Explanation of watch water restistance in one easy overview

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Waterproof and resistance of watches

Particularly salt (sea)water can be very harmful for watches. Just the word “Water Resistance” does not mean that you have a good waterproof watch. See below how resistant your watch is to water, as this can be quite confusing sometimes. Water resistance is an important part of a good quality watch. Read the bottom of this page about condensation inside your watch and tips to keep watch longer waterproof.

Gradations watch waterproofing

3 bar, 3 ATM, 30 Meter (30M) is restistant to rain and splashing water with hand washing.
5 bar, 5 ATM, 50 Meter (50M) water resistant withstands shower water.
10 bar, 10 ATM, 100 Meter (100M) water resistant is suitable for swimming and water sports.
20 bar, 20 ATM, 200 Meter (200M) water resistant is suitable for professional sports.
Deep diving is recommended only to do with a divers watch.

horloge waterdichtheid waterdichte horloges 20 atm 3 atm 5 atm 10 atm

Examples 200 Meter – 20 ATM Waterproof

The Luminous is the Prisma collection that is 20 ATM waterproof.

  • Prisma P.1161 Luminous Blue

    149.00 Add to cart
  • Prisma P.1162 Luminous Green

    149.00 Add to cart
  • Prisma P.1163 Luminous Black

    149.00 Add to cart

Examples 100 Meter – 10 ATM Waterproof

A sporty collection with 10 ATM water resistance. Prisma offers many waterproof watches in this category.

  • Prisma P.1490 Diver Luminous Black

    159.00 Add to cart
  • Prisma P.1491 Diver Luminous Green

    159.00 Add to cart
  • The Prisma P.1492 Diver Luminous Blue

    159.00 Add to cart

Examples 30 and 50 Meter – 3 and 5 ATM Waterproof

All other watches that are designed are 3 or 5 ATM water resistant. This mainly concerns classic designs that only need to be resistant to rainwater and can be worn while washing hands.

Is my watch water resistant?

Does the watch only has “Water Resistant” indicated on the dial or on the back of the watch? Then assume that your watch is water resistant to 3 ATM. To be sure, you can always ask your retailer or watch brand.

Good to know that the terms “watertight” and “waterproof” are also used. Unfortunately this also says little about the water resistance of your watch. You cannot automatically assume that the watch is suitable for example for swimming. Using the above waterproofing gradations, you will find out how waterproof your watch truly is. This specification is sometimes on the watch back and sometimes on the watch dial. It varies by model and watch brand. Is there no word of sign of waterproofing on the watch? Then the watch is probably not even withstand water splashes.

How waterproof is a watch?

A watch is of course waterproof, when water is not able to get into. The open parts of the watch case must be equipped with a sealing gasket. In addition to the crown and push buttons, a rubber gasket is also applied around the watch glass and the case back. These gaskets may be adversely affected through drying out and chemicals ( perfume, alcohol, chlorine and hair spray), whereby the water-tightness in the long term cannot be guaranteed.

Further, the watch glass must also be thicker to be able to reach greater depths. And the watch case must be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure, otherwise it can cause distortion. Especially on hot days in the sun, the watch temperature can be reaching 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. If the watch then comes in contact with cold water, it may affect the water resistance of the watch.

Prisma Horloges voor heren watch water resistance horloge waterdichtheid

What does ATM on a watch mean?

Why does it say 30 meters on the watch, but I cannot even swim with it? It is understandable that this is a confusing matter. This has everything to do with the meaning of ATM (atmosphere) and Bar (Pressure) on watches. This tension exerted by air, indicates how many m2 (water) pressure the watch can withstand. This is tested professionally by many watch manufacturers, but often under good conditions. The pressure on the watch increases when you are swimming or diving, as your arm moves through the water. Therefore, from 10 ATM is it certainly to say that the watch is suitable for swimming.

Guarantee watch water damage

In the world of watches you get for watches with 10 ATM water resistance or higher warranty on water damage. Prisma Watches offers a two-year warranty. Good to know that the rubber seal on the case back is easily damaged when you open the watch, for example for replacing a battery. When opening, watches with a snap case back are not as waterproof as before. A watch with a screw cap can simply maintain its water resistance when the rubber gasket is also replaced.

waterdichte horloges waterdicht horloge 10atm 20atm duikhorloge

Watch with condensation

Condensation in the watch does not have to be a bad sign. It may occur, for example if the watch glass is cooled rapidly and the case is still heated by your body temperature. After a while this slight haze should disappear. However, if there are “large” droplets inside the watch visible, then there has occurred very likely leaks. Usually, this condensation is visible on the edge of the watch glass. It is wise to let someone to something about it to prevent damage to the movement.

Tips to keep your watch waterproof

  1. Avoid contact with chemicals such as hair spray, perfume, chlorine and alcohol.
  2. Avoid contact with heat from hot water, los of sunshine and a hairdryer.
  3. After contact with salt water, just rinse with fresh water and dry with a cloth.
  4. Make sure the watch glass isn’t deeply scratched.
  5. You may consider having your watch periodically checked at the jeweller.


Lots of fun, wearing your water resistant watch! 

Go to the Prisma Website or read more about the important characteristics of a quality watch.