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Thread: Is a watch that's water resistant also humidity resistant?

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by MrGrumpy View Post
    True...however, my vague recollection of school physics tells me that the hotter air is, the higher its capacity to hold water (or maybe my brain has failed again). In that case, even though the % humidity of Scotland and Hong Kong might be the same, there would be a lot more moisture in the air in Hong Kong???
    Absolutely right, the capacity for air to hold water vapour triples between 10C and 30C. High relative humidity is far more uncomfortable at higher temperatures as no doubt most people on here have experienced when in foreign lands.



    Mitch

  2. #52
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    I had a Monaco chronograph steam up in India . I always took it off for washing and never wore it swimming as I know the pushers are a bit susceptible to water ingress despite the watch being waterproof to a degree ( no screw down crown also makes me nervous about swimming with any watch).

    I was a bit surprised. pulled the crown out and gave it a good bit of heating up with a hair dryer and the vapour went by bye bye after 10 minutes. Never was a problem again.
    I suspect that the water vapour inside the watch condensed out when I went from really hot humid air to ice cold AC interior. I'd been wearing the watch for a few years in India at that time.

    It was serviced less than 3 months after that incident and there was no water damage reported so I think it was a bit of a fluke. Although part of the reason it went for a service was it had been at Chealwatch before that and came back with non reseting correctly chrono and huge inaccuracy. So its not beyond belief that the seals were jacked by them too.

  3. #53
    Craftsman Cornholio's Avatar
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    Holy thread revival, Batman.

    Mellor-72, bought Jan-21. 5atm, so never been submerged.

    May-21, condensation under crystal. Sent back to CWC, who were great. Dried it, checked seals, even polished out the little scratches on the crystal. No more condensation.

    Watch was not worn from Aug-22 until yesterday. Took it off to wash pots and shave last night, so can't have received any more than a light splash at the sink. Condensation again this morning. Hmmm.

    We are in the UK, and do live in rather a damp old house. Maybe it is water vapour is getting in?

    Will dry it tonight, and maybe store with silica gel in the future?

    Would it be worth getting the seals checked again? Anyone else have this problem with one of these?




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  4. #54
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    I had a bun-fight with Goldsmiths on the same subject. A Breitling Navi GMT and myself were caught-out in a tropical rainstorm. Drenched to the skin. The Navi - under a shirt cuff took a bit of moisture and developed misting under the lens.

    Goldsmiths claimed it was my fault. I denied any fault and claimed that the WR on the watch back, the manual, Breitling's own website and goldsmith site were all contradictory and did not inform me correctly. I got a credit note and purchased an Omega AT GMT Chrono which has been solid but not as much fun as the Navi with that slide-rule which I used alot.


  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornholio View Post
    Holy thread revival, Batman.

    Mellor-72, bought Jan-21. 5atm, so never been submerged.

    May-21, condensation under crystal. Sent back to CWC, who were great. Dried it, checked seals, even polished out the little scratches on the crystal. No more condensation.
    May just be condensation related to temperature and humidity change .

    Pull the crown out , heat up the watch body gentky with a hairdruer and hopefully that might expell any moist air from the watch . No seal is perfect but it may just be temp change thats condensed it out .

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornholio View Post
    Holy thread revival, Batman.

    Mellor-72, bought Jan-21. 5atm, so never been submerged.

    May-21, condensation under crystal. Sent back to CWC, who were great. Dried it, checked seals, even polished out the little scratches on the crystal. No more condensation.

    Watch was not worn from Aug-22 until yesterday. Took it off to wash pots and shave last night, so can't have received any more than a light splash at the sink. Condensation again this morning. Hmmm.

    We are in the UK, and do live in rather a damp old house. Maybe it is water vapour is getting in?

    Will dry it tonight, and maybe store with silica gel in the future?

    Would it be worth getting the seals checked again? Anyone else have this problem with one of these?




    Sent from my SM-N975F using Tapatalk
    Did they check that the pendant tube was watertight? I`ve restored a few older CWC G10s and had problems with the pendant tube not sealing into the case. I suspect the beadblasted finish may contribute to the problem.

  7. #57
    Craftsman Cornholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Did they check that the pendant tube was watertight?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    May just be condensation related to temperature and humidity change.
    Thank you both! Will dry it tonight and see how it goes, but very helpful information about the pendant tube. I can certainly believe that if there was a problem with the seal, the moisture in our air would find its way in. It never ceases to amaze me how much water I have to empty from our dehumidifier.

  8. #58
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    To clarify, I don`t believe humidity is the problem, the air in your watch should be sealed and not exchanging with the atmosphere. Even with the crown pulled out the O ring seal in the crown will still be engaged with the pendant tube (or it should be) so there's no way air can bbe getting in and out. Watches get wet through splashing and I suspect some part of your watch isn`t sealing correctly.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    To clarify, I don`t believe humidity is the problem, the air in your watch should be sealed and not exchanging with the atmosphere. Even with the crown pulled out the O ring seal in the crown will still be engaged with the pendant tube (or it should be) so there's no way air can bbe getting in and out. Watches get wet through splashing and I suspect some part of your watch isn`t sealing correctly.
    Thank you for clarifying, that makes sense. Will get my chap to have a look.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    To clarify, I don`t believe humidity is the problem, the air in your watch should be sealed and not exchanging with the atmosphere. Even with the crown pulled out the O ring seal in the crown will still be engaged with the pendant tube (or it should be) so there's no way air can bbe getting in and out. Watches get wet through splashing and I suspect some part of your watch isn`t sealing correctly.
    This isn't correct. Whilst seals might be a barrier to liquid water they are permeable to some extent to all gases and in particular to water vapour.

  11. #61
    I think we’ve had all that above…

  12. #62
    So did I, still needs correcting.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    So did I, still needs correcting.
    indeed this needs correction

    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    The experiment has been running for decades. People living their whole lives in humid climates don't report their dive watches having problems with humidity ingress. People in saturation chambers find helium in similar dive watches within days.

    Theory aside, the data is clear. The OP can expose his watch to high humidity without intrusion into the watch in any context that is safe for him to be in. The same would not be true for helium. The WR that makes the watch dive capable means it is also resistant to water vapour.
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  14. #64
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    Vapour can get pulled into the watch case, if the only seal is an annular o-ring.

    It occurs if the watch goes through heating and cooling cycles, where the pressure inside the watch varies with the expansion and contraction of the ‘fixed’ internal volume of air.

    The pressure imbalance across the seal will either expel the air out, or cause ambient air to enter the watch casing.

    The cap-o ring seal on many watches should prevent that.

  15. #65
    https://www.versaperm.com/press/article_O-rings.php

    why don’t O rings (or seals & gaskets) always work?

    By Chris Roberts, Director Versaperm
    The short answer to why seals and O rings don’t always work properly, is water. Not as a liquid, but as a vapour, where it can flow almost unhindered through many seals - even where they are an almost perfect barrier to liquid water.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Vapour can get pulled into the watch case, if the only seal is an annular o-ring.

    It occurs if the watch goes through heating and cooling cycles, where the pressure inside the watch varies with the expansion and contraction of the ‘fixed’ internal volume of air.

    The pressure imbalance across the seal will either expel the air out, or cause ambient air to enter the watch casing.

    The cap-o ring seal on many watches should prevent that.
    I once popped in and out of sauna and pool repeatedly wearing my swatch chrono.
    I learnt the lesson.

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  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by bubi View Post
    I once popped in and out of sauna and pool repeatedly wearing my swatch chrono.
    I learnt the lesson.

    Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk
    I did the same (various saunas, steam rooms and pools etc.) with an old Pulsar - absolutely no problem experienced.

  18. #68
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    Just read the report regarding permeation of water vapour through rubber, Have to confess I`d forgotten this. However, if we accept the phenomenon (no reason not to) how does that translate to the situation in a typical watch? That requires a bit more thought. I remain unconvinced that the cause of misting in watches is directly related to permeation of water vapour across the seals.

    On a far more practical note, one thing to be careful of when working on a watch is the risk of condensation forming whilst the caseback is open. If the watch is cold and the surrounding air is warm and humid this can happen and needs to be addressed before the watch is closed up. Another unavoidable source of warm humid air is the human being who's opened the watch and subsequently got up close to it, unfortunately humans do need to breathe, wearing a fresh air breathing kit whilst working on a watch would eliminate the hazard but there are obvious drawbacks. On a serious note, once the tiny droplets of condensation are in the watch it will be prone to misting up, the atmosphere inside the watch will become significantly humid as the watch warms up and the humidity will cause condensation on the inside of the glass in cold conditions. I take extra precautions to avoid this happening, not something I wish to be caught out on.

    I`ve come across 1 case of a watch misting up with no obvious cause, that was an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch with acrylic crystal. Owner had seen traces of misting when outdoors on a very cold day. I took the movement out of the case, refitted the caseback and crown, then pressure tested to 6 bar. The watch (without movement) passed this test without problems in a wet tester and no amount of persuasion could cause any misting. I cased the watch up carefully and re-tested, the problem didn`t re-occur despite subjecting the watch to -5°.

    If the permeation across seals theory was the cause of misting, the problem would be far more widespread, especially where watches are worn in areas of high humidity.

  19. #69
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    To keep the discussion going - is the question, does my watch need to be air tight as well as water tight?

    This article is interesting in this context - Watches developed with an internal vacuum (the case back required no screws as atmospheric pressure kept it on): https://revolutionwatch.com/the-vacu...have-heard-of/. I will let the reader discover the development and brands that used this tech.

    BTW: at this moment I am sitting outside with 83% humidity, (dew point 6C , temp 13C) - should I worry??

    Empirically - I have worn all my dive watches in a swimming pool, then sauna, then splash pool - no issues. And also wear my watches sea swimming (estimated 18C) after laying in hot sun (estimated 30C) on the beach - non issue for me.
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 19th January 2023 at 13:01.
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  20. #70
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    Permeability of rubber is expressed in g/square metre, anyone fancy estimating the exposed surface area of a typical watch O ring that’s partially compressed, together with the surface area of a typical O ring in a crown?

    Typical crown O ring has an OD of 3.7mm and ID 2.5mm. Typical caseback gasket is 1mm thick, compressed to approx half, with a diameter of approx 35mm on a diver.

    Any offers?..........I can’t be bothered!

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornholio View Post
    Holy thread revival, Batman.

    Mellor-72, bought Jan-21. 5atm, so never been submerged.

    May-21, condensation under crystal. Sent back to CWC, who were great. Dried it, checked seals, even polished out the little scratches on the crystal. No more condensation.

    Watch was not worn from Aug-22 until yesterday. Took it off to wash pots and shave last night, so can't have received any more than a light splash at the sink. Condensation again this morning. Hmmm.

    We are in the UK, and do live in rather a damp old house. Maybe it is water vapour is getting in?

    Will dry it tonight, and maybe store with silica gel in the future?

    Would it be worth getting the seals checked again? Anyone else have this problem with one of these?




    Sent from my SM-N975F using Tapatalk
    I spotted someone over on WuS had this same issue with a Mellor. I’ll try and find the thread.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    I spotted someone over on WuS had this same issue with a Mellor. I’ll try and find the thread.
    Thank you! That is not a place that I frequent, so haven't seen the article.

  23. #73
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    It's an interesting discussion, up to a point, but I notice that contributors are now talking about two different (I'd have thought) situations - watches such as dive watches with high WR and those such as the CWC Mellor with low WR - without differentiation. It seems to me intuitively obvious, or at least likely, that this might be an issue for one and not the other.

    Like others, I've worn dive watches in sauna and pool etc without any problem.

  24. #74
    Surely there’s been enough hot air vented on this thread by now that we can just look down at our wrists and form our own conclusions?

  25. #75
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornholio View Post
    Thank you! That is not a place that I frequent, so haven't seen the article.
    Will drop you a PM

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    Will drop you a PM
    I had a 1970'd Hamilton W10 that had the same issue. Different manufacturer but the same design. After a service it didn't reoccur.

  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by TF23 View Post
    It's an interesting discussion, up to a point, but I notice that contributors are now talking about two different (I'd have thought) situations - watches such as dive watches with high WR and those such as the CWC Mellor with low WR - without differentiation. It seems to me intuitively obvious, or at least likely, that this might be an issue for one and not the other.

    Like others, I've worn dive watches in sauna and pool etc without any problem.
    Disagree.

    I don`t see how the issue is related to the WR of the design, I`ve assembled hundreds of watches and believe me there's very little difference in the seal designs between watches with 50mWR and 300! The difference is in the rigidity of the case and crystal to resist distortion.

    To clarify, I think it likely that very faint misting can be attributed to moisture in the air trapped in the watch when closed up under certain conditions or traces of condensation that have been deposited on the inside of the watch in some way. This refers to a scenario where the watch passes a pressure test but has a history of showing traces of misting when subjected to low temperatures, I'm not referring to the tendency for a watch to leak when exposed to water, that's due to failure of a seal or failure of the pendant tube to seal into the case and it's got nothing to do with the WR of the design.

    As I`ve stated earlier, I`ve restored a few CWC G10 watches with beadblasted cases and I`ve experienced problems with the pendant tube not sealing into the case. I put this down to the uneven finish on the surface, in each case the tube seemed tight enough to seal but didn`t. I rectified this by refitting using araldite and that worked, the case then passed a 6 bar test.

  28. #78
    Craftsman TF23's Avatar
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    I stand corrected! :-)

  29. #79
    All watches are humility resistant except Rolexes.

  30. #80
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    My recollection is that there is a (Rolex invented) WR test that relies entirely on humidity transfer to prove water resistance.
    The test is intended to do so, using a whole watch with movement inside, without the risk inherent with immersive methods.
    You warm the watch in a prescribed manner, then apply ice to the crystal. If it mists up, it is because ambient (moist) air is drawn in with the cooling shrinkage, and condenses its vapour on the crystal. WR test failed.
    If it remains clear, it is because no moist air has been drawn in by the cooling. WR proven.
    So the inference in this test's design is that WR inherently includes humidity resistance.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    All watches are humility resistant except Rolexes.
    If the Lord wears a Rolex you're going to lose your cassock.

  32. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    My recollection is that there is a (Rolex invented) WR test that relies entirely on humidity transfer to prove water resistance.
    The test is intended to do so, using a whole watch with movement inside, without the risk inherent with immersive methods.
    You warm the watch in a prescribed manner, then apply ice to the crystal. If it mists up, it is because ambient (moist) air is drawn in with the cooling shrinkage, and condenses its vapour on the crystal. WR test failed.
    If it remains clear, it is because no moist air has been drawn in by the cooling. WR proven.
    So the inference in this test's design is that WR inherently includes humidity resistance.
    This test proves that the watch has a leak and doesn`t prove anything else!

    Can`t see much advantage versus taking the movement out, reassembling the case and wet testing. Doing this test as described is still risking introduction of water into a movement, albeit in v. small amounts.

    Unless you've got access to a dry tester the easiest way to check for WR is to whip the movement out, reassemble the case, then use the wet tester. That proves the case is waterproof provided it's subsequently reassembled correctly with the movement.

    Wet testers are fiendish devices if they're not used carefully, but they have the great advantage of allowing the operator to see exactly where the leak is.

    Another trick I use after wet testing is to warm the caseback slightly whilst holding an ice-cold sponge against the crystal, if I don`t see any misting I`m happy that the case hasn`t let any water in, beats leaving the thing for 20 mins to see if it mists up!

    The biggest headache regarding WR is trying to get pitted steel surfaces on old watches to seal correctly, most folks really don't need a watch to be WR to 50 metres but they do need it to withstand splashing in everyday use so it's worth doing whatever it takes to achieve a minimal lever of WR to make the watch practical as an everyday wearer.

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