A watch rated as Water Resistant may come in contact with water to a predetermined extent. Most watches are classified by the degree until which depth of immersion is safe. It is important to remember that a water resistant rating is based upon optimum conditions in a laboratory. Real life experience and aging of the gaskets will effectively decrease the manufacturer's specifications of water resistance over time. Water coming in contact with the movement is the worst scenario that can happen to a watch. Thus, we strongly suggest that you always work well within the parameters of the manufacturer's recommendations and have your watch tested at least once a year. Any competent watchmaker has the necessary equipment to test water resistance.
Recommended brands for water resistance:
1. Nixon Watches
The U.S. FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which enforces the truth-of-advertising has deemed the term "Waterproof" inappropriate. In their opinion, a watch can never be 100% truly impervious to water, as the gaskets deteriorate over time and exposure, thus reducing the specified depth of water resistance. In the words of the FTC "The word proof connotes a measure of absolute protection that unfortunately does not exist with respect to watches, especially over prolonged periods of time." The FTC has found the term Water Resistant to be more appropriate.
ATM is short for "Atmosphere" which is equal to 10 meters. Another word for ATM which is commonly used in Europe is BAR - this too is equal to 10 meters.
Obviously, the higher the rating, the more appropriate the watch is for deeper diving.
IMPORTANT: We strongly recommend purchasing a watch with a screw-down crown (Nixon 51-30 Chrono) if you intend on wearing the watch while you are in contact with water.
- Have your watch water-tested once a year.
- Do not shower or swim with your watch unless it is rated 100m/330ft and has a screw-down crown.
- Never open, wind or operate the crown while in water.
- Never press the buttons of a chronograph watch while in water, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer.
- Do not subject your watch to extreme temperature changes.
- Do not subject your watch to sudden and rapid air-pressure changes.
- Do not allow your watch to come in contact with corrosive chemicals, such as abrasive soaps and highly chlorinated water.
- Ensure that the crown is always pushed in, and if you have a screw-down crown, make sure it is always tightened. Double-check before immersing in water.