Water resistant pocket watches

Water resistant pocket watches
Water resistant pocket watches
August Steiner Men's Water-Resistant Automatic Pocket Watch
August Steiner men’s water-resistant automatic pocket watch

What are the benefits of using water-resistant pocket watches? And what are the differences between water-resistant and waterproof timepieces?

Information on water resistant pocket watches

Most clock manufacturers today make water resistant pocket watches that can withstand being soaked up to 30 meters (100 feet). But your grandfather’s antique pocket watch might be damaged beyond repair if you accidentally drop it in a pail of water.

A water resistant pocket watch is housed in an airtight casing that prevents liquid from getting into the mechanism, keeping it free of damages such as rusting or corrosion.

Water resistant or waterproof pocket watches?

There are water resistant pocket watches, but no waterproof pocket watches. How is that so? Here is the answer:

By technical standards, a waterproof timepiece, just like the diver’s watch, can withstand continuous use under extreme underwater pressure. In contrast, pocket watches were not designed for use under this condition.

One of the best water resistant pocket watches you can find in the market is the Victorinox Swiss Army Travel 1884 Limited Edition (pictured on the right). It can withstand pressure of up to 10 ATM or 100 meters (330 feet).
If your pocket watch indicates that it is water resistant this means that it can endure light water contact. Like when you get wet under the rain or you accidentally spill beverage over it.

Benefits of a water resistant pocket watch

Generally, water resistant pocket watches last longer. Dust and liquid contacts are hazardous to a watch’s mechanism as they can lead to corrosion. These are often the cause of irreparable damages to a timepiece.
The protective case of a watertight pocket watch keeps dust and liquid out, keeping the mechanism in good working condition. Most water resistant pocket watches are marketed for travelers and adventurer-seekers. Thus, the presence of additional functions such as compass, LED microlight, moonglow dial, and luminescent hands.

Cleaning and opening water resistant pocket watches

As a rule of thumb, never attempt to clean the inner mechanism of your watch if you don’t know how to do it. Opening it is better left to horologists.
A water resistant pocket watch has a tight case. Pushing too hard or trying to pry it open may lead to dents and scratches. Remember, the pocket watch condition grade matters a lot. They are hallmarks of fine craftsmanship that you would not want to downgrade.

Buying a water resistant pocket watch

Most modern timepieces are made to withstand water exposure so it’s relatively easy to find water resistant pocket watches. There are several places where you can buy pocket watches, the best of which are your local jewelry store, watch dealers and the internet.

When buying, remember to ask the following questions:

  • How many meters of water can the watch withstand?
  • What type of battery does it use?
  • What are the watch’s additional features?
  • Does it come with a warranty? If yes, for how long?

These questions will help you decide on what brand or model to choose. The above image is just a good example and not a recommendation.

Has a passion for and specializes in collecting antique clocks. An enthusiast who values and seeks out timepieces from the past, which range from centuries-old tallcase clocks to more recent mid-20th-century mechanical clocks. I help ensure that these valuable artifacts continue to be appreciated and passed down through generations.