What does 5 ATM water resistance mean?

Vaer Watches Updated by Vaer Watches

5 ATM watches provide basic accident coverage against short splashes, steam, and brief submersion but should not be relied on for swimming or extended exposure to moisture.

In order to actually be comfortable with limited water and steam exposure, such as showering, rain, or an accidental fall in the pool, a minimum of 5 ATM (50 meters depth) rating is required. Many non-sport luxury watches are rated at 5 ATM. While a 3 ATM rating is generally a signifier of cheaper components, a rating of 5 ATM (in non-outdoor watches) is a good marker of quality. Since water resistance is achieved by close-fitting components, higher ATM ratings also indicate more precise machining, better gaskets and sealants, and thicker case walls and glass.

"If I see an advertisement or article for a new watch brand, one of the first things I do is take a look at the water-resistance specs. If it's below 10 ATM, there's a pretty good chance it's a company that is comfortable cutting corners and using off-the-shelf cases from Chinese suppliers since 3 ATM and 5 ATM watches are much faster and easier to produce and test for. For consumers, I'd say its a major red flag and something to be very conscious of."

- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder

Are any Vaer watches rated to 5 ATM?

No, and they never will be.

While 5 ATM is better than 3 ATM, in our books it's still a half measure and generally a signal of cost-cutting, especially in an outdoors-oriented watch (see the Timex Expedition). All Vaer watches are rated to 10 ATM of water resistance and also include a screwdown crown and guaranteed waterproof warranty.

While a 10 ATM rating significantly increases the manufacturing cost, like our choice to upgrade to sapphire crystal, we believe the slightly higher retail cost is worth the satisfaction of knowing our products are built for long-term outdoor use.

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