There really is no need for watches to be waterproof to hundreds of metres. I’m qualified to dive, but only to 30 metres, and yet there are many watches which are water resistant to depths of 200m or more.
An example: the Omega Seamaster Planet ocean is water resistant to 600m. The deepest recorded dive using scuba equipment is 330m, just over half that. By 200m, the penetration of light from the surface is pretty much gone, so you’ll need a torch to read your watch (it doesn’t seem to glow in the dark or have a light, but I may have missed that). Similarly, the Rolex Submariner (dial pictured) is water-resistant to 300m, which seems a bit unnecessary.
Yes, I know there’s a lot to admire about watches with the impressive build and reliability of Omega and Rolex, but this just seems excessive. I’m pretty certain there’s a middle ground to be struck between making something sturdy enough to survive the general bashes and splashes of everyday life (so: a watch that doesn’t scratch, and will withstand water if you go for a swim, a shower or do the washing-up) and building something to withstand events that very few people are actually likely to experience.
Then again, since many of these watches which are strangely water-resistant to the depth of the Mariana Trench are top-of-the-line models, maybe reducing the spec and reducing the price, even if it means increased sales, might work against the prestige aspect of the watches?
Hmm. Maybe it’s ‘intelligence’ in marketing terms at the expense of design intelligence, then.