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Dear Abby,

How much is enough for simple swimming? I don't dive and don't plan on it, but will be on vacation soon and will be near the ocean and might stumble into the water!

What about showers and the like?


I see a lot of posts that say something to the effect of "it's only 3 ATM so I wouldn't shower with it"... Isn't 3ATM roughly 100 feet? I can't/don't want to hold my breath to 100 feet, so why is that not enough to shower/swim?


Drowned Rat
 

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You should be safe with any 100M (10ATM) WR rated watch, provided that the watch came to you new and from a serious watch brand. If you buy pre-oned you should have the watch tested/verified by a watchmaker before going on vacation.
 

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As to why 3atm is not safe for showering,u might wanna do a search on this forum n u might find your answer. There are quite a bit of discussion about water resistance but the general concensus is at least 100m or 10atm to play safe if u wanna swim. Otherwise, a 30m WR might also survive in the pool but u don't wanna test it out on an expensive piece.
 

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it all depends on the safety margin you feel happy with. A 3 ATM WR is good enough for 30 meters depth, if it really is WR 3 ATM (fresh seals etc).
A watch needs to be tested from time to time to be safe.
 

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ATM = the water pressure rating of a watch. ATM means atmosphere and is equal to 10 metres of depth. (1 metre = 3 feet), 1 ATM = 10 metres, 3 ATM = 30 metres

Waterproof = in most markets, watches can not be described as waterproof. Watches must be marked as "water-resistant" followed by a depth rating.

Water resistant = ability to withstand water pressure. Made to prevent water from entering a watch. The watch case joints are made to prevent moisture from entering. Water resistance is measured in metres and refers to the depth that the watch will keep out water: 50 metres = surface swimming, 100 metres = snorkelling, 200 metres = scuba diving (to 40 metres), 1,000 metres = deep sea diving.


And finally, I would not wear your watch in the shower - they are not designed/tested with hot water in mind - hot water expands the seals and you 'could' be prone to a leak. I have been told this by a couple of premium watch manufacturers.


Kind regards
 

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As to why 3atm is not safe for showering,u might wanna do a search on this forum n u might find your answer. There are quite a bit of discussion about water resistance but the general concensus is at least 100m or 10atm to play safe if u wanna swim. Otherwise, a 30m WR might also survive in the pool but u don't wanna test it out on an expensive piece.
Sure, do the searches as there's an opinion to support any belief you may have on the subject. Some dive for decades with some dirt cheap watch barely rated while others have flooded a ridiculously expensive dive watch while playing in the surf...

Regardless of what the watch has printed on the dial or what one believes that should be good for in the real world, unless your watch is tested it's just a gamble as to whether or not your watch will be damaged by getting it wet. Sure, most of the time you'll probably be fine, but do you want to be the one who posts that your dive watch was ruined while washing your hands or during your fantastic dive vacation?
 

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Yes, regular testing is important. Maybe a good idea to have it tested just prior to that nice Diving vacation!!

The reasoning that you need at least 100m WR before even wetting the watch is IMO faulty. If the seals are faulty, it does not matter if it is 30m WR or 3000m WR. It will leak.

It has been claimed that the water pressure increases significantely while swimming etc. A poster did some mathematical calculations a while back and proved that the increase in pressure is insignificant.

And do not forget, that the stated WR is a very conservative one.
The ISO (or DIN?) norm requires 25% higher resistance that marked!
 

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If a watch has been tested and passed a 3 atm pressure test, you should be able to swim a bit, or shower with it on. I had been doing for years, before I read the popular WR guide so many quote like it's the gospel...

Of course, after I read that, I immediately started to remove my 300 meter rated watch before washing my hands, and only swim with a 1000 meter rated one, can't be to careful, right?
 

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But if a seal expands would it not seal better?
The metal in the watch will expand fractionally too.
Now, that advise might be true, but I can guarantee you that when I am on the beack, in the sun, the watch gets far hotter than anybody can shower.
Repeatedly, I expose the watches to sun, get them really hot, then take a dip in the sea.
So far, no damage.
I have done this to all my watches with a metal bracelet or mesh.
 

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The general consensus is that one shouldn't wet his or her watch unless it has rating of at the very least 5ATM/50 m (and while talking about Omega Speedy Pro with the local AD, I've been told that "it has rating of 50 m, right? so you wear it 50 meters from the shore, no less!")

I know a lot of people who wear their Seikos (rated 5ATM) to the swimming pool, sea shore, shower or a tub with no sweat and no problems at all. I asked the EMEA dealer of Breitling watches about Airwolf's ability to swim and I 've been told that it will withstand a shower or pool, it's just not fit for the diving (and not because of leak, but because of the resonance chamber at the back could distort). When I asked CEO of our local watchmaking manufacture, Prim, about their ratings (since none of their watches doesn't have a screw-down crown), he told me it's all about the O-rings and the crown and promised me a full refund if my watch will leak. Which so far never happened, by the way.

Once upon a time, the British specs for WWW military models stated that said watches have to be waterproof to 10 metres of depth. IWC Mark X (built to the specs) didn't even have a screw-down back.

Any ideas...?
 

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I'll field this one...

30 m - Suitable for use only in the Atacama Desert, where it hasn't rained for 500 years. Do NOT wear on your wrist, as sweat from your wrist could breach the seals and ruin the movement. Carry the watch in a sealed plastic bag containing a couple of silicone dessicant sachets. Even then it is a little risky, as you'd have to think the odds are good that the Atacama is due for a drop of rain some time soon.

50 m - One can wear this on one's wrist in relatively dry environments, such as an air conditioned office. Don't go walking past any running taps, water features, or moist cakes.

100 m - Designed to withstand occasional splashing, such as when washing one's hands. Not designed to be washed, however. If it gets dirty, bin it and buy a new one. Prolonged exposure to a damp cloth may cause water to breach the seals and ruin the movement.

200 m - Now we're getting serious. Suitable for wearing in light rain, or even in a shower (low pressure nozzle, cold water only).

300 m - One could take this swimming. Shallow end only.

500 m - Suitable for venturing into the deep end at the local pool. No rapid arm movements - the exreme increase in pressure is equal to diving at 4,000 m and water will almost definitely breach the seals, ruining the movement.

1,000 m - Professional dive instruments suitable for snorkelling (at low speed) in the actual ocean.

2,000 m - Ocean snorkelling at high speed.

3,000 m - This a real dive watch, and is suitable for scuba diving down to 1,000 m.

Deep Sea Sea Dweller - Prerequisite if one intends to enter any body of water and make rapid arm movements.
 

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If you are concerned with your watch, then maybe you should leave it at home anyway. It's a good idea not to take unnecessary valuables as a rule of thumb (for experienced travelers).

Besides, you can buy a 100M watch for around $20.
 

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50 m - One can wear this on one's wrist in relatively dry environments, such as an air conditioned office. Don't go walking past any running taps, water features, or moist cakes.
Do you think my watch will be safe this way ?

A thick and strong glass bottle...



Specially designed O-ring made from high quality silicon (15mm in width, 3mm in height)...



The watch will be safe inside...



Underwater test...



Before...



After...

 

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Great photo essay mate - should be a sticky. This could save a lot of currently vulnerable watches.

That high quality silicon o-ring looks to be doing its job, but if you want to be 100% safe these guys look legit:

http://www.zorb-it.com/Scripts/default.asp

Great looking watch by the way - those numerals are awesome. |>


Do you think my watch will be safe this way?

A thick and strong glass bottle...



Specially designed O-ring made from high quality silicon (15mm in width, 3mm in height)...



The watch will be safe inside...



Underwater test...



Before...



After...

 
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