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Watch water resistance myths

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,105 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Some people will know that it’s a big bugbear of mine to see people pooh-pooh 30 or 50m water resistance (insofar as thinking that 3atm can’t handle swimming or even snorkelling...or even some diving too) and thinking that 300m or 1000m (or “at least 200m” watches are needed for swimming, washing or showering with).

    People will know that I swim with my 30m wr Omega speedmaster, I'll probably do it with my 30m wr octo finissimo sometime too in the future.

    I was going to make a 50m wr diver model with my microbrand just to tilt at the windmill that you need 100-200-1000m wr for water sports and diving. ISO does require 100m minimum for diving but considering recreational divers only go to 40m and a 50m wr watch will probably be rated for at least 60-70m I don't see it being a problem. The ISO diver certification probably needs to be able to handle saturation diving too.

    I would love it if the ISO update their diver certification to lower the wr requirement down to 50m for recreational diving. Certain dive computers (the actual tools real divers use) only have 50m wr - why? Because that is all you need.

    30m is more than enough for the vast majority of people and as a watch designer there are real advantages to sticking to 30 or 50m wr - watch height being the main one. You want a 15mm watch or a 10mm watch? By shaving mm off the gaskets requirement it allows me to work with things like exotic dials, display casebacks, etc. while still keeping the overall package wearable. It really is a matter of mm when it comes to eeeking out the compromises between dual sapphire crystals, or “normal” dials or adding height from chunkier hands/markers, or thicker gaskets (or other requirements that 200m wr will need). It’s not a problem if people actually *need* 200m (or even 100m wr) but the vast, vast majority of people don’t - 30m WR will cover 98% of most buyers but yet companies are almost obliged to get to 200m wr (and compromise their watch in other areas) because of public perception.

    It's like watch marketers have got it in people's heads that you need 1 billion gauss anti magnetic resistance for a daily wearer or something... Not really, most modern watches are anti-magnetic enough - the Milgauss and new Omega movements are nice - but the use scenario is probably one the average wearer never encounters.

    Put it this way - a submarines' crush depth is around 400m. A 30m wr watch which is performing to its seals and gaskets will be fine for 99% of people - even diving (12-18m is where most of the fun stuff to see while driving is anyway ;) )

    On the other hand - I pressure test my watches regularly - whether it is 30m or 300m - because a failed gasket on a 300m watch will lead to water ingress a lot easier than a fully functioning 30m one.

    Slight rant over - it (personally) annoys me when people see a 3atm or 5atm watch and ask why? If people actually needed 100m or 200m wr (or helium escape valves) then fair enough - but almost no-one will see any practical difference between a 30m wr watch and a 3000m wr one.

    And I see this parroted by sales persons quite often “oh don’t get your 30 wr watch wet, it can only handle splashes...” - may have been true back when we had “splash proof” vs “waterproof” watches in the past - but it isn’t anymore, not by a long shot.

    I’ve heard from some watch reviewers that 200m gives better margin for error for badly performing gaskets... I’m not sure I buy that - if you’ve twisted or snapped your rubber gasket when attaching the case back I believe that it doesn’t go from a linear 200m wr down to 150 or 50 - it can very often be 200m wr or 0m wr. Very happy to be corrected on this though - perhaps older cracked/aged gaskets which used to provide 200m wr would instead provide 50m? Would love to understand if that is one case where a 200m wr is superior to a 50m watch - the length of time you can afford to not service a watch.


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Comments



  • I certainly grew up with, and propogated, the above :ie that 30m will just about cope with a shower, 50 is for swimming and 200 for diving. Wherever I picked it up I dunno. We're talking pre Internet so I'm sure some watch salesman dude must have said it, or a playground peer.

    However one of my first watches was a Swatch and I went through a few of them. Regular swatch,and they were all 30 I'm pretty sure weren't they? I definitely had summers jumping off piers and splashing around wearing that.
    Then the scuba swatch came out and if memory serves me right that was 200m rated which I considered indestructible.

    I guess for me when you're talking about fatal stresses then you want a very significant margin of safety. Like nothing kills a watch like water so I want my danger lever to be in single digit percentage points. Ditto for my aeroplane's ability to withstand pressure . I don't want to be blithely sitting there flirting within a couple of kPa of delamination :). But then at the Cliffs of Moher, I'm the guy standing well back saying "Yeah, I can see fine from back here". Not like you there Thirdfox, legs dangling, leaning into the selfie :D




  • A lot of watch collectors like specs. And like with a car you want over engineering of those headline specs like 0-60 acceleration. Most sports cars never see a race track, and even on track the 0-60 is not that relevant. But its nice to know you can if you wanted to. It also give a metric to compare it to other watches.

    Nobody actually needs a He escape value, the crown on any watch provides the functionality to release He however it marks the watch as a specialist piece.

    As a group we do like to categorise watches into their historic functions. Land, sea and air (and space) and once you decide to make a watch in a category you are kinda playing top trumps with that deck. Very often the dive watch under review is photographed besides ye old sepia photos of Jacque Cousteau, or a rugged frog man doing serious underwater work.

    Personally so long as I can wash my hands or take a shower with a watch on I am happy enough. But the likes of Panerai got roasted for releasing dive watcher that had minimal water resistance. I am far more concerned with safety features like screw down crowns, and screw down chrono pushers. Prevents accidents.

    I suppose my point is that while I agree with your points, once you sign up you have got to soldier, and a 50m diver watch albeit sufficient for purpose can be seen by some as a dress watch in drag. Once you open the poandoras box that is highlighting the unnecessary features of a mechanical watch it starts a logical cascade that end with people purchasing nothing.




  • Not the same as traditional watches I know but I've had an Amazfit Stratos 2 smartwatch for 3 years or so (moved to stratos 3 this christmas) which has been through 2 2 week stinks of foreign holiday pool swimming, a couple of trips to the pool here and much sea swimming aswell as showers and hasn't missed a beat. I never thought to check its rating tbh so had a quick check there and apparently its 5atm. The watch still works 100%




  • As Fitz said it's much more about the top trumps details stuff than any reality in use. It's very much a male thing. Detail mickey measuring. :D A feeling that the dive watch worn in the middle management powerpoint meeting will go down to the bottom of the marianas trench. Like you were saying TF 50m is plenty, 100m is near overkill and above what 90% plus of owners will ever need, but the market...
    Thirdfox wrote: »
    Very happy to be corrected on this though - perhaps older cracked/aged gaskets which used to provide 200m wr would instead provide 50m? Would love to understand if that is one case where a 200m wr is superior to a 50m watch - the length of time you can afford to not service a watch.
    When I've been asked what type of vintage to go for I would advise diver watches in general. Precisely because they were better sealed so dials hands and movements tended to weather the years far better. And there's something to that alright. EG in vintage dealer offerings you see far more 50's and 60's dress watches with redials than you see 50's and 60's dive watches. Going way back WW1 Trench watches in Borgel cases(an early dust and damp proof design) are usually in better condition internally than the basic press fit backed examples. 1930's Rolex Oyster dials, hands and movements are usually in better nick than more open cases.

    As all watches tended to become more "waterproof" in the 70's that reduces in importance. You see almost no redialled 70's 80's and 90's watches. That shows the sealing aspect makes a difference. Though again shows that basic 50, even 30 metre sealing does the job for the vast majority.

    Servicing is another matter. The oils dry out over time almost regardless of sealing, but dust ingress will turn those oils into grinding paste and damp will bugger a movement in short order so a good seal will increase servicing intervals. Oil tech has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few decades so like in cars service intervals have increased. Other things affect that too of course. Extremely tight tolerance movements are going to require more maintenance than more "sloppy" movements. Seiko and Rolex are well known for going decades without a drop of oil and much of that is down to their movements being thicker and sloppier with wider tolerances. The bloody hard trick Rolex were able to pull off was to make them accurate as well.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • So, the takeaway is that I'm probably safe to shower while wearing my 200 WR.

    In truth I've only worn it while swimming in a pool when I accidentally forgot to remove. Even then when told, 'you forgot to take off your watch' I was only 90% certain it was fine such is the scaremongering inherent with watches and water.


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  • Considering most divers don't get beyond the water cooler isn't the whole issue rather irrelevant?




  • There was a time where I though the deeper the rating the better. Micky measuring contest as Wibbs said.
    Couldn't give a rats ass now




  • TF I haven't checked, but I thought ISO is 200m not 100m WR?

    Something about Seiko's new 5 sports watches that try to replace the SKX not meeting ISO standards with 100m instead of the SKX having 200m WR did meet the standard, rings a bell.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.





  • fat bloke wrote: »
    I guess for me when you're talking about fatal stresses then you want a very significant margin of safety. Like nothing kills a watch like water so I want my danger lever to be in single digit percentage points. Ditto for my aeroplane's ability to withstand pressure . I don't want to be blithely sitting there flirting within a couple of kPa of delamination :). But then at the Cliffs of Moher, I'm the guy standing well back saying "Yeah, I can see fine from back here". Not like you there Thirdfox, legs dangling, leaning into the selfie :D

    I remember doing that at the Grand Canyon (as well as Cliffs of Moher) - would really love to try wingsuit flying too but MsThirdfox won't allow it. Though there is good reason to stand a bit away from the edge too:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id3HFxs2A8w

    But seriously - I did do an overpressure test on my 3atm Speedmaster too (to 5atm) and absolutely no bubbles leaking out from the case) - meaning that it should be fine to even go snorkelling/shallow diving with. But of course the question of "why are you bringing a 3atm chrono into the water when you have other watches?" :) - can't operate the chrono pushers underwater of course or else you may end up with an expensive bill. 5atm cases are probably okay up to 8-10atm etc.

    I recall someone doing a test on the vostok 200m case and I think ingress/failure only happened at 5(?)00m or something like that - not that 200m would be needed anyway.
    So, the takeaway is that I'm probably safe to shower while wearing my 200 WR.

    A shower (or running it under a tap) is a great way to clean a watch actually... an old toothbrush, some soap/cleaning liquid and your bracelet/case will be sparkling clean... and also important to rinse watch under tap water if it's been in salt water too (obviously won't be a problem if you don't take it into salt water in the first place :D ).
    Considering most divers don't get beyond the water cooler isn't the whole issue rather irrelevant?

    I've just found it something that watch people concentrate on (especially misunderstanding what 30m or 50m wr actually means).

    No problems at all with playing top trumps with you 1000m wr... but if people are not buying 30m or 50m wr watches because they "want a watch that can withstand a splash or even a swim" then it's frustrating for someone who actually wants people to enjoy slimmer watches (which can be taken swimming) and running into the false idea that 30m means "no water" or "raindrops" :o
    blue5000 wrote: »
    TF I haven't checked, but I thought ISO is 200m not 100m WR?

    https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:6425:ed-4:v1:en

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark#ISO_6425_divers'_watches_standard

    ISO6425 only requires 100m and actually a diver watch doesn't require a screw down crown either (the screw down only prevents accidentally pulling out the crown, it doesn't add any extra WR which is the gasket's job).

    Btw - when I was reading the first paragraph of that Wiki article on WR I can feel the red mist descending - the various old wives' tales of "static water pressure", salt/non-salt water, temperature etc. etc. - all have been disproven on various watch forums already...

    You need to be moving at the speed of a nuclear submarine through water to add less than 1atm to the pressure I seem to recall (and that 1atm is only in the direction of movement which would quite often be perpendicular to the crown/gasket).

    Finally here's the old Omega WR chart which at least shows that they are fine with people swimming with their 3atm watches:

    omega-water-resistance-screenshot-2014-06-30-09-21-39-jpg.63428

    And I'd argue that they are still being conservative - their 100m watches probably don't have unidirectional bezels and hence they didn't recommend them for scuba diving.




  • Thirdfox wrote: »

    You need to be moving at the speed of a nuclear submarine through water to add less than 1atm to the pressure I seem to recall (and that 1atm is only in the direction of movement which would quite often be perpendicular to the crown/gasket).
    .

    Funny you should mention... about two weeks ago I happened to be washing my hands at the kitchen sink when I turned away to respond to something my wife asked me. When I looked back to the sink I realized I had the water running directly on the crown of the watch I was wearing.

    The plumbing inspector had told me when I bought the house that my water pressure ran a little at the low side at 12 psi max.

    So, I googled psi to ATM converter, who knew there was such a thing​, and found out that 12 psi is equivalent to 0.816 ATM.


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  • Thirdfox wrote: »
    would really love to try wingsuit flying too but MsThirdfox won't allow it.
    Very sensible. :)
    actually a diver watch doesn't require a screw down crown either (the screw down only prevents accidentally pulling out the crown, it doesn't add any extra WR which is the gasket's job).
    I'm really not too sure about that TF. One of the biggest reasons various screwdown crown designs were invented in the first place(late 19th century) was because of a lack of suitable gasket material at the time. The choices were essentially lead and oiled leather. Good rubber/plastic alternatives didn't really take off until the 1940's. Now some early designs did rely on a screwdown crown or a lever type setup(like the later Panerai) to hold the gasket as tightly as possible to the case, but it wasn't ideal because of the gasket materials at the time. So to get around that they looked to a mechanical metal to metal seal, just like the back and front case seals.

    If you look at Rolex's patent for their design, a very clever tweak of an existing patent they bought.
    RolexScrewCrown-patent-by-wilsdorf.jpg
    No gaskets involved. Metal to metal. The later Russian Amphibia is a variation on that theme(with a much better rear case gasket sealing method).

    Now materials have come on in leaps and bounds of course and a properly installed and regularly checked gasket setup is good enough, especially for the use of 90% of owners, but given a choice between a gasket alone and a gasket and screwdown crown the latter is superior. If the gasket fails for whatever reason in both designs, the screwdown crown retains far greater water resistance by virtue of the design. The British navy noted this in the 70's when they trialled both the Omega Seamaster and the Rolex Sub. They preferred the Omega bezel and handset design and insisted on Rolex incorporating them, but after too many of their Seamasters came back to the surface looking like spirit levels they insisted Omega incorporate the Rolex screwdown crown system.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • I think what people are most likely to get caught out by in respect of "true" water resistance, is whether the watch has been correctly maintained over time, with replacement of gaskets and re-sealing etc. at appropriate intervals.

    Personally I won't submerge a watch unless I am happy it is in good nick.




  • My crusade against WR misinformation continues... this time I may have peeved off Scottish Watches' Rikki a little:

    d085Eo9h.png


    Here is the original Rikki post which I wanted to correct (I see it as perpetuating numerous debunked myths - highlighted in red) - the dangerous thing is that they sound plausible, but have been demonstrated to be untrue (maybe Rikki heard it from someone he thought was trustworthy) - but people are going to see his post and it will continue to perpetuate...

    Vm7WAeoh.png


    for those who don't trust my admittedly minimal as of yet watchmaking credentials here is a proper watchmaker setting out the stall on WR and the pseudo-babble on hydrostatic pressure vs dynamic and the other common WR misconceptions - judge for yourself if Lysander's reasoning makes sense or not - https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/sigh-myth-busting-again.610734/ - Lysanderxii is pretty famous on the Chinese mech and general WUS forum for doing indepth teardowns of movements and seeing where/why the Swiss ETAs are superior: https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/how-do-seagull-and-hangzhou-compare-to-a-eta-an-in-depth-look.216945/#post-1547711 - if it's between Hangzhou and Sea-Gull for the ETA clone I'd go with Sea-Gull ST2130 ;)

    Probably shouldn't have continued to write (digging hole for myself?) but wanted to let readers judge for themselves and potentially consider new possibilities:

    lg4BmfPl.png



    You heard it first here folks - just like Moser made a 1 million CHF "Swiss Mad" cheese watch - Solas may one day make a 10,000 euro 50m professional dive watch (donate all the proceeds to water safety or similar organisation) - I don't I can convince people commercially that a 50m wr watch could ever/regularly be taken scuba diving...




  • You were dead right to call him out on that. Your answers come across very well, whilst he just comes across as argumentative.




  • bud:D




  • T-Maxx wrote: »
    bud:D

    I have been watching the scottish watches fellows for some time and my advice is dont get into anything with them, very argumentative and rulers of their own kingdom.




  • WR is just a hot button issue with me - I absolutely understand why someone might think it's really cool to have a watch that can withstand 1200m or 160,000 gauss or -200℃ or something like that - but misunderstanding can lead to people pooh-poohing 3ATM watches as not being a cool sports watch - you "can" go swimming with that watch - never mind rinsing it under a tap to keep it clean etc.

    And I promise you it's not because I love correcting people(!) :o - I think it's sad that a lot of people are missing out on great 3/5atm watches because they are under the mistaken impression that 10atm+ is the minimum needed (even if they don't dive, swim, shower with a watch etc.) and that light rain is all that 3atm is good for.

    You also get watch people called manufacturers "lazy" for "only" providing 3 or 5atm... maybe manufacturers really prefer to have the extra 0.4mm or 0.8mm of height reduction from a watch instead?

    There's a good intention behind my crusade...

    I would agree that a watch manufacturer is not going to cover water ingress - mainly because a properly sealed 3atm watch which has been WR tested in the past year is 99.99+% unlikely to allow in water without user error (moving the crown underwater, activating pushers, user opening up caseback themselves and resealed incorrectly).

    But yeah - even making a good humoured informative post to an admin of a group etc. might not be wise if someone takes it badly.




  • The Rickies are quick to take umbridge Thirdfox, I have seen it loads of times with them.




  • Most modern manufacturers apply the 3ATM label to watches which they themselves consider not suitable for swimming.

    This causes some confusion because the layman or armchair engineer assumes that a watch with 3ATM rating is "capable" of going to 30m underwater indefinitely without water ingress. And then a (reasonable) argument follows - if it is capable of going 30m under water for an infinite period of time then surely it must be capable of swimming on the surface. Calculations and discussions about dynamic pressure etc usually follow.

    These arguments and calculations are pointless because they start from an incorrect assumption. Most watches labeled 3ATM are not capable of going to 30m underwater. Certainly not indefinitely. Nor are they guaranteed to withstand 3ATM static pressure. They are usually not designed to be particularly water resistant, nor are they individually tested off the production line to ensure consistent performance.

    A small number of manufacturers apply the 3ATM rating to watches which they consider suitable for swimming. Most apply it to watches which are not suitable for swimming. It is just a label. The solution is very simple - check the corresponding manufacturer recommendation at the time your watch was made.




  • teotwawki wrote: »
    Most modern manufacturers apply the 3ATM label to watches which they themselves consider not suitable for swimming.

    This causes some confusion because the layman or armchair engineer assumes that a watch with 3ATM rating is "capable" of going to 30m underwater indefinitely without water ingress. And then a (reasonable) argument follows - if it is capable of going 30m under water for an infinite period of time then surely it must be capable of swimming on the surface. Calculations and discussions about dynamic pressure etc usually follow.

    These arguments and calculations are pointless because they start from an incorrect assumption. Most watches labeled 3ATM are not capable of going to 30m underwater. Certainly not indefinitely. Nor are they guaranteed to withstand 3ATM static pressure. They are usually not designed to be particularly water resistant, nor are they individually tested off the production line to ensure consistent performance.

    A small number of manufacturers apply the 3ATM rating to watches which they consider suitable for swimming. Most apply it to watches which are not suitable for swimming. It is just a label. The solution is very simple - check the corresponding manufacturer recommendation at the time your watch was made.

    Not trying to start an argument, but on what are you basing the assertion that some manufacturers apply a 3 atm rating to watches that are not tested to that level?

    Thanks.


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  • Lorddrakul wrote: »
    Not trying to start an argument, but on what are you basing the assertion that some manufacturers apply a 3 atm rating to watches that are not tested to that level?

    Thanks.
    The vast majority of watches manufactured today do not have any pressure testing prior to leaving the factory. They're cased and go out the door. Only divers watches and pricey luxury watches are individually pressure tested.




  • teotwawki wrote: »
    The vast majority of watches manufactured today do not have any pressure testing prior to leaving the factory. They're cased and go out the door. Only divers watches and pricey luxury watches are individually pressure tested.
    True, though I'd be surprised if the less expensive end of divers watches were individually tested too. At the same time I'd be surprised that any watch from a half decent brand didn't have the design itself tested to pass whatever rating it wore on the dial/advertising. The risk of complaints from customers would be too high. With modern materials and manufacturing methods and tolerances 3 ATM resistance would be easy to pass with basic sealing. In the old days they had to go to far more effort and over engineering to properly seal a watch, plus standards weren't well... standard.

    Even so as far back as the early 20th century when seal materials were leather, lead and oiled string a metal only construction design with no seals designed to be dust and damp proof was more than splashproof. https://vintagewatchstraps.com/waterproof.php#Borgel

    TatlerMarch1915.jpg

    Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2021.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    True, though I'd be surprised if the less expensive end of divers watches were individually tested too.
    Any watch bearing the DIVERS mark is supposed to be individually tested according to ISO 6425.
    At the same time I'd be surprised that any watch from a half decent brand didn't have the design itself tested to pass whatever rating it wore on the dial/advertising. The risk of complaints from customers would be too high

    What do you mean by pass a rating? This is where the confusion comes from. You are assuming (quite reasonably) that a watch with 3ATM written on it must be designed and tested to withstand 3ATM of water pressure for an indefinite period of time, in all possible conditions. And thus it seems logical it should be suitable for swimming.

    This is simply not the case.

    3ATM is a label they put on a watch to indicate that it is very slightly water resistant and not suitable for swimming. This is in accordance with ISO22810.




  • Lorddrakul wrote: »
    Not trying to start an argument, but on what are you basing the assertion that some manufacturers apply a 3 atm rating to watches that are not tested to that level?

    Thanks.

    Shock horror here's a good Hodinkee article on ISO standards (both the well known 6425 and the much lesser known 22810) and the differences between the two: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/tale-of-two-isos-what-water-resistance-ratings-really-mean
    (and the big difference of sample overpressure testing and individual testing)

    Of course plenty of brands don't follow either ISO - the likes of Patek/Rolex on one end and Bliger/Winner Alix brands on the other probably don't do these ISO tests (some are more stringent, some less so).

    But yes - for non-dive watches (and potentially for some brand's dive watches) they are likely (almost guaranteed) to do selective sample testing for QC purposes - it's what the factory will be doing for the Starlight and what I'll be re-doing here in Ireland. So one out of X will be randomly selected and tested to see if the batch is okay.

    The difference with achieving the ISO6425 is that each individual watch is tested - so that adds to cost and expense and why it's a big deal if "Diver's 100/200/300m" is written on the dial - buyers can be confident that each individual watch has been overpressure tested (though remaining ISO6425 tests can be sample tested too). Of course if you buy a Rolex submariner they will have individually tested the watch - but I actually don't know if they do the same for OPs etc. (probably is my guess).
    teotwawki wrote: »
    The vast majority of watches manufactured today do not have any pressure testing prior to leaving the factory. They're cased and go out the door. Only divers watches and pricey luxury watches are individually pressure tested.

    I think Wibb's (and my) point is that getting 3/5ATM right is so easy that you'd have to try not to pass this low bar (pun intended) of WR... but that this low bar of WR is more than sufficient for 99.9% of people in terms of real life WR needs.

    Put it this way - a $10 Casio F91-W has perfectly fine 3ATM WR (and you could if you so wish take it to 12-18m (and probably overpressured to even -40m underwater) if you so wish - it's only the very, very, very trashiest brands that would make a watch that doesn't give at least 3ATM. If it has seals - it should give 3ATM at least.

    The only thing that could concern people is bad QC/workmanship - so the seals are giving 3/5ATM if seated correctly but because you are paying $25 for a mechanical watch the poor guy (actually more likely to be a gal btw in these watch factories) doesn't really care if it's seated properly/pinched before casing up the watch and as a result it's a badly made watch. Absolutely no QC is done (because that costs time/money) and they know if the owner gets a water logged watch on a $25 purchase they probably won't complain.

    In my eyes if any "proper" watch brand is telling you that you can't swim with their 3ATM watch (and they're allowed to say you have to have maintained the watch of course) then I'd run a mile because 1) they don't know what they are talking about or 2) they do know and are deceiving their customers - neither of which is a good look.

    ^Watch sales agents are excluded from that though - most I've met in life repeat the "only splashes for 3ATM" line that bemuses me :P




  • teotwawki wrote: »
    What do you mean by pass a rating? This is where the confusion comes from. You are assuming (quite reasonably) that a watch with 3ATM written on it must be designed and tested to withstand 3ATM of water pressure for an indefinite period of time, in all possible conditions. And thus it seems logical it should be suitable for swimming.

    This is simply not the case.
    NO watch will withstand any rated pressure for "an indefinite period of time, in all possible conditions". That includes watches with 300metre and beyond ratings. That would be a silly claim for any manufacturer to make and it's not how it works. A rated tested watch no matter the number is rated and tested when new, with new seals and new mating surfaces. There are no guarantees and brands don't give any. A ten year old 300 metre rated and tested watch might pass the test again, but chances are high it might not. Goes double for non screwdown crowns.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Thirdfox wrote:

    ...
    You are still applying your own interpretation to a label which already has a clearly defined meaning.

    The manufacturers are working off ISO 22810 which says that 3ATM is a label that should be applied to watches with minimal water resistance, not suitable for swimming.

    You are looking at the label and interpreting it as a depth rating, which it is not.
    Wibbs wrote:
    NO watch will withstand any rated pressure for "an indefinite period of time, in all possible conditions".
    Exactly, this was my point, not a gotcha




  • teotwawki wrote: »
    You are still applying your own interpretation to a label which already has a clearly defined meaning.

    The manufacturers are working off ISO 22810 which says that 3ATM is a label that should be applied to watches with minimal water resistance, not suitable for swimming.

    You are looking at the label and interpreting it as a depth rating, which it is not.

    Hey Teo,

    Here is a sample of the ISO 22810 document (the full doc requires payment):
    https://cdn.standards.iteh.ai/samples/45334/df1ac964c8404f60aa035d5eddaa1829/ISO-22810-2010.pdf

    More useful is the results pdf from this company done to comply with 22810:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjI05zmhI_vAhXQZxUIHYPzBgEQFjABegQIBxAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.st.com%2Fresource%2Fen%2Fapplication_note%2Fdm00292787-water-resistant-features-stmicroelectronics.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3MpW_Z9CBRG6IrsUgWrHtw

    (page 11 and 12 is particularly useful in a watch context).

    Finally here is what Wiki has to say about the standard (I prefer the primary source always but wiki can be illuminative too) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark#ISO_2281_water-resistant_watches_standard


    From the above you can see that 22810 makes no mention about "swimming" or
    3ATM is a label that should be applied to watches with minimal water resistance, not suitable for swimming.

    Instead the standard includes both an overpressure test (minimum of 2 bar overpressure) for 10 minutes and a depth test (10cm for a minimum of 1 hour).

    From this - it would mean that a 3ATM watch (batch sampled) would need at least to have passed a 5ATM overpressure (and 5ATM watch passing a 7ATM overpressure test) for 10 minutes and survived at least being immersed in 10cm of water for at least an hour.

    How that watch wouldn't then survive swimming/showering (and in all likelihood some light snorkelling down to at least its rated depth (since in batch sampling the watch model (not individual watch) survives an overpressured 10 minute "dive" beyond its rating) doesn't seem likely to me.

    While wiki is not a primary source - it does mention the standard applies to
    watches intended for ordinary daily use and are resistant to water during exercises such as swimming for a short period. They may be used under conditions where water pressure and temperature vary; German Industrial Norm DIN 8310 is an equivalent standard. However, whether they bear an additional indication of overpressure or not, they are not intended for submarine diving.

    Not everyone purports to comply with ISO 22810 of course - however the test is rather easy to pass - again, the point being having a watch that is able to be used for swimming etc. is also quite an easy bar to pass - only when we start talking about saturation/non-recreational diving do we really demand more from modern WR watches.




  • 3ATM is the lowest mark available and basically supersedes the old WR (splashproof) mark. The majority of the industry is in agreement that this mark is to be used when a watch is nominally water resistant, not suitable for swimming.

    Seiko
    3ATM - Not suitable for swimming
    https://www.seikowatches.com/global-en/customerservice/faq/general-information-8

    Citizen
    3ATM - Not suitable for swimming
    https://www.citizenwatch-global.com/support/html/en/w770/precaution_08_w770.html

    Longines
    3ATM - Not suitable for swimming
    https://www.longines.com/uploads/customerservice/userguide/technical/pdf/EN_Screw_down1.pdf

    Oris
    3 bar - Not suitable for swimming
    https://www.oris.ch/DATA/22948_oris_manual_en.pdf (p25)

    Tag
    30m - Not suitable for swimming
    https://forums.calibre11.com/attachments/tableau_faq_2-png.289159/

    Timex
    30m - Not suitable for swimming
    https://www.timex.com/the-timex-blog/what-makes-a-watch-water-resistant.html

    Ball
    3ATM - Not suitable for swimming
    http://www.ballwatch.com/global/images/customer_services/FAQ/water_resistance_chart_eng-01.jpg

    A small number of manufacturers differ. And recommendations have changed over time. If in doubt, go with the manufacturer rating at the time your watch was made.

    The 3ATM label is what is throwing you. It would be less confusing if they used IP ratings, or simply successive "levels" of water resistance. You are looking at 3ATM and conflating that with a watch that is rated to dive to 30m. This is not the case. It's not what it means. 3ATM is a mark that (most) watch brands use to denote a watch with the lowest level of water resistance (aside from none), unsuitable for swimming.




  • Do that and you have given the customers a legal basis for claims against the manufacturer and consumer rights bodies justification to hammer them, like so:
    Italy has fined Apple €10m (£9m) for misleading claims about the iPhone's water resistance.

    The national competition authority, AGCM, found Apple's claims did not hold up under real-world conditions.

    Instead, the water resistance claims were valid only with pure water in laboratory conditions.

    AGCM also said Apple not covering water damage under warranty, despite claims of water resistance, was an "aggressive" practice.

    The advertising at issue promised iPhones were water resistant at a depth of up to 4m (13ft) for 30 minutes.

    The claim was made for a range of phones across several years, from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 11 and their variations.

    Apple settles iPhone slowdown case for $500m
    Apple hit with record €1.1bn fine in France

    And it was not made clear this was true under tightly controlled conditions only, the authority found.

    It ruled the advertising - which showed iPhones coming into contact with water - was misleading.

    I agree with the OP.

    I used to SCUBA dive some years ago. I twice dove to 38m in open water. People who haven't dived, may not appreciate how deep that is in practice. At that depth, you have about 12 minutes before disolved nitrogen levels in the blood become high enough you need to make decompression stops on your way to the surface to let the blood nitrogen levels drop to safe levels.

    So even 100m resistance is way beyond what 99% of divers would ever needed in a watch.


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  • cnocbui wrote: »
    Do that and you have given the customers a legal basis for claims against the manufacturer and consumer rights bodies justification to hammer them, like so:
    No. I literally just posted half a dozen links where manufacturers explain what their WR ratings mean, including very clearly stating that a watch with 3ATM mark is not suitable for swimming. So your point has no basis in reality, nor common sense.


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