Water ResistanceThe notion of water resistance to a given depth (e.g. 30m, 50m, 100m) is based on the fact that the case has been designed to withstand a STATIC laboratory test to the stated depth for SHORT periods only. The number of metres shown does not indicate the depth that the watch can be taken to. Most water resistant watches are NOT designed for prolonged and active use in water. The only watches designed to withstand these types of conditions are professional divers watches.
No indication: this watch is NOT water resistant unless specifically stated on the dial or case back. Watches that are not indicated to be water resistant to any degree should not be worn whilst washing hands, dishes or showering etc.
Water resistant: if a watch is simply described as "Water Resistant" or "WR", then it is splash proof only. There is no absolute guarantee, but this means that it should be fine with normal wear, including going out in the rain and hand washing, but not where any immersion in water takes place such as washing dishes, showering, bathing, etc.
Water resistant to 30m/3ATM/98ft: suitable for everyday use and will withstand accidental splashing, but not suitable for swimming.
Water resistant to 50m/5ATM/164ft: suitable for everyday use and swimming, but not suitable for poolside diving, snorkelling or water sports.
Water resistant to 100m/10ATM/328ft: suitable for everyday swimming and snorkelling, but not suitable for high board diving or sub aqua diving.
Water resistant to 200m/20ATM/662ft: suitable for all high impact water sports and scuba diving at depths not requiring helium gas (at these depths it is recommended that a professional diver's watch be purchased).
*Only watches marked "Divers" on the dial should be used for diving, as they fully comply with the international standards for divers watches.
Watch manufacturers use other terms to measure water resistance:
• A.T.M. (atmosphere), where 1 A.T.M. equals 10 metres.
• Bar, where 1 bar equals 10 metres.
General PointsThe figures quoted refer to static pressure. The actual water pressure on the watch during use can be far greater than static pressure. For instance, maximum pressure on the watch when poolside diving is likely to be at the point of impact with the water.
Condensation can also be a problem. A sealed watch will pick up body warmth in wear during poolside diving. If the watch is then suddenly plunged into water that is some degrees colder moisture can then be created within the watch and become visible as small droplets under the glass. This normally dissipates of its own accord once the watch is removed from the water, but this is not always the case. The watch may then need to be returned to the supplier for drying. This situation does not necessarily mean that the watch is leaking although it may appear so.
Buttons and crowns should not be operated whilst the watch is under water or immersed in it for any reason, as stated in most instruction leaflets. Watches with screw crowns are usually more water resistant than watches with push crowns therefore this feature is more likely to be found in Divers' style watches.