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Water Resistance Guide

One of the most common problems customers report back to us, is water appearing inside the watch face. This is due to the way the industry uses 'ATM' (or BAR and meters) as a way of stating the water resistance of a watch. It is very easy to miss interpret what the numbers actually mean in real life, so we have added a table below to explain exactly what can and cannot be done at a given ATM rating depth.

Water Resistance Ratings Table

WATER RESISTANCE SUITABLE FOR NOT SUITABLE FOR
30m (3ATM) The watch is splash and rain proof only. Submerging in water or wearing in the bath, shower, whilst swimming or any other water based activity.
50m (5ATM) Surface swimming only and white water rafting. Bath, shower, snorkeling, diving or water sports.
100m (10ATM) Swimming, snorkeling, water sports including sailing and surfing. Bath, Shower, diving with or without aids.
200m (20ATM) Skin diving (diving without aids). Scuba diving.
300m+ (30ATM) Scuba diving.  

The above table is a guide only, please read the warranty and or instruction booklet that arrived with your watch fully before use.

There are many other factors you should be aware of as follows:

  • Don't adjust the crown or press the buttons on your watch while it is submerged in water
  • Avoid wearing your watch in the shower or bath because the sudden temperature rise and fall can expand and shrink the seals that keep your watch water resistant
  • Be sure to have the water seals checked each year by sending or taking it to an authorised repair centre for your brand of watch if you intend on using your watch in water regularly
  • It is also a good idea to clean your watch regularly as well, especially if you are in the sea a lot

We have some helpful tips on how to clean your watch in our 'Watch Care Guide'.

The term 'ATM' is a measurement of the amount of water pressure the watch can withstand, so a 5 ATM watch can withstand the pressure it would be expected to be under if it was stationary at a depth of 50m. However simply diving into a swimming pool can increase the pressure to more than what would be measured at a 50 meter water depth (5ATM); The same as swimming itself increases the pressure each time your arm moves through the water to a number above what would be expected on the waters surface.

Some manufacturer's use a different method like Rotary, who simply state their watches are water proof and suitable to swim and dive in; the range has a minimum 100m water resistance.