Because I’m slightly obsessed with tracking my activity on my Apple watch, I didn’t want to have to leave it behind when heading to the beach on holiday. I’m a keen(ish) swimmer and snorkeller, so I was convinced there was some movement to track; it wasn’t all lounging in the sun.
I have a series 1 Apple watch. The series 1 is not waterproof, and I’m not about to buy a new one, the one I have works just fine thanks. So I set about looking for a sports case for it.
I searched the web for a good few weeks before my last holiday, and narrowed my choice down to the Catalyst series 1 waterproof case, in stealth black. There were some mixed reviews, but it seemed the best on the market.
I paid just under 70 Euros in August 2018, just before my two week summer holiday where I planned to give it a good tryout. Seventy Euros isn’t cheap, but it’s cheaper than a new apple watch, so after some deliberation, I decided it was worth a go.
I was cautious the first time I used the case and tried it in the sink first to make sure my watch carried on working.It was fine.
The case is easy to put on. A rubber membrane wraps tightly around your watch face, then the integrated strap and case clips closed. A small screw keeps it closed and makes sure there is a good seal around the front of the membrane. A small screwdriver is supplied with the case. There is no cover on the front of the watch face, which makes it easy to use once the case is on. Saying that, I struggle if my hands are cold, which they often are in the sea, but that’s not an issue with the case. Maybe it’s a sensitivity issue with my watch or even with my circulation; I am quite nesh generally, and I do feel the cold.
Towards the end of my two week holiday, I cracked the case. I don’t know if I over-tightened the screw (so that’s something to watch out for) or if I knocked against something. This is a shame, but as I don’t know how it happened, I don’t feel I can return it. The good news is that this doesn’t affect the watertightness of the case, as it’s the membrane that keeps the water out, and so long as that’s gripped in place it seems to be fine. I am conscious that it might get worse so I’m keeping a close eye on it. I’m currently on holiday again. I’ve snorkelled and swam in rough seas wearing my watch and it is still fine. I will likely glue the crack when I get home, although a review online just after my purchase suggests that Catalyst’s customer service is so good it might be worth me contacting them.
All in all, I would recommend this case with the caveat of to be careful of overtightening the screw. I’ve enjoyed four full on weeks of snorkelling and swimming in it, and hopefully there are more to come providing that crack doesn’t cause the whole case to fall apart.
As I write this in late December 2018, it’s on sale at just under €30, so that’s even better value for money; I might even buy a spare.
UPDATE January 2019.
I tagged Catalyst when I tweeted a link to my review. They read it and got in touch. After filling out their form and sending a few pictures, they sent me a voucher code so I could order a new one free of charge. My replacement case is now on it’s way.
This is amazing customer service.
NB, to get this service, be sure to buy directly from Catalyst.