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What Does 5 ATM Water Resistant Rating in Watches Mean?

What Does 5 ATM Water Resistant Rating in Watches Mean?

The term ATM has been used to describe a watch's ability to withstand a certain degree of water pressure. So, how deep does 5 ATM refer to?
Mar 28, 2024

What can you say when information of “5 atm water resistant” is written on the watch caseback. In a simple definition, 5 ATM refers to the watch’s ability to withstand water pressure for up to that number. A watch with 5 atm is equivalent to 50 meters depth or 164 feet underwater. 

Talking about that number, you might wonder whether it is a good rating and safe enough to wear in the water. Truth be told, there is more to understand rather than just taking that number straightforwardly. So, can we go swimming while wearing a 5 atm water-resistant watch? Read the rest of the article to find the answer. 

What does 5 ATM Water Resistant Mean?

The term ATM in water resistance rating refers to the “atmosphere” that defines the capacity of pressure that a device can handle. In meters, 1 atm is equivalent to 10 meters, meaning that 5 atm equals 50 meters. What can we say about this number? 5 atm water resistance in a watch indicates that the timepiece can withstand only 50m.

In a real implementation, 5 atm can handle the water pressure of flowing water when washing hands, rains, or even showering. That said, you can’t just interpret the rating directly. The number 5 atm in a watch doesn’t mean that it will be waterproof until 50 meters in depth. 

In a simple explanation, swimming can cause water pressure peaks higher than 50m. This is why you can’t go swimming with 5 atm watches as that number only explains the water pressure up to that number. 

Water Resistance General Guidelines

There are various water resistance ratings in watches. It varies from the 50m to the extreme one which provides a maximum feature of water resistance. But still, the highlight is that no watches are truly waterproof. There is still a possibility of damage to the internal parts, especially if it is exposed to high water pressure for a long time.

So, what rating is safe for water activities? Let’s take a look at the list below:

  • 30-50 meters: able to handle splashes of water, rain, and even showering – but it still shouldn’t be fully submerged in water
  • 100 meters: safe for swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving
  • 200 meters: safe for diving
  • 300 meters and above: safe for professional diving or saturation diving

Read also: 8 Best Waterproof Watches Wonderful to Keep Them from Damage

How to Take Care

Paying attention to your watch’s water resistance is also part of taking care the watches. It’s supposed to be used as it should be, right? That way, the watch will also perform as it should be as well. Below are some things you need to know about taking care of watches in terms of water resistance.

Be mindful of your watches

Always check the water resistance rating in the first place to determine how to use the watch properly. Avoid putting the watch under higher pressure than it can take. That way, the watch will perform as it should.

Don’t test the watch carelessly 

Don’t ever try to do any kind of testing on your own. During the production process, the watch has undergone several tests to ensure its performance and safety for the wearer. It will check the depths the watch can handle. Just receive it as it is and never try to retest it again. The exact and correct water resistance of a watch is the one a watch brand has provided to you.

Clean the watch

Taking care of watches always includes cleaning the watch, especially if you’ve been out diving, snorkeling, swimming, or others. Cleaning helps wash off saltwater, dust, debris, and water chemicals. As a result, it will keep the watch safe from water damage or other problems.

5 ATM Water Resistant Watch to Look Forward

Watches with 5 atm water resistance are mostly common for dress watches. They basically aren’t meant for harsh or sports activities – it’s not a tool watches but rather dressy timepieces. Below are some timepieces that offer more than just water resistance to the wearer:

Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Auto Black – Bracelet Ref. H32515135

The first 5 atm water-resistant watch that should be in your collection is the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Auto Black – Bracelet Ref. H32515135. Known for its iconic and innovative collection, this watch offers a refined look for every gentleman who enjoys the finer things in life.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Auto Black - Bracelet Ref. H32515135

It measures 40mm in diameter, allowing for exceptional wear and versatility both for men and women. Taking a closer look at the dial, this Hamilton timepice features a dual-textured black dial and is divided into two main sections. At the heart of the watch is the Caliber H-10 which is a tweaked 25-jewel ETA C07.611 automatic movement – a reliable one with 80 hours of power reserve.

Glycine Combat Vintage Green Ref. GL0458

Looking for a fresh look with green color? You should try wearing the Glycine Combat Vintage Green Ref. GL0458. It might be a 5 atm water-resistant watch but you can’t ignore how sturdy and appealing the watch is. The dial is quite simple with 24-hour markers and a date window at 3 o’clock.

Glycine Combat Vintage Green Ref. GL0458

Instead of just a minimal water resistance, you can still enjoy a list of reliable performances, such as a sturdy 316L stainless steel case for adventurers and GL224 Swiss automatic movement for precise accuracy as it operates at 28,800 bph (4 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. Featuring 38 hours of power reserve, the watch offers a dependable tool for your adventure.

Read also: 10 Green Dial Watches to Enliven Your Watch Collection

Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Power Reserve Cream Ref. SARY209

Last but not least for 5 atm water resistance timepieces, the Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Power Reserve Cream Ref. SARY209 would be a captivating watch on your wrist. The overall appearance screams for a vintage classy with 60s style. These days, the watch is designed by combining modern features allowing the watch appears more elegant.

Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Power Reserve Cream Ref. SARY209

The Presage collection is predominately high-polished with the exception of the top of the lugs which are finely satin-brushed. On its cream dial, a power reserve indicator is placed to indicate the remaining power. 

Driven by the Seiko automatic Caliber 4R57, the watch features a sub-dial at 6 o’clock to inform the date. Topping it off, try to look closer at the dial and you’ll notice an ingeniously placed power reserve indicator across the 1 to 4 indices.


Now that you know what 5 atm water resistant in a watch means, you might notice that it’s a small number for water ratings. There is more beyond that number as it is only equivalent to 50 meters in depth. As such, you definitely can’t take the watch for sports water activities. 

In addition to that, we came to an understanding that despite a high rating, a watch still can’t withstand the pressure for such a long time. There is more likely a leakage if it keeps being exposed to continuous and increasing pressure. As such, knowing how to take care of your watch is crucial, especially if you take it to water.

You might also like: 10 Best Dive Watches for Your Collection for Every Budget

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