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The invention of waterproof cases for wristwatches was a major breakthrough in the development of timepieces. Prior to this, watches were vulnerable to damage from water, which could penetrate the case and damage the delicate inner workings. The development of waterproof cases made watches more durable and versatile, allowing them to be used in a wider range of environments and activities.

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The first waterproof wristwatch was developed by Rolex in the 1920s. The watch featured a screw-down crown and case back, which created a tight seal that prevented water from entering the watch. Over the years, other watchmakers developed their own waterproof technologies, including O-ring gaskets, special seals, and pressure testing.

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Despite the advancements in waterproof technology, no wristwatch is truly 100% waterproof. This is because water resistance is measured in meters, which is a measure of pressure and not depth. Water resistance ratings indicate the maximum pressure that a watch can withstand before it leaks, and are often accompanied by recommendations for usage, such as whether the watch is suitable for swimming or diving. For a wristwatch to receive the label "waterproof", it must meet certain standards set by international organizations such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards).

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But even with these certifications, a wristwatch can still be damaged by water. For instance, the watch's seals, which are meant to prevent water from entering the watch, can degrade over time due to exposure to elements such as sunlight, salt, and chemicals. This degradation can cause the seals to become loose, allowing water to seep into the watch.

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Moreover, the crown or buttons of a wristwatch, which are used to set the time and other functions, can also be potential entry points for water. These parts of the watch are usually protected by seals, but with constant use, they can become loose or damaged, allowing water to enter.

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Another factor that makes wristwatches susceptible to water damage is the pressure changes that occur during activities such as swimming or diving. Water pressure can cause the seals to compress, allowing water to enter the watch. Additionally, rapid changes in temperature can cause condensation to form inside the watch, which can damage its internal components.

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In conclusion, no wristwatch is truly 100% waterproof, despite being advertised as such. The nature of water and the constant exposure to elements can cause the seals and other protective features of a watch to degrade over time, making it susceptible to water damage. While wristwatches can be certified as waterproof according to international standards, they are not immune to water damage and must be treated with care to ensure their longevity. It is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines on water resistance, and to have the watch checked regularly by a professional to ensure it remains water-resistant.

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