Watches and H2O

Below are a few definitions for you to understand the difference between water-resistant and water-proof. In order to do that you really do have to examine what your watch was designed to do in the first place.

According to the guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission, watch marketers are not allowed to label their watches WATER-PROOF. Even watches designed for deep-sea diving cannot claim to be waterproof.

The Federal Trade Commission has four water resistance definitions:

Water Resistant – Not suitable for any kind of immersion in water but will withstand being out in the rain and washing hands.

Water Resistant 50 Meters – means the watch is suitable for surface swimming but not snorkeling.

Water Resistant 100 Meters – means the watch can be used for snorkeling, hot-tubbing, swimming, bathing but NO diving.

Water Resistant 300 Meters – this watch can do it all except professional deep water diving.

1000 Meters (Roughly Three-Fifths of a Mile) – this category can endure deep-sea diving. Their gaskets are made of a materials than can withstand the helium used in decompression chambers. The crystal of this watch is 8mm thick or roughly a quarter of an inch. Some have valves that let the wearer release the helium that has seeped into the watch so the case will not explode as the watch and diver adjust to normal atmospheric conditions.

One other important thing to keep in mind is that the depth specified on the watch dial represents the results of tests done in the laboratory, not in the ocean or swimming pool. You create a much higher degree of pressure when you are moving your arms and swimming.

After you have changed the battery it is important to test your watch to see if it is still water resistant. At Fast-Fix we do a DRY testing which subjects the watch to air pressure and measures to see whether the case expands as a result of air leaking into the case. It is important to test your watch every year and whenever the watch is opened. Since the metal of the watch case ages it is not as flexible as it once was. It is important to know since the watch may not be able to return to its factory water-resistance.

Please ask us for this important test so you can wear your watch with confidence.