How does water resistance work?
To create a watertight seal, water resistant watches rely on gaskets between major components of the watch case (such as the back, crystal, crowns, buttons, etc.). It is important to note that these gaskets are typically made of a rubber/silicon compound, which is subject to wear and tear. The gaskets must therefore be replaced regularly to maintain a proper seal.
Modern water resistant watches are rated by depth; the higher the rating, the more water pressure a watch can withstand. It is recommended that watches used regularly around water have at least a 100M depth rating (usually displayed on the front dial or back case). These watches are designed for water related activities and should be checked and resealed by a qualified watchmaker every year or following every battery replacement (whichever comes first). This process tests the watch to the specified depth using highly specialized equipment, ensuring a reliable seal.
- Operating crowns or buttons while under water will compromise the water resistant integrity of any watch, regardless of depth rating.
- No watch should be used in the shower. Watches are rated water resistant to cold water only. Temperature changes cause watch gaskets to expand and contract, potentially breaching the seal.