How would it be possible for a case to keep a watch cooler anyways? My fault for believing that.

    Last night in frustration I removed it and I am really disappointed in it being a waste of time and money.

    PS I live in NYC and it overheated in the case, can’t imagine if I lived in a warmer climate, my watch would probably be dead.

    • Dan

      October 7, 2017 at 10:48 am

      It is possible. Use a material that conducts heat better than air and provides a larger outside surface area to dissipate the heat to the surrounding air. Silicone though is going to trap heat.

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