Waterproof Watches


Please note that the term WATERPROOF is only found on older watches.

Modern watches say WATER RESISTANT

You will find that watches with the term "waterproof" date no later than the 60's or 70's.

         In 1926, the Rolex company, in a strive to improve its watches produced the "Oyster", the first waterproof watch.

        Jewellers displayed this watch in a fish tank to prove how good it was. 

It was mainly for publicity reasons that in 1927 Mercedes Gleitze swam the Channel wearing the "Oyster",  to prove beyond any doubts that this watch was really waterproof.


        Later on, it was found that the term "waterproof" was inadequate, and since the late 60's, guidelines issued by governments and  trade organizations, do not allow manufacturers to label their watches  "WATERPROOF"   for these reasons:
      1)  Legally, it implies that the watch remains waterproof whatever its age, condition or use you make of it.
      2)  It does not specify to the owner, how waterproof it is, e.i. what pressure it can whitstand.
All modern watches now use the term WATER RESISTANT associated with a pressure specification expressed either in atmospheres (ATM) or meters



Water-resistant watches
specifications and limitations

Some watches specify their water resistancy in meters while other prefer athmospheres. Please make reference to the table below for corresponding values, please also note that manufacturers advice to have your watch checked yearly if you go swimming with it

Water resistant splashes, washing hands, washing up etc
30m or 3Atm similar to water resistant,. Not suitable for swimming
50m or 5Atm suitable for swimming at surface level, no diving
100m or 10Atmdiving from a board & snorkeling. Not suitable for scuba diving
200m or 20Atmscuba diving
Watches with Helium valve* suitable for deep sea exploration in oceanic crafts

*The helium valve has nothing to do with the waterproofing.

When an exploration vessel goes to a great sea depth, the immense pressure makes the air go bad, so Helium is pumped into the vessel. Helium slowly seeps into the watch case but when the vessel comes back to the surface and the external pressure decreases, the helium cannot escape quick enough and produces an "exploding" pressure to the watch case. This is when the helium valve is depressed and the pressure is released.

No watch is suitable for hot baths or saunas, gaskets are not designed to withstand heat.

Heavily chlorinated water in swimming pools, spray perfumes and hairsprays can damage the seals.


   BATTERY CHANGES CHARGES with test, in standard watches:

                                    Typical charges, inclusive of small repairs

  • TEST & battery:         a)Up to 5 Atm…………...…….……...£10-15

                                                             b)10 Atm or more…………………….£15-20

  • OTHER REPAIRS…….……………… individual estimates.