What does “Water-Resistant” really mean, and why aren’t some watches “Waterproof?”

In the 1960s the Federal Trade Commission stopped allowing watchmakers to call their watches “water-proof.” This even applies to fine Swiss-made watches such as Rolex, Breitling, or Tag Heuer. The rules were put in place because no watch is completely impervious to water. This means that even if your “Water-Resistant” watch is rated to great pressure or depth, it should still be inspected and tested periodically. This is true because the seals that protect your timepiece can deteriorate over time, and they can be damaged during service, or even while performing a battery replacement if care is not taken. While it may be disappointing to learn through testing that your watch requires maintenance, it is still far less expensive than repairing a water-damaged Rolex watch.

Pressure Tested Rolex Water-Resistant Watch

Can I Swim or Bathe with my Watch On?

Water-Resistant watches are printed on the dial or the back of the case with their water-resistance rating. If your watch does not specify a depth, then it is not intended to ever be submerged in water or worn in the shower, for example. In general, if a watch is rated less than 10 ATM or 100 M, it should not be submerged in water if possible.

How Do I Protect My Swiss Made Watch?

The best way to protect the water resistance and seals of your watch is to have your watch serviced by a master watchmaker, who knows how to care for your watch properly to avoid damage, and who can provide a Factory Spec Re-Seal for your watch. This will protect your watch from future damage, rather than leaving it vulnerable like an unqualified watch shop might. Some watch shops will claim to factory re-seal your watch but can’t even perform a pressure test on-site.

How does a Pressure Test Work?

Here at High Grade Watches, Inc. not only will we properly care for your Rolex, Tag Heuer, or other finely made Swiss Watch, we can also Pressure Test your watch on-site using the Rolex method or the Water Test. This method tests your watch seal against a pressure vacuum. This means that if the seals are damaged and leak, air will escape your watch case, but no water will enter it. This method is fail-safe, and the watch is not submerged in water.  So even if your watch seals leak, it will not be damaged if it fails the test. Having this test performed is a critical part of any professional watch servicing, and it will ensure that your watch is not vulnerable to water damage, helping you avoid costly repairs in the future.

Why Do I Need To Pressure Test My Watch?

Even the best Rolex Watches or other Swiss-made Watches are vulnerable to damage or deterioration over time. While these timepieces are designed to last a lifetime, just like any finely crafted machine they do require maintenance and repair. The Factory Seal on your watch can require service or maintenance to continue protecting your watch for years to come, and you should certainly test any watch that has been recently purchased. Pressure Testing your watch periodically will protect your investment for years to come. Contact High Grade Watches,Inc. today to have your Rolex or other Swiss-made watch pressure tested or simply to have your watch sealed to factory specifications after service.