The terms “water resistant” and “waterproof” get thrown around a lot in the watch world. But what do they actually mean and is there a difference?
Let’s start with a little mythbusting.
Let’s start by just removing “waterproof” from our vocabulary. It’s misleading at best and downright dangerous at worst. Waterproof implies that water cannot enter the watch. This is false. All watches will inevitably give in under enough pressure and let water in.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Rolex Submariner or another well engineered timepiece made specifically for diving, all watches have their limitations as we can’t avoid the general laws of physics.
There is no meaning behind the usage of “waterproof”. If you see a watch manufacturer still using this term, it’s time to become suspicious of their marketing material and potentially question the quality of the watch itself. Don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks.
Most watch manufacturers selling into English speaking countries switched from using waterproof to water resistant many years ago (around 1970). This was partly due to the misleading nature of the term “waterproof”. Consumer protection legislation in these countries would probably have an issue with the term waterproof too – as it could easily be argued a watch marketed as “water proof” would not be fit for purpose if any water did get inside.
Most watch manufacturers have now abandoned waterproof for the more accurate term “water resistant”. This term actually has meaning, as watches claiming to be water resistant to a certain depth need to comply with specific testing of international standards. There are two different standards commonly used by watch manufacturers;
ISO 2281 (now superseded by ISO 22810) is the standard manufacturers need to comply with if they want to legally claim their watch is water resistant. The compliance process is thorough, including tests for the following:
Dive watches are regulated by a more comprehensive standard, the ISO 6425. This standard applies to watches rated at 100m or more water resistance. A big difference in the testing procedure is that each watch certified to ISO 6425 must be tested, not just randomised testing like the ISO 2281. This introduces a significant cost burden to the manufacturers which is ultimately passed onto the consumer. This has resulted in not all manufacturers opting to certify diving watches to ISO 6425.
Tests for ISO 6425 divers’ watch are significantly more thorough than the general 2281. These tests include:
In addition to the above, there are more requirements for mechanical watches covering bezel operation and visibility, readability at 25m, luminosity in total darkness, magnetic resistance, shock resistance, salt water resistance and strap durability. Mixed-gas diving watches also have special provisions.
It’s important to recognise the limitations of these lab tests on real-world diving conditions. Tests done under controlled lab environments face very different challenges when released into the wild world of diving where the watch will be truly tested.
Think you can go diving with your 50m water resistance watch? Think again. You’ll destroy your watch. The following table shows what each water resistance rating really means:
Water resistance can be a tricky subject, so we’ve pulled together the following FAQs.
You may have noticed that we didn’t recommend showering as an activity for any watch, regardless of its resistance rating. This is because we don’t recommend showering with any watch as it will shorten its lifespan. Water, soap, shampoo and steam are natural enemies of internal watch components.
Rubber seals and gaskets provide the main barrier for water entering a watch. These do get dry over time and can stop providing an effective seal. We generally recommend having your seals checked and lubricated once every year for peace of mind.
Generally, no. Each button requires another seal, introducing another point of failure where water can enter. Using these buttons underwater will significantly increase the chance of failure. This is especially true of chronograph watches as they have more buttons/points of weakness.
Not necessarily. Condensation generally forms when moving from a cold temperature to a warmer temperature. Water creeps in via air particles when it’s cold, and then liquify when it warms up. If it’s just a few little drops, it may very well go away on its own in few days, but it’s still worth getting your seals checked.
Absolutely. The older the watch, the greater the chance a seal is weak. Please don’t go diving with a vintage watch you haven’t had checked in a few years. This is likely to end in tears.
These are direct measures of pressure used by the watch industry. Bar and atmosphere (atm) are interchangeable.
Nope. Don’t do this. Leather will stretch and warp when subjected to water, soap and other liquids. If you do get some water on it wipe it off – and don’t stress too much. Just don’t go swimming or showering with it.
Have any other water related watch questions? Please let us know in the comments below and we’ll answer them.
Bradley Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a military pilot contractor that needs to return to Hawaii to oversee the traditional blessing of a pedestrian gate. This gate is important to billionaire Carson Welch’s (Bill Murray) plans to construct a space centre nearby.
On arrival in Hawaii, Brian finds his ex-girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) married with two kids. One of which he later finds out is actually his daughter.
Emma Stone plays Captain Allison Ng, a young spritely “quarter Hawaiian” love interest that shares the same fascination with space and exploration as Brian did as a youngster. Brian would eventually turn his affections from Tracy to Allison.
Whilst generally considered a box-office flop (generating $26 million at a cost of $52 million), I really enjoyed seeing Bradley Cooper wear a watch he clearly admires, in a plot line that makes complete sense for him do do so (ie a pilot wearing a pilot watch).
Cooper wears the statement watch throughout the movie. There’s actually few scenes where he doesn’t wear it. This wasn’t some prop decision, this is most likely Cooper’s personal watch as he is a long-time fan of IWC.
He’s been spotted wearing the exact same watch multiple times, including to the tennis with Gerrard Butler and to the movie premier of the Guardians of the Galaxy (both below):
In 2018, IWC decided to cement their relationship with Cooper by making him an official brand ambassador saying:
“With his pursuit of quality and creativity, he is a perfect match for IWC”
The IWC Big Pilot is an impressive watch that incorporates vintage 1930’s design into a practical, well designed iconic timepiece. If you like larger watches and have a good sized budget to spend, this is definitely worth adding to your shortlist.
Want to pull off a similar look to the IWC Big Pilot, but don’t have that sort of cash handy? Then, the Citizen Eco-Drive Avion is a great choice. Featuring a slightly smaller size of 45mm and also in stainless steel, this watch might be the sensible introduction to big watches you need before investing in something more expensive.
Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher, turned master crystal meth maker in the wildly popular 5 season AMC series Breaking Bad. Played by Bryan Cranston, Walter turns to drug manufacturing once he learns he has cancer and needs the money to pay for treatment and to provide for his struggling family.
Full of resentment for previous failures such as selling his share in a company he helped found for a measly $5,000 and finding it hard to get ahead and live the American dream, Walter’s morality can be questioned when he starts to make decisions based on pure greed long after he’s successfully fulfilled his original, relatively modest financial goals.
The shift towards the darker side throughout the seasons is part of the reason this series has proven to be so gripping, winning critical acclaim and numerous Emmy awards.
The Casio CA53W makes an early appearance, featuring prominently in the second episode of the first season in a car scene with Jesse Pinkman (see image above). This is perhaps the exact type of watch you’d expect from a no-frills chemistry teacher that values practicality above all else.
The Casio CA53W is a bit of a cult classic, but given Walter’s straight-forward approach to life at the beginning of the series, it’s pretty clear he wears this watch mainly as a practical tool.
Walter is given a Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph as a gift for his 51st birthday by Jesse during the 4th episode in season 5. Jesse hands the watch to Walter whilst he is in a car, complete with the gift box. Walter later uses the watch as a symbol of trust during a one-sided conversation with a despondent Skyler:
“I want to show you something. See that watch. It was a birthday present. The person who gave me this present wanted me dead too. Not that long ago, he pointed a gun right between my eyes right here and he threatened to kill me. He changed his mind about me Skyler, and so will you.”
The last scene of the episode features Walter taking off the watch and leaving it on the bedside table as he undresses and goes to bed. The scene exits with an extreme close up of one of the dials showing the seconds ticking with a distinct ticking sound. It’s all rather ominous, with the watch playing a key role the sense that time is running out for something…
The Tag Heuer Monaco is a very iconic watch, with this particular model bearing a close resemblance with the watch worn by actor and racer Steve McQueen in the 1971 film La Mans.
Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) have a super demanding job and need a watch that is up to the task. After speaking with LEOs (police officers and military police) and conducting other online research, we the best watches for LEOs have the following attributes:
Taking the above attributes into account, we’ve reviewed many watches and narrowed our choice down to the following top 5.
The entry level G-Shock by Casio has a lot going for it. It’s cheap, super tough, shock resistant and has enough basic features to get the job done.
Given the price, popularity and unassuming nature of this watch, there is very little downside to purchasing one. If you like it, chances are you’ll upgrade models to something like a GWM5610 Solar (also in this list), G-Shock Mudman or Rangeman down the track.
Worst case if you do decide it’s not the right watch for you, at least you haven’t spent much money on it and it hasn’t drawn any unwanted attention. If you’re starting your career as a police officer, we think this is the best G-Shock option.
The Suunto Core All Black (or Military) is a popular watch that comes packed with a host of features. An affordable Altitude, Barometer & Compass (ABC) watch that has a good backlight when you need it. Other features include a storm sensing function that recognises a drop in air pressure and sends you a warning. Note, there is no GPS function. If you need GPS you’ll need a Suunto Ambit3 or similar model.
The popularity of this watch has led to it achieving cult status, which has only increased since the release of the popular Equalizer movies where Denzel wears a slightly modified version of the Suunto Core All Black.
The biggest downside to this watch for a LEO is actually its good looks as it has the potential to draw a little too much attention from superiors.
This watch is one to consider if you’re after a feature packed watch with sleek good looks. This could easily be your 24/7 watch, which is certainly something to consider as it means you’ll never have to remember to change watches for duty.
If you’re comfortable wearing a slightly flashy watch, there’s very little stopping this from being the watch for you.
The G-Shock GWM5610 Solar is about as close to a set and forget watch as you can get. With a solar power source and atomic timekeeping, you really don’t need to worry about anything.
Add in the toughness of a G-Shock watch, water resistance of 200m (660 ft) and a discrete square form factor, you’ve got a watch that many LEOs swear by as their main duty watch.
The downsides are minimal. It’s solar powered, so if you’re using the light for an extended period of time it will reach its limit and stop working until exposed to sunlight again.
Of course looks are subjective. But, I think it’s fair to say this isn’t the sexiest watch on the list. That is great whilst on duty as it won’t draw attention, but the flip side is you may want another watch when off duty.
Bottom line is this is a fantastic watch for the on duty LEO. It is roughly double the cost of the other G-Shock on this list, so whether you choose this will depend on whether you like the convenience of solar power and atomic timekeeping in a discrete package.
The Seiko 5 SNK809 is an entry level automatic timepiece that has packed great build quality, versatile styling and durability into an affordable price.
It is an automatic, which means it is self winding with arm movement. Once fully wound, it has a 40 hour power reserve. You will need to move around 8 hours each day to ensure it maintains power and accuracy, but this should be fine unless you’re an officer normally chained to a desk.
This simple yet stylish stainless steel watch can easily be dressed up for any formal events with a new strap/bracelet. It’s simplicity also means it isn’t overly flashy, so it shouldn’t catch any unwanted attention.
The biggest drawbacks are that it’s an analog which clearly doesn’t have a lot of the digital features and instant readability of the digital watches in this list. This may be a huge issue depending on the requirements of your job.
If you are in the market for an affordable, durable and simple automatic that you can wear 24/7, the Seiko 5 is certainly worth exploring further. Potentially a great option for police officers as they start to move up the ranks.
We are big fans of the Luminox 3051 as it’s easily one of the best tactical watches for LEOs. We’ve previously written about this watch specifically for police officers and whilst it is the most expensive in our list, it is still an affordable option for most.
The readability of this watch under ALL conditions, including darkness and underwater is what really makes this watch stand out (pun intended) from the rest. The tritium in the hands and markers is made from a radioactive isotope that slowly decays over time. This is different from most other watches that use phosphorescent inserts that need to be recharged by an external light source. The Navy Seal pedigree means this watch has top, reliable water resistance too.
If your role involves a lot of water contact you might also want to consider a good dive watch as part of your gear setup.
We’ve feature the black out version here to complete the tactical, military watch feel. But you could easily opt for the regular/non-black out model. The case is made from stainless steel with a Carbonox coating which increases durability and provides the nice black matte finish.
This watch clearly isn’t for all LEOs. And we accept that. We’ve included it here as a good tactical option or those that value luminosity above everything else.
Are you a LEO with more suggestions we should review? Please feel free to let us know what you’ve been using below and whether you’d buy it again.
So, you’re checking out a new addition to your watch collection and the model comes in both titanium and stainless steel. Or the model is more high end and only comes in titanium, and you’re wondering whether it’s worth the 20% price increase compared to the non-titanium model? Valid questions that I’ve also pondered, so here’s my thoughts on titanium vs stainless steel.
Spoiler alert for high end watches- it’s complicated when it comes to material used in expensive watches. This is especially true when patents and specialized coatings are used by the manufacturer.
I recommend basing your purchase on aesthetics rather than quality of material as there aren’t many general rules that will apply in all circumstances.
The pros and cons of each titanium vs stainless steel are summarised below:
HIGHER CORROSION RESISTANCE
DOESN'T IRRITATE SKIN
Great for larger watches
SCRATCHES MORE VISIBLE
LOWER CORROSION RESISTANCE
CAN IRRITATE SKIN
larger watches can be heavy
SCRATCHES LESS VISIBLE
Do you like a heavy or a light watch? To many that is the deciding factor on whether to fork out extra for a titanium watch. One of the key benefits of titanium as a material is that it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. This means that a titanium watch can be lighter than it’s stainless steel cousin, but remain very strong.
If considering a smaller watch (ie less than 41mm), the light weight and feel of titanium can be a turn-off as it can make the watch “feel cheap”. If this is you, then stick to stainless steel. There is little to be gained from the extra price.
If you’re more comfortable wearing a lighter watch, or considering purchasing a larger watch (say 42mm or more), than titanium may very well be what you’re after.
There is a healthy debate around whether titanium does actually scratch more. If comparing the main type of stainless steel used in watches; 316L, to the most common titanium used in watches; Grade 5 (or Ti-6Al-4V), then titanium is indeed harder and should therefore scratch less.
But, the downside of titanium is that when scratches do occur, the oxidation properties of titanium kick in and form a new layer, making the scratch appear a different color to the rest of the material and therefore scratches are more visible. The good news is that these small scratches can generally be buffed out.
Titanium’s superb corrosion resistance properties make it a clear winner on this front. This is especially true if you’re thinking about getting a quality dive watch or even if you plan to wear it during activities where you’re likely to sweat.
Stainless steel watches can react to the skin if you have a nickel allergy. Titanium has no nickel and therefore won’t irritate the skin the same way. Titanium is often used in medical devices partly because the body doesn’t react to it. If you know you have sensitive skin, then a titanium model may be a great investment.
Titanium is more expensive to produce as it requires a lot of energy during manufacturing using the Kroll Process and is much more difficult to work with than stainless steel. One of the main issues with producing products out of titanium is the tools used to machine it have a short lifespan before needing to be replaced.
So whilst titanium may be a superior material in many regards, it’s not scarcity like gold or diamonds that influences price the most. The difference mostly comes from the increase in cost required to produce the alloy and machine the watch case (or bracelet).
Shallow as it may be, unless you have a real need for titanium, then it really just comes down to good old fashioned aesthetics. Do you prefer the dulled grey look of titanium or the shiny classic metallic look of stainless steel? It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than this for most people. If you like the look of titanium and are happy to pay a little more because it’s worth it to you, then by all means go grab a titanium watch and add it to your collection.
We’ve singled out the Citizen Eco-drive because we like this watch and it has both titanium and stainless steel variants. Note, the titanium version has a blue ion coating, which makes the titanium pop a little more and reduces the dullish look that can be associated with titanium. This is indicative of many different treatments that manufacturers apply, making it very difficult to compare apples with apples based on raw material quality alone.
Citizen Eco Drive
Citizen Eco Drive
You’re probably familiar with the Denzel Washington film adaptation, and potentially even own a Suunto Core Ultimate Black like that worn in the Equalizer movies. But, have you taken the time to pay tribute to the original 80’s series, also titled, The Equalizer?
There’s a lot of great old school action in the 5 seasons of The Equalizer series. Edward Woodward plays Robert McCall who atones for his past by helping others that find him through his newspaper ads: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer. 212 555 4200.”
There’s certainly less action and violence in the original TV series, but some have argued the story and plot of the original surpasses anything the first two Equalizer movies have offered.
The watches worn by the main characters in each provides a nice reflection on the different takes the directors have taken. The elegant, simple gold time piece worn by Edward Woodward suits his refined character. Where as the digital military style watch worn by Denzel fits his precise and practical portrayal of Robert McCall.
Who wore it better – Edward or Denzel? Let me know in the comments below.
Stephen Curry, guard for the Golden State Warriors NBA team and two time league MVP, is actually a bit of a watch collector.
The notoriously under-sized boy from Charlotte sprung out of his father’s (Dell Curry) footprints during the 2012-13 season with a record 272 three pointers made during the regular season. Steph has since shattered this record on several occasions and led the Warriors to NBA glory during the 2015, 2017 and 2018 seasons. He is a phenomenal talent that many now regard as the best shooter in NBA history. However, it wasn’t always this way, as the following short documentary shows his long term struggle to overcome his small stature. Give it a watch, it’s a great story of perseverance.
Steph Curry wears multiple watch brands ranging from high end Rolexes, to the more affordable Movado Museum Classic. With a $35 million salary (2018 Golden State), Steph can clearly afford to wear exclusively super high-end watches if he was so inclined, but we like that the family man mixes up his flashy watches with some simple, elegant and attainable timepieces.
Stephen has been spotted wearing various Rolexes. For the big occasions, he appears to prefer his impressive Rolex Deepsea diver. He wore this whilst accepting his MVP trophy in 2016 and when he met President Obama in 2015 through his charity efforts on fighting malaria. His Deepsea is a large 44mm steel oyster model featuring self winding calibre 3135 movement, patented scratch resistance Cerachrom unidirectional bezel with 60 min graduations, and a 70 hour power reserve. Make no mistake, this is a serious dive watch, but obviously also carries the elegance for occasions such as meeting the US President.
Steph also owns a 40mm Everose Day-Date President he’s previously sported to some games.
One of Steph’s more attainable, yet elegant timepieces is his Movado Museum Classic that he’s worn to post-game press conferences.
We find that Steph wearing a watch with a family friendly budget to a press conference where his daughter, Riley, stole the show to be quite fitting. The classy, yet relaxed Movado with a simple numberless blackface is dressed up with the goldtone hands and the signature dot at 12 o’clock. This watch suits Stephen Curry’s image perfectly.
We couldn’t let this opportunity slip to show you the video of Riley taking control of yet another press conference with her effortless charm:
You can grab yourself a Movado Museum Classic from Amazon below. Whilst we can’t guarantee it will help you become the next MVP, you can at least look the part.
We remember seeing Denzel Washington wearing a Suunto Core Ultimate Black in the first installment of The Equalizer. But there has been some heated controversy over whether the watch he wears in the second movie is actually the same model.In the Equalizer 2, the mysterious and elusive Robert McCall (Denzel) comes back to deliver the vigilante justice expected. This time, however, McCall’s past cuts especially close to home when thugs kill Susan Plummer — his best friend and former colleague. Now out for revenge, McCall must take on a crew of highly trained assassins who’ll stop at nothing to destroy him.
We get to see him using his stopwatch to check how long to complete his kills as he does in the original. Upon closer inspection, it does indeed look like the same trusty watch he used in the first movie – the Suunto Core Ultimate Black. However, the stopwatch feature of Denzel’s watch looks different from the original Suunto. Here is a nice video that explains the differences between the original version and the one shown in the movie.
The watch itself is made to keep pace with a very energetic lifestyle. It features an array of gadgets perfect for those of us that are in the military, are super active, or have secret aspirations to stop assassins… The built in compass, depth measurement, altimeter & barometer will all come in handy during your (and my) next secret mission. The sleek black design camouflages well with most surroundings (other colors are also available). We certainly think it’s one of the better digital watches available today. So, despite the controversies over whether the stopwatch feature does actually belong to the Suunto Core or whether it’s digitally enhanced, we still think the Suunto Core Ultimate Black is a great option to consider for your next athletic watch. Vigilant justice is optional!!
Warren Buffett, currently worth $90B and 3rd on Forbes rich list behind Jezz Bezos and friend Bill Gates, made his fortune by being an incredibly astute investor in various companies. Known for his frugal and practical nature despite his immense wealth, we’re naturally interested in type of watch the ‘Oracle from Omaha’ chooses to wear.
The following video features some inspirational moments from Buffett, giving a great glimpse into the type of mindset that has allowed him to generate such wealth and provides insight into his core values.
Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.
- Warren Buffett
Certainly not exactly a watch for the masses with a current price tag of $27,947.90, the 18K Rolex Day Date is not overly flashy either. Known for its classic, timeless elegance, the Rolex Day Date is perhaps the most instantly recognizable watch in the world.
The most popular size of the Rolex Day Date is the 36mm, but you can certainly go bigger with a 40mm models. As the name suggests, the Day Date features the full day name on the dial, along with the date at 3 o’clock. Today, the movement is controlled by Rolex’s Calibre 3255, with self-winding mechanical movement offering superb precision, power reserve and resistance to shocks and magnetism.
Bernie Sanders, the United States Senator for Vermont raised to fame during the 2016 Presidential election when he eventually lost out to the Democratic nomination for US President to Hillary Clinton.
Known for his strong stance against corporate greed in applying his interpretation of democratic socialism, Sanders rallied a vocal fan-base that continued to find support after the 2016 presidential nomination defeat. Given his strong political views on the influence of corporations and role of social welfare, we thought it would be interesting to find out what watch the Senator chooses to wear.
The stainless steel dress watch is 39mm wide, with a black face, three hand functions, date function at 3 o’clock and water resistance rated to 30m – but certainly don’t take it diving (check out our guide to dive watches for this). Citizen has done a really good job of marketing their watch to the “everyday man” since their founding in 1930’s, something Bernie is no doubt aware of when choosing this watch as it fits his political profile perfectly. The Eco-Drive technology pioneered by Citizen does mean that Bernie can campaign without ever having to worry about changing his watch battery (unlike Donald Trump’s largely ill-received foray into watch manufacturing).
The model that Bernie wears (BM0910-57E) is hard to find for retail purchase today. But, that doesn’t really matter as we prefer the style and sleekness of the titanium version of the eco-drive. Both versions of the watch are affordable and stay true to Bernie’s “everyday” appeal.