Waterproof vs Water Resistant: What’s the Difference?

The terms waterproof and water resistant can bring confusion when purchasing a watch. The former was used extensively in the past when describing a product, but the reality was that this was not usually the case. Knowing the difference between them can avoid any unnecessary damages. Both types of resistance level can withstand exposure to water, but the difference is how much either can take is substantial. So what is the distinction between the two?


Waterproof watches can withstand a much greater degree of exposure than alternatives. These timepieces can be submerged to a specific depth without suffering damage. Some are even capable of withstanding a high level of pressure. Seiko Prospex watches offer a diver range that provide resistance of up to 200m. 

Water Resistant

Water resistant is a more commonly used term for watches today and it means that a watch can withstand a limited amount of exposure This does not mean that they can withstand being submerged. These timepieces usually have a screw down crown mechanism to deter any liquid from getting into the mechanism. They are okay to wear in the rain, but are not ideal for swimming or any other tasks.

The ATM Water Resistance Mark

This ATM explanation indicates specific types of water resistance and describes what activities each levels are suitable for. As the mechanical and electrical elements of the watch can be damaged easily, it is important to be able to identify the limits your watch can handle. For example, G-Shock watches offer a 20 ATM resistance level them ideal for light snorkelling and shallow waters.

Taking Care of Your Watch

Check your watch regularly to ensure that its resistance is still intact. Elements such as salt water, perfume, and chemical based products can affect its durability. You can check your watch on a regular basis to ensure its condition. Try to minimise the use of the crown or the chronograph features when in water.

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