Watch Buyers Guide – Water Resistance
How waterproof does your watch need to be? Do you need piece of mind that your watch won’t be defeated by a little splash of water or do you require a tool watch to go deep-sea diving with.
Water resistiveness of a watch is measured by the pressure the exterior can endure, without compromising the seals to let water in. You must bear in mind that the watches are tested in a laboratory, with new seals, in an optimal state, in static water.
In reality, a watch rated as 30 or 50 metres water resistant shouldn’t be worn while swimming or showering, but should be fine if splashed with water while washing your hands or if caught in the rain.
If you intend on swimming in a pool with your watch you should select one with at least 100 metres water resistance and a screw down crown to seal out water.
At 200 metres water resistance, the watch is good to go swimming in the ocean, snorkelling and some light recreational diving providing it doesn’t go too deep underwater.
Rated at 300 metres water resistance, a watch could theoretically be used at professional diving deaths – providing the dial is legible. Pro divers watches must also meets the ISO 6425 divers watches standard. Diving watches from this point start to include a helium escape valve to keep the watch safe during saturation diving.
Beyond 500 and 1000 metres of water resistance, very few people gain additional use from their diving watches, and instead it’s used for the bragging rights and knowledge that the manufactures spared no expense to create the most indestructible watch that could possibly be made.