Vaer Watches are designed for everyday use in the ocean, whether that’s swimming, surfing, or diving.

Throughout the Vaer watch design process, we knew that we wanted to build a watch that would be able to take on not only everyday wear, but also the more adventurous life activities. This meant that achieving a 10 ATM (100m, 328ft) water resistance rating was a requirement. We didn’t want buyers to have to second-guess wearing their watch when going for a surf or swimming, and after rigorous design and testing, we’re very confident that we’ve achieved that goal. We’ve had users surf, scuba, and body surf pounding shorebreak while wearing their Vaer watches, all without issues.

What Do Water Resistance Marks Mean?

Before jumping into the specifics of our watch design, it’s best to start with a quick explanation of what watch water resistance ratings mean/entail. Water resistance ratings work on an ATM (atmosphere) scale, generally starting with 3ATM as a base resistance, working their way up to 5ATM, 10ATM, 20ATM. Anything beyond 20ATM is generally unnecessary for any condition that the human body is capable of withstanding.  The ATM ranking represents what any given watch can withstand at that STATIC pressure. It’s important to note that if any movement is involved with the watch in water, then the static ranking goes right out the window — which makes the whole system that much more confusing.

While a 3 ATM (30meter) rating seems to be more than enough on the surface, it actually only indicates that the watch can withstand light splashes and hand washing. Anything beyond this runs the risk of breaching and ruining the watch. In order to actually be comfortable with light swimming and showering, a 5 ATM rating is required. Knowing that we wanted a watch to be ready for swimming, surfing, and even diving, we worked hard to make sure that the Vaer watch design is pressure tested to 10 ATM.

What Makes the Vaer Watch 10 ATM Depth Rated?

In designing the Vaer watch, we saw again and again that achieving a depth rating of 10 ATM isn’t an easy task. The majority of watch companies out there opt to avoid going down this path, as it’s much easier to design and build a watch when it isn’t being held to rigorous structural standards. Throughout the design process, the need to reach a 10ATM depth rating was a constant thorn in our side, as any changes made to the structure and features do have effects on depth rating.

This is why we chose to move forward with a number of build features that ensure high water resistance — our large rotating caseback with rubber gasket keeps water out of the caseback and the screwdown crown creates a quality seal at the most vulnerable point of the watch, where the user is able to adjust the time.  Lastly, a gasket sealed Sapphire Crystal to complete the package.

Through our design process, we observed each of the above different design elements fail on various samples. While we could have accepted the samples as-is and moved forward with production, we chose to go through multiple redesigns in to reach a watch design that we’re truly happy with. Running our watch through depth testing was each time that we received a new sample was incredibly nerve-racking  – months of adjustments and sample production all boiled down to one moment of truth. You can that we were elated when we reached a design that surpassed that 10 ATM water resistance mark – we still have the testing print out to this day.

The depth rating of a watch can, to an extent, be looked at as a reflection of the watch’s overall strength and durability. In order for a timepiece to achieve a certain depth rating, all components must not only be of quality individually, but also work perfectly together so that the overall watch is completely sealed.

We Stand Behind Our Design

We’re incredibly confident in our watch design, which is why if you’re watch fails under any water-related circumstance within the first 2 years of ownership, we’ll offer you free repair or replacement. It is critical, though, that you ensure that your screw-down crown is always screwed down when entering water. It’s also important to avoid extreme heat (sauna, jacuzzi, etc), as these environments can wear down that rubber gaskets that ensure the quality seal. As long as you follow the above protocol, you can be swimming, diving, and surfing with your watch for years to come.