How to know if a Watch is Waterproof?

How to know if a watch is waterproof?

If the watch is waterproof, you can wear it even if it comes into contact with water without fear of damage. But still, people are confused about the level of their waterproofness, so to solve this issue, you can test your watch.

Method # 01.

Water-resistant Testing Method

Place a watch into a chamber that is filled with air and water. Increase the air pressure inside the chamber and lower the watch into the chamber. When the watch is immersed completely, release the air pressure inside the chamber. If bubbles come out of your watch, then the watch may not be water resistant as air seeped into the watch before immersion.

Method # 02

Water-resistant Test

Several brands and designs of watches can be tested differently, but the most vital factor is the seal of the gaskets. These gaskets dry out and crack over time, needing to be lubricated or replaced. There are several ways to check the waterproofness of a watch: BAR, ATM, and meters are used to do this.
3 ATM/bar/30m
This watch is resistant to splashes and rain.

5 ATM/bar/50m
This watch can be worn while swimming without jumping from a diving board. They are not qualified to snorkel or dive.
10 ATM/bar/100m
This watch is good for watersports like swimming, snorkelling, and sailing in shallow water. Do not use it if you plan on jumping off cliffs and diving.
20 ATM/bar/200m
This watch is dive- and water-proof and qualified for all kinds of water sports and diving.
If a watch does not have text or symbols about waterproofness, then it may not be protected against splashes.

What is Meant by “ATM” and “BAR”?

They are the measurements mostly used by the watch industry to show how much pressure the watch can handle. ATM stands for atmosphere. One atmosphere is roughly equivalent to 10 meters (30 feet). & bars are another term for atmospheres.

Are all Watches Fully Waterproof?

All watches are not fully waterproof. There is a limit to how much water pressure a watch can withstand. The term “waterproof” means that a watch can’t leak in any situation, and no moisture will permeate the case. But, under some circumstances, anything can leak.

Difference Between Waterproof and Water Resistance

Water-resistant means it can avoid water penetration to a certain degree, but not completely. At the same time, “waterproof” means impervious to water regardless of time spent in it.

Difference Between a Water-resistant and a Waterproof Watch

Water-resistant watches can handle pressure underwater; waterproof means they should not allow water to penetrate them.

Can you Take a Bath with Your Watch on?

If your watch is highly water-resistive, we still do not recommend wearing it while bathing. The reason is that the chemical used in shampoo and soap may slowly erode the rubber gasket and decrease the watch’s ability to keep water out.

 When should you Test your Watch’s Water Resistance?

You can test your watch once every year, and this will also depend on your lifestyle. If you frequently go to the beach and are exposed to salt water, chlorine, and sandy areas, you should test your watch several times a year.


  • Test your watch’s water resistance once a year.
  • Avoid showering or swimming with your watch. If it is rated 100m/330ft and has a screw-down crown, then you can wear it.
  • Do not open, wind, or operate the crown when you are in the water.
  • Do not press the buttons of a chronograph watch in water unless the manufacturer specifies it.
  • Avoid allowing your watch to come into contact with corrosive chemicals like abrasive soaps and more chlorinated water.
  • Make sure the crown is pushed in, or if it has a screw-down crown, it should be tightened.

Water Resistance Factors

Three important water resistance factors are:
Case Back


An important factor in making a watch water-resistant is that the weakest part of the watch is the crown stem hole, through which water can penetrate; the stem hole is attached to the movement via a hole in the case edge. The crown continually moves to different positions, and the gasket is continuously compressed and stressed.
The little variation in the gasket shape, and if the crown is not fully pushed, water may enter the watch through the stem hole.

Threaded crowns are screwed down and screwed into the case’s matching threaded tube. The crown has a compressed gasket that seals the opening when the crown is secured and tightened to ensure water resistance.
Any watch you want to wear while swimming must have a screw-down crown.
Moreover, if a watch has chronograph pushers and a screw-down crown, the crown and pushers are never to be adjusted, pushed, or opened when the watch is submerged in water unless it is stated by the manufacturer.

Case back

Snap-on case backs are secured by pressure and are the least water resistant. In case of damage to a gasket, the slightest nick can allow water to enter the case.
Usually, these watches have a maximum water resistance rating of 30 m/99 ft., allowing water contact but not immersion.
If they are attached with screws, they offer a second level of water resistance. But a deformity in the gasket has not allowed water to penetrate yet.
Usually, these watches have a water resistance maximum of 100m/330ft, allowing light immersion and swimming in the pool.
Screw-in case backs are screwed into the actual case; these create a double seal and threading and the gasket is used as a seal.
Usually, diving watches with water-resistant ratings of more than 100m/330ft mostly have these types of cases.


They are known as “O” rings and are made of rubber, Teflon, or rubber, which form tight water seals at the joints where the case back, crystal, and crown combine with the watch case.
Gaskets start eroding and breaking down after some time.

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