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Thread: Pressurised Aircraft

  1. #1
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    Pressurised Aircraft

    Can't really find anything on the net so decided to ask the good people of TZ.

    I travel quite a bit for work and had worn a Tag link chronograph for the past 15 years. When I bought a Rolex explorer earlier this year, the lady that was dealing with me when I picked it up said you should never change the time when the cabin is pressurised as it could burst the seals in the crown, always wait for the doors to be opened!

    Any truth n this?

  2. #2
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    When traveling on a commercial aircraft the pressure is roughly equivalent to that of 8000 feet
    As such there is a reduction compared to sea level.
    This pressure difference is unlikely to burst the seals or crystal of any watch
    (with a Seadweller you may get the release valve burping to equalise pressure as you ascend - Unlikely)
    Reduced pressure only becomes an issue with watches when flying at high altitude without pressurisation, something most people on the planet are unlikely to do
    If you do find yourself at 30,000 feet in an un pressurised aircraft your watch is the least of your worries.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    If you do find yourself at 30,000 feet in an un pressurised aircraft your watch is the least of your worries.
    Haha...

  4. #4
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    My noise cancelling headphones usually set themselves at 0.8bar when flying.

    This 0.2 bar difference isn't even remotely close to the vacuum pressure you would test a Rolex at for example. I wouldn't worry, but if it bothers you unscrew the crown when you land and then do it up again.

  5. #5
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Buy a pack of Pringles on the flight and look at the foil seal/lid before opening, that is the sort of pressure your talking about..

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by me32dc View Post
    My noise cancelling headphones usually set themselves at 0.8bar when flying.
    I'm intrigued as to how you know that?

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    I'm intrigued as to how you know that?

    R
    More importantly, what on earth is a pressure of 0.8 bar got to do with headphones?!

  8. #8
    Craftsman gerard's Avatar
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    I always change timezones in the cabin , nothing popped or blown yet. Just a load of nonsense like sea dwellers and the like should not be used hot showers for fear of damage damage .


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by me32dc View Post
    My noise cancelling headphones usually set themselves at 0.8bar when flying.

    This 0.2 bar difference isn't even remotely close to the vacuum pressure you would test a Rolex at for example. I wouldn't worry, but if it bothers you unscrew the crown when you land and then do it up again.
    No doesn't bother me, was just wondering whether she was blowing smoke up my ass!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedyexplorer View Post
    No doesn't bother me, was just wondering whether she was blowing smoke up my ass!
    I'm not sure how what she said could be seen as a compliment!

  11. #11
    How about if you're upstairs on a bus?
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  12. #12
    Master tiny73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backward point View Post
    How about if you're upstairs on a bus?
    Why would one ever be on a bus, let alone upstairs with the ne’er do wells?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny73 View Post
    Why would one ever be on a bus, let alone upstairs with the ne’er do wells?
    Cause I’ve got a bus pass, I can go all over free, no car required so beer at lunch etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    I'm intrigued as to how you know that?

    R
    Sony's headphones apparently do this to help with sound or noise cancellation, or some such. From a review:

    The Optimizer is also said to factor in atmospheric pressure, but I’m not so sure about this one. Apparently changes in pressure can impact the effectiveness of noise cancellation.

    I tried the Optimizer on the ground and the Headphones Connect app gave me a reading of 1.0 atm (standard atmosphere). When I tried it again at 35,000ft in the air, the reading dropped down to 0.8 atm. Clearly the headphones thought there was a difference, but I didn’t hear the NC behave any differently.

  15. #15
    Master Man of Kent's Avatar
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    The next thing will be that you shouldn't risk looking at a Seadweller because the pressure from your breathing will damage the gaskets.....

  16. #16
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    I have always wanted to see if my Pelagos release valve would burp at altitude but the only thing that makes funny noises on a plane is me...
    I get terrible wind! All that rich first class food... 😀

  17. #17
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    The max pressure difference from sea level to space and a vacuum is one atmosphere, that's equivalent to a depth of 10m under water. ... Ie not a lot... Air is very thin compared to water.

  18. #18
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    I'm too scared to wear my watches anywhere outside of my safe room. I simply insert them into my anus for safe keeping if I leave it. (*one at a time)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonNeil View Post
    The max pressure difference from sea level to space and a vacuum is one atmosphere, that's equivalent to a depth of 10m under water. ... Ie not a lot... Air is very thin compared to water.
    Thanks for that - I've never thought of things that way and you've enlightened me!

  20. #20
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    I always stick a bit of chewing gum over the helium escape valve before the descent.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    I'm too scared to wear my watches anywhere outside of my safe room. I simply insert them into my anus for safe keeping if I leave it. (*one at a time)
    Be careful then that there isn't a pressure build up in your anus.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shropshire Lad View Post
    Be careful then that there isn't a pressure build up in your anus.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    Wouldn't be the first time

  23. #23
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    The lady may be correct. The seal on my Tag Professional gave way a number of years ago when I changed the time coming in to land.

    As it was the flight out for a two week hol by the time I got home the watch was a mess. Needed a whole new quartz movement, hands, dial etc.

    Now, it may be that the seal was weaker than it should have been and the extra pressure tipped it over the edge. However, it did happen and I don't change the time on any watch now while I'm in the air. Not worth the risk.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Buy a pack of Pringles on the flight and look at the foil seal/lid before opening, that is the sort of pressure your talking about..
    Hearing the Pringles seal pop when opening on a plane is one of the small pleasures I get from flying.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMater View Post
    The lady may be correct. The seal on my Tag Professional gave way a number of years ago when I changed the time coming in to land.

    As it was the flight out for a two week hol by the time I got home the watch was a mess. Needed a whole new quartz movement, hands, dial etc.

    Now, it may be that the seal was weaker than it should have been and the extra pressure tipped it over the edge. However, it did happen and I don't change the time on any watch now while I'm in the air. Not worth the risk.
    Was a young lady so It's not something that she could make up so had to have come from somewhere. Training course, colleagues or previous customers experiences
    Sorry it happened to you but thanks for the reply.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by tiny73 View Post
    Why would one ever be on a bus, let alone upstairs with the ne’er do wells?
    Can you still smoke on the top deck?

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  27. #27
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    Having re- read the OP’s story, I question what the salesperson meant by ‘burst the seals in the crown’! We’re talking about O rings, not the seals on top of a sauce bottle, the O ring isn’t going to burst or suffer catastrophic failure. If the sealing ability of the crown seals was compromised by setting the time (unlikely) this doesn’t equate to the seal being damaged. Sounds like rubbish to me.

    However, I’m surprised to learn that the pressure inside an aircraft equates to approx 8000 ft altitude, I assumed the pressure equalisation was always set to atmospheric pressure at sea level.

    On some watches it doesn’t take much pressure to lift the crystal off it’s seal, but if that happened I think the owner might notice.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 31st August 2019 at 09:22.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    Can you still smoke on the top deck?

    R
    Apparently, pot only.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  29. #29
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    However, I’m surprised to learn that the pressure inside an aircraft equates to approx 8000 ft altitude, I assumed the pressure equalisation was always set to atmospheric pressure at sea level
    Yep on most it’s about 8000 (the 787 is 6000 I think)

    Next time you are on a plane get a plastic bottle of water, open it when in the air, drink the liquid and the close the bottle up tight without crushing or deforming the bottle.
    When you land the bottle will have collapsed because the air inside the bottle is at lower pressure than that outside it.

  30. #30
    Craftsman Russ's Avatar
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    Flew over to Frankfurt last month. My wife said “this” has just appeared on my lap. I knew instantly what “this” was. The acrylic from her Ladies Oris Big Crown. I re-fitted it once I had found the tension ring and all has been fine since. It did occur during an ear popping change of pressure.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    Can you still smoke on the top deck?

    R
    You have no choice but when the ruffians set you alight.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Yep on most it’s about 8000 (the 787 is 6000 I think)

    Next time you are on a plane get a plastic bottle of water, open it when in the air, drink the liquid and the close the bottle up tight without crushing or deforming the bottle.
    When you land the bottle will have collapsed because the air inside the bottle is at lower pressure than that outside it.
    Correct, the 787 has a cabin altitude of 6,000 feet (same as Concorde had). The bottle crushes because it is so thin so it doesn't take much differential pressure to alter it's shape. I wonder how the watch owners in Bogota (8,700'), Mexico City (7,300'), Nairobi (5,900') etc cope ;-)

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post

    However, I’m surprised to learn that the pressure inside an aircraft equates to approx 8000 ft altitude, I assumed the pressure equalisation was always set to atmospheric pressure at sea level.

    On some watches it doesn’t take much pressure to lift the crystal off it’s seal, but if that happened I think the owner might notice.
    Generally, the cabin is set to around 8000ft to maintain a cabin differential pressure of around 6-7psi. It’s a structural thing...to maintain a lower cabin altitude would mean creating an aircraft structure that would withstand repeated excursions to higher differential pressures. This would mean more weight therefore there is a trade off on cabin altitude and passenger comfort versus aircraft structure.

    Up to 10000ft altitude is a safe for people, although I think you can feel slight ‘air hunger’ at 8000ft. Above 10000ft, there is the chance of hypoxia.

    I think we had a couple of cases where the Everest crystals popped off in aircraft cabins because they are press fit?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    I wonder how the watch owners in Bogota (8,700'), Mexico City (7,300'), Nairobi (5,900') etc cope ;-)
    I guess if they were able to reach sea level from home in a few minutes or vice versa they might face the same concern.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Generally, the cabin is set to around 8000ft to maintain a cabin differential pressure of around 6-7psi. It’s a structural thing...to maintain a lower cabin altitude would mean creating an aircraft structure that would withstand repeated excursions to higher differential pressures. This would mean more weight therefore there is a trade off on cabin altitude and passenger comfort versus aircraft structure.

    Up to 10000ft altitude is a safe for people, although I think you can feel slight ‘air hunger’ at 8000ft. Above 10000ft, there is the chance of hypoxia.

    I think we had a couple of cases where the Everest crystals popped off in aircraft cabins because they are press fit?
    Yes, and my Everest crystal popped out 2 days from Everest base camp.

    Refitted on site complete with genuine particles of mount Everest still inside!

    Sent from my moto e5 using Tapatalk

  36. #36
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    Surely this is where you must buy a Speedy Pro.

    It’s been tested to survive negative pressure in EVA and radiation levels outside earth atmosphere. Though it’s not unknown for the crystal to pop off a Speedy??

    M
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 31st August 2019 at 13:29. Reason: To get it formatted

  37. #37
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    Damasko watches are tested vs. negative pressure too.

  38. #38
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    Every day’s a school-day, after seeing this thread I had a quick read about aircraft pressure and what the equivalent of 8000ft really means in terms of pressure.

    Some watches have a mineral or sapphire crystal that’s a press fit into an L shaped nylon gasket, it doesn’t take much pressure in the case to lift the crystal, so it could conceivably happen if the pressure reaches 0.8 bar absolute (-2 bar below normal atmospheric pressure) . Broadly speaking its like a 3 lb weight pressing on the crystal ( assuming crystal’s around 1 square inch and 1 atmosphere is 14.7. psi).

    Some watches are far better at resisting negative pressure than others, but it’s something I’d never considered in a real- life situation such as an aircraft or travelling at altitude. The old- style waterproof watches with acrylic crystals should be OK at -0.2 bar, the crystal is a tight fit owing to the metal tension/ rehaut ring, but some fit tighter than others and after many years the plastic allegedly shrinks a tiny bit too. It’s conceivable that a crystal could lift slightly without separating from the case, the owner doesn’t notice, then the crystal leaks water because it isn’t correctly seated!

    I easily get bored flying.....next time I fly I’ll be thinking about this and the effect of the pressure differential on my guts.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 31st August 2019 at 21:20.

  39. #39
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    Rolex prohibit the use of their watches on aircraft anyway; you have to leave it at the dealer when you’re planning to fly.


    Sent from my calculator using a lawnmower.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Yep on most it’s about 8000 (the 787 is 6000 I think)

    Next time you are on a plane get a plastic bottle of water, open it when in the air, drink the liquid and the close the bottle up tight without crushing or deforming the bottle.
    When you land the bottle will have collapsed because the air inside the bottle is at lower pressure than that outside it.
    Actually, when you land the air pressure inside the bottle is the same as the air pressure outside the bottle. The bottle collapses since the volume of air at sea level pressure is less than the volume occupied by the same mass of air at altitude. Or, to use another example, a balloon filled at altitude will have shrunk at sea level so that the pressure on the inside equals the pressure on the outside.

  41. #41
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    I had a brief depressure (non structural) on a flight from Philly to Boston some time back.

    My right ear bled for a while but my datejust held :-)

    My fellow traveller's watch got completely misted which we noticed at landing.



    B

  42. #42
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Airbus A350 is also set to 6000 feet cabin pressure. Makes a big difference on a long haul flight. A350 is my favourite aircraft to fly on due to the cabin being more spacious than the 787.

    No issues with exploding watches even on the older birds in the sky I'm pleased to report. Did once have a burst eardrum on a 777 but I did fly with a heavy cold so that's my fault.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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