Water Resistant Watch Quick Facts

watch underwater
Whether you search for expensive or cheap waterproof watches online, generally, you're seeking a watch of good quality and style, but those aren't the only features you desire. Most likely, you also want a waterproof watch you can wear while you're washing dishes or swimming. As you go about your search, understand that watch manufacturers shy away from offering waterproof watches, but you'll find a wide selection of water-resistant watches to wear for work, play and formal occasions.
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What Makes a Watch Water-Resistant?

Watchmakers cannot guarantee their watches are 100 percent waterproof, because there are too many mechanisms and parts involved to make that claim. However, they do offer high quality water resistant watches, which keep as much water out of watch mechanisms as possible. There are several things that make a watch highly resistant to water damage.

First, look for watches that are marked as water resistant. All watches must clearly indicate they have this feature. Secondly, watches have a water resistance level number, and these numbers range from a low resistance level of three up to a high of 20. Third, watches must be thoroughly tested and pass strict standards set by the International Organization for Standardization.


Levels of Water Resistance

The easiest way to find the best waterproof watches for your needs is to read water resistance level information. Typically, timepiece sellers list water resistance depth, followed by a specific number of meters.

30 meters is equal to 100 feet or 3 ATM.
50 meters is equal to 165 feet or 5 ATM.
100 meters is equal to 330 feet or 10 ATM.
200 meters is equal to 660 feet or 20 ATM.

Diver watches are ISO regulated, and labeled as 150 to 200 meters, which is equal to a water depth of 500 to 600 feet. Lower numbers indicate watches that are the least water-resistant, and higher numbers offer the best protection from water damage.


Watch Testing

All water-resistant watches go through two types of testing. One test exposes the watch to different levels of air pressure; this dry test exposes any air leaks. Wet testing involves placing the watch inside of a small water-filled chamber, and then pumping it full of air pressure. Testers assign ratings based on how well the watch performs on both tests.


Everyday Use

If you want a nice watch to wear every day during basic activities, watches with water depth levels of 30 to 50 are a good choice. At these levels, it’s safe to wear your watch while walking in the rain or washing your hands. Take these watches off before bathing or swimming.


Swimming and Diving

If you enjoy wearing a watch while swimming or diving in deep water, choose a watch with a water resistance depth of between 100 and 600 meters. For normal swimming and snorkeling, go with watches labeled 100 to 300 meters. For deep sea diving, you’re better off with watches that tolerate deeper depths.


Care and Maintenance

Chemicals contained in products such as perfume and hairspray can damage your watch. Chlorine in pools may cause corrosion. Keep your water-resistant watch away from too much chemical exposure. Rinse your watch in fresh water after diving in saltwater.


Designer Water Resistant Watches

Famous designer-brand watches often include water resistance as a main feature for many different styles. Water resistance depth for designer watches typically ranges from 30 to 100 meters.


Sports Water Resistant Watches

Picking out a sports watch is fun. In addition to all the bells and whistles you enjoy, many sports watches are highly water-resistant. To maintain a maximum level of water resistance, make sure watch crowns and buttons are securely closed before exposing the watch to water.