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My First Watch: It Pays to Buy a Water resistant watch

My First Watch: It Pays to Buy a Water resistant watch

My first watch, so loved, yet met an untimely end at the bottom of a bucket of water because it is not a Water resistant watch.

The first timepiece I remember owning, some two decades ago, was a simple leather watch given to me by my dad. It was not from any known brand and had no special features or complications. However, I loved it and I assume it was beautiful since it earned me so many compliments from classmates and teachers although it was not a Water resistant watch. In fact, I think it was one of the reasons I was made a prefect – timekeeper – at the end of primary four when the senior students were set to leave, before becoming Head boy a few months later in primary five. So the watch didn’t matter so much anymore fortunately so, as it lived probably all of 3 months and no more.

Water resistant watch

This is a Lucien Piccard, a Swiss brand of great quality since 1923.
*Image for Illustrative purposes only.

At age nine I was living alone with my dad in Ado Ekiti where he worked as a senior lecturer in the University. My mum had moved to Lagos just before my sister got admission into Queens College the year before. By then I had become a serious student moving from the bottom of my class to top of the class as I realized it was critical to gain admission to my grandfather’s alma mater – King’s College before I got left behind.

On one fateful Saturday night, sometime around midnight I was harshly woken by dad’s cane, compelling me to do my laundry immediately. I was supposed have washed my uniforms during the day in readiness for the coming week, either by intention or otherwise I had failed to do so. In truth, it wasn’t the first time I was doing my laundry late and I had been warned, however I did not understand why I couldn’t be allowed to enjoy my sleep and attend to it in the morning. Amidst the confusion, anger and tears, I took all my dirty uniforms to the guest bathroom, dumped them in a bucket and blessed the lot with sufficient water. Shortly after I started to wash, I remembered I was supposed to have checked the pockets of my uniforms before loading them in the bucket, to complete the terror of the realization, I remembered I had left my beloved watch in one of my pockets.


My heart stopped for a moment, I searched through the pile and found my watch - it had already stopped working. I could see water through the window on a part of the dial. I was so devastated that I nearly cursed my dad, my most loved possession was no more. This was my first lesson on water resistant watches. Had the watch been water resistant, it might have suffered only a weakened leather strap and the special gift would have lived on. This is why it is very important to buy water resistant watches.

Water Resistance and the Required Depths based on Usage of watches.

A lot of people look out for water resistance in the specifications of a watch when making a purchase however most people do not know the relevance of each resistance depth stated.
The water resistance level of a watch can significantly affect the design, build and cost of a watch. Also water resistance test is a simple way to differentiate genuine watches from replicas and cheap knock offs. The typical knock off watch on the street will not survive a submersion test even for a few minutes in just a bucket of water.

See below a table showing the respective depths associated with the different under water activities:

Water Resistance Ratings Resistance / Suitability
Water Resistant - 10M Resistant to rain and splashes. Not suitable for showering or swimming.
Water Resistant - 30M Resistant to Rain, splashing, accidental submersion and showering. Not suitbale for swimming.
Water Resistant  - 50M Resistant to Rain, splashing, accidental submersion, showering. Suitbale for surface swimming or shallow water sports.
Water Resistant - 100M Resistant to Rain, splashing, accidental submersion, showering. Suitbale for Swimming or surface water sports. No deep water scuba diving or high-speed water sports.
Water Resistant - 200M Resistant to Rain, splashing, accidental submersion, showering. Suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports. No deep water diving.

Water Resistance may be expressed in ATM or bar or Feet, depending on the manufacturer.

Note: 33FT = 10M = 1ATM ≈ 1BAR

Water resistant watch

INVICTA SubAqua 0918 Men’s Swiss Chrono Watch.
*500M water resistant. Suitable for Sub-sea Saturation Diving

A typical Water resistant watch shows the water resistance details on the dial of the watch and on the case back.
NB: Some replica watches might carry this detail as well but are unlikely to pass a simple extended submersion test.


By: O. O. A. Shitta.
For: WatchLocker.

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