Water Resistance

How to ensure that water does not seep into your watch:

1.       Never immerse your watch at the maximum depth recommended by the manufacturer. The water resistance of a watch refers to the predetermined maximum depth at which immersing the watch in water is safe. Manufacturers determine the level of water resistance based on tests they carry out in laboratories. Since we don’t wear watches under lab conditions, use the diagram and guide at the bottom of this page to assist you in determining how cautious you should be at particular resistance levels.

2.       Never push, adjust or open the crown and pushers of your watch when it is immersed in water. The easiest way for water to infiltrate a watch is through the crown-stem hole. The crown’s stem is attached to the watch’s movement via a hole present in the case edge.

As you move the crown to varying positions, you cause the gasket to be compressed and stressed. Water will seep into the watch through the crown-stem hole if you do not push the crown all the way in OR if the shape of the gasket varies even slightly because of you constantly winding and turning the crown.

3.       Do not press the buttons of a chronograph timepiece while in water unless the manufacturer states otherwise.

4.       Ensure your watch has a screw-down crown if you plan on wearing it in water, and double check that it is tightened before coming into contact with water.

A screw-down crown screws shut to a threaded tube in the watch’s case. When the crown is tightened, the compressed gasket in the crown seals the opening and ensures that no water seeps into the watch.

5.       Don’t let water in through the case-back.

Be aware of the type of case-back your watch has, and how easy or difficult it is for water to seep in through the case-back. Use the table below to help you understand your watch.

 

How well sealed is the watch?

Level of water resistance (generally speaking)?

How does water seep in?

Snap-on case-backs

Sealed by pressure.

Least water resistant; can usually come into contact with water but cannot be immersed.

Water will infiltrate as a result of the slightest deformity in the gasket or nick in the case.

 

Case-backs attached with screws

Screws ensure tighter seal than snap-on case-back.

Medium water resistant; can usually be immersed in a pool and used for light swimming.

Water will infiltrate as a result of the slightest deformity in the gasket.

Screw-in case-backs

Doubly sealed by threading and the gasket.

Highly water resistant; usually found in diving watches.

Difficult for water to infiltrate.

6.       Avoid hot temperatures. Warm water temperatures (especially when plunged into cold water directly afterwards) will modify the shape of the gaskets, and may allow water to seep in.

7.       Avoid swift and sudden changes in pressure. Avoid diving unless you watch is built for doing so, because the change in pressure may cause gaskets to rupture and allow water to seep in.

8.       Never subject your watch to corrosive chemicals like highly chlorinated water or abrasive soaps.

9.       Get your watch tested for water resistance periodically, preferably annually.
With natural wear, parts of the watch will deteriorate over time, particularly the gaskets. Gaskets are shaped rings made of nylon, Teflon or rubber that seal the junctions between the watch case and the crown, crystal and case back. Chronographs also have gaskets on the chronograph pushers. Gaskets are there to ensure that water does not seep into the watch.
The condition of gaskets deteriorate over time, which means that the water resistance of your watch will decrease over time. In other words, over time the manufacturer’s limitations are really more limited.  We recommend getting your watch tested at minimum once yearly to ensure that your watch is still water resistant, to avoid water seeping in.

 

 

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