Quick guide: What does ATM (water resistancy) mean?

It's quite normal to run across the ATM term when you're looking for men's watches and women's watches.

ATM is a standard figure used to measure the ability to withstand a given water pressure, where 1 ATM is the pressure on the surface of the water.

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How water resistant is my watch?

This is a question I'm often asked and it's also a very good and relevant question for the person who uses his or her watch at a daily basis.

All wrist watches in the authentic.dk shop - right from the Danish designed watches from e.g. LLARSEN to the fine and elegant women's watches from Norlite - are built for you to use them as a regular daily watch, that would be able to cope with both washing your hands and go for a walk in light rain.

ATM stands for 'atmosphere' - and in a very short term this means that 1 ATM corresponds to the water pressure at the surface of the water and then the ATM is raised by 1 for approximately every 10 meters. This means an ATM 5 watch can withstand waterpressure down to 40 meters.

However, this doesn't mean that a watch with e.g. 'ATM 3' could be used when diving 30 metres down in the ocean - at all.

Watches are tested in a laboratory where the water pressure are constant, and these tests do not take into account suddenly higher water pressure changes when you e.g. jump down into the water or swimming or diving through the water, where the pressure is much higher than measuret in stabil and 'silent waters'.

Overview of ATM values

In the list below you can see what a watch with a certain ATM value can typically resist when it comes to daily activities.

Please note that there are different kind of both water types/hardness and watch cases - so the list is only meant as a guide.

  • 3 ATM:
    The watch can handle light rain and regular hand wash but is not suited to wear in shower and when swimming
  • 5 ATM:
    The watch can also be used when swimming on low waters and when hand washing your clothes
  • 10 ATM:
    The watch can be used for regular swimming, in the shwoer and when diving on low waters
  • 20+ ATM :
    The watch can be used even when scuba diving

Generally speaking, I advice you to take of the watch when you take a shower. In that way you'll spare both watch and watch band.

Now enjoy shopping your next watch on authentic.dk :)

Quick guide: What does ATM (water resistancy) mean?