Many novice watch collectors may go out searching for a waterproof watch – and by the rules set down by the FTC, there legally is no such thing. What we have, instead, is water resistance.Fortunately, for a great many of the watches on the market (and those that we review here) have published WR ratings, and many times feature that information imprinted onto the dial or engraved in the caseback (in case you should forget).
Well, what do all of those various ratings mean? I ran across a quick article (linked at the end of this post) that has a very handy graphic that explains the more common ratings:
In short, if your watch is rated for over 50 meters, you’ ll be safe to shower with or take a swim. Then again, that’s all assuming that the gaskets are fresh (which is when the rating is established) and the crown is locked down. Oh, and don’t be fiddling with any pushers on the case either.
I personally think 100m is a good “everyday” sort of rating, especially if you consider the WR rating will decline over time as the gaskets age. If you’d like a more in-depth discussion on this from master watch maker David Christianson, head on over here.