Video Overview


Our iPhone 7 Plus is still on the chopping block, but we just can't help ourselves—it's time to look at Apple Watch Series 2. The Series 2 looks all-but-identical to the newly rechristened "Series 1"—but is it the same on the inside? With added features such as built-in GPS, waterproofing, and a variety of new bands and cases, Apple's new wearable was destined for the teardown table. It's time to see if this "ultimate device for a healthy life" has what it takes to go the distance in terms of repairability.

Did you miss our first look at the "best, most advanced iPhone ever"? Hop over to our iPhone 7 Plus teardown and just try to keep up!

Ready to dive in? Keep pace with the latest news from the repair world by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Apple Watch Series 2, use our service manual.

  1. Our watches are getting smarter every day. Let's see what the newest generation of Apple wrist accessories has to offer:
    • Our watches are getting smarter every day. Let's see what the newest generation of Apple wrist accessories has to offer:

      • Second-generation OLED Retina display with Force Touch

        • Consistent with the original Apple Watch, the Series 2 comes in two sizes: 38 mm (272 × 340 pixels, 290ppi) and 42 mm (312 × 390 pixels, 302 ppi).

      • Custom-designed Apple S2 SiP (System in Package)

      • Built in GPS + NFC + Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz + Bluetooth 4.0

      • Accelerometer + gyroscope + heart rate sensor + microphone + speaker + ambient light sensor

      • Water resistance rating (up to 50 meters)

      • WatchOS 3

    What's between the sapphire crystal and OLED display?

    mark.albrechtsen - Reply

  2. With the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, the original Apple Watch has been replaced with the "Series 1"—a new model with a snappy dual-core processor.
    • With the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, the original Apple Watch has been replaced with the "Series 1"—a new model with a snappy dual-core processor.

    • The back of the Series 2 is adorned by a familiar quartet of optical polymer lenses protecting a set of LEDs and photodiodes.

      • Both series offer the same set of interchangeable bands for easy customization. If only every component could be this easy to replace...

    Actually, Apple Watch Series 1 has a dual core processor which the original Apple Watch didn’t have. So Series 1 is not the name for the old Apple Watch, but a new model.

    jannis - Reply

    This. Please pay attention to this, everyone. We need to remain aware of all attempts at companies and people trying to rewrite history.

    Dan Parsons -

    In the Original Apple Watch only the Stainless Steel model and the Edition (gold) model had a Ceramic back with sapphire lenses and the Sport edition had a composite back. Now all Series 2 models have a Ceramic back except the Series 1 model.

    bernardo - Reply

    This. Coming to see this. Please pay attention to this, everyone. All series 2 models is equipped with ceramic back. Even with aluminum case. That's the difference between series 0(composite back on aluminum), series 1(composite back), and series 2(all ceramic back).

    Denny Ken -

    Carry the same screen the series 1 and the series 2 42mm?

    Brn Ferreira - Reply

    • Armed with knowledge gleaned from the original Apple Watch and our expertise wielding an iOpener, we're ready to bust through the adhesive and pop off the screen.

    • Alas, as we pick up the display, we notice that the adhesive is much stronger than what we found in the 2015 model. We assume this change is for the purpose of added water resistance.

    • A knife, a pick, and a spoon full of gumption later and we're in!

    Add Comment

    • Externally, the Series 2 bears a strong resemblance to its older sibling—but once inside, we find a set of ZIF connectors in place of the awkward press connectors of yesteryear.

      • This refinement is great news for repair. Easily opened and secured connectors increase the likelihood of a successful fix.

    • And tucked away on the back of the display we find a whole host of control hardware:

      • Apple 343S00092

      • 20211CP TD1628A

      • NXP 67V04 NFC Controller (also found in the iPhone 7 Plus)

    Did you pop off a shield covering the discreet SMT's on the upper left? It also looks like you may have knocked two SMT's in the top left in heating up the shield.

    Also you may want to thin the color bands a bit so you can see the chips pins.

    Dan - Reply

    Please update this to show how to disconnect the ZIF connectors. I had to resort to just yanking them out and then shoving them back in, which seemed to not affect the display at first but after a day the screen is no longer working at all, so I’m guessing I destroyed the connectors and therefore the watch, permanently.

    Bryan Callahan - Reply

    Hi Bryan, thanks for repairing your Apple Watch Series 2. Unfortunately this (and any other) teardown is not meant to be used as a guide. But stay tuned, we’re in the process of preparing Series 2 guides (including the display). If you’re unsure about a connector in the future, you can look them up here: Recognizing & Disconnecting Cable Connectors

    Tobias Isakeit -

    • We slide the remaining band away from the body of the watch and start digging for the battery.

    • Just like the battery bracket in its cellular-capable counterpart, this piece is held in by a less-than-friendly tri-point screw. Thankfully, our 64 Bit Driver Kit is up to the task!

    • With a deft flick of our spudger this watch is rendered powerless.

      • Is it just us, or is this disassembly off to an easy start?

    So indeed according to the image the wifi antenna has moved to the right near the Digital Crown rather than the more familiar one we saw on the first generation on the top row just above the Taptic Engine and the speaker module

    yazdanbanaji - Reply

    Any information about the diagnostic port like the previous generations?

    Denny Ken - Reply

    • Welp—as they say—if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    • Compared to last year's Apple Watch, the underside of the Series 2 battery reveals enough chewing gum adhesive to hold an iPad screen in place.

      • We hate to see this much adhesive on a tiny battery, but this time we'll give the adhesive on this swim-proof watch a break—after all, it lives on your wrist, not in your pocket.

    • We've never backed down from a sticky situation before, and this is no exception. We pick and prod, peel and pull the adhesive off the little power pack—with enough coaxing, it will come clean and reveal its secrets.

    Add Comment

    • With the glue stripped from the back of the battery, we get a closer look at its impressive specs. This cell is rated at 3.77 V and 273 mAh to yield a whopping 1.03 Whr of power.

      • Our watch is the 38 mm—the 42 mm should feature a larger power pack.

    • For those of you keeping score, this battery offers a full 32% increase in power over the previous generation—most likely to compensate for the addition of GPS capability.

      • Apple says the Series 2 will have about the same 18-hour battery life as the original Apple Watch, so that GPS must be power hungry.

    • One thing is for sure: this battery, like all batteries, will fail. And when it comes time to replace it, you'll be trading power for resistance—water resistance that is. When the seal is cracked on this watch, all the king's horses and all the king's men probably won't get it watertight again.

    I am glad the battery is bigger than the original Apple Watch. As a Pebble watch owner, I have been leery of the low battery life of the original Apple Watch. I would like to see a teardown of the new Apple Watch Series 1. I would like to see if the new battery in the Apple Watch Series 1 really is the same size as the new Apple Watch Series 2. (I know that the “published” battery life shows them with similar battery life's, but I take that published data with a grain of salt…) The GPS and water proofing of the Apple Watch Series 2 are not features that are particularly important to me, but battery life is. If the new Apple Watch Series 2 has a bigger battery than the new Apple Watch Series 1, that might make me look into the Apple Watch Series 2 (I’d keep GPS off), but if they both have the same battery, then I would lean toward the new Apple Watch series 1.

    Steven McDaniel - Reply

    Healthy dose of silicone sealant??

    gchesser - Reply

    Can you measure the dimensions of the battery and post them?

    Colby Bartholomew - Reply

    If you expect your watch to go 3 years between battery charges, you're not going to get it with a smartwatch.

    If you put your watch on the night stand / charger each night then the battery on the first generation was just fine. Mine still runs for about 43 hours.

    alex - Reply

    • Taking a plastic opening tool to the rim of the watch reveals a Force Touch sensor and gasket similar to the one found in the original model.

    • Unlike last year's model, there's a lone IC hiding away on the Force Touch gasket:

      • Analog Devices AD7149 Capacitance Sensor Controller

    Add Comment

    • Next on our disassembly line is the noticeably larger Taptic Engine.

    • The Taptic Engine is Apple's take on the linear resonant actuator. It creates motion in a straight line (as opposed to the circular motion of an electric motor), which in turn provides haptic feedback.

      • The concept of a linear resonant actuator isn't unique to Apple devices. Pancake-shaped LRAs have existed in electronic devices for years—but the choice to utilize a rectangular z-axis LRA provides Apple with more design freedom and more control over how the user perceives the vibration.

    Add Comment

    • With the Taptic Engine extracted, we inspect the antenna module found tucked away at the top of the watch.

      • We suspect that the more complicated look of this small assembly is due to the addition of a GPS antenna. It is a tiny component, but the difference is notable when compared to the first Apple Watch.

    • What does GPS capability mean? It means this watch is only one step away from being an independent instrument of Pokemon Go—just as soon as it grows up and gets a real data connection.

    • Enough gawking—it's time to get our tweezers on what's left of this wearable.

    Any suggestion of whether the new antenna will give better wifi connectivity than the original had?

    Dan Martland - Reply

    where to order this part ?

    Dirk - Reply

    hi where can i buy this part?

    caiomarchi - Reply

    • Hiding out on the outer rim, we find a complex cable assembly—home to the microphone and speaker.

      • And in between the two, the mystery of the second microphone port is solved. A flexible rubber plug looks like a barometric vent, designed to allow outside pressure to be felt by the internal barometer through the waterproof shell.

    • The Apple Watch Series 2 is trying to make a splash while keeping dry. This requires no shortage of gaskets and o-rings.

    • How well do these gaskets and o-rings keep water out? The Apple Watch Series 2 resists water intrusion to a depth of 50 meters, under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means it will be fine in a pool, but may fail during certain activities.

    "calls for hot tweezers" Are you sure you needed to pull this cable harness free? It appears the cables connection to the S2 was not designed to be disconnected as its part of the whole assembly of the S2 SIP unit.

    Dan - Reply

    Many watch sites, diving watches and otherwise, don't recommend taking any watch/electronics into a hot shower under pressure directed water. Or a hot bath. I know many plan to do exactly this every day.

    pswilson1 - Reply

    There's no barometer on the S2 though is there?

    iciclethief - Reply

    can this part be replaced? and whre can i order it?

    Dirk - Reply

    • Did someone say ingress protection? This highly-touted speaker is equipped to deal with incoming water rather than fight it.

    • Unlike the original Apple Watch's speaker—which would simply flood when underwater—this module is designed to fill with water, then vibrate to pump excess water from the body of the speaker.

      • This pumping action, along with an automatic display shutoff, enables Apple Watch's swimming modes without risking damage to any critical components.

    Add Comment

    • There's one last piece barring us from reaching the belly of the beast: this ribbon cable assembly, where the Home Button and Digital Crown encoder reside.

    • Luckily, no teardown can be thwarted so easily. We quickly move past the gangly assembly to get at the core computer in this little wearable wonder.

    • And, in keeping with the tradition of last-minute tool modifications, we make use of our all new Apple Watch Opening Pick to lift the System in Package out of the rear enclosure.

    Am I the only one here who realizes that the button bellow digital crown is disappearing without any explanation how it looks when removed?

    Denny Ken - Reply

    • And we finally reach the much awaited Apple S2 SiP—complete with the dreaded resin enclosure.

    • On the top of the SiP, tucked into the upper left corner, we spot a tiny pair of components:

      • Bosch Sensortec BMP280 Barometric Pressure Sensor

      • Likely an iteration of STMicroelectronics C451 gyroscope + accelerometer found in the original Apple Watch

    • But wait, isn't that the back? Where all the cables go? Turns out Apple decided to flip the SiP, so all of the connectors are on the same side as the things they connect to. Imagine that!

    Any reason why you guys did not open that shiny module? Would be interesting to see what kind of memory is in there as well as the application processor to memory interface.

    Denis Cabrol - Reply

    From the first Apple Watch Teardown: "Unfortunately, our first look is obstructed—that S1-emblazoned silver cap isn't a cap at all. It's a solid block of plasticky resin, hiding treasures deep within."

    This is what they were referring to as the "dreaded resin enclosure"

    Garrison Burger -

    That is not a second microphone, it is obviously a barometric pressure sensor from Bosch Sensortec

    Joe Ortaniak - Reply

    Apple don't claim the watch has a barometer. Does the tear down indicate it has one? Did the first watch have this component in it?

    Dan Martland - Reply

    Hi Dan, No the 1st Apple Watch doesn't have a barometer, but they learned that it is very important to get accurate calorie measurement, Additionally you get the absolute height and a weather station.

    carstenmichael97 -

    This is much neater than the original Apple Watch logic board. I'd be really interested to see a teardown of the new Series 1 watch. Did Apple update the internals of both models? The specs note an updated processor, so I think they did...

    Jamie - Reply

    Any thoughts on why the watch does not count stairs climbed despite the presence of a barometer?

    virtualshock - Reply

    It looks certain part like left side of middle area thinner than the other area. Is that any reason ?

    jiyoung chung - Reply

    you can mount a 38mm logic card in a 42mm housing

    rdcha - Reply

    • All that's left between us and complete teardown glory is the sensor array, housed in the watch's back cover.

    • The four-sensor array includes infrared sensors, visible-light LEDS, and photosensors to track your heart rate throughout the day.

    • With the sensor assembly removed, we spy what we assume is the inductive charging coil left behind in the cover.

    Did you just pop the rear lid off? No adhesive is used to hold it in place?

    That seems to impact the durability negatively, since if you drop it, the lid may just pop off.

    Tom Chai - Reply

    No adhesive this time? Is this snap-in like some manufacturers do with their traditional watches?

    lelandjordon - Reply

    Why the wireless charging IC Receiver did not mention in your teardown?

    rickchao1 - Reply

    How to get that sensor any idea guys!!

    Sariga K V - Reply

    • And that's a wrap! With our Apple Watch torn asunder on the teardown table we step back to pick up the pieces—and hope it's still waterproof when we put it all back together.

    • We also want to take a second to thank our friends at Nikkei for joining forces and lending us some space in their Tokyo offices!

    lets hear how well you put humpty dumpty together again. Afraid it put it in a water bowl?

    But nice job, well photographed, very informative.

    Who laid out the $400 for a teardown?

    pswilson1 - Reply

  3. Final Thoughts
    • While not an industry standard, the watch band is easily removed and swapped out for a replacement.
    • Removing the screen is difficult, but not impossible—it's the first component out, and is connected with easy to use ZIF connectors.
    • Once you're inside, the battery is fairly easy to remove—if you have the proper tri-point Y000 driver.
    • While not proprietary, incredibly tiny tri-point screws are a repair hinderance.
    • Replacing any of the component cables requires microsoldering—but does not require removing the SiP as in the previous generation Apple Watch.
    • The fully encased S2 system makes board-level repairs impossible.
    Repairability Score
    Repairability 6 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)


Here we go ....! The best part of staying up late is to be the first to get hands on teardown these little monsters packed with loads some of the most intricate and advanced pieces in tech manufactured to date

yazdanbanaji - Reply

Hmmm... does this mean the Apple Watch might actually be repairable by repair shops? The display looks a lot easier to take apart. Minus the likelihood that repairing it may render it not "swim proof" anymore.

Kevin Stuckey - Reply

True I've had loads of issues before while repairing the Apple Watch specially with the glue that becomes almost useless the minute you pop the screen off and not to forget the tiny metal bracket holding the display and digitiser flex in !! This indeed looks repairable

yazdanbanaji -

I've never repaired it, but I was warned not to. Perhaps now this will change with a few ZIF connectors.

Kevin Stuckey -

It isn't as easy as it looks ! I was warned by many too ....I infact ripped one of my first motherboard flex cables off in the past curiosity didn't stop me ! You always get it right the next time ! I'd suggest on picking up one of the demo units from eBay to try your stunts right as they are as low as $100 to see your first teardown come off and then you can repair your customers watches easily after you tear one down for yourself

yazdanbanaji - Reply

Great idea! I definitely need to pick one up first to test it myself.

Kevin Stuckey -

I'll have to wait for a month atleast before I can get my hands on ! Moreover the 2nd gen ones will be out late on eBay ...! And the shipping could take ages if your not in the states but it's worth it still

yazdanbanaji - Reply

Does it have the same diagnostic port Apple Watch Beta had?

Rishi Oswal - Reply

Does it have a second mic? Or anything changed about the mic?

Siri on Watch works much less well than Siri on iPhone, and I suspect it is primarily a mic issue.

name99 - Reply

What is the available onboard storage for music on the series 2?

hifial - Reply

According to settings it can store up to 2gb of songs

Pankaj Balegar -

Jesus! The capacitor in step 4 picture 3 on the right is nearly falling off! Quality control is minimal here!

fraserkillip - Reply

the question is how was the metal shielding removed. If you see earlier photos, those areas were protected. Those protection needs to be removed before 3rd photo could be taken. If excessive heat was applied, of course the solders holding those components would melt, causing them to look like that.

Chris Quek -

Yes, we had to desolder the metal shield. That damaged some components underneath. If you've got a better technique for removing these shields, we're all ears!

Kyle Wiens -

Kyle Wiens I'd love to see you guys teardown the S2 from the metal housing if that's a possible ! I know it's a destructive process at times but if you could I'd be greatful

yazdanbanaji - Reply

See Step10, there is an amazing multi-pin connector!

Does anyone know who is the supplier of this connector?

Vitexia Gan - Reply

Maybe the connector is from murata!

Sarah yang -

Hey you might wanna double check, the new series 2 with aluminium are listed as having a ceramic back. An upgrade from the polymer back on the apple watch sport.

Eivie - Reply

And where's the "service port"? no word about it...

barrerafacundo - Reply

What about the second mic hole> Not found on the original Apple Watch!

Alex Smith - Reply

Could you measure the dimensions of the Apple S2 System in Package? That would be very useful for analysis of the system. Also, high-res photo's of the S2 (especially without the metal lid) would be much appreciated :)

Ewout - Reply

I wonder, they mentioned the series 1 will get the dual core CPU, but not if the GPU and the rest of it were the same. Are they?

That's probably a question that' down to Chipworks. And how about RAM?

tipoo - Reply

Zone of Tech says it has 1GB of system ram up from 512MB in the original models.

Taylor Barcroft -

I want to buy one.

Michael Lin - Reply

Does it still have the little external service port? I don't see it in this teardown.

strells - Reply

I've been trying to get that info, and nobody from iFixit or anywhere else for the matter is able to reply...

barrerafacundo -

My series 2 has some little doors in the same place as the first generation, however it looks smaller this time - it is smaller in length than the button for band release...

Lenka Minarikova -

Afew weeks ago I bought on flea-bay a "Smart Watch" for all of 16 GBP - this has a removable battery and provision for a SIM card and extra memory micro-SD, so is a true "Wrist Communicator" - (and if you don't know what that means look up Dick Barton !).

So this cheap Chinese watch goes further than Apple - and does a variety of things; above all is the ability to dispense with a paired phone. It is called "APLUS" and I have no connection with the seller other than being a satisfied user.

How do the Chinese do this so cheaply; how long before Apple will offer an internal SIM ?

danmdan - Reply

Has the hear rate sensor changed from 2015?

Pete - Reply

Last time the prototype Gyro was published as InvenSense. That was a good guess based on the fact InvenSense is Apple's go to company for motion technologies. But it ended up being STM. That was because STM was first there in the original design.

Now the guess is "Likely an iteration of STMicroelectronics C451 gyroscope + accelerometer". Based on the fact STM was in on iWatch1. But the iWatch2 has diiferent requirements. This gyro must provide a navigation solution and turn off the power hungry GPS 80% of the time. InvenSense excells in this capability.

I would be highly surprised if InvenSense does not have the best 6 axpoThe real question in my mind is did Apple use InvenSense Software? If so better margins should be coming.

KrisCo - Reply

Is the Heart Rate sensor an upgrade from the previous model? Any part numbers on there at all?

Mick Wall - Reply

"The fully encased S2 system makes board-level repairs impossible."

you cannot be serious.

The improved reliability afforded by the resin encasement is vastly more important that the tiny probability that anyone would ever successfully perform a board level repair, even without the resin.

alex - Reply

How much RAM inside Apple Watch 2?

williamfe - Reply

Any dimensions on the separate items? Apple hasn't released a spec sheet yet... (Case, Top Glass, Port Locations...)

bwines - Reply

How much storage does it have??

Borompanha Mao - Reply

According to the info in Settings -> About in the watch Series 2, 38mm, it has 5.7 GB internal capacity.

Lenka Minarikova -

Does anyone know, who supplied the PPG tech for the Heart Rate sensing capabilities?

design8a - Reply

Apple 343S00092 is a dialog semi PMIC

whiteriver - Reply

Can you comment on this additional seam that can be found on this Reddit thread?

Alistair Calder - Reply

Last time you reported the original version had a pulse oximeter. Has it been removed for this iteration?

Steve - Reply

Anyone knows how the antennae RF connections are done?

Nelson Young - Reply

Is there an improvement in the heart rate sensor? I know I'm my Apple Watch Series 1 (sports version) it seems a little slow to pick up my heart rate and also refresh when I begin exercise. Anyone know how often it 'refreshes' also?

MrMinorDetail - Reply

hey, do you have any ideea is the sapphire led display from series 1 compatible with series 2 ? somehow I broke mine and i can't seem to be able to find one to buy and I'm still trying to avoid the apple store since it was a gift and haven't got applecare+ for it ...

webstefan2003 - Reply

Hello, I have an Apple watch 42 mm the first model q was released. It was working normal and suddenly started to restart and stay in that infinite lopp. Is there anything that can be done to reverse this situation?

bruninhoguaragni - Reply

Wonder what happened with the barometer. Maybe they disabled it last minute to save on battery.

Cory Mayer - Reply

What 38mm apple watch parts can be used in the 42mm? Can I put the 38mm SIP S2 in the 42mm or the reverse?

Gasol - Reply

Hi, is the apple watch series 1 and series batteries interchangable ?

Mishalin - Reply

CORRECTION: Hi, is the apple watch series 1 and series 2 batteries interchangable ?

Mishalin - Reply

Can we remove and replace the glass from the lcd as per series 1?

Les Bills - Reply


In regards of how to remove the shielding without suffering component damage, you could physically cut it off. I did that with an iPhone 5 logic board, although it damaged some coils. There must be a more precise way to machine it off.

Liam Powell - Reply

Hi guys. Excelent tear apart guide. Just wanted to ask if by replacing the screen on the watch series 2, is there any way to get the watch sealed again so one can swin with it with no problems?

Juan Carlos Linares - Reply

I would love to see some detailed photos of the chips on the motherboard - to get an understanding of the specs of the components - GPS, Motion detectors, memory, CPU etc.

Alan Smith - Reply

That’s a little beyond iFixit’s abilities in a case like this, but our friends over at TechInsights have taken it a lot further.

Jeff Suovanen -

Although board level repairs aren’t viable, is it possible to replace the board of an apple watch? When putting the watch back together, did it still seem waterproof?

Logan Jung - Reply

My apple watch display broken so I replaced my watch display but now watch can’t pair to my phone what is the reason why my watch not pair to my phone

Sam shakya - Reply

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