Waterproof? First assume that your watch is not in any way waterproof unless it says so on the case back or the dial. Without this information you should not wear your watch while washing hands or showering and should protect it when out in the rain. Do not be tempted to wear any watch in a hot bath or a sauna; the heat will perish the seals and your watch will need expensive work. You should also keep your watch well away from a pressure washer, as one blast is as much as deep seas dive.
The figure given on a ‘waterproof’ watch dial or back is to advise that your watch will withstand a static test or water impact to the indicated pressure for a very short period. Most ‘waterproof’ watches are not designed for active use in water. If you need to be active in the water while wearing a watch, buy a professional divers watch. The actual water pressure on a watch during use will be much greater than the static pressure. For example the diving pressure is much greater at the impact point during poolside diving.
There are several features that help make a watch water-resistant. The most important is the gaskets, or 0 rings-made of rubber, nylon or Teflon which form watertight seals at the joints where the crystal, case back and crown meet the watch case. If the watch is a chronograph, the chronograph pushers will also have gaskets. In addition, water-resistant watchcases are lined with a sealant, applied in the form of a quick-hardening liquid, which helps keep water out.
The thickness and material of the case is also a major factor in determining whether a watch can safely be worn underwater. The case must be sturdy enough to withstand pressure without caving in, this means a steel or titanium case or a steel case plated with gold, manufacturers say. Solid gold cases can be water resistant provided they are sufficiently thick.
3 BAR or 98ft only means suitable for everyday use. These watches will withstand accidental splashing and a bit of rain. NOT suitable for swimming.
5 BAR or 164ft is suitable for everyday use including swimming but not for jumping in the water or any water sports.
10 BAR or 328ft suitable for everyday use including swimming and snorkelling but NOT suitable for sub-aqua or high board diving.
20 BAR or 662ft all high impact water sports and scuba diving at depths NOT requiring helium gas. We strongly recommend that for this use a professional divers watch be purchased.
30/80/130 or 993/2648/4300ft suitable for all high impact water sports, scuba diving and saturation diving.
Once a watch has been opened for any reason it is not likely to be waterproof unless it has been sealed and tested.
The figures quoted refer to a STATIC pressure. The actual water pressure on your watch during use will be greater than the static pressure. Moving your hand through the water increases the pressure. Diving in creates high pressure at the point of impact. A warm watch being plunged into colder water may cause condensation. If condensation does not clear quickly then your watch must be returned to a watchmaker or long term damage not covered by any guarantee will result.
At City Clocks we will be happy to advise you on your clock maintenance.
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