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Water resistance for watches

by Emanuel Baumann 01 Jan 2023

Water resistance for watches

All water resistance specifications for Avalon Deluxe are in accordance with DIN 8310. The water resistance of your watch is engraved on the case back. Sometimes you can also find the information on the dial. You can also find information about water resistance in your user manual. If you are still unsure, do not enter the water with your watch.

First of all, what does "waterproof" mean for watches?

Water resistance refers to the resistance of the watch to the ingress of water and moisture, which can damage the movement, the electronics or the mechanics through corrosion, short circuits, etc. destroy it and make the watch unusable as a timepiece. Watch manufacturers therefore seal the watch case with special seals to protect the inner workings. How is water density measured? In order to be able to measure and specify the degree of sealing in a generally binding manner, there are international standards (ISO 22810) that define the various degrees of watertightness and the test method for determining the watertightness. Any watch bearing a bar indication has been classified according to these standards and assigned to one of the following groups:

3 and 5 bar are not suitable for swimming

The watch often says: water-resistant to 30 or 50 m. Such a watch should actually be sufficient for every recreational swimmer and diver. Unfortunately this is not the case. 3 bar corresponds to the pressure at a depth of 30 meters; however, this is only a test print. When swimming and especially when jumping into the water, the pressure on the sealing elements can briefly exceed the guaranteed test pressure. This is also the reason why watches that have a test pressure of 3 or 5 bar are not suitable for swimming and diving.

10 bar for a carefree swim

If you want to swim with your watch without worrying (not in salt water), it must have a water resistance of at least 10 bar.

20 bar suitable for diving

The watch can withstand a pressure of 20 bar. This corresponds to a hypothetical water column 200 meters high, weighing on one square centimetre. The watch can be kept on while diving in medium-deep water.

30 bar / 50 bar / 100 bar for the professional divers

30 bar / 50 bar / 100 bar for professional divers The watch can withstand a pressure of 30 bar and more. This corresponds to a hypothetical water column of 30 / 50 / 100 meters in height, which weighs on a square centimetre. The watch can be used during scuba diving or diving in deep water. Often these are watches that are explicitly designated as diving watches.

High temperature differences are harmful

This effect is intensified by a high temperature difference between the watch and the water, such as that caused by solar radiation, sauna, etc. can be evoked. If you then jump into the water with your watch, the negative pressure caused by the cooling down is added to the impact pressure.

Salt water is also harmful

With the exception of special diving watches, you should not wear a watch in salt water, even if it is water-resistant to 10 bar. The salt water attacks the seals and makes them porous.

Operating error

in the water, does that exist? In addition to these more technical influencing factors, there are also operating errors that can affect the water resistance of a watch. The crown of your watch only offers protection against the ingress of water if it is firmly seated or - in the case of screw-down crowns - is screwed tight. With chronographs there is also a risk that the pushers will be activated in the water. If this happens, water penetrates into the housing. So if you are in the water with your watch, avoid any contact with the crown and pushers.

Waterproof forever?

Water resistance is not a permanent feature. If you want to swim with your watch regularly, it should be checked annually. The reason for this lies in the built-in sealing elements, which decrease in their function and in daily use. The seals and the components of the watch are subject to a natural aging process, which e.g. B can be accelerated by sweat, acids. Due to these external factors, water resistance cannot be guaranteed for the entire lifetime of a watch.

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