***Bing Code***

WATER-RESISTANT WATCHES

Published: 26/09/2018

Water-resistance can be quite confusing when it comes to watches. What does it mean? Can we swim or dive with a water-resistant watch, or is a water-resistant watch only splash-proof?

Many watches carry a “Water-Resistant” mark, but after swimming or even shallow diving many watches have a mist on the inside of the watch-glass or have stopped working because there’s water inside the inner-workings of the watch. It seems even a “50m Water-Resistant” watch can have the same response to water.

A water-resistant watch is not designed to be water-proof… It is designed to resist water splashes, or accidentally jumping or diving into a pool. Therefore, swimming or other water-sports are not recommended with a water-resistance of 30-50m, for instance.

When purchasing a watch with water sports and diving in mind, it is important to look at a diving watch that is water-proof rather than water—resistant. A water-proof watch is tested to a certain depth to withstand seawater, changes in water pressure and changes in temperature. Some water-proof watches are even shock resistant to handle the tougher treatment.

Waterproof watches are also made to withstand depths a little deeper than the published depth to ensure a longer lasting water-tightness.

Mixed Gas Diving Watches

Clients who are professional or deep-sea divers need to keep in mind that when they spend time in decompression chambers or other pressurised underwater working environments that their diving watch might not be able to cope with the gas mixtures being used in those pressurised conditions. Diving watches that have been tested in such environments are recommended instead of standard diving watches.

History of Waterproof Watches

Even though other watch manufacturers had already made water-resistant watches about 20 years earlier, it was Rolex who was the first manufacturer to make a truly water-proof and dust-proof watch as early as 1926. This invention and was called the Rolex Oyster.
In 1927, the founder of Rolex, Hans Wildorf, gave a Rolex Oyster to Mercedes Gleitze to wear during her attempt to swim across the English Channel, to help promote the new invention.
Up to that point, in time watches were mainly still pocket-watches and not yet wristwatches, but through the effective promotion of the Rolex Oyster, water-proof wristwatches became fashionable especially because they didn’t need to be taken off every time one washed hands.
This is how the Rolex Oyster became a pioneer in the sport and adventure watch scene.

Caring for Your Water-Resistant Watch

Caring for a water-resistant or water-proof watch is a lot more practical than jewellery care, as they are these watches are designed tough, to withstand pressure.
Store your water-resistant watch out of sight when not being worn.
Do not take your watch off near the water’s edge, near the boat’s edge or similar environments. Rather sit down somewhere so that if your watch were to slip out of your hand, it would not drop overboard and disappear.
Have a pouch or box where you can store your watch, away from sand and sea-water.
Store a soft cloth in the pouch with which to clean your watch.
Before diving check to what depth you’ll be diving to make sure your watch is made for the dive depth.

Related Content