People are often confused by what the water resistance rating of watches actually means. Watch cases are sealed against water using a mixture of rubber gaskets and seals, as well as screw down crowns and pushers in some cases.

A watch marked with 50 metres on the dial or case back doesn't mean it can be used diving to a depth of 50 metres. The rating refers to the static pressure it can withstand, so if held perfectly still underwater at a depth of 50 metres, it would maintain its integrity and not let water into the case. The issue arises when it is moved, as when it is being worn in water, the pressure on the watch varies, and can cause seals to fail, and water to enter the watch.

To simplify the water resistance, we have constructed a basic table covering the ratings, and what this means in real world usage.
0 metres / 0 ATM/barA number of precious metal watches are sealed as much as possible, but due to the nature of the metal they cannot guarantee the watch will be water resistant. Care should be taken, such as removing the watch when washing your hands.
30 metres / 3 ATM/barSplashproof, this means it can be worn in scenarios where it is likely to be splashed but not immersed, so can we worn while washing your hands and fine in rain.
50 metres / 5 ATM/barBasic water resistance, this can be submerged in water for periods, so can be used for swimming and fishing. It is not reccomended for high impact water sports.
100 metres / 10 ATM/barElevated water resistance, this can be used reliably while swimming, and snorkelling or surfing.
200 metres / 20 ATM/barDive spec water resistance. This can be used for professional marine activity, skin diving and high impact water sports, but not deep sea or mixed gas diving without consulting.


For higher depth ratings, and if the watch is being used for professional air diving use, there is a specific range of watches that are clearly marked as DIVERS 200M, which means they are ISO6425 rated for use underwater with additional durability and legibility criteria for use underwater in addition to the water resistance.

Mixed gas or saturation diving requires specialised watches with specific rating. At this moment we do not sell any watches suitable for mixed gas diving.

Rotary has a mix of normal water resistance, and its older Waterproof standard. This refers to a watch that is water resistant for most water based activities where a person can complete these without breathing apparatus.


Maintaining Water Resistance

When using the watch in and around water, do not pull out the crown to change the time, and if the watch has a screw down crown and pushers, ensure these are firmly closed before submerging the watch.
After you have finished swimming/diving, especially in salt water or in a pool, rinse off any salt or chlorine, as this may corrode the case or bracelet, and when trapped between the watch and skin, may cause irritiation.
Do not use perfumes or creams on the skin under the watch, as these can damage the seals of the watch and cause them to prematurely fail.

Please note, that continued exposure to water may affect the life span of a leather strap, as such this should be avoided, or proper care should be taken as per the manufacturer's guidelines in water.

The watch used a complex series of gaskets and seals to stop any water ingress, usually made of plastic, or rubber, and sometimes with a silicon grease on these seals. These should be inspected every time the watch battery is changed or the watch is serviced, and replaced if neeeded, and a water resistance test carried out to make sure the watch continues to perform correctly underwater.


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