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Here's What 'Ware Resistant' Really Means

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It’s summer and that means many of us are engaging in water sports. But, before you jump right in, take a look at these important factors that will help you determine if the watch on your wrist can jump in with you.

To begin with, no watch is waterproof. Watches can be rated "water resistant" to a certain depth that is typically pre-determined in a series of tests. If a watch does not carry the words "water resistant," it most likely is not water resistant. Look for the designation on the dial or caseback.

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Generally, watches are marked "water resistant" to a certain depth. Different watch brands use different measuring methods, including Bar, ATM (atmospheres), Meters and Feet. Generally 10 Bar equals 10 ATM, which equals 100 meters or 330 feet.

Several important watch parts influence whether or not a watch is water resistant. These include proper gaskets, screw-down crowns (where once the time has been set and the crown is pushed back in, the crown is screwed into locking position), and screwed casebacks (where, in the manufacture of the watch, the caseback has been threaded to fit the case with no openings).

So, what's the long and the short of it? Here is a quick guide to help you decide just how much water your watch will enjoy.

• 30 meters: It should not be worn in the water; it is most likely just splash resistant.
• 50 meters: Swim with it.
• 100 meters: Snorkel with it.
• 200 meters: Snorkel and maybe dive to 100-meters – no deep dives.
• 300 meters: Congratulations you can deep dive.

Just one other note, though. Showering or hot-tubbing with a water resistant watch is not a good idea, as the warmer temperatures of the water can affect the gasket shape and seal. We also recommend that you have your watch tested for water resistance once a year, typically before the summer season hits.