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Confusions surrounding "water-resistant/dust-resistant" or "waterproof/moisture-proof?

Here is the complete explanation

Manufacturers seldom claim their products as "water-resistant/dust-resistant" or "waterproof/moisture-proof"  

But the question arises here, how one can recognise whether a specific product can endure an extreme situation or inclement conditions. For example, if we only talk about waterproof or water-resistant, can a chronograph watch bear the water pressure label of the sea or whether every waterproof smartwatch can only resist sweat or mild water rain and if it gets heavily drenched, then will you end up damaging the whole circuit. Sound tad-confusing right?

To understand whether your device can combat excessive dust or water, you need to conceive the idea of measuring to find its resistibility and for that, it should have some units. Yes, for water-resistant/dust-resistant or waterproof/moisture-proof/dustproof can also be measured with different ratings. Please go through this article thoroughly to understand this concept, this would eventually help you out in choosing the right product.

What is an IP rating?

"Ingress Protection" or IP rating assesses how efficiently, it can protect your device from solid and liquids objects. An IP rating may look something like this:


It comprises of two digits. The first digit shows how better protected the product is from solid stuff. The second one indicates the water resistance. A higher rating means the product is highly protected and a lower rating means not so efficient in protecting the device. IP rating only given to those products which go through a rigorous testing process of a certified, company. Hence no random company can claim that their products are IP rated.

Measuring protection label from dust and solid objects 

The first digit ranges from 0 to 6 and shows protection from solid particles.

  • IP0X: This suggests, it is not protected against any physical contact or any objects for that matter.
  • IP1X: This number indicates, this product can protect up to 50 mm. 
  • IP2X: Anything larger than a 12.5 mm object is very much protected and this includes fingers.
  • IP3X: Anything above 2.5 mm object is safe this including tools and thick wires.
  • IP4X: Bigger than 1 mm object is fully protected.
  • IP5X: Dust resistant. Dust may get through, but not enough to damage the product.
  • IP6X: This product is fully dustproof. 

Rating to check the water protection label

 The second digit ranges from 0 to 9 and to check how well protected your product is from water

  • IPX0: It offers no protection from water.
  • IPX1: Can only resist water which vertically drips onto the product.
  • IPX2: Can resist water at a 15° angle or less.
  • IPX3: Can resist water sprays up to 60°.
  • IPX4: Splash resistant from any direction.
  • IPX5: Can only resist and sustain low-pressure water jet spray.
  • IPX6: High-pressure, heavy sprays of water are easily sustainable.
  • IPX6K: Can endure extreme high pressure. 
  • IPX7: Can sustain Up to 1-meter submergence in water for half an hour.
  • IPX8: Anything submerged deeper than 1 meter can be sustained.
  • IPX9K: Resists high-temperature/high-pressure, sprays from a close range. 

What do you mean by ATM water resistance?

One of the most essential factors to consider before investing in a smartwatch or chronograph is the ATM rating. Commonly, watches have a water protection tool that disallow water to enter the delicate parts. Water-resistance varies from gadget to gadget.

 ATM water resistance- is the standard unit to measure these ratings. Water-resistant is affirmed as a depth - means that it is lab-tested and can withstand a static pressure for a short period only at the specified depth. Please check the following points to have more light on this.

Water Resistance to allow

 3 ATM (30m, 100ft)

Convenient for everyday use. Can withstand accidental splashes but not fit for swimming.

 5 ATM (50m, 165ft)

Can be used for regular bathing but not suitable while swimming in the pool

 10 ATM (100m, 330ft)

Suitable for normal use like snorkeling and swimming but NOT advisable for squba diving or high board diving.

 20 ATM (200m, 660ft)

Great for all high-impact water sports and scuba diving at depths.

 20 - 50 ATM,(200 - 500m)

Convenient for all water sports, scuba diving and saturation diving.

 100 ATM, 1000m

Suitable for deep-sea diving and intergalactic journeys.

 We just hope this article covers everything that you wanted to know about "water-resistant/dust-resistant" or "waterproof/moisture-proof" and in future, you won't face any further issue while purchasing the right waterproof/dustproof product for yourself and also recommending others which one to buy and what rating should they follow.