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Watch Water Resistance Explained

Water resistance, WR, BAR and ATM are commonly stamped on the back of wrist watches to indicate how well the watch is sealed against the intrusion of water. Whilst water resistance sounds pretty straight forward, in some cases, it does not mean you can swim or shower with your watch on.

Please refer to the below chart to identify how well your watch can perform in certain water situations. 


Watch Water Resistance Guide

What Is BAR?

BAR is the measure of pressure that a watch will operate safely underwater. For example, 5 BAR equals 50 metres of submersion, but that does not mean you can go diving. Please refer to the above chart to identify how water resistant your watch is and what activities you can undertake with it. 

Metres And ATM

ATM means atmospheres and it is basically the same as metres. However, if your watch says 20 metres, this does not mean that a watch can be taken 20 metres below sea level. Despite this being a common misconception, it is simply the number of times the pressure at sea level a watch can endure without letting water in.

Swimming With Your Watch

If you plan on swimming with your watch, Watch Depot recommends purchasing at least a 20 BAR watch. If you are a diver, it is best to be safe and purchase a 100 BAR watch or an ISO 6425 watch. This is because if your watch claims to be “ISO 6425” or has “Divers” written on it, the watch is a certified diving watch. It is completely safe to be worn underwater and is a literal water-resistant watch. 

Wearing Watches In The Shower

You should never wear your watch in the shower. The combination of hot water and soap or shampoo can over time degrade the rubber gaskets that keep your watch's water resistance. This will reduce the water resistance rating of your watch over time and require more frequent watch services.

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