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A Deep Dive on Water Resistant Watches

There is no such thing as a completely waterproof watch, but water-resistant watches have been around since the 1920s, and many watches today list level of water resistance as one of their features. That’s not surprising, as water is the mortal enemy of watches. But, there’s some confusion as to just what those numbers mean. First things first . . .

What exactly does water resistant mean in a watch?

There is not an easy, definitive answer to that question because it depends on the level of water resistance. The important thing to know is that when you see numbers like 30 meters, 50 meters, etc., it refers to the amount of water pressure the watch case can withstand, not water depth.

By the numbers

Water Resistant to 50 Meters

The watch is able to handle humidity, and is splash resistant.

Our picks

Water Resistant to 100 Meters

Swimming and snorkeling are fine but don’t take the watch diving.

Our picks

Water Resistant to 200+ Meters

Dive away.

Our picks

Speaking of diving

Diving watches are engineered with fewer openings, extra heavy gaskets, and other features specifically meant for deep water usage. They also have magnetic, salt water, and shock tolerance, and have dials that can be seen in total darkness.

Water resistance testing

It’s suggested that you have your watches, particularly if they are vintage, tested for water resistance once a year. If you have a lifestyle that brings you into regular contact with water, salt water especially, you may want to have them tested several times per year. Gaskets can degrade and water resistance can lessen over time.

And if a watch isn’t advertised as water resistant . . .

Keep it away from water, plain and simple.

Find your next water-resistant watch at Feldmar. Browse our online store or stop into our flagship location.

About The Author: Jimmy Inglish


Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Jimmy Inglish graduated from UCLA (go Bruins!) and is now a deeply-rooted California transplant. He has been serving as the social media director for Feldmar Watch Company since 2019 and runs the official Instagram page.

An avid watch collector, Jimmy has been building his own collection since 2014. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his 95-lb German Shepherd/Husky mix, Reginald Wilkerson and posting unique wrist shots to his personal Instagram page, @watchfiend.

Read more from Jimmy Inglish

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