What's the Deal with Watches and Water Resistance?

This article was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated.

From light rain to a few feet of snow, the winter climate can definitely be a mixed bag during the season. But what does that mean for the watch on your wrist? Here’s a breakdown of what water resistance ratings mean and how it pertains to the environment around you.

The Basics  No watch is truly waterproof. A watch’s water resistance can only work if the crown of the watch is pushed or screwed in all the way. Most watches nowadays list water ratings in meters, but if you ever come across a watch that lists it in "bar" or "atm", note that 1 bar/1atm = ~10m. So 3bar would be the equivalent of 30m.

30 meters – On many of our watches, you’ll find the words “Water Resistant” written on the dial. This refers to 30m of water resistance, and is commonly reserved for dress watches (like the Bambino) and delicate classic timepieces. The extent of this amount of water resistance is usually light exposure to water, like washing your hands and rain.

50 meters – This is a common rating in our watches, found in pieces like the Sun and Moon collection. Obviously, it can handle more frequent contact with water than a 30m watch can, including swimming and washing your car.

100 meters – This water resistance level is widely applied to sport watches and diver watches. More often than not, these watches are equipped with a screwed down crown to support their resistance. They are perfect for skin diving or any kind of diving that doesn’t require an air tank (like snorkeling, swimming). 

200 meters – You'll find that some watches in this designation bear a "DIVER'S" mark on the dial. This means that they are ISO or JIS-compliant with standards that make them suitable for SCUBA diving. Currently, the only watch in our collection that bears this mark is the Triton. Other watches like the Mako USA II, and Ray II are water resistant to 200m, but are only suitable for skin diving.


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