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Modern - Vintage - Antique
Watch Repair

Water Resistance


Virtually no antique watch is water resistant. While some vintage watches were manufactured to be water resistant, after forty or more years, because of case wear and gasket deterioration, most of these watches are no longer water resistant.

Often we find vintage wristwatches marked "Water Proof". In reality, no watch is waterproof; it depends on the circumstances. A watch may be waterproof if immersed in a basin of water, but not at the bottom of the swimming pool because of the increased pressure, nor while swimming on the surface because of the high pressure generated as one's hand is thrust into the water.

For this reason, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires manufacturers, since the 1960's, to use the term "Water Resistant". The FTC defines water resistance as the ability of the watch case to resist the entry of water at the static pressure to a depth of 99 feet under water, which is the equivalent pressure of three atmospheres.

European countries have similar definitions of water resistance. Some modern watches are rated for much greater depths and are usually marked with the depth rating on the dial.

In the case of older watches, it is our recommendation never to immerse your watch in water. If you are one of those very few people in the world who needs to wear a watch under water, such as a professional diver, we recommend that you send your watch either to a factory service center or a watchmaker who specializes in servicing divers’ watches and has the necessary equipment to perform high pressure testing. We will not guarantee any repaired watch against water damage. Our best advice is do not allow your watch to get wet.