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Watch guaranteed to a depth of... (oh. it's stopped)

If a watch is guaranteed to be "waterproof down to a depth of <n> metres", how can you be sure that this is true? Lightbulbs, rated at 1000 hours; Are you going to time how long they last before they go out? Tents that you are supposed to be able to put up in ten minutes. A reasonable claim? And glue which allows you to be able to hang from the ceiling; who will test this? These and many other ideas which are good salestalk may actually be true, but sometimes we wonder if you are expected to believe in the product by faith, as no-one will actually put it to the test!



I have seen some brands of lightbulbs which on average last considerably less than 1000 hours, and discs which are "lifetime guaranteed", yet are of very poor quality and not to be trusted versus data loss. The way the makers of poor quality products can get away with guarantees which are hopelessly over-spec is because very few people will put these things to the test! The terrible floppy discs, whose manufacturer is no longer in business, had a guarantee on them which might convince you they were good, but by the time you'd lost your data it was too late, and all you'd get back was a new floppy disc. The same thing with the lightbulbs. A replacement bulb given, even after the old bulb had prematurely exploded.


Watches sometimes claim to be waterproof. That's fair enough, and you'll find out soon enough if a "waterproof" watch isn't what it claims to be. However, sometimes the manufacturers boast "waterproof to a depth of fifty metres". I've always thought this to be a bold guarantee on a watch. I mean, if you were fifty metres underwater, one of the things that would be worth checking was WHAT TIME IT WAS. If someone had promised to meet you and bring you a cylinder of oxygen at a particular time, you'd want to check to see if they were late.


It may seem cynical to suggest it, but I think that some (not all) of the timepieces which claim a particular depth are hoping no-one will test them, based on the idea that their customers are unlikely to be going underwater deeper than a few inches.

This is where the ingenuity comes in, as you don't need to be a deep sea diver to test a watch. In this hypothetical example, you could row a boat out into a deep lake such as Loch Ness and using a fishing rod and line, lower the expensive watch into the dark and murky depths and see if it could stand the pressure. Then, after a few minutes have gone by (though we can't be sure how many minutes, because the watch is so-many fathoms down in the deep being tested), you can reel the line back in and see the results of the experiment, and hope to check if the watch is still working and really was worth paying the money for. If it is, then great. Or if it's stopped, then you can go along to the place you bought it and try to explain how, because you doubted their guarantee, you lowered the watch into the loch on a fishing line to the stated depth and put it to the test! Can you imagine how they'd react?


There is another possibility with this which is different again. What if, on reeling the line back in, you found not a working watch on the end of the line, nor a ruined watch, but no watch at all? Lost! Eaten by the Loch Ness Monster! Try explaining that to the insurance company! Then again, if I had been testing a watch by lowering it on a line into Loch Ness and the watch had disappeared, presumed eaten by the Monster, I'd probably make more money from the publicity than the watch had cost in the first place.










It's reached the bottom of the depths