Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents 96 scoop WINTER 2010
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It's a sick, sinking feeling...
You ve just wandered into the oh-so inviting surf
or gone for a dip in the pool/spa only to realise
you re still wearing your watch.
Or, equally disquieting, the washing machine is
in full swing, pounding not only your gear from a
big night out but also that pride and joy timepiece
you put in a pocket for safekeeping.
Then you let out a big sigh of relief... the watch
is water-resistant to a level you ll never even think
of exploring and all is well with the world again.
Then again, maybe not.
Until the early 70s, watches were regularly
described as being "waterproof " but a raft of
consumer complaints about soggy, failed timepieces
led authorities to clamp down on the description.
So the term "water-resistant" came into
widespread use (although Rolex, which puts every
piece it produces through incredibly rigorous testing,
stands by its Oyster casing as being "waterproof ").
However even the water-resistance rating can be
a little misleading; watches are tested under static
conditions, left for a certain period at a certain
depth. Just because a watch has a 50m rating, for
example, does not mean it will survive repeated
use under 50m of water. (Note: some watches use
the abbreviation ATM (atmosphere), where one
ATM equals 10m; the term "bar", the equivalent
of atmosphere, is also common.)
The testing doesn t take into account rapid or
repeated changes in water pressure if worn while
swimming, or diving off a board (or when being
swirled around in a washing machine), sudden
temperature changes (going from a hot spa to a cold
plunge pool, for example) or the age of the watch
-- water-resistant watches should be pressure-checked
annually and seals replaced every two to three years.
(Of course, even among water-resistant rated ones
there are wide variations; Sinn s new U200 model,
for example, is rated to an incredible 2000m).
The International Standards Organisation
(ISO) has separate standards for water-resistant
and divers watches. The divers standard (ISO
6425) is much more comprehensive than the
"normal" (ISO 2281) standard.
To be tagged a diver s watch, the piece must,
among other requirements:
• have a minimum depth rating of 100m.
• meet minimum shock, chemical and magnetic
• have an indication the watch is running in total
darkness (usually a second hand with a luminous
tip or tail).
• have a time "preselecting" device, such as
unidirectional rotating bezel or a digital display.
• And unlike ISO 2281, where only samples of a
range are tested, every single watch must be tested
to meet the ISO 6425 requirements.
limit when it comes to the price of dive/sailing/
Swimming, no snorkelling, water-related work NOT suitable for diving
Recreational surfing, swimming, snorkelling,
sailing, water sports
NOT suitable for diving
Professional marine activity and serious surface
NOT suitable for diving
Minimum ISO 6425 standard for scuba diving
NOT suitable for
Diver's 200m/300m Scuba diving at depths
NOT suitable for
Suitable for saturation diving
For specialist deep-sea
Breitling takes o
Breitling has a reputation second-to-none when it
comes to pilots' watches and literally flew the flag for its
new models at the Red Bull Air Race in Perth recently.
Pilot Nigel Lamb dropped into Smales' Subiaco show-
room to promote the Swiss company's 2010 lineup.
Models include the SuperOcean II (opposite), the
Chronospace (rrp $6210), the Montbrillant Legende
Limited (rrp $9100, steel version) and a new range
under the Galactic series banner. The jewel in the
crown was the stunning Chrono-Matic QP limited
edition (just 125 pieces worldwide), an 18k Red Gold
piece. Yours for a cool $71,890. breitling.com.
Pilot Nigel Lamb
with the limited
Take a deep breath, watch-lovers; that flashy timepiece you've just bought
may not survive a brief splash in the shower, let alone metres beneath the
briny. So what's the difference between "water-resistant" and "waterproof"?
water sport watches, with models ranging from a
few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars but
with all, it s the quality of the gaskets (O rings) at
the joints where the crystal, caseback and crown
connect, that is paramount. Some of the most
respected and well-engineered water-safe brands
include Italy s Panerai (originally designed for the
Italian Navy), Edox, IWC, Rolex, Doxa, Oris,
Seiko (its divers watches of the 70s and 80s have a
cult following) and Germany s Sinn, among others.
As with most things, you get what you pay for.
Don t expect a "cheapie" to match it with the big
boys (Rolex et al) if you do take it for a dip.
And take special care when buying a dress
or jewellery watch -- some of them have zero
IN DEEP: Mühle
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