How can I use a diving watch

Water resistance in wristwatches

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How wet can my watch get?

Just take a quick shower and then the shock: your favorite watch is still on your wrist! In most cases the beloved timepiece is then irretrievably lost, but luckily there are waterproof watches such as the Longines HydroConquest. When the next beach vacation is just around the corner, many watch lovers wonder how deep and whether they can even go into the water with their watch. The Water resistance information is often misleading - because with a waterproof watch that is water-resistant up to 50 meters, you cannot dive that deep under any circumstances.

The information in meters corresponds to only one artificially generated pressure in a water pipe. Due to currents and our own body movements, however, the pressure is many times higher under real conditions, so that we should not even use a 50 meter waterproof watch for swimming. Instead of the meter information, you will often find information in bar and atm. 5 bar or 5 atm correspond to 50 meters and 10 bar correspond to 100 meters.

Waterproof watches are suitable for this:

  • 3 bar: Your watch is splash-proof. Under no circumstances should you take it with you in the shower as this can damage it. However, you don't need to worry about water splashes.
  • 5 bar: You can keep the watch on while washing your hands. If it comes into contact with water, this is not a problem.
  • 10 bar: Your watch is suitable for showering or swimming. You can keep her on in the pool - the water won't harm her.
  • 20 bar: Your watch can be used for diving from a water resistance of 200 meters. You can wear them for all aquatic activities, but be aware of the depth and pressure.
The water resistance of the watch

Operating errors under water

Pressing the crown on the watch can affect the water resistance, because the crown only offers protection if it is screwed on firmly or if it is seated. Activating the push-buttons of a chronograph underwater can affect the water resistance, as water can penetrate the case. Very important: The crown and pushers should therefore not be used underwater.

What can damage waterproof watches?

Despite their robustness, waterproof watches are not invulnerable. So you should be careful not to expose your watch to direct sunlight or salt water for too long. This will be the seals are attacked and can become porous. Therefore, wash your waterproof watch carefully with clean fresh water after a swim in the sea.

You should also avoid going to the sauna. Due to the high humidity and the heat, the waterproof watch heats up and it can become brittle and damaged if it cools down quickly.

How long does a watch stay waterproof?

A watch is by no means permanently waterproof. This is because the seals that seal the openings in the case become porous over time. They are subject to a natural aging processthat can be accelerated by external influences such as sunlight and sweat. It is therefore advisable to have the seals checked annually.

We offer this service in our in-house watchmaker's workshop and check the seals on your watch. The water resistance can also be tested by us on request with a printout. Contact us, we are pleased to help you!

The care of automatic watches requires special care. Most watches have water resistance information on the case back. In the case of particularly waterproof watches, you will usually find an imprint on the dial. If you are unsure how waterproof your watch is, you can check your watch's instruction manual.

The special properties of a diving watch

A wristwatch must meet strict, predetermined criteria in order to be allowed to be called a diver's watch, like the TAG Heuer Aquaracer. Professional divers use their watches to measure decompression times, among other things. These are vital so that the diver does not appear too quickly and pressure-related gas bubbles form inside the body. The DIN 8306 specifies the minimum requirements for a diving watch:

  • tested water resistance of at least 20 bar
  • the clock must be easy to read at a distance of 25 cm, even under water in the dark
  • with the help of a timer or a bezel, time spans must be able to be measured.

How is water resistance checked?

When testing diving watches, many different points must be observed and tested. These include the Readability, shock resistance, gait behavior and tightness with excess air pressure. The waterproof watch can only be called a diving watch if it meets all requirements.

Special testing devices are used to check diving watches. The water pressure is simulated in a leak tester. But how is it then underwater? If the diver's watch can withstand the pressure, it is also equipped for the respective amount of pressure under water, because water molecules are larger than air molecules and can therefore penetrate the watch even more poorly.

Safety first: If a pressure specification is given on a watch, such as 20bar, the manufacturers have not only exposed the diver's watch to this specified pressure, but it increase this value by 25 percent. This ensures that the watch has enough water resistance at all times and that no moisture gets into the watch over the long term.

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