Water resistance, what does it mean?
When buying a watch, a good thing to remember is your watch’s water resistance capabilities. Water resistance can come in many different ways and is clearly laid out in the watches instructions.
The first thing you should do before buying your watch is to identify what conditions your watch is going to be exposed to. Whether you are a keen swimmer or a professional deep sea diver it is important to identify the use before using it in such extreme conditions. Here at Mens Watches UK, we will identify a watch’s resistance on each article posted, to help you make the decision as to whether you have found the one for you.
Water resistance with watches, is all about how much your watch can withstand splashes of water, brief submergence and pressure, this means that your watch is recommended to use in certain wet situations but not others. Water resistance is explicitly that, it means your watch resists water, but only for a short period of time. If you have chosen a watch specifically for diving, please check that that watch can be submerged for long periods of time. As part of our reviews, we will clearly highlight the manufacturers recommended submergence and water resistance levels.
There is a set scale that the majority of watch manufacturers abide by. They usually list the amount of meters, bars, or ATM (atmospheres). The current scale that they often use is:
Water resistance mark
What conditions you can use the watch
|3 atm/ 30 m/ 3 bar||This means the watch is suitable for using in normal circumstances. It allows for the watch to be splashed on or rained on. However the guidelines suggest you should not use the watch when showering, bathing or any activity where water exposure is a high possibility.|
|5 atm/ 50 m/ 5 bar||When the watch states this resistance rating, it means the watch could be used during swimming, or water rafting sports where there is brief submergence. However it is recommended that you do not use the watch for underwater activities.|
|10 atm/ 100m/ 10 bar||You can use the watch during snorkelling, and simple water based activities. Do not use the watch for diving.|
|20 atm/ 200 m/ 20 bar||This is where you can do a lot more with the watch without feeling concerned about whether it will be damaged. You can use the watch under all the above circumstances plus during skin diving and serious water sports which include kite surfing, surfing and body boarding.|
If you are considering using your watch for diving, you will need to highly consider the type of diving you do and what depths you will be reaching. The scale for diving watches it slightly different due to regulations dictating the quality the divers watch must be to meet the required activity. Here we have a scale for you to match the watch required. The standard that the watch must meet is dictated by the ISO 6425 testing.
Divers resistance rating
What diving conditions you can use the watch
|100m||This level of resistance allows for you to use the watch during scuba diving, however it is recommended you do not use the watch for saturation diving.|
|200m/300m||This resistance level is a typical rating for divers watches and is often used by more casual divers. However, similar to 100m resistance, the watch is not suitable for saturation diving.|
|300m plus||Watches marked with diving 300m allows for the watch to be eligible for all of the above and saturation diving.|
If you participate in diving activities which include mixed-gas diving, then you will need to consider looking out for watches that have been marked with Divers xxx meters as can be seen on the Citizen Promaster Diver Men’s Solar powered watch, which is priced at under £400 ().
Different types of watch mechanisms and caring for them
Winding your watch
Mechanical watches require regular winding by hand. This means that in order for the watch to work, you have to create enough energy in the spring for it to last for the specified time. Make sure you check the watches instructions to see the maximum amount of turns you should do. Mechanical watches tend to be less accurate than quartz and often lose up to 30 seconds a day. When winding your watch, put as minimal pressure on the crown as possible, and completely avoid pulling it out during wet conditions.
Trust in Chronometer
If you are looking for a watch that is highly accurate, then you will need to look at a watch that has been marked as a Chronometer. This mark means that a Swiss-made chronometer watch has been tested independently at the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. The testing itself is particular vigorous and the mechanism needs to meet a criteria stipulated under ISO 3159.With the Chronometer marking, you can be sure your watch should keep an accurate time with a small margin of error, within a 24 hour cycle.
Best time to wind your watch
Multiple guides suggest you wind your watch at the same time every day. Doing so will form a habit meaning that when you need to check the time, your watch will still be going strong. A good time to do this would be in the morning, when you first pick your watch up from your watch draw or bedside table. In doing so you are protecting the watch from any unnatural pressure on the movement inside.
It is good to reiterate to you that you do not over wind your watch, too much winding can lead to mechanical damage inside the watch, which can be an expensive repair.
Be careful of temperature
If you regularly go between different temperatures, make sure your watch is suitable for the change in conditions. Mechanical watch parts can be very delicate, the parts can expand if going from cold to hot causing mechanical problems. You may also find that going from cold to hot can cause condensation inside the watch effecting lubrication.
Avoid anything with a magnetic presence
Anything with a magnetic presence can cause issues with a mechanical watch. This can cause the mechanism to function with error. Examples of magnetic objects include most electrical devices including smart phones.
Shocks, best to avoid them
Mechanical watches are sensitive to shocks; avoid using your watch where your body is exposed to blunt force. Impact sports, swinging a club in golf, hammering, chopping wood or vibrations from a bicycle on cobblestones all cause a degree of shock which can ultimately damage your watch.
Keeping the watch ticking
There are many different answers when it comes to caring for your men’s automatic watch.
Some suggest you keep the watch ticking, especially if it has many complex calendar, date and time functions. To do this a good suggestion would be to use a watch winder, check out some examples here.
Watch winders help with keeping your watch charged when not in use. The watch winder will automatically move which simulates the movement of your arm, creating optimum kinetic energy. If you do not use your watch often, there is a risk that the lubricant within the watch can become congealed, causing the movement to seize. But as most things are, this is debated and not a major concern with modern watches.
Keeping the watch working
As the above states, an automatic watch can have a shorter life span if not used. The watch requires regular kinetic energy to keep it charged.
Servicing your watch
Depending on your watch, how expensive it was and how much you love it can also depend on how often you get it serviced. We recommend you get your watch serviced approximately every five to seven years. Before having it serviced, you should ensure the watch engineer is specialised in servicing your particular watch.
Solar powered/Eco-Drive type watches
Charged by light
Be sure to keep your watch in the light as this will ensure your watch remains charged. Even with no light source the watch can still keep ticking but will eventually drain. Try to keep your watch clean to ensure light can easily penetrate and reach the solar panels situated (most often) under the dial.
Types of eco-friendly solar powered watches
Citizen solar powered watches use a technology called Eco-Drive. Eco-Drive successfully converts light from any sources. It can charge from artificial light, natural and even dim lighting. Eco-Drive uses two different types of solar cells depending on the design. There is a ring solar design which sits around the dial and the standard solar which usually sits under the dial.
When you’re running low on Eco-Drive
If your watch is in the dark for a long period of time then the watch (if it has this feature) will automatically activate a power saving function. This means that the second hand will tick every two seconds. This will happen until it is fully charged.
Casio have a technology called Tough Solar. This solar charging system allows for the watch to be charged from fluorescent lamps and other sources of light. It charges a built in battery which can then support with the operation of many of the watches energy hungry functions.
How long does the Tough Solar battery last and will it need replacing?
The battery should last as long as the watch lasts. Which providing you use it within its limitations, it should last for a long time. Check the back of your watch for three or four digit number. Once you have this number you can then check how much light exposure is needed to charge the battery. To get the most efficient charge, make sure your watch is exposed to as much light whenever possible. You may find that if the battery level is reduced, some of the functions may not operate.