You do not have Javascript enabled in your web browser, which is required by this site. Please enable it now. Learn how to enable Javacript.

Showers and Watches Just Don't Mix

June 18, 2014 4:55 PM
There are two occasions where a man (or woman) should never wear a watch.
One is while making love. (It's just bad form.)
The other is while in the shower. It's just an all-around bad idea.

And if you're wearing a watch while making love in the shower, please exit this blog immediately and tune in to the all pro wrestling TV channel, because this is going to be way over your head.

So let's just focus on the shower. I am continually asked if a certain watch I am selling (a vintage watch, no less, because that's all I sell) is OK to wear in the shower, bathtub, or whirlpool.  Here's a recent example, from an eBay buyer who was thinking of bidding on a  near mint condition circa 2000 Zodiac Sea Wolf of mine:

Regarding your Sea Wolf, I want to be able to wear the watch when I take a shower. I guess I expect that level of waterproof from a dive watch. Is there a reason I should know about that you made the statement that you do not guarantee the watch to be water resistant? Are you just covering your self? Do you think the watch will be OK for everyday use, including showering?



I replied and also posted this response in the auction:

James: Yep, it's definitely a CYA (cover your a**) thing. Even though the watch is close to new old stock condition, you have to remember that the seals and gaskets in the watch are probably 15 years old or more (I estimated late 1990s or early 2000s for date of production). So I couldn't guarantee that the watch would be good for showering. I think the watch is fine for the occasional splash, getting caught in a rainstorm, perspiration, and so forth. But I can't/won't guarantee it against a constant, sustained shower of water



OK, let's for a moment set aside the whole "how lazy/ADD/OCD do you have to be to need your watch in the shower?" types of questions, and just look at the practical reasons why not to:

1. Water resistant watches, even diver watches, are built for cold water, not hot, and not for steam. Hot water and steam soften gaskets, and steam can get into places water can't. Many are the stories I've heard of people with a brand new diver watch seeing fog under the crystal after repeated use in the shower.
2. Soap and shampoo also soften/dissolve seals and gaskets.
3. You can't thoroughly wash the area of your wrist covered by the watch, which tends to be dirty and/or sweaty anyway from being covered with the watch. Kind of like showering while wearing an athletic cup. (Sorry; too graphic?).

Points one and two go double for a vintage watch, even one that was originally "waterproof" or water-resistant from the factory. Over time, the seals and gaskets have become brittle and/or have shrunk, and whatever "water resistance" may have been there to begin with is now severely compromised.  It amazes me that anyone would even think of taking a vintage watch near water. It's a little like using a restored 1956 Chevy Bel Air to haul garbage to the dump, I mean, yeh, it's possible, but why would any sane person do it?

Now, onto the weird rationalizations guys (in particular) use to justify showering avec montre-bracelet:

1. I don't want lose it. Good God, man, it's not like your watch is the size of your wedding band, especially today's manhole-cover-sized watches. Put it next to your toiletries on the sink, or on the hook below your towel. The wear and tear on your watch aren't worth it.
2. Someone might steal it. Um, here's a thought: If you're in a public place like a gym, lock it up in your locker. If your watch is that valuable that someone might steal it, why would you subject it to undue wear-and-tear in the shower?
3. It looks cool. Honestly, Bubba, who are you trying to impress? Are you trying to be like 007 or Jason Bourne? Well, stop it. I've seen the movie scenes, and both Daniel Craig and Matt Damon look equally ridiculous wearing their watches in the shower.

So c'mon guys. Take it off. Your watch doesn't belong in the shower. Next to texting while driving, it's probably the dumbest idea ever. Your wife/partner/lover will not think you any less (or more) sexy if you exit the shower with a bare wrist. If you've got a body like the guy above, the wristwatch isn't going to make a damn bit of difference. And if you've got a body like mine (think Jack Black, only more body hair) it's not going to make a difference, either!