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.
- Reagan Cook, Vaer Co-Founder