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Everything you need to know about water resistance

The water resistance of a wristwatch is very important, especially for diving watches. Not because you often go diving with it – but rather because you could. The water resistance of a timepiece can also be a great advantage in everyday life. Whether showering, swimming, bathing or really diving – a very waterproof watch helps you not to have to constantly make sure that you take the watch off before certain activities. Of course, dress watches are usually not as waterproof as diving or sports watches.

The water resistance of a wristwatch is given in meters and / or in bar. The number in meters divided by 10 gives the water resistance in bar. It is not only the case back that matters, but also the glass. The seals of the glass and the bottom of the case should be as hard as possible to gain good water resistance. Diving watches also have a screw-down crown – this prevents water from entering through this way.

With a chronograph, it is important not to operate it underwater. There are also chronographs with watertight pushers – but to be on the safe side, they should not be operated underwater. But which activities are possible with which water resistance? In this article, our editorial team shows how water-resistant certain watches should be.

Showering, swimming & diving with your wach

Most often, a watch comes into contact with water when it rains, when washing hands and when showering. Most watches survive hand washing and occasional rain without any problems. A water resistance of 3 bar is sufficient for this. Showering should not be underestimated. If there is a lot of pressure on the shower head, it can reach up to 10 bar. A water resistance of 10 bar or 100 meters should therefore absolutely be present.

Diving a few meters below the surface of the water should only be attempted with a classic diving watch. This means that a water resistance of 20 bar or 200 meters is appropriate. A screw-down crown is not absolutely necessary, but this is a decisive advantage. After every service, every time the case is opened and after at least 6 months, the seals on a watch should be replaced. This is the only way to maintain watertightness in the long term.

In practice, it should be noted that particularly waterproof watches are often not as waterproof as one thinks at low pressure. This is due to the fact that strong diving watches are often equipped with particularly hard seals. These require quite a bit of pressure so that the glass and the case back press the seals properly. Such thoroughbred diving watches with professional seals should not be exposed to water at low pressure for too long.

Watches and their water resistance

A high quality diving watch usually offers a water resistance of 200 meters or 20 bar and a screw-down crown. It is essential to ensure that the bottom of the case is screwed on and that it is not a blasting cap. The bracelet should also be water-resistant. Leather straps can be damaged underwater, so diving watches regularly have steel bracelets or rubber watch straps.

But what activities are even possible with what water resistance? Our editorial team has summarized the most important activities in the following list:

  • 30 m – washing hands and rain is ok, everything else is dangerous
  • 50 m – even heavy rain and a quick shower should be ok
  • 100 m – swimming and taking a bath is possible with the watch
  • 200 m – you can perform short diving trips
  • 300 m – real dive watch: diving is absolutely possible

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