Watches are probably the most common fashion accessory that people use to express themselves.
And we’re not saying that just because we’re watches-mad.
A watch can tell time, but it can also be a fashion statement and serve so many different purposes. When choosing a watch, it is important to think about what you will be using it for and what style you are trying to achieve.
At the same time, you need to make sure that the watch you’re about to buy can stand up to the rigors of your everyday life. After all, a watch is an investment piece that should last you for many years to come.
One of the most common causes of watch failure is water damage. Whether it’s from exposure to the elements or an accidental dunk in the pool, water can wreak havoc on a watch.
Since we hate taking off a great-looking timepiece, we often ask the question: can you shower with a water-resistant watch?
The answer is, it depends.
Nowadays, a huge portion of newly-released watches – whether from affordable brands such as Invicta or Fossil, or more refined watchmakers such as Rado or Longines – come with a water resistance rating of 50 meters (5 ATM or 50 bars).
Understanding the Water Resistance Rating
Many people, especially those just dipping their toes into the beautiful world of watchmaking, misunderstand the meaning of water resistance ratings. They think that a watch that is water-resistant up to 50m can go at depths of up to 50 meters without any problem.
This, however, is not the case.
So, what does 50m water-resistant mean on a watch?
The water resistance rating of a watch does not denote the depth at which the watch can be used. Instead, it is a measure of how well the watch can withstand being in contact with water – whether it’s rain, sweat, or an accidental splash.
A 50m water resistance rating means that the watch can be used in light rain, showering, and short swimming in shallow water. It is not, however, advisable to take a 50m water-resistant watch into the ocean as the pressure at those depths can cause the watch to leak.
If you’re looking for a watch that can stand up to more serious water activities, you’ll need to find one with a higher water resistance rating.
For instance, a watch with a water resistance rating of 100m or a professional dive watch (these have a water resistance rating of 200m or more).
More Water Exposure, Quicker Degradation
While it’s been settled that taking a 50m watch for a shower is pretty safe, it’s generally advised to take it off before any water activities – just to be on the safe side and prolong the lifespan.
For example, watches with leather straps are particularly vulnerable to water damage as the leather can start to degrade.
Also, whether a watch can easily survive the rating it has been given will also depend on whether the case is sealed properly.
You can check this by looking for a small screw on the case back – if it’s present, that means the watch is more likely to be water-resistant.
Finally, it’s worth noting that even if a watch has a high water resistance rating, the gaskets and seals that keep the water out are likely to eventually degrade over time and will need to be replaced.
To conclude and settle the question once and for all – can you shower with a 50m water-resistant watch?
The answer is, yes, you can.
On top of that, a watch with this rating can also withstand being caught in the rain and short swimming sessions in shallow water.
However, it’s always best to take your watch off before exposing it to any water activities, no matter the rating, to prolong its lifespan. After all, a watch is an investment piece that should serve you for years.