Is my watch water resistant?

One of the most frequently asked questions in our (web)shops is “Is this watch water resistant and can I swim while wearing it?” In this blog, we explain exactly what to look for when purchasing a water resistant watch.

What does water resistant mean?

It is straightforward; The water resistance of watches is determined by how much (water) pressure a watch can withstand. When you know what you want to do with your watch, just look for the indicated water pressure on the dial or case back.

On some watches, it says ’50 meters’ and other manufacturers use the terms ‘bar’ or ‘atm’. But these actually all mean the same: 5 ATM or 5 Bar represents the amount of pressure of a column of 50 meters of stationary water. So do not take the number of meters literally! It does not mean that you can swim 50 meters deep with this watch. We can imagine that this is confusing, so we have listed the most common water pressure indications in a table:

Water Resistant/Water proof
Splatter proof (light rain shower, washing hands)
30 metres/3 ATM/3 BAR
Resistant to a little bit of water like a rain shower and washing dishes (do not immerse)
50 metres/5 ATM/5 BAR
Suitable for showering (please note: leather straps are not waterproof!)
100 metres/10 ATM/10 BAR
Suitable for swimming and snorkelling
200 metres/20 ATM/20 BAR
 Suitable for diving
1000 metres/100 ATM/100 BAR
 Suitable for scuba diving

More information about water resistant watches can be found on the Water-Resistance page on our site.

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Can I swim with my watch?

In principle, you can swim with every 10 ATM/bar water resistant watch. Make sure you have tightened the crown of the watch so no water can permeate it. Make sure you clean your watch with fresh water after every ‘dive’ so no chlorine, salt or sand affects the metal and moving parts.
Leather straps are not resistant to (sea)water, so choose a watch with a metal, rubber or nylon strap.


If you want to go scuba diving, choose a watch with unique features such as a screwed down crown or a uni-directional bezel. On the ‘Diving-Watches‘ page on our site, you can learn more about the features that a diving watch has.

Need advice on water-resistant watches?

Looking for a water resistant watch for a particular purpose? Then contact our customer service for customised information.