MacRumors has obtained official Visual Mechanical Inspection information for the Apple Watch that reveals what type of damage is eligible for warranty service, out-of-warranty service or no service at all. These guidelines are adhered to by Apple authorized service providers and are based upon Apple’s standard 1-year limited hardware warranty for the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch damage that is eligible for warranty service includes user claimed debris under the display glass or pixel anomaly, a back cover removed with no damage, and any condensation in the heart rate windows. In particular, the document states that a removed back cover is only covered when not accompanied by enclosure damage or evidence of prying.
Apple Watch damage that is eligible for out-of-warranty service includes a cracked, missing, removed or damaged Digital Crown cap, extreme abrasion, puncture holes, missing buttons resulting from a drop, any chips or multiple cracks in the display glass, a removed back cover with evidence of enclosure damage or prying, a bent or split band enclosure, a missing or removed band release button, or cracks in the back cover.
Apple Watch damage considered nonreturnable and ineligible for warranty service includes a disassembled unit or missing parts, catastrophic damage, counterfeit or third-party parts, and unauthorized modifications such as aftermarket displays and other non-Apple installed parts. Catastrophic damage may still be covered under an AppleCare+ Protection Plan on a case-by-case basis.
Apple disclosed earlier this month that it will charge out-of-warranty service fees of $229, $329 and $2,800 for the Sport, Watch and Edition models respectively for repairs not covered by Apple’s limited one-year warranty or AppleCare+ for Apple Watch. Out-of-warranty battery service is also available for $79 plus an applicable $6.95 shipping charge if required for all Apple Watch models.