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Wristwatch Water Resistance

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Watch water resistance has been a subject of endless discussions for a very long time. However, most people still misuse this term and don't really understand the difference between a watch being water-resistant and watch being waterproof. Let me try to distinguish these terms.

The term "waterproof" was discontinued in the late 1960's. This change was brought about from several government organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission in the USA, who were investigating truthfulness and accuracy of product labeling and advertising.

"Waterproof" was considered to have misrepresented the products as more capable of preventing the entry of water under normal use circumstances than they were actually capable of. Specifically, diving-type watches never have been completely "proof" of water entry under normal use and within the stated depth ratings. What was discovered is that no wrist watch is completely waterproof. Specialty-designed watches such as Rolex Submariner are manufactured to be waterproof, but in order for it to stay completely watertight it has to be maintained regularly: they should be pressure checked every year and the seals should be replaced at least every two or three years. In contrary, other, so-called dress watches, are not intended to be watertight at all. You may wash your hands without taken them off or walk in the rain, but you may not swim or dive wearing these watches.

The solution to this problem was very simple – watch manufacturers stopped using term "waterproof" and replaced it with "water-resistant". This term is rather vague: it literally means that your watch resists water, but may not keep it out completely.

I know many luxury watch owners who never take their watches of their wrists and never had water damage done to their watches. I also have seen many Rolex Datejust watches with rusted movements, but still functioning. Your watch is your property and no one can tell you what to do with it, but if you experiment with your $20k watch by throwing it into the pool – you are just testing your luck.

  • water
  • resistant
  • watch
  • watches
  • diving
  • water-resistant
  • rust
  • warranty

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