We offer water resistance testing and advise on buying the correct water resistance watch for your lifestyle

Water resistance of watches is a broad and sometimes confusing issue for consumers. With many brands of watches and different types of case constructions, choosing a watch which suits your lifestyle and needs can be difficult. We receive a lot of watches in for service and repair that have water damage mainly due to the customer exceeding the limits of the case. We have large range of water resistance and pressure testing equipment for brands like Rolex, TAG Heuer, Omega, Breitling and Zenith watches so we have created this page to shed some light on this matter and below is some useful information.

Water resistance is measured in bars. A bar is a unit of pressure, 1 bar being equivalent to 1 atmosphere (ATM), and watches are tested at these pressures in a static air laboratory test for a short period of time. Translation of water resistance varies between manufacturer. Manufacturers often measure water resistance to either a number of bars, feet, meters or atmospheres (ATM) in a static position so for example 3bar, 3ATM and 30 meters is the same. Moving a watch already submerged in water will drastically increase the pressure on its gaskets, even if the watch is in shallow water thus compromising its water resistance. The watch doesn’t have to be at the maximum stated depth.

Always be weary what you are doing with your watch in water. A further note to add is that a lot of watches leak water when on holiday and the three main causes seem to be when the screw down crowns have not been re-screwed after the time has been changed when entering a different time zone. Secondly when sunbathing the watch is subject to extreme heat from the sun for a long period of time then the watch is plunged into a cold swimming pool, this can have detrimental effect on the glass gasket. Thirdly most watches haven’t been in water until this time and the gaskets may have started to perish if it has been a long time since the watch has had a reseal.

If you are choosing a watch to be used for going in water, swimming, diving or impact water sports it will need to be able to tolerate that extra pressure on the watch gaskets. So we always recommend as a minimum, a watch with a screw down crown and you should choose your watch with limits which are 2 or 3 times higher than what it’s going to use the watch for. 200 meter watches are normally well constructed and should have a screw down crown.

Below is a guide we have created to help choosing your next watch

3ATM, 3BAR or 30M is everyday use. It can withstand a gentle splash such as rain but is not suitable for bathing or swimming.

5ATM, 5BAR or 50M is everyday use and bathing, but not suitable for swimming, pool side diving or water sports.

10ATM, 10BAR or 100M is everyday use, bathing and swimming. Not suitable for snorkelling, high board diving, high impact or water sports.

15ATM, 15BAR or 150M is everyday use, poolside diving and snorkelling and most water sports.

20ATM, 20BAR or 200M is the ninimum required for high board diving, high impact water sports or sub aqua diving.

The only watches, which are designed to withstand continued use in these conditions, are professional divers watches. Only watches marked “DIVERS” on the dial should really be used for diving as these fully comply with the international standards for diver’s watches.



Our Rolex accredited and Authorised Omega Level 3 watch repair workshop features some of the latest tools and equipment from manufacturers in Switzerland and around the rest of the world, including Rolex and Omega.  We also have traditional tools which are no longer manufactured.  We are in a purpose built, bespoke workshop with natural daylight, a climate controlled environment and we have specialist built fume cupboards for all our cleaning machines.

We are not situated in a bedroom of a house or in a converted garage. We don’t claim to be “doctors” in watchmaking working from a “kiosk”, “lab” or from a “hospital”. We are not a service agent company that handles watches and posts them off to separate companies. We are a professional company with the correct tooling and qualifications. Our workshop is fully insured by TH March. We believe that all this makes us stand out from other competitors in watchmaking, servicing and repair.

Prestige Time Services’ fully equipped modern workshop is located in Lymm, Cheshire. Our Swiss trained, British Horological Institute trained and Rolex accredited head Watchmaker Paul Brady (Grad BHI) has an extensive CV spanning over 18 years in this specialist trade and manages our team of watchmakers and technicians.


Paul attended the WOSTEP 3000 hour Swiss training and education program in Manchester in 1997, and at the same time gained his BHI qualifications in watch making.  Paul left the WOSTEP course not only passing, but gaining the highest mark in the country at that time.  Paul then applied his skills and knowledge at Rolex UK in Bexley, Kent.  He gained valuable and extensive expertise on Rolex watches.  Paul then left Rolex and returned to the North West.  Since then he has worked at many independent watch service companies and jewellers as head Watchmaker and has had a small team of Watchmakers and Technicians working for him.

We offer a wide range of services, including: repairs, services, restoration, batteries/reseals, watch buying service, pre-owned watches for sale, new crowns and glasses, dial restoration, case refurbishments, watch strap replacements and all of our work is fully guaranteed.  At Prestige Time Services all of our work is carried out by professionals who have gained all the relevant qualifications to work on watches. For details of our comprehensive watch servicing procedure click here.

The way watches are being repaired and serviced nowadays has changed from a watchmaker being based in a jewellery store where the watch was serviced or repaired on site.  Jewellery stores no longer have watchmakers on their premises so watches are now booked in and then posted to either a particular manufacturer or to an independent watchmaker usually without the customer's knowledge.

By having your watch serviced or repaired with us you can personally send your watch and insure it with the Royal Mail’s “Special Delivery” service or any UK courier, so you know your watch is safe and secure.  You can also drop off your watch with us at our secure drop off point in Lymm, Cheshire which is near the M60, M6 and M56 motorway network south of Greater Manchester.  We always return your watch via Royal Mail’s “Special Delivery” with the adequate insurance level chosen, so you can have peace of mind that your watch is looked after.


For information on our services and how we can service and repair your watch please view Our Services page.