Watch Buying Guide
Definition of Water Resistance
A watch marked as water resistant without any depth indication is designed only to withstand accidental splashes of water. Do not submerge this watch. Watches with higher levels of water resistance are indicated by increasingly higher acceptable levels of depth, which are usually indicated in meters.
Water resistant watches have one of more features to ensure their water resistance: A water resistant watch uses a rubber gasket or “O” ring to seal the case back. A timepiece with a back that screws into the case provides a higher degree of water resistance. The crown or “winding stem” that actually screws into the case or has a protective cap, further increases water resistance.
The following usage recommendations are suggested by the Seiko Corporation of America.
• Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet). Will withstand splashes of water or rain but should not be worn while swimming or diving.
• Water-resistant to 50 meters (165 feet). Will withstand ]showering or swimming in shallow water.
• Water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet). May be worn for swimming and snorkeling.
• Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet). May be worn for scuba diving or beach swimming
• Water-resistant to 1000 meters (3300 feet). May be worn for deep sea diving
Please note that we do not recommend swimming or diving with your watch unless it has a screw-down crown (also known as ‘screw-lock’ or ‘screw-in’ crown) and is water-resistant to at least 100 meters.
Automatic vs Quartz
What’s the difference between quartz and mechanical/automatic movements?
The intricate movements on the inside of a watch are the elements that comprise the main timekeeping mechanism. Most wristwatches feature either quartz or mechanical automatic movement inside.
A mechanical watch is driven by a mainspring mechanism inside, which has to be wound periodically and features a series of gear mechanisms. Automatic mechanical watches primarily rely on the movement of the wrist. You do not have to shake the timepiece to keep it running, since the normal everyday moment on your wrist charges the winding reserve. When the watch is removed, the movement will ‘wind down” in anywhere from 10 to 72 hours, depending on the capacity size of the power reserve. A watch winder is recommended if you do not plan to wear this watch for any duration after the power reserve winds down.
A quartz watch is powered by the battery inside and keeps running even when removed from the wrist. The watch features an ultra-thin sliver of quartz crystal that is activated by the battery and predictably vibrates at an extremely high frequency rate, which provides accurate timekeeping movement. The battery in a quartz watch has to periodically be replaced every two to five years.
What is the difference between a self-winding and a manual-winding movement?
The difference between the two movements is the way in which the watch is wound.
Manual-winding watches must be wound by hand every day. Self-winding watches are wound by an internal rotor, which responds to wrist movements.
Self-winding watches usually have a power reserve of at least 35 hours and therefore have sufficient energy reserves to maintain a stable rate when the watch is not being worn (e.g. overnight).
How often should I wind my watch?
In general, you should wind your watch every day. To do this, simply turn the watch crown until it becomes slightly resistant. Some timepieces are extremely fragile, so do not force the crown to turn when you encounter any resistance.