Your watch has three main areas of vulnerability to water. Know the watch parts at these points and you'll always be able to keep your watch in top repair—and as water-resistant as possible.
Let's start with a caveat. Time and tide take a toll on water-resistant watches—as they do on everything. Saltwater, chlorine, shampoo, soap, and heat will eventually cause your gaskets, the first line of defense against water, to degrade or dry out.
The best way to ensure your watch lasts a long time is to understand and follow water-resistance ratings and follow a regular maintenance schedule, especially when it comes to parts that impact water-resistance.
Your watch has three main areas of vulnerability.
☔AT THE FACE: between the crystal and the bezel
☔ON THE BACK: along the edges of the case back
☔ON THE SIDE: at the crown and function pushers
Watchmakers use rubber or silicone gaskets to create a watertight seal between these components. Water-resistant crystals are either sapphire or an engineered material like Krysterna™.
A screw-down case back and screw-down crown increase the protection gaskets provide by ensuring these contact points are snugly tightened for optimal water resistance.
Ultimately, though, your care determines your watch's longevity. Replace gaskets annually or sooner if you're on or in the water frequently—and if you're not sure your watch is safe, take a moment to put it away until you've done the maintenance or are out of the way of the waves.