How does water resistance measurements (atm, meters) correspond to real-life activities?

Thread: How does water resistance measurements (atm, meters) correspond to real-life activities?

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  1. #1
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    How does water resistance measurements (atm, meters) correspond to real-life activities?

    My understanding is that you can't really take a diver's watch listed at 200M down to 200M below the water's surface. If you do, you'd better not move, as the pressure of the water + movement will likely be to much.

    That said, I'm never going close to 200M, or even 100M or 50M below the water's surface. I have a watch, in this case the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto, that's listed as 5 ATM. Usually, that correlates to 50M. But I've also heard that running water from a strong faucet landing directly on the watch's crown or caseback can exceed 5 ATM. Any truth to this?

    I know there's an chart from Omega listing the different activities for WR listings and activities; does this accurately correlate to all watches?
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    Re: How does water resistance measurements (atm, meters) correspond to real-life activitie

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveInLA View Post

    I know there's an chart from Omega listing the different activities for WR listings and activities; does this accurately correlate to all watches?
    It should, though I would certainly be more careful with a 50m watch with a push crown than a 50m watch with a screw down.

    I wouldnt swim with less than a 50m WR rating...and I doubt that any normal faucet would exceed 50m (5 ATM).

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    Re: How does water resistance measurements (atm, meters) correspond to real-life activitie

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveInLA View Post
    But I've also heard that running water from a strong faucet landing directly on the watch's crown or caseback can exceed 5 ATM. Any truth to this?
    I'd definitely try to avoid placing a 50m watch beneath a tap on full blast. I wouldn't expect disaster to be inevitable, but there is a rsik

    http://www.bluedial.com/BD-wr.htm

    The following usage recommendations are suggested by most watch manufacturers.

    Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet). Will withstand splashes of water or rain but should not be worn while swimming or diving.
    Water-tested to 50 meters (165 feet). Suitable for showering or swimming in shallow water.
    Water-tested to 100 meters (330 feet). Suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
    Water-tested to 150 meters (500 feet). Suitable for snorkeling.
    Water-tested to 200 meters (660 feet). Suitable for skin diving.
    Diver's 150 meters (500 feet). Meets ISO standards and is suitable for scuba diving.
    Diver's 200 meters (660 feet). Meets ISO standards and is suitable for scuba diving.*
    Is a watch placed under a tap going to take more pressure than when you go swimming or have a shower? If the pressure - the force ***per area*** - on your skin is greater, yes. This can easily be the case for a heavy flow.

    Also: water resistance depends on gaskets. When gaskets stretch when they get warm and become rigid when they got cold - either way the seal can be breached. So be careful about immersion in water that is much colder or hotter than would be expected while swimming, especially if you do intend to use a watch as real diver.

    *The ISO diver spec adds a requirement for shock resistance requirement** and another that all buttons for stopwatch, backlight, etc should be operable at full pressure without leaks. If you do go diving with eg a Casio Protrek rated for 100m - as a USN type on the G Shock forum does - even "only" to 10m, don't press the buttons.

    **A rather pathetic one, but if it wasn't then Swiss watch companies wouldn't be able to keep on selling expensive mechanical fashion divers in suit-worthy cases.
    Last edited by scuttle; January 15th, 2009 at 13:43.

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  5. #4
    V8
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    Re: How does water resistance measurements (atm, meters) correspond to real-life activitie

    Quote Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

    Also: water resistance depends on gaskets. When gaskets stretch when they get warm and become rigid when they got cold - either way the seal can be breached. So be careful about immersion in water that is much colder or hotter than would be expected while swimming, especially if you do intend to use a watch as real diver.

    Gaskets are compressed when the watch is assembled, so rigid or soft there is little to worry about.

    Any temperature your body can take your watch can take.
    Last edited by V8; January 15th, 2009 at 14:48.


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