Home How-To OMG! Don’t wear your watches in the shower

OMG! Don’t wear your watches in the shower

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I always had a sneaking suspicion that I was doing something horrible to my watches by wearing them in water and now I know: almost nothing under the sun is truly waterproof. This older post by a watchmaker spells it out in plain English: most waterproof watches are, at best, not waterproof at all. Also, don’t wear your watches in the shower, for Wango Tango’s sake!

Finally – do not wear your watch in the shower. Watches are designed for cold water only. After swimming, rinse your divers watch under tap. Have the case and bracelet cleaned every 12 months. Do not expose to direct sunlight or heat. Use common sense and submerge only if you really have to. Do not be fooled by brand / model names like “promaster, diver, seamaster, shower-proof” – very often this is just another advertising gimmick.


Here is his list of absolute no-nos but read the piece for more detail:

* gold or two-tone watches

* chronograph and other complicated watches

* multi-pusher digital watches

* any vintage watches or watches over 15-20 years old

* any timepiece attached to a leather strap

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Oh for F’s sake. I’m so sick of these sorts of comments from watchmakers. I totally understand their concern in telling a consumer who probably isn’t going to have their seals checked often this sort of thing… but I’ve been wearing a Speedmaster Pro in the shower for YEARS (and having it tested yearly) with no ill effect.

  2. Shower is not that big a deal, but unless you’re at the pool, why?
    Ocean water is not good.

    I used to swim in the pool with my Swiss Army Officer’s (quartz) all the time. Scratched it up real bad, but the water never hurt it. No screw-down crown or anything. But if one of your seals should be leaky…

    My wife destroyed a TAG Heuer by getting it wet without screwing the crown down. I generally won’t go into the water with anything I care about.

  3. Rubbish! I have 3 Avia’s and two Rotary watches and all of them are in and out the sea and the lagoons were I live (South of France) for hours on end get sprayed with cillit bang and rinsed under the tap to clean them up regularly and the Avia’s are over 5 years old and one of the Rotary’s is 2 years old with none of them showing any sign of ‘leaking, misting up’ or suffering any ill effects. Considering the ‘sand everywhere’ atmosphere and temps that can hit 40’c in the summer (thermal shock of entering cooler water) I reckon you just need to choose your brands with care. By the way I also deal in watches so this is not a completely uniformed comment.

  4. gary :Rubbish! I have 3 Avia’s and two Rotary watches and all of them are in and out the sea and the lagoons were I live (South of France) for hours on end get sprayed with cillit bang and rinsed under the tap to clean them up regularly and the Avia’s are over 5 years old and one of the Rotary’s is 2 years old with none of them showing any sign of ‘leaking, misting up’ or suffering any ill effects. Considering the ’sand everywhere’ atmosphere and temps that can hit 40′c in the summer (thermal shock of entering cooler water) I reckon you just need to choose your brands with care. By the way I also deal in watches so this is not a completely uninformed comment.

  5. If your watch craps out in the shower buy something other then dollar general watches. The ocean water environment is the issue. The elements of sea water are vicious on a watch. And checking seals every year, that is not part of the real world living.

  6. Thanks all, I have learned a bit more about timepieces. I’ll never be able to own a Rolex, TAG Heuer (though I used a Heuer when running Road Rallies when younger-1970s). It truly boils down to common sense and realizing marketing ploys to sell a product. Whatever budget one has to work with, purchasing the watch one can afford comes with the traditional caveat for the purchaser. I actually remember some watches labeled ‘waterproof’, at least before all the litigation that changed it to ‘water resistant’. Care of one’s equipment and gear (which watches fall into that category with me) should be paramount if one depends on that timepiece. I have some gear that is nearly 100 years old and is as functionally solid as it was the day it was made because I do preventive maintenance to keep it in proper working order. The old adage, “Take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you.” is without a doubt one of the universal truisms.

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