Watch water resistance explained.

You’re looking at getting a new watch and you want to know what you can do with it in regards to the elements, recreational swimming, etc. Here are some tips.

Water Resistant

If that’s all the specifications state or is what is on the watch face, beware water altogether. A splash in a sink may be okay but that’s probably about it. 3M, 5M – it’s about the same. Do not think that a 5M watch means it’s water resistance to a depth of 5M.


Okay. The watch is officially splash resistant but you shouldn’t take it into the shower or the pool or submerge it for any reason. Getting caught in the rain you might fare alright.


You can swim with this rating. Remember that it’s pressure, not just depth. So moving your arms around while submerged increases pressure on the watch. But with this, you’ll be okay. Just don’t press any chronograph pushers while under there.


Snorkel away. Extended submersion in the pool or ocean should be just fine. No diving, but you should rest easy with the recreational water play and boating activities. Generally speaking I don’t like having a watch with less than 100M water resistance. It’s something you don’t want to worry about and I always like wearing a watch in the water. It’s just so easy.


You’re still not in serious dive territory yet. You could probably dive about 10 meters with this rating, but you might not want to push it. Hardcore surface and just below water activity should be alright.


Dive, dive, dive! You should be fine doing serious diving with this rating, even if it’s not┬ácertified to the ISO 6425 standard.

Diver’s or ISO 6425

If ISO 6425 or Diver appear on your watch (dial or case) than you have a certified watch for diving. If the watch has a rating and doesn’t have this distinction, it’s obviously not certified. Certification means you can take the watch to a depth of at least 100M (if there isn’t a number). Add another 25% if the water is calm. These watches are extra durable and tolerant of salt water, shock, and magnetism. Beast watch.


Don’t ruin or get condensation into your watch now that you know what the ratings actually mean. Water in a watch means corrosion means a watch that will die far quicker than you would like. You might remove the caseback and allow air exchange to remove the condensation. Or take it to a watchmaker for potential repairs.

If you see moisture on the crystal, you know it’s in the movement and that’s a bad thing. The bag of rice thing is a myth with watches. Even if you pull out the crown, there are still gaskets and likely the moisture will not escape.

Happy dial watching ­čÖé

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