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Danish man reports severe burns from Apple Watch following earlier, more minor reports [U]


Update: Apple said it had examined Mr Mouritzen’s Apple Watch and found no evidence it had caused his reported injuries. Additionally, the company noted that the damage to the Apple Watch band is external and there are no active electronics in the band that could have caused the band to heat up.

Danish news site Ekstra Bladet reports that a man received severe burns from his Apple Watch, and has been waiting for several weeks for the results of an Apple investigation. Photos accompanying the report (below, not for weak stomaches) seem to show two long burn marks on the wrist of Jørgen Mouritzen, together with what appear to be burn marks on the strap.

Mouritzen and a witness to the event say that they are both certain the heat came from the Watch itself and not from any external source … 

Apple’s PR agency in Denmark told Ekstra Bladet that it considers it a private matter with the individual concerned and would not therefore be commenting.

There have been sporadic earlier reports of burns from the Apple Watch, but these appear to have been much more minor – and are in many cases difficult to distinguish from simple skin irritation.

Apple has a support page in which it cautions that “a small number of people will experience reactions to certain materials.” It also advises that wearing the watch too tightly or loosely can cause rubbing. We’ve also reached out to Apple for a comment.


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  1. crisss1205 - 7 years ago

    I see the watch band is blackened, but how would that happen? It is black in the middle of the band and only on one side, this has to be a result of an external source.

    • Troels Andersen - 7 years ago

      Electricity always takes the path of least resistance, and there might have been extrenuous circumstances that made the sides have less resistance or simply made them capacitive (with the current still being delivered from the battery of the watch).

      Also, if you look at the right picture, the watch isn’t tightened to his wrist. I’d image that the upper point where the burn starts on the wristbrand is the point where it touches the watch when it’s actually tightened.

  2. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    Maybe he got it in a firesale¿

  3. lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

    Spontaneous combustion? This looks like a lithium ion battery failure, not some kind of allergic reaction.

    • mikhailt - 7 years ago

      That looks like he left the Watch in the sun too long and put it on. I don’t see any damage to the Watch itself, just the bands. Hopefully, we’ll get a final report.

      • Simeön Sølårsky - 7 years ago

        Dude its Denmark =D there’s no sun around here…

      • Torben Larsen - 7 years ago

        Too long in the sun???
        LOL – You don’t know the weather in Denmark at this time of the year, I can see!!

        Try again!

  4. sardonick - 7 years ago

    Show us the watch.

  5. monty72 - 7 years ago

    Smells a bit fishy to me, can’t see you getting much current out of a battery that size and a metal strap is not very resistive by nature.

    • You’d be surprised at what you can do with relatively small amounts of current and a ramp in voltage in a short situation. The charring and the burns on the arm just need to be the result of a thermal burn caused by a short – no electricity need ever come in contact with the skin directly.

      I’m confident I can cause more serious burns with a pair of AA batteries.

      • monty72 - 7 years ago

        I’m a Mechanical Engineer not Electrical, but I’m fairly certain it’s the current not the voltage that does the damage.

      • iphonery - 7 years ago

        You’ll most likely get a chemical burn from a pair of AA batteries, not an electrical burn.

      • @Monty72 – Current is what causes the damage/injury but the minute you add resistance of any kind to an electrical medium you alter the current and the voltage (which is what I believe Bruno was trying to articulate originally) .

        It is possible you could, with enough resistance, burn a person even with a minor amount of current. You can look this up on google all day, typically when a house catches on fire it is because resistance was added somewhere in the line that caused excessive heat to build and such catch on fire.

        I’m not saying this is prof or even what happened here but it can’t be dismissed outright because it is plausible.

      • monty72 - 7 years ago

        @Just Need it For the Dev. Yes even with an AA battery you can get a bulb filament to heat up to very high temperatures, but as I said in the original post a metal watch strap is not very resistive by nature.

    • rnc - 7 years ago

      Me too, that’s simply impossible, the AW, has a 250mah battery (the 42mm version), which is less than 1Wh.

      Means that if you have attached an hair dryer 1000W, it would last 3.6 seconds.

    • Robert - 7 years ago

      Since the strap has low resistance it’s hard to see how it could become an ‘heating element’, but I guess it’s plausible if the battery has I massive failure and dumps all it’s energy at once. But how could that happen?

  6. AbsarokaSheriff - 7 years ago

    That is one hairy arm. I don’t have nearly that much hair and it still tugs with just the plain band.
    I recently did a restore to the Apple Watch and the temperature was above ambient but this is severe.

    Hope the guy recovers well and like those with sleeve tattoos. The watch is probably not for him.

  7. AbsarokaSheriff - 7 years ago

    By the way, 215 BPM on your title pic. Is that fatal?

  8. Dane here who’ve read the article on (original source). The man and other witnesses made it clear that his hand was free in the air when it happened. There are supposedly no external factors involved.

    It does sound odd and really makes no sense to me, but I don’t want to bring the mans story into doubt.

    What I find problematic is that Apple hasn’t provided him with a replacement, even if they find that it’s his own fault that is just really bad PR.

    • shareef777 - 7 years ago

      My MacBook murdered our cat, give me a new one! You can’t go by every story you read online and hand out devices. All that would do is increase the number of these ‘stories’.

    • Jakob Damkjær - 7 years ago

      Or perhaps the man was “LYING” to get some fame and a kickback from the newspaper from the click baiting… its a mainstream gaudy/fake news rag… chance of this been actually true is close to zero. Either his 1000 year arm hair self combusted or they heated up the watchband with a blowtorch…

  9. xprmntr - 7 years ago

    Here shouldnt work out so hard

  10. jpanny - 7 years ago

    It’s just prevention from putting Apple Watch on your dick (photo on the left).

  11. Inductive heating seems a possible explanation. He says that his arm was in air (implying that the band was not touching anything) but if he was near a strong, oscillating electric field, perhaps near a reasonably sized electric motor, then the strap could be heated by the electric field. The currents induced would tend to stay near the edge of the metallic item and the resistance of the strap would help it to get hot.

    • Robert - 7 years ago

      That’s kind of far fetched.

      Actually in any kind of electrical flow in the strap I would expect heat to build up at the point where two materials touch – where the strap meets the lug. It is weird the the burn is on the side of the strap.

  12. Troy Hollingsworth - 7 years ago

    geez, give me a break. The idiot didn’t notice it warming up and take the dam thing off before it burnt him? This is obviously a setup for a lawsuit.

  13. vandy75 - 7 years ago

    I smell a rat. Who could sustain burns that severe, not notice/feel and remove that watch long before this level of burning is experienced? This could happen if you put acid on the watch before you put it on. Another hoax.

  14. incredibilistic - 7 years ago

    I can’t help but feel like there’s more to this story than he’s letting on.

    I sympathize with him and hope his wounds heal but the extent of these burns seem extreme and I’m wondering how long it stayed on his wrist before he took it off. The moment I felt even a little tickle or sense of discomfort it would’ve been off my wrist in a hurry.

    • xprmntr - 7 years ago

      At least he didn’t die like those people did from their iPhones

      • Robert - 7 years ago

        You mean the cheap chargers not made by Apple

  15. Nibor (@niboR76) - 7 years ago

    It also burns a hole in your pocket.

  16. spanishboytech - 7 years ago

    Stainless steel will not discolor as show in the 2nd picture (all the pretty blue and gold and slight hints of pink which are all evident in the pic on the original site) without being exposed to an inductive field which raises its temperature or to direct heat (& we’re talking 1500-2000 degrees Fahrenheit which is between 500-1000 degrees below its melting point) as a former welder it is not easy to get it to do so without the arc of an electric current or an oxygen-actylene torch. And it would not have happened instantly, even welding it takes several seconds for the pool of liquid metal to form, therefore I conclude that the band was heated in some manner off his arm and then he put it on or he placed his arm next to an induction coil similar to one used to heat treat metal which would have been able to heat it rapidly. There’s no way the watch itself caused this especially since 98% of the band & the watch itself appears perfectly fine….it may have been accidental but I’m suspicious.

  17. flaviosuave - 7 years ago

    Cooking over an induction cooktop while wearing the watch?

    • Induction cooktops require a magnetic surface. Most stainless steel pots have a different metal in the base (for even heating and heat retention) encased in stainless steel – some stainless steel pans will not work on induction at all or only sporadically because of this. I can’t speak to the alloys in the watch, but I work in the appliance business and, even if the watch is a good magnetic conduit, he would have had to have been resting his band directly on the cooktop over the heating area (usually delineated by a circle) for it to get hot enough to burn him. It’s a good guess but I highly doubt it.

  18. Robert - 7 years ago

    In one picture there is a light burn close to his hand. Then the picture of his arm shows two much more serious wounds further away from his wrist. This is fishy. How did the wound get so bad? Why does it appear to move up his arm?

  19. Dave Huntley - 7 years ago

    In the link below from the danish newspaper, he has a similar burn on one finger to the wrost, but neither looks anything like the two huge scabs on that, is a wrist up above??

    So does his finger have similar burns?

  20. standardpull - 7 years ago

    It sure does look like an injury sustained while welding without proper protective gear.

  21. Henry Johansen - 7 years ago

    This one is very fishy for the following reasons:
    1. The watch seems unharmed
    2. The probability of a battery malfunction causing this pattern on the band is next to 0.
    3. Seems strange that you would get burned and have a friend witness it before removing it.
    4. The guy in question has a pretty closed linked in profile, but even the public parts shows that he works in journalism and has relations to the publisher of ekstra bladet.
    5. Ekstra bladet is the least trust Worthy news media in denmark, posting news like “my neighboor mouth raped my dog” (real example)
    For seriøsitw of the page, just glance over their front page…

  22. Sterling Miller - 7 years ago

    This is an obvious short across a battery terminal. Probably working on a car or something similar and shorted the band from positive to ground, it will heat create a similar appearance..

  23. b9bot - 7 years ago

    It looks like a shock from an external source which caused those burns. The watch couldn’t heat up that fast and cause those kinds of black burn marks on the strap itself. I’m sorry but he and his friend are lying as the watch did not cause this period. I’m not even an expert and can clearly see this just by looking at those pictures.

  24. applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

    I call bull$hit. The burn is on the band. So he’s saying the watch caused the burn but it skipped a portion of the band before burning that spot. WTF.

  25. rafagon726 - 7 years ago


  26. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    If the watch itself was faulty and caused burning i would not expect it to have anything to do with the strap…i can imagine the sensors and battery can heat up but if the watch had burnt him id expect the burnt marks to be on top…

    some of these marks just look like friction burns or the metal itself has cut into his skin – by the looks of it, he had the watch too tight…

    if he was somewhere hot and was out sunbathing, then i’d believe the watch could burn him BUT this is due to the sun and the fact the sun heats metal up… even a plastic chair left out in the sun can burn you if you sit on it, a metal one certainly can…

    so i would either expect him to be sunbathing with the watch on – or he was near an extreme heat source…

    The most concern is that the watch strap looks burnt as though he took a flame torch too it…

    regardless…it wasnt the watch

  27. varera (@real_varera) - 7 years ago

    total bs

  28. mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

    That’s impossible to be by Apple Watch only. His hand in the right picture also got burned !

  29. Dave Sunhammer - 7 years ago

    There is very Basic Electronics that says this is technically possible.
    There is a YouTube video of a person starting a fire with a AA battery and a gum wrapper.
    However, whether there is some reason electricity would want to travel down the metal band and into the wearer’s skin is an insanely complex problem that even allows for it to be true that the guy got an electrical burn but also allows that Apple techs were not able to duplicate it with the exact same watch.

    So, definitely Cannot call this a hoax.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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