What does 20 ATM water resistance mean?

Vaer Watches Updated by Vaer Watches

20 ATM or 200 meters of resistance is typically the minimum requirement for professional dive watches, and provides water protection in all but the most extreme real-world situations.

Beyond 10 ATM, water-resistance ratings start to become more about bragging rights (and price tags) than real-world functionality. The Vaer D4, D5 and D7 dive watches are rated to 20 ATM, and this is a common mark for most modern divers, as it allows you to take the watch to the limits of recreational diving at 60 meters (200 feet).

Here at Vaer, we believe that 20 ATM is a sweet spot for dive watches because it allows for great functionality while maintaining desirable aesthetics like a slim, sub-12mm case thickness, and an exhibition case back.

If you own a Rolex Seadweller and scoff at the idea of trusting a measly 20 ATM watch at depth, keep in mind that in order to judge the difference in the ocean, you would need a diving rig with hypoxic breathing gas in order to avoid the oxygen toxicity induced by such an extreme depth.

"While 20 ATM is a fantastic technical achievement, and does provide extra peace of mind in the water, personally, I treat all Vaer watches with the same assumption for water resistance: they're not going to flood. For an activity like surfing, which can be quite extreme, I wear both 10 ATM and 20 ATM watches but I do prefer the smaller more comfortable 10 ATM models (like the C3) on my wrist. This learning runs counter to the standard assumptions in the world of ocean-going watches, where bigger numbers are generally seen as superior. In my opinion, comfort on-wrist is the number one factor for those planning to spend hundreds of hours in the water with their watch."

- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder

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