An Introduction to Water Resistant Watches

An Introduction to Water Resistant Watches

Water Restistance

People are often confused by what the stated water resistance of watches actually means. Does a watch with '50 metres' as the water resistance mean you can dive with it as deep as 50 metres' No, you cannot. So why do they write 50 metres on it? Because it is referring to static pressure, not the actual depth of water it can be used in. This is a common misconception.

50 metres refers to the pressure experienced if it was static at a depth of 50 metres. When the watch moves the pressure rises well above a static pressure of 50 metres. 50 metres of static water pressure is easily achieved even in shallow depths. Consequently, a 50 metres watch should not be used for diving, however it can be immersed in water.

Here are some common explanations of common water resistance standards:

Water resistant means splash proof only - it can withstand slight splashes and rain, but is NOT to be immersed in water.

The points below outlines general guidelines of the water resistancy you will receive from an accordingly rated watch.

  • 30 metres / 3 ATM - Splash-proof and waterproof in small amounts of water
  • 50 metres / 5 ATM - Can be submerged in water. Suitable for swimming, but not guaranteed to be resistant to jumping into the pool
  • 100 metres / 10 ATM - Suitable for swimming and shallow diving
  • 200 metres / 20 ATM - Suitable for diving - not the deep sea.

A new standard from Rotary is Dolphin. Nearly all Rotary watches now have the Dolphin standard. This means they are 'waterproof' and can be used in all water activities except deep sea diving. This is a revolutionary concept from Rotary and means you can wear your dress watch with the confidence that water will not enter the watch. For diving specifically, we have a large range of Citizen diving watches.

If you have the battery in your watch changed, you should be sure to have it resealed and pressure tested by the jeweller to ensure that it is still water resistant to the stated depth.

Please note, that continued exposure to water may affect the lifespan of a leather strap, and proper care should be taken as per the manufacturer's guidelines.

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