Water Resistant Watches: Guide to Water Resistance

A watch is not water resistant unless stated on the dial or case back.

Most water resistant watches are not designed for prolonged active use in water.

Water resistance is stated as a depth (BAR, ATM, meters or feet) this means that it has been tested in a laboratory to with stand a static pressure for a short period only at the stated depth. The actual water pressure on the watch during use is greater than the static pressure. During diving into a pool the pressure on the watch is greater at the impact point with the water.

Certain chemicals in water can damage the watch seal as well as perfumes, aerosol sprays and other cosmetics.

Watches should be tested for water resistance every two years and gaskets replaced as necessary to maintain water resistance.

WARNING: Ensure that the crown / buttons are are returned to their normal operating position when the watch is to be in contact with water. On models with screw down buttons water resistance is lost when the crown is in the unlocked posistion.

Case or Dial Marking

Not marked

Watch should not be worn whilst washing-up or showering etc.

Water resistant

Will withstand accidental splashes, rain etc. but not washing-up, or showering etc

3 BAR, 3 ATM, 30m, 100ft

Suitable for everyday use. Will withstand accidental splashes but not suitable for swimming.

5 BAR, 5 ATM, 50m, 165ft

Suitable for everyday use and swimming but NOT poolside diving, snorkelling or water sports.

10 BAR, 10 ATM, 100m, 330ft

Suitable for everyday use and swimming and snorkelling but NOT suitable for high board diving or sub-aqua diving.

20 BAR, 20 ATM, 200m, 660ft

Suitable for all high impact water sports and scuba diving at depths not requiring helium gas. At these depths it is recommended to purchase a professional watch

30 / 80 / 130 BAR, 30 / 80 / 130 ATM, 300 / 800 / 1300 m, 1000 / 2650 / 4300 ft

Suitable for all high impact water sports, scuba diving and saturation diving.