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Water Pressure Testing

Failing to Pressure Test One of the most common mistakes that non-certified watchmakers do when they replace the battery is that they fail to ensure that the case is sealed properly afterward... and thus the watch is no longer Water Resistant! This has lead to some nightmare scenarios, where many owners of fine watches have their timepieces receive heavy water damage from situations that they were previously ok in.

This nightmare scenario is very avoidable, and for every battery replacement, when a Certified Watchmaker performs a Water Pressurization Test. This is why our facilities have top of the line equipment, and why the Pressurization Test comes Standard with every Battery Replacement performed by the watchmakers at excelwatchrepair.com.

A pressure test should be completed whilst replacing the battery on all water resistant and waterproof watches that will ensure that no water or moisture can enter the watch at a certain depth when submerged in water. The pressure test helps to determine whether or not the watch is water resistant up to 100 meters. If required the watch seals and gaskets will need to be replaced to pass the pressure test to maintain water resistance to protect your watch from water, dust, moisture and dirt. We conduct pressure test's and seal replacements on all watch models and brands. Pressure testing is an additional cost and service provided when a battery is replaced.

What is Water Resistance? Every watch is different and each individual watch brand and for each watch model determines how resistant a particular watch will be to water pressure. You should always check the water resistance measure of a watch before swimming or using it in water. A watch marked with 50 meters on the case back does not mean it can be used diving to a depth of 50 meters or swimming in water. The rating refers to the static pressure the watch can handle when it is moved under water when swimming. Most water resistant watches are not designed for long durations of use in water.

Is my watch Water Resistant to Swim with? For swimming and diving with a watch, we recommend purchasing a watch of at least 20 ATM, 200m which will be indicated on the watch casing or dial. This means that the watch is rated for use underwater with additional durability in additional to water resistance, these watches generally have screw down crowns. Wearing a watch with a lower ATM whilst swimming, may damage to the watch and movement.

Wearing my watch in water? When using the watch in and around water, do not pull out the crown to change the time. Ensure that the watch has a screw down crown which is screwed in as well as the pushers. Do not operate the chronograph function whilst the watch is submerged in water. Certain chemicals in swimming pools and sea water can damage the watch seals as well as perfumes, aerosol sprays and other cosmetics and can dry and crack the seals. Watches should be tested for water resistance every time the battery is replaced and gaskets and seals can be replaced as necessary to maintain water resistance. 

Using Your Watch in Water

 The ATM of your watch will allow you to determine how and where you can use your watch. The ATM is usually engraved on the case-back of every watch. If you're having trouble finding it you may need to visit the watch manufacturer's website or contact them directly. You can use the chart below to guide you on using your watch in water. For example, if your watch has an ATM of 5, you can safely use it when you're washing hands and if it's raining outside, but you should not take it swimming or diving.

Water Resistance Chart

  • 3 ATM, 30m, 100ft - Suitable for everyday use. NOT suitable for swimming. Will be suitable for accidental splashes only. 
  • 5 ATM, 50m, 165ft - Suitable for everyday use. NOT suitable for swimming. Will be suitable for accidental splashes only. 
  • 10 ATM, 100m, 330ft - Suitable for everyday use and swimming and snorkelling but NOT suitable for diving. 
  • 20 ATM, 200m, 660ft - Suitable for all high impact water sports and scuba diving. 
  • 50 ATM, 500m, 1640ft  - Suitable for all high impact water sports, scuba. 
  •  100 ATM, 1000m, 3280ft - Suitable for deep sea diving.


What are customers saying

Devon L

I just received my Omega watch yesterday, you guys did a wonderful job-it looks like new again. I will be recommending you to al my friends, I am a very happy customer. Thanks again!

Dan K.

I received my Breitling in the mail last week. I couldn't be more pleased with the results. It's absolutely beautiful. Thank you for all the extra effort you took to make sure it was in perfect working condition before you returned it. Im very pleased with the final results.

Jerry H.

I just received my Rolex watch that you repaired. I could not be happier. I commend you on your wonderful and professional customer service. Excel Watch repair is prompt and it's work is excellent. Thank you.

Mark M.

We are VERY pleased with the work done. The watch was/is very sentimental to both my husband and I. We had been told by 3 different jewelers that it was beyond repair and that they would not work on it. Job well done!

Sue S.

It's too bad we didn't take before and after pictures because my watch is absolutely stunning! I can't believe it's the same watch but it looks as beautiful as the day I got it - 25 years ago from my parents on Christmas Day. Thank you EWR!

Steve K.

Everyone at Excel Watch Repair: I received my watches yesterday and they're great. Thank you all for making this process very easy. I will recommend your services and definitely use you again. Have a good weekend.