Many people wonder whether a waterproof watch is really all it’s cracked up to be. After all, how does a watch stop getting wet? Is it really waterproof? There are many waterproof watches available on the market today, and they do indeed work very well. However, you do have to consider some factors before purchasing one.
Waterproof watches are frequently thought to be totally waterproof, but in reality, this is not always the case. In the same way that our raincoat protects us against rainwater, a waterproof watch protects your watch against water. Waterproof watches, over time, can develop water damage unless continually exposed to water. Generally, water resistant watches have some protection from liquid penetration, but water resistant is certainly not a universal standard. So, what is it?
A water resistant watch is one whose inner workings are sealed off from the surrounding environment. The watch’s gaskets, or inner seal, are typically constructed of rubber or other suitable materials. The seals provide a degree of water resistance beyond the ability of the silicone gasket alone. While the gasket itself is extremely tough, its ability to seal and prevent leakage is limited. As the silicone breaks down, tiny air leaks may occur and these leakages create pressure. This pressure can cause the seal to weaken, resulting in water leaking into the watch.
Fortunately, most waterproof watches will be rated somewhere in between these two extremes. A good rule of thumb is to assume that any watch with an IP protection rating of five is completely waterproof. That means that the watch is sealed off from liquid penetration and that water resistant properties are adequate for everyday use. Additionally, these watches should be regularly serviced and checked for leaks or damage.
Another key feature in an accurate waterproof watch is an accurate electrostatic sensitive locking crown. This functions similar to a shock absorber, helping to prevent crown water damage (which allows for the water damage of the spring). The crown also provides an accurate resistance reading and provides a degree of resistance above and beyond the IP rating, which is useful in that if the water resistance rating is exceeded, the crown can be opened without risk of water damage.
Beyond the above general features, waterproof watches offer many more options. The accuracy of the waterproof rating is usually expressed as a relative humidity resistance. This is expressed as a percentage, where a higher number means less moisture resistivity and a lower number means more moisture resistivity. A high resistant might be sufficient for a sports watch, while a high moisture might be better suited for a diving or scuba watch.
Accuracy in this area of water resistance is also measured by other criteria, such as impact absorption, impact resistance to pressure, and creep resistance. High numbers here mean that the waterproof watch is more resistant to impact and pressure. A low number here means that it is less resistant to pressure and impact. creep resistance is the ability for a material to withstand sudden changes in its density over a defined area, while impact absorption is the ability of a material to absorb energy after an impact, or to deal with a given amount of force when stretched to a given size.
Waterproof watches do not have to be made with some of these key features. Often, the most waterproof watch is the one that uses the least materials. In many cases, a low-priced, substandard watch is still sufficiently water resistant to meet most needs. A more expensive, high quality waterproof watch will most likely be one that uses high-quality materials, along with features such as the correct IP rating and accurate resistance readings. As with any watch, it is up to the user to make sure that it is the right waterproof watch for them.