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Water Resistance Guide for Luxury Watch Owners

Watchuwant is now WatchBox! Subscribe for the best luxury watch content. Modern luxury watches are awesome showcases for watchmaking tech. Some have cases like a Brink’s truck and sealing systems that would impress Captain Nemo, it is appropriate to say that contemporary watches are the most water resistant premium timepieces ever offered on the consumer market. Yet, despite the march of technology, each year sees another rash of luxury watch “accidental drownings” due to basic handling mistakes. It doesn’t have to be this way. By taking a few easy precautions, your watch can survive the perils of the pool, beach, and waterpark. First, an owner should consider whether his watch really belongs in the water. If the watch is rated at five ATM (1 ATM = 10 meters) or less, the answer is a resounding “no.” These watches are designed to survive splashes, not submergence. The factory’s static testing of a system with a 3-5 ATM rating involves slowly bringing the case under pressure and gradually easing it out. It doesn’t assume the hydraulic shock of paddling, diving, or wiping out while water skiing. Any one of the above can cause a spike in pressure that surpasses the rated resistance; leave these landlubbers on shore. Second, before hitting the water, “check the crown, and screw it down.” Even a hardcore dive tool with a 4mm crystal and a helium release valve has a gap in its armor, and that’s the screw-down crown. When allowed to remain open or partially open, even the most impressive multiple-seal crowns routinely admit water in shallow submergence. This is by far the most common cause of water damage, and that includes damage to dive-specific watches. Third, never operate a chronograph pusher in the water; it’s the mortal sin of aquatic chronograph endangerment. Certain dive chronographs feature screw-down pushers while others feature unscrewed pushers with static sealing technology. Regardless of the pusher design, assume that moving the pusher will bypass the seal and admit water into the watch. Most chronographs with dive intent are assigned a depth rating that assumes the pushers will not be engaged. Fourth and finally, when in doubt, have a watchmaker check your watch for a sound hermetic seal. thewatchbox.com is a full-service luxury watch storefront, and our watchmakers can perform this test upon request. The procedure, which most dive watch manufacturers advise as an annual precaution, is quick, easy, and cheap insurance. Many aging dive watches continue to “look the business” long after their seals have gone out of business. A non-destructive water resistance test can separate the sound seals from those at risk of high-dive disaster. Water is the enemy of every watch. Once inside a case, it’s there to stay. Water tarnishes plates, corrodes the gear train, degrades points of contact, and contaminates lubricants. Add sea salt or bathing-grade chlorine, and the damage can be fatal to even the most robust movement. In the case of less specialized luxury watches that are less likely to encounter extreme aquatic use, check for water resistance every 2-3 years to play it safe. Plan ahead, protect your investment, and hit the surf with peace of mind. Shop Certified Pre-Owned https://www.thewatchbox.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/watchbox/ WatchBox Reviews Channel: https://www.youtube.com/WatchBoxReviews Video and content by Tim Mosso.