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Water Resistance Explained

Water resistant watches carry a rating which is usually marked on the watch itself in either meters (m) or Atmospheres (ATM). This rating indicates how much pressure a watch can withstand when absolutely still before letting water in. Any movement of the watch causes greater pressure on the watch, which is why a 50 meter water resist watch cannot actually be worn to a depth of 50 meters.

Please use the following guide to ensure you understand the meaning of the different water resistance ratings:

Rating Suitable for
No rating Avoid contact with water
Water Resistant Resistant to splashes but not suitable for showering, washing or immersion in water
3 ATM
or 30 Meters
Resistant to washing and showering but not suitable for swimming
5 ATM
or 50 Meters
Resistant to swimming but not diving
10 ATM
or 100 Meters
Resistant to pool side diving and snorkelling
20 ATM
or 200 Meters
Resistant to scuba diving with oxygen tanks

Regardless of a watch's water resistance rating it should not be worn while in the bath, sauna etc as the sudden change in temperature can cause different components to expand at varying rates and thereby allow water in. Contact with chemicals (e.g. detergents, perfume, nail polish remover etc.) should be avoided as these can seriously affect the water resistance.  Always remove your watch before carrying out activities such as washing-up or washing the car.

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