Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and a fun way to cool off on a hot summer day. But what if you want to keep track of your laps or workout time while swimming?
Can you wear your watch in the water? The answer is not as simple as a yes or no. The ability of a watch to withstand water exposure depends on its water resistance rating and the type of activity you plan to do while wearing it.
In this article, we will explore the different types of watches and their water resistance, factors to consider when swimming with a watch, and ways to care for your watch after swimming.
We will also discuss alternatives to swimming with a watch and provide recommendations for swimming safely with your timepiece.
Can I swim with my watch?
One of the first things to consider when deciding whether or not to wear your watch while swimming is its water resistance rating. Watches are typically rated for water resistance using meters (m) or atmospheres (ATM).
An ATM is equal to 10 meters, so a watch rated for 3 ATMs is the same as a watch rated for 30 meters. The most common water resistance ratings for watches are:
- 30 meters (3 ATM) – Splash-proof. Can withstand splashes of water, rain, and washing hands. Not suitable for swimming or showering.
- 50 meters (5 ATM) – Suitable for swimming in a pool or shallow water, but not for diving.
- 100 meters (10 ATM) – Suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and water sports, but not for diving.
- 200 meters (20 ATM) – Suitable for diving, but not for deep-sea diving.
- 300 meters (30 ATM) and above – Suitable for deep-sea diving.
It’s important to note that a watch’s water resistance rating only pertains to fresh water and not salt water or chlorinated water, which can be more corrosive.
Additionally, the water-resistance of a watch can decrease over time due to wear and tear, so it’s essential to have it checked and serviced regularly.
Factors to consider when swimming with a watch
Even if your watch has a high water resistance rating, there are several factors to consider before taking it for a swim:
- Temperature: Cold water can cause the seals on a watch to shrink, reducing its water resistance.
- Altitude: The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure, which can also affect a watch’s water resistance.
- Impact: A watch can withstand water pressure, but it may not be able to withstand the impact of water sports like water skiing or wakeboarding.
- Salt and chlorine: Salt water and chlorine can be more corrosive than fresh water and can damage the seals and other components of a watch.
How to care for a watch after swimming
If you do decide to wear your watch while swimming, it’s essential to take proper care of it afterward to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips for caring for your watch after swimming:
- Rinse it off: Rinse the watch off with fresh water to remove any salt or chlorine residue.
- Dry it off: Dry the watch off with a soft cloth, paying special attention to the crown and buttons.
- Check for damage: Look for any signs of water damage, such as condensation inside the watch or a change in the water resistance rating.
- Service it: Have your watch serviced by a professional to ensure that the seals and other components are in good working order.
Alternatives to swimming with a watch
If you’re looking for a way to track your swims without wearing a watch, there are several alternatives:
- Waterproof fitness trackers: Many fitness trackers on the market are waterproof and can track your laps, distance, and calories burned while swimming. Some popular options include the Fitbit Charge 4, the Garmin Forerunner 945, and the Apple Watch Series 6.
- Water-resistant smartwatches: Some smartwatches are also water-resistant and can track your swims, but they may not have as many features as dedicated fitness trackers. Examples include the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, the Ticwatch E2, and the Amazfit Bip.
In conclusion, whether or not you can swim with your watch depends on its water resistance rating and the type of activity you plan to do while wearing it. It’s essential to consider factors such as temperature, altitude, impact, salt, and chlorine when deciding whether or not to wear your watch while swimming.
Proper care and maintenance of your watch after swimming is also crucial to ensure its longevity. If you’re looking for an alternative to swimming with a watch, consider a waterproof fitness tracker or a water-resistant smartwatch. As always, consult the manual or professional help if in doubt about your watch’s water resistance.