Taking a dip in the pool? Relaxing in the hot tub? Jumping into the ocean from your boat? Scuba diving in the Keys? With the right watch, you can do all of the above without worrying about damaging it. You can choose anything from a dedicated dive watch to a rugged, sporty one or even an elegant timepiece, as long as the water resistance is high enough. So, even if you get thrown into the pool at the next party, what’s on your wrist will keep ticking.
A high-quality water sports watch is one that’s been tested to withstand water pressure, shocks, changes in temperature, exposure to perspiration and the elements. Versatile, do-everything, good-looking timepieces, they function well in the deep blue sea and look as good on your wrist at the office as they do during a night out. Up until the early 20th century, watches were not water resistant at all. If you got your watch wet, chances were it was ruined. Then, in the 1920s, Rolex introduced its first water-resistant Oyster case and became an early leader in manufacturing watches that could stand up to immersion in the ocean.
Today, most watches are water-resistant to a certain depth. The bare minimum now is 30 meters, which means that it has been tested as water tight to a pressure of 30 meters, or about 90 feet. Most all-around watches are water resistant to at least 100 meters (approximately 330 feet) and, to qualify as a diving watch, 200 meters (about 655 feet) is the minimum.
There are watches that go even deeper; however, the lowest depth a person can safely scuba dive is 130 feet or 40 meters, so what’s the point of having a watch that can go down any lower than that? Well, the current world record for a water-resistant watch is 20,000 feet (deeper than the Titanic’s sunken remains) and this is a very technical achievement. Being able to manufacture a watch capable of going so deep is a credit to engineering and technical knowhow. And, if your watch can go down to that depth and keep ticking, it must be able to withstand a dip in the pool or a plunge into the hot tub!