Martine Stillman, Mechanical Engineering Program Lead at Synapse, was qu
Nixon Mission is the world’s first ultra-rugged smartwatch. Featuring the toughest hardware of any smartwatch on the market, it’s built for harsh environments; from surf to snow.
During development of the Mission watch, Nixon came to Synapse with the challenge of engineering the first smartwatch water-resistant to 10atm (330 feet under water), which is significantly deeper than any other smartwatch.
The major challenge was to develop a water-resistant (1atm) audio port for daily use that could be put into lock mode for activities like surfing or snowboarding, requiring water-risistance to 10atm. To meet the challenge, Synapse Mechanical Engineers were tasked with engineering a movable seal that was small enough to match the industrial design, but large enough to ergonomically suit active hands. The team needed to design the audio port to function for voice recording while still being small enough to seal and keep out contaminants.
Through a series of proof of concepts and prototypes, Synapse Mechanical Engineers developed an unprecedented two-phase sealing process with an audio port locking mechanism. The Synapse team validated our two-stage prototypes at different depths and proposed mechanical design recommendations to Nixon, ultimately enabling the Mission watch to earn the highest water-resistant rating of any smartwatch on the market.