Watches have a standard scale for identifying how waterproof the watch actually is. This goes from splashes to scuba diving. Depending on where you wish to wear the watch and what you wish to do determines the level of water resistance you need.

Watch Water Resistance Scale

The following are the 4 key markers on the watch water resistance scale. There are ratings between those identified below, however for the purpose of this article we are concentrating on these four.

  • 3ATM [BAR] 30 metres
  • 5ATM [BAR] 50 metres
  • 10ATM [BAR] 100 metres
  • 100ATM [BAR] 1000 metres

The scale identifies how waterproof a watch is based on a pressure test, which in laboratory conditions simulates the difference in pressure the deeper under water an object goes. The rating can be in depths [ATM / BAR] or metres. However, it is extremely important to understand that the metres indicated on the scale do NOT represent how deep a watch can go.

What is the water resistance of a 3ATM watch

A 3 ATM watch is only splash proof. They are not suitable for bathing or swimming. Dress watches most commonly have this level of water resistance. They are watches that need protection from the occasional splash, but the wearer has no intention of swimming in them.

What is the water resistance of a 5ATM watch

A 5 ATM watch is suitable for swimming and showering. They are not suitable for water sports, snorkeling or scuba diving. Many everyday watches have this level of water resistance. Using these watches in activities that they are not suitable for could lead to any warranty becoming void.

What is the water resistance of a 10 ATM watch

A 10 ATM watch is suitable for swimming, water sports and snorkeling. They are not suitable for scuba diving. This level of water resistance should be a minimum that anyone looks for when looking for a good watch that they can undertake most activities in. The kind of watch that you can wear to the office during the week or go surfing with on the weekend.

What is the water resistance of a 100ATM watch

A 100ATM watch is suitable for scuba diving and professional deep-sea diving. If you intend to scuba dive in a watch this is the standard of water resistance you really should look at. Due to the water resistance required in these watches they generally have a more robust look.

How to make sure your watch remains water resistant

The key to making sure a watch remains water resistant is the care a watch is given. Where required servicing should be undertaken by the manufacturer. If this is not required, the service should be conducted by a qualified technician. All seals should be checked and replaced if necessary, during service. Finally, the watch should be pressure tested to confirm the water resistance remains guaranteed.