The reason that most watches will not survive traveling through water, even if it's clearly marked as 30M, is how water resistance is tested! To test a watch's resistance, it is placed in a small chamber that is then pressurized at different ATM levels which is a measure based on the earth's atmospheric pressure. Divers use the term ATM and atmosphere in regards to pressures that are atmospheric pressure at sea level. As an example, if the pressure in the chamber is 3 ATM and the watch is still working, it will be equivalent to 30 meters, ergo, the watch should be fine up to that depth. Unfortunately, the pressure inside a chamber is quite different from reality in the water. So most of these tests are not dependable outside of the chamber.
Different Ratings For Different Watches:
Water-resistant watches that comply with ISO2281 are average, normal activity watches. On the other hand, a diver's watch must be a great deal more resistant and able to stand up to much higher levels of pressure at different diving depths. Therefore, a watch that complies with ISO6425 means it has gone through a test that is very strict and has met the higher standard requirements.
In most cases what divides watches into different categories for depth is the materials, designing, and construction of the watch. Stainless steel or titanium cases are able to withstand much greater pressure than those made from gold. If you are a novice diver on weekends, before heading out make sure you have a watch that will meet all the standards to withstand increased water pressure.
How To Prevent Water Damage:
Before heading off to the beach, you need to understand if your watch can handle water or not.
The Different Ratings:
No Rating – This watch cannot handle even rain, steam, or splashing so stay away from water activities while you are wearing your watch or better yet, leave it at home.
Water-Resistance 30M – This watch will handle splashing and rain but not for swimming or other water activities.
Water-Resistance 50M (WOLFPOINT watch) – Good for fishing, rafting, or short-term swimming but absolutely not good for snorkeling or diving!
Water-Resistance 100M – Good for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities but again, no diving.
Water-Resistance 200M – A great choice for all water activities except diving.
Diver's 200M – This watch will remain protected from water pressure during recreational diving to depths of 30 to 40 meters.
Keep in mind, these ratings will only apply to a watch that's working properly and in good condition. If you have wear and tear or gasket seals that are worn out, your watch could become damaged when in contact with water.
Get Your Watch Checked Yearly:
We highly recommend that you have your watch pressure-tested by an authorized service and repair center every year or two. They can examine it and see if seals have dried out or if gaskets need to be replaced. It's just as important as having an oil and lube performed on your car.
With proper maintenance, your watch will keep its water-resistance between services. If you spend time swimming in a pool or in saltwater, once you are out of the water you must rinse your watch with fresh water. You do not want chlorine or salt to build up that will cause the gasket to erode. If you take good care of your watch, it should last for many years!