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So I just upgraded my iPhone to the iPhone 11 Pro and went to pair my existing Series 2 Apple Watch with it - I have reset the Apple Watch to factory defaults, and attempted to pair it using the normal flow through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.

The iPhone will not accept the geometric pattern displayed on the Watch for pairing, it simply does nothing when I present it to the iPhones camera during the pairing process in the Apple Watch app. I have tried various lighting levels and locations, distances from the Watch etc.

If I choose the manual flow, I am asked to choose the Apple Watch to pair via the 5 digit name, which displays correctly on both Watch and iPhone - the iPhone then asks me to enter the 6 digit code which is displayed on the Watch, but the watch never displays any code (it does not update from the "Use this name to select your Apple Watch for manual pairing").

This Watch worked perfectly on my older iPhone 6S Plus literally until this morning.

Things I have tried without success:

  • Updated iPhone to latest iOS 13
  • Reset Apple Watch again
  • Closed all apps on iPhone
  • Rebooted iPhone
  • Forgot my current wifi network
  • have the same problem – Roman Hutnyk Nov 21 '19 at 13:32
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I was able to solve the issue on my end...

Problem: new iPhone 11 pro with iOS 13 won't pair with Apple watch series 2.

So the problem was that my old iPhone 6s was on iOS v10 and watch on v3 and iPhone wouldn't upgrade my watch to the newer watch OS, probably due to OS compatibility.

Unfortunately there is no option to upgrade iPhone to version 11 or 12 - you can upgrade to the latest version only. I've took a risk and upgraded my old iPhone 6s to the latest iOS hoping that as long as it is paired with watch it would upgrade watch OS, but it didn't work out and I've got 2 phones unable to pair with my watch.

I found a friend, who was on iOS 12 and used his iPhone to pair. Before pairing it asked to upgrade watch OS (iOS 13 didn't offered this option). After upgrade watch OS I was able to pair it with any iPhone running iOS 13.

So I'm all set now.

Hopefully this info will be useful for others.

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  • Yup, this was also how I solved it - just forgot about this question for some reason. – Moo Nov 27 '19 at 4:08

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