Google has made it convenient for Pixel phone users to restore their devices to their original state by providing factory images. Now, more than six months after the launch of the Pixel Watch, the company has uploaded factory and OTA images for download on its developer site. However, it’s important to note that you cannot directly flash these images onto your watch without a special debug adapter.
On Google’s developer page, you’ll find the factory and OTA images for the “r11” LTE and “r11btwifi” variants of the Pixel Watch. These images cover all the firmware versions released for the smartwatch since its launch, starting from October 2022. Initially, Google offered separate builds for carriers and the Japan/Taiwan region, but since April 2023, there has been a unified build available.
Google explicitly mentions on the factory and OTA image page that you need access to a special debug adapter to utilize the firmware files. Interestingly, the company is distributing the adapter through an invite-only model, unlike the straightforward process of plugging a phone into your PC and using ADB to flash the factory image or sideload the OTA. However, it’s worth noting that the likelihood of bricking your watch is lower compared to a Pixel phone.
The Pixel Watch has concealed pogo pins where the top band connects to the device. Presumably, Google’s invite-only debug adapter will utilize these pins to establish a connection with the watch, enabling you to flash the factory image or sideload the OTA. If you manage to obtain the debug adapter, remember that flashing the factory image requires unlocking the bootloader and performing a complete wipe of your Pixel Watch.