Water Resistance Tips & Guidelines for Watches

water-resistance

General Tips for Watch Water Resistance

We carry many watches include a water-resistant feature. To produce a water-proof watch, watch manufacturers use several techniques, such as applying a O-ring and sealant inside the watch case to stop the water from entering into the watch case. To help customers selecting watches, water makers produce watches with different degrees of water resistance. Most watches have basic resistance to water and more enhancements are needed for the watch to withstand pressure while submerged in water. 

The Mechanism of Watch Water Resistance

 There are several mechanism in play for a watch to be water-proof. The most important water-resistant element is the gaskets, which are also called O-rings. Nylon, Teflon, or rubber are used to produce gasket. The gasket is used to create a seal to prevent the entrance of water. Watch manufacturers attach them to the joints where the crown, watch backing and crystal come together at the watch case. With a chronograph element, manufacturers will also add gaskets. In addition, producers line chemical sealant along the watchcase of a waterproof timepiece. The sealant is a special formula that dries fast and good to keep water from entering the watch's interior. Another important element is the watchcase, where its features directly determine if the watch is able to endure immersion. The case must use materials that are strong enough to hold up against a high level pressure without yielding and also resistant to water corrosion. Therefore normally water resistant watch case will have to be titanium or stainless steel and have a special chamber at the crown to hold pressure against water pressure. In some watches, the gold case is water-proof, but it must be thick. Water-resistant timepieces will also include construction enhancement such as a case backing that producers screw-in as well as a screw-in crown. In fact, a diver's watch must include a screw in crown as the production method will stop water from entering the case from the hold in the watch stem. With the mechanism bolted into the watch crown, the device will have a watertight seal, which is similar to the seal that occurs between a jar and its lid.

The Truth about Water-resistance Labels

Many people have been inquiring about water-resistant rating of the watch they want to purchase and the applicable implication to the daily uses. To clarify, there are two main things need to be noted when reading the labels.
1) All the ratings are produced in laboratory environment with strictly controlled factors, such as water composite, watch position, movements of the watch, the age of the watch, the age of the sealant or the gasket, temperature and so on.
2) All watch ratings are produced by two different standards/tests, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 2281 and ISO 6425. The ISO 2281 are the mostly used standards for watch markers as it encompasses simple tests and it is intended for general everyday use watches. The tests are normally used on a sample of watches during production and it is used as a general guidance for all the watches. ISO 6425 is a much stringent test, with more comprehensive data collected in various specially designed tests. Those special tests are more real life-like and more reliable. Every single watch which claimed to be qualified for this standard will need to be actually tested and then certified.
Majority of the watch makers use ISO 2281 as their standards when manufacturing watches not only just for obvious reasons, like costs, the quantity of production, but also because they know that vast majority of their watches will only see water in a sink or rarely in a swimming pool.
Watchmakers do not label their timepieces with a waterproof label because they cannot ensure that a watch will remain resistant to water in all conditions. In the 1960s, several government organizations prevented watchmakers from labeling their water-resistant products with the term "waterproof" due to the leaking potential of watches under high pressure.
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A practical tip is that do not wear your watch in shower or swim unless its got a screw-in back case, a screw-in crown and it is rated by ISO 2281 for 150 meters or more. Hot water, your body movement, like arm swinging back and fourth, chemicals in those water, moisture and steam can help water enter the watch case, even a small amount.  
Also the watch markers will desperately tell you if they used ISO 6425 standard to measure their watches, not just because it is a much superior standard also because it is a big selling point. So if it is not said anywhere in the advertisement, the watch must be measured againt ISO 2281 standard.  

Guideline for Watch-Resistant Watches

Please noted these guidelines are meant for referential purposes, due to the reasons outline above. 

Water-Resistant to 30 Meters

When a watch’s water-resistant rating has a guideline of 30 meters, or 100 feet, do not worry if raindrops find their way onto the watch, but be sure to avoid swimming, bathing, or diving while wearing it.

Water-resistant to 50 Meters

If a watch has a 50 meter, or 165 feet, water depth limitation, then the timepiece can be worn in a warm shower or when swimming in shallow water.

Water-Resistant to 100 Meters

A timepiece with a water-resistant regulation of 100 meters, or 330 feet, can withstand snorkeling and regular swimming.

Water-Resistant to 150 Meters

When consumers buy a watch that includes a water-resistant rating of 150 meters, or 550 feet, they can feel comfortable wearing their watch while snorkeling.

Water-Resistant to 200 Meters

With a water-resistant grade of 200 meters, or 660 feet, wearers can keep their watch on during skin diving adventures.

Diver’s 150 Meters

Scuba divers who want to wear a watch underwater should buy a timepiece with a Diver’s rating. A watch featuring a Diver’s 150-meter guideline is safe to take under the water.

Diver’s 200 Meters

If scuba divers prefer to experience deep depth dives, then they may consider purchasing a watch that features a Diver’s 200-meter rating, which manufacturers build to withstand water pressure that is 660 feet below the surface.

Tips for the Owners of Water-resistant Watches

Do not swim or dive while wearing a water-resistant watch unless it features a screw lock crown and has a resistant grade of at least 150 meters. Wearers should also remember that the depth rating is a result of testing completed in a lab environment, and in most cases, the watchmaker did not examine the watch while swimming in ocean waters. In addition, a watch’s water resistance is established in measurements of atmosphere, which is also referred to as ATM. Each ATM represents 10 meters of inert water pressure. Keep in mind that to continue a resistance to water, a timepiece will require preventative maintenance.

Water Damaged Watches Claims

Watchdepots offers premium watch repair service, we have watch specialists stand-by for all watch servicing and repair and we have range of different watch parts directly from watch factories. Depending on the type of damages and the brand of watches we will have to arrange the watch repair for you. Generally for all dress/designer's  watches or watches with water rating lower than 100 meters, we treat water damages as a repair claim. We will fix the watch for you for free if you bought it from us and no part replacement is required. If you buy the watch from other retailers we will repair your watch, replacing the O-ring, applying new sealant, dust removeal for a fix rate of 40 dollars, if no other parts need to be replaced. The job will normally take 1 days to complete and the watch will be sent back the next day. We do not recommend to wear watches while swimming if the watch is not a dive watch.  Please do not take any watches in shower or sona. 

If the watch is a dive watch and there occurred the water damage. We will treat it as a warranty claim and all repair work will be done for free. Please make sure you follow the standard guidelines and the tips to treat the repair watch to prevent future damage. 

About Watch Tests

Watch manufacturers test their water-resistant timepieces in two ways, which include dry and wet inspections. During the dry analysis, a tester will expose the watch to air pressure and measure the timepiece for expansion due to air leaks from the case. If the case extends, then the watch will not resist water. During a wet assessment, the tester will set the timepiece into a small chamber filled with water. He or she will then add pressure from a piston. Watches that withstand the treatment without permitting water to enter the encasement will receive a water-resistant rating.

How to Care for a Water-Resistant Watch

Avoid wearing a water-resistant watch in an area that features a great deal of heat as well as moisture such as a sauna or a hot tub. Even a hot shower can cause the watch to fail. The watch is resistant to water but may not hold up against excessive heat combined with moisture. When a watch enters a heated area, the conditions may cause the device’s metal elements to swell at a different rate than the watch’s rubber gaskets. Unfortunately, the expansion can make small gaps inside the watch, and this will permit water to enter the unit’s interior, which will damage the device. Also, avoid drastic temperature changes while wearing the watch. For instance, don’t jump into a cold swimming pool after spending time in the sun. If the watch is worn while swimming or scuba diving in salt water, then be sure to rinse the timepiece in fresh water after the excursion. When a water-resistant watch features a rotating bezel, wearers should turn the device several times during the fresh water rinse as this process will prevent the buildup of salt and corrosion. Keep in mind that some chemicals can cause more damage to a watch’s gaskets and make it more likely to fail. For instance, water with an excessive amount of chlorine added may cause a watch to corrode. In addition, misting perfume and hairspray can damage a timepiece. In fact, chemicals can work their way into the device’s inner workings and gum up the interior parts. When the watch is underwater, do not push any of the timepiece’s buttons. Also, do not pull out the crown while the watch is submerged. If condensation appears within the watch, then take the device to a watch specialist for service. In addition, have a service specialist change the batteries in the timepiece. While changing the batteries, a watch professional will check the piece to ensure that the seals are still functioning. If the seals are beginning to fail, then a watch expert can replace them. Servicers may also change the caseback gaskets during a battery replacement. Other areas that a watch professional may check are the timepiece’s glass, stem, and caseback. Often, a water-resistant watch will include durable leather straps. However, this section of a watch can also suffer damage. Therefore, consider replacing the leather section with a metal band or a nylon diver strap.

 

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