To a first time watch-adorner, deciphering watch parts and what each piece is responsible for is often a daunting task.
There are basic interior and exterior elements to every watch, plus some additional bonus features for certain brands or styles.
Before diving into what makes the best women’s waterproof watches different, let’s focus on what makes a watch… a watch!
Most, if not all, watches on the market today contain the same base parts. The case holds the face of the watch and the watch’s movement. The case is usually made of stainless steel for resilience and it won’t tarnish.
Watches are also sold with gold, platinum, or even plastic cases. The movement is essentially the motor behind the watch —the gears that help you keep time. Bezel is the outer ring on the face of the clock. It can be a flat or rounded edge design and connects to the lugs.
Lugs are the spring bars that hold the case to the watch strap and a crown is the part that allows you to adjust the time.
The strap or buckle is responsible for keeping the watch in place on the wrist. Straps and buckles are made of a variety of materials from leather to nylon, silicon, and or metal bracelet link designs.
Many watches are designed with the ability to change straps as per the watch purchaser’s preference.
The hands, like those on any non-digital clock, indicate the time in the form of hours and minutes. On some watches, seconds will be counted by a third hand. While covering the face of the watch, protecting it from dust and debris, is the crystal.
Don’t let the name fool you, the crystal isn’t always made of crystal. Great quality watches boast sapphire crystal which is more scratch resistant and lesser quality watches simply sport plastic.
Perhaps the most style-varied part of a watch is the dial. Dials are essentially the flat surface under the crystal and hands.
The dial shows the core design of the watch including stylish number choices, colors, textures, and more.
Though these parts define the basics of a regular watch, today we will be focusing on the best women’s waterproof watches. But first…
What’s The Difference between Men and Women’s Watches?
Men’s watches and women’s watches have the same working parts. The differences are found in styles. Of course, some women prefer men’s watch designs and some men prefer women’s, but these are the typical style difference:
Strap: The strap of a women’s watch is often thinner in design and shorter, fitted for smaller wrists.
Strap Material: Though both men and women’s watch bands are made of metal or leather, women’s watch bands are also sold with thin stretchy, wrist hugging materials more often than men’s styles.
Dial: The dial is often smaller in circumference for women’s watch styles to match the size of wrist.
Design: Men’s watches are generally more eye-catching than women’s. Where a man’s watch is made to stand out, a woman’s watch is designed to complement her fashion sense and style.
Now that we know the differences between men and women’s watch designs…
What Does “Waterproof” Really Mean?
By definition, to “waterproof” an object is to make it resistance to water damage. So, what exactly makes the best waterproof watches for women considered “waterproof”?
In terms of usage, a watch sold as “waterproof” is not actually 100% waterproof. Water resistance is more commonly used to describe the amount of water a watch will withstand.
Watches designed to withstand some water contact have tiny silicon or rubber O ring gaskets securing the crown and other adjustable parts. Over time these gaskets become warn, which means regular watch maintenance is your best defense any potential leaks.
How Can You assess if a Watch is Waterproof?
Because the naked eye would have a hard time deciphering a gasket, watches that are considered water resilient are usually stamped as such.
Along with the water resilient (WR) stamp, you can find the atmospheric pressure the watch can withstand and it will be labelled as ATM or BAR. WR and no corresponding number means the watch can only handle rain or accidental splashes. Otherwise, ATM ranges from 3 (30 meters) to 20 ATM (200 meters).
The meters do not relate to how far underwater you can travel while wearing a watch. They correlate to the amount of pressure each watch should withstand before leaking.
For instance, a watch rated WR 3 ATM will be suitable for everyday use but not suitable for swimming. Therefore you cannot take this watch under 30 meters of water! Where a WR 20 ATM watch will withstand high impact water sports and scuba diving where no helium is required.
There are even watches that rank higher on the ATM scale for serious scuba diving professionals. As you will see below, a higher rating on the ATM (or BAR) scale often coincides with a higher dollar value.
Our Top 5 Best Waterproof Watches for Women
We have reviewed some excellent watch choices for women that are marketed as “waterproof”. Based on price, ATM rating, customer feedback, and robustness, as well as bonus features, here are our top five picks for the best waterproof watches for women.
1) Nixon Bullet Chrono
The Chrono is as stunning as the same suggestions. With a hefty price tag of $285.00, it’s the second most expensive watch on this list. However,
its menswear inspired design combined with the WP rating of 10 ATM make it the perfect choice for a stylish woman who enjoys surfing and shallow snorkeling. The Chrono comes in a rose gold option as well as other designs, and it boasts a Miyota Japanese quartz 6 hand chronograph movement.
2) Rip Curl Echo Beach
Being at for forefront of surfing lifestyles, Rip Curl is a trusted brand for some of the best waterproof watches for women.
The $125.00 Echo Beach is in such high demand this season that it’s been hard to keep in stock! This sleek looking time-keeper —available in white, black, and a refreshing mint green— is made with a marine grade stainless steel case and also has a 10 ATM rating. Its silicon strap only adds to the Echo Beach’s robust durability.
3) Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7012
The Armitron Sport women’s 45/7012 digital chronograph watch is a budget friendly force to be reckoned with. Retailing under $20, this watch has near perfect customer reviews.
It’s suitable for swimming and shallow snorkelling. Unlike the watches above, this is a digital watch sporting a resin band and featuring day and date displays, an alarm, and dual time. It’s our top pick for a waterproof watch that doesn’t break the bank.
4) Timex IRONMAN
Timex does it right time and time again with their IRONMAN watches. The Essential 30 silicon watch for women makes this list for a few reasons including its 4 star review!
The watch boasts a clear digital display and it sits at a 3 ATM rating, making it a great choice for any water activity but deeper scuba diving. The silicon rubber strap makes it quick to dry and the watch features an indigo light up function.
This watch retails for $62.00 —another budget friendly option! One common complaint for this watch is its longer band size, perhaps the next design will have a shorter band more fit for slender wrists.
5) Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
This 22 mm quartz women’s watch can handle almost all the water you can drown it in. Although it is not made for helium supported scuba diving, it does have an impressive rating of 30 ATM.
This watch is the deepest you can do without getting into specialty divers watches that cost well over $4,000. Still, a watch like this one comes with a high price tag.
Its steel on steel look with 32 month battery life and top notch swimming skills put this watch at a retail value of $2150.00. If you’re serious about your dive time and have the cash flow to spare, this time-keeper won’t let you down!
Before testing out your watches ability to take on water. Make sure you have a thorough knowledge of the rating scale and what it means. Then, choose the watch that fits your needs and your budget. These are our top picks for the best waterproof watches for women on the market, but with so many brands and styles available, who knows what you’ll find?
Let us know what your favourite waterproof watch is in the comments!