Beware of water!

For the watch, water can be a truly 'dangerous' element. Often, but especially in the summertime, watches arrive in our shops as real micro-aquariums, obviously without fish. I would like to make a premise here: when a customer chooses a watch, it is obligatory on the part of the retailer to inform him of its technical characteristics. Sometimes, then, drawing on the experience gained in the sector, valuable advice is given for the durability and success of the product, which is not in line with the indications written in some of the instruction booklets supplied. Example: when a manufacturer says that a chronograph has good water-resistance characteristics, it should be specified to the customer that if the model does not have a screw-down back, push-buttons and crown, it is risky to even wash your hands with the watch on your wrist (powerful jets of water from some taps are dangerous). Therefore, it is always better to recommend the appropriate watch according to the customer's real needs. It should be remembered, for example, that a subacqua timepiece, according to Swiss regulations, is a watch capable of resisting a pressure of at least 10 atmospheres, and of passing the test in water at a minimum pressure of 12.5 bar with a temperature of 18 degrees. Despite this, it must be known that even if it has passed these tests and deserves the term subacqua, this watch must not be used for baths or hot showers, and even less so in a Turkish bath or sauna! If these specifications are not given to the customer at the time of purchase, it is clear that the latter, knowing that he has a watch capable of going underwater, will think that if it can withstand so much, let alone a simple, everyday hot shower... And here comes the first fogging of the glass, followed by dew-like droplets on the inside and, if we continue to take showers, finally "the wrist aquarium". If the watch is then, again in Swiss terminology, only 'étanche', i.e. generically protected from dust or accidental splashes of water, it will be better to use it for a good walk in the open air in the mountains, rather than on the seashore. It will have to be said that for everyday use, the waterproof watch is certainly more resistant than a very elegant ultra-flat watch, but... no more. All too often I see people at the beach with simply waterproof watches, no crowns or screw-down backs, playing in the sand with their little ones and then perhaps in the salt water, rinsing their paddles or buckets. Of course, you may see them at the watchmaker's protesting about water entering their instrument sold to them as 'waterproof'. In conclusion, for both divers and waterproofs, it is imperative to carry out periodic checks of the gaskets (annually, preferably before the summer), wash them thoroughly in fresh water after swimming in the sea, take them in for service after accidental knocks or falls, check for any deep marks on the glass, and ask the experts for advice if in doubt.