Waterproof vs. Water Resistant Watch Repair Explained for Top Sports Watch Brands

Water, Watches, and Watch Repair
September 9, 2012

Water, water, everywhere… and not a drop to drink. Water, H2O. Water – we need it to live, we need it in our rivers and streams, we need it for our ocean. But water and watches – sworn enemies! I have many New York metro area customers who purchase quality luxury watches, and watches such as TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer for scuba diving, so prominently advertised by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Similarly there’s the Hamilton Scuba Automatic. Other top brands for luxury sports, water resistant watches are Rolex, Breitling, and Omega. There are a myriad of advanced luxury watches built for scuba or other water sports; and then many watches are water resistant just for the average person who might swim recreationally. And you never know when you might be thrown into the pool! Your iPhone might not survive, but if you understand water resistance and watches, your watch should, especially if it is a top luxury watch brand such as Rolex, Tag Heuer, Breitling, or Omega.

So in this blog post on watch repair, I want to share with you the major specifications of water resistance. Here are some examples of water resistance standards, including for the major luxury watch brands –

  • Water Resistant (W.R.) Will only resist sweat, splashes, rain drops etc. Very minimal exposure to water in your everyday life.
  • 20m / 2ATM W.R. or 30m / 3ATM W.R. – these ratings mean that the watch is suitable for immersion in water but not for swimming.
  • 50m / 5ATM W.R. – luxury watches at this rating level are suitable for swimming / boating but not diving into water or surfing
  • 100m / 10 ATM W.R. or 150m / 15 ATM W.R. – these watches are acceptable for OK for low diving into water, snorkeling and surfing but NOT scuba diving (with tanks).
  • 200m / 20 ATM W.R. – these watches are the highest standard, suitable for scuba diving.

Beyond Water Resistance to Style

So that’s what the formal standards mean for water resistance. But let’s talk about style. Many people (especially people in New York) buy luxury brand watches as a statement of style. Leonardo Dicaprio and other famous actors endorse these brands because they are people of style. The brands are communicating to you and to me, that a luxury watch is a piece of fine jewelry. If you think about water resistance, it can function in that way. Sure, you might not be a scuba diver. But having a luxury or sports watch that is certified to scuba diving depths makes you look just that much cooler, doesn’t it? And if you are lucky to have scuba dived, or just came back to Manhattan and New York, NY, from a fantastic vacation somewhere that had scuba diving, having an impressive watch that meets this higher standard allows you to talk about your scuba prowess and highlight not just the technical water resistence of your watch as well as other features. To look at auto’s, BMW’s might be capable of driving 150 miles per hour, and that might be on their speedometer; not because you are frequently going to go that fast, but because you own a piece of machinery that is capable of that speed. You certainly can’t drive a BMW 150 miles per hour in New York City, and you can’t scuba dive in many New York city pools, but having machinery of that capability, well that just makes you stylish and cool.

I love fine watches, I repair fine watches, and I admire fine watches as symbols of man’s creativity. Water resistance in all its levels, up to and including the highest level, is really a brand awareness of the quality of these watches in every aspect.

Watch Repair for Water Resistance and Water Issues with Watches

Let’s return to watches, for a moment. Assume you own a fine brand like a Rolex, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Omega, or Hamilton. If you are going on a vacation, where you’ll possibly swim or boat or surf or even scuba dive, you can bring that watch in for a check-up and I can help verify its water resistance level. And, should the worst have happened, that your watch isn’t performing, I can at least inspect it and tell you the cost of repairing. I have had New Yorkers who traveled to exotic locations without having their watches properly prepared, and they suffered. Or some who returned with damaged watches from water, which I was fortunate enough to be able to repair. Understanding watches and water is important, if you love watches, as I do.

Understanding your watch and what water resistance means in watches makes you a better fine watch owner. Even if you don’t want to know every technical detail, at least understand the standards and how they relate what to you actually want to do.


About Ron Gordon Watch Repair

Ron Gordon Watch Repair is located at 280 Madison Ave, Ste. 510, New York, NY 10016.  We provide watch repair services throughout New York City, Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, Downtown and the boroughs of New York, NY. Read our Google Places, Insider Pages, and City Search Reviews, online.