What does it mean for a watch to be “Waterproof?”
The truth is that no watch is waterproof. There is always a limit to how much water pressure a watch can handle. The term "waterproof" implies that a watch can't leak under any circumstance—that no moisture will permeate the case and get into the movement. However, under certain circumstances anything can leak. Therefore, in the watch industry, we refer to a watch's ability to withstand water pressure as water resistance.
What does it mean if the back of my watch is stamped with "Water Resistant?”
A watch stamped with "Water Resistant" means that it is humidity-protected. It can endure a bit of water splashes from washing your hands or being caught in the rain. However, water resistance does not mean you should swim or shower with your watch on.
Water is the biggest enemy of a watch.
If you go swimming or play sports, you should have your watch checked for an accurate reading of its water resistance levels every year. The outside case may look rugged and big, but the movement is very tiny and very delicate. The only thing that stands between your watch and water is a small gasket, a tiny O-ring that is usually made of rubber or silicon. Gaskets form seals around the stem of the crown, pushers, and correctors and sit inside the case and the crystal. Over time, they dry out and lose elasticity and the ability to form a proper seal. This explains why regular testing is so important for maintaining the water resistance of a watch.
How is a diver's watch different from a complicated watch?
Diving watches are specifically engineered for heavy water usage and can withstand depths of at least 200 meters. They have minimal openings for water to permeate through with only one screw-down crown, sturdy case, extra heavy gaskets around the crystal, and extra heavy gaskets around the case back. If you are planning to regularly swim, dive, surf or boat while wearing your watch, a diving watch is an excellent option to consider.