condensation / misting in watches

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The only time a Vacuum is used by a Watchmaker is to test for leakage.
The watch goes in, a vacuum is pulled, then if the vacuum fails, then its because AIR is being drawn from the watch/seal.
I've worked on hundreds of Dive watches in my time. I've never worked in a Vacuum!
New to me?
The seals are bidirectional? A dive watch would experience considerable pressure from outside, not from inside, except deep dive watches and those are usually fitted with helium release valves. How do they test those?
Genuinely curious, as I have a dive watch with such a release valve. Breitling takes an age, servicing, testing and certifying
 
Bear in mind if your sat at 1 bar of pressure at 33 ft on the Seabed, and then move your arm quickly the pressure on your watch will be a lot more than 1 bar:


How much would this increase the pressure ?


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The seals are bidirectional? A dive watch would experience considerable pressure from outside, not from inside, except deep dive watches and those are usually fitted with helium release valves. How do they test those?
Genuinely curious, as I have a dive watch with such a release valve. Breitling takes an age, servicing, testing and certifying
They don't need to, it's only a way one valve. Helium has tiny molecules, which penetrate the 'O' ring, going through the actual rubber/silicon,thus pressuring the inside of the watch. As the external pressure becomes less, the internal pressure pushes the Crystal out, usually.
Only of any use if your a 'Saturation Diver'.
To be fair I don't know anyone who dives without a Dive Computer.
Dive watches are mere jewellery these days.
I certainly wouldn't risk my Omega scraping across North Sea Granite!
 
How much would this increase the pressure ?


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I guess it would lol
Epic live TV fail as well!
 
The only time a Vacuum is used by a Watchmaker is to test for leakage.
The watch goes in, a vacuum is pulled, then if the vacuum fails, then its because AIR is being drawn from the watch/seal.
I've worked on hundreds of Dive watches in my time. I've never worked in a Vacuum!
New to me?
I used to work in a high end watch shop/jewellers in Chichester for about 3 years. Water resistant (no such thing as water proof...they will all leak under certain conditions and pressures) watches with a rating over 50m were tested in a vacuum.....if you tested them under pressure you would never know if water had got in and you risk ruining the watch so that's not a great idea! The watch was placed in a clear test cylinder half filled with a special test fluid (like a special thin oil so if any did creep into the watch no damage would occur) which was sealed and connected to a calibrated pump. The air was sucked out of the container whilst you watched to see if any bubbled were being sucked from the watch casing...if there was its leaking and needs to be resealed. It could be lifted out of the fluid before opening the cylinder to prevent fluid being sucked in when the vacuum was released.
The pressure ratings are very misleading and I have always said should be clearer.....its not unreasonable that someone buying 30m rated watch would expect to be able to wear it a metre or two down in the local pool.....but don't! Never submerge a sub 50m watch....and personally Id never swim in any watch rated under 100m.

Op.....if you are getting condensation inside the glass its leaking.....no if or buts. No matter how humid it might have been when working on the watch with the back off there could never be enough moisture in that small an mount of air to cause condensation,
 
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I used to work in a high end watch shop/jewellers in Chichester for about 3 years. Water resistant (no such thing as water proof...they will all leak under certain conditions and pressures) watches with a rating over 50m were tested in a vacuum.....if you tested them under pressure you would never know if water had got in and you risk ruining the watch so that's not a great idea! The watch was placed in a clear test cylinder half filled with a special test fluid (like a special thin oil so if any did creep into the watch no damage would occur) which was sealed and connected to a calibrated pump. The air was sucked out of the container whilst you watched to see if any bubbled were being sucked from the watch casing...if there was its leaking and needs to be resealed. It could be lifted out of the fluid before opening the cylinder to prevent fluid being sucked in when the vacuum was released.
The pressure ratings are very misleading and I have always said should be clearer.....its not unreasonable that someone buying 30m rated watch would expect to be able to wear it a metre or two down in the local pool.....but don't! Never submerge a sub 50m watch....and personally Id never swim in any watch rated under 100m.

Op.....if you are getting condensation inside the glass its leaking.....no if or buts. No matter how humid it might have been when working on the watch with the back off there could never be enough moisture in that small an mount of air to cause condensation,
The poster said the air should be removed from inside of the watch, with a Vacuum!
Quite impossible, and probably a typo.
You've described the correct way to test a watch for leakage. However no need to look for bubbles anymore.
If the vacuum is slightly lost, a pressure alarm, or gauge will show a reduction in vacuum.
The Helium valve has two seals, one to keep water out and one to allow internal pressure out.
Rolex etc. use this automatic method, whilst Omega design a Manual valve, hence two crowns, as Saturation decompression is done in a dry environment i.e. a Dive Bell, there will be no water ingress.
 
That's progress.....I left there in 2002!
 
The poster said the air should be removed from inside of the watch, with a Vacuum!
Quite impossible, and probably a typo.
You've described the correct way to test a watch for leakage. However no need to look for bubbles anymore.
If the vacuum is slightly lost, a pressure alarm, or gauge will show a reduction in vacuum.
The Helium valve has two seals, one to keep water out and one to allow internal pressure out.
Rolex etc. use this automatic method, whilst Omega design a Manual valve, hence two crowns, as Saturation decompression is done in a dry environment i.e. a Dive Bell, there will be no water ingress.

I think I already explained where my misunderstanding came from.

However, I still think the the OP's issue is likely to be moisture trapped inside the case, rather than water ingress through the seal.
 
I think I already explained where my misunderstanding came from.

However, I still think the the OP's issue is likely to be moisture trapped inside the case, rather than water ingress through the seal.
Or maybe, like loads of people I've come across, he's fiddled with the crown, and left it untightened and therefore unsealed!
 
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I think I already explained where my misunderstanding came from.

However, I still think the the OP's issue is likely to be moisture trapped inside the case, rather than water ingress through the seal.
Very unlikely IMO......unless someone spilt something in it before the put the back on!!! Its takes more moisture than could ever be in the air trapped in the case to cause visible condensation......in my experience at least. I don't remember us having a case in the shop when the glass was fogged or worse still droplets of water showing and we did not find a leak.
 
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Genuinely curious, as I have a dive watch with such a release valve. Breitling takes an age, servicing, testing and certifying
I'm not sure it takes them much longer to do in the grand scheme. Most of the time is spent sat in the queue waiting your turn (or pretending there's a queue to create the illusion that it's somehow a special event). The Chronomatic (which doesn't have those valves) service this summer took just under 3 weeks from drop off to estimate, and 8 weeks from estimate to collection. My Avenger will be going in shortly and they're quoting more or less the same turn around time.
 
Hmm....Avenger.....!
Wont take 8 weeks to service this one!!

Watch service takes less than a day plus about 48 hours to calibrate (if not quartz)....the rest is waiting time in the queue.
They have book service times just like cars. Its been a while but with Omegas movements that include co-axials the time allowed was 3 hours and 25 minutes. For a vintage movements that will have more issues, the book will allow 4 hours and 5 minutes. That service looks expensive now right!!!???
Expensive watches with cheap quartz guts ....like Gucci etc are not serviced at all.....the mechs are so cheap they just bin them and fit a new one.....but you still get charged for a service....nice!!
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Apologies for the slight tangent but has anyone ever returned a watch to Tag Heuer for a full restoration?

I’m thinking of buying an Heuer which is very close to being as old as me but if I buy it then I was thinking of sending it back to Tag Heuer to make it look and perform as wel as it can do. I have requested an estimate but not heard back.

I would be interested to know whether it get worth the money. It would have no sentimental value so I’ll think a little more clinically before taking the plunge. I’m not too concerned about originality, I just want to erase any previous wounds and neglect.

My wife has a Tag Heuer F1 which must be 30 years old by now and we have sent it back periodically but because it’s mint and never lost any time it has needed nothing more than the bare minimum, so I have no experience of more extensive work.
 
Be careful with TAG.....especially if you want to keep it original. They don't have the supplies of older parts that some brands do. Sometimes older TAGs would come back fully service and functional.....but with hands/face from a later model dues to the originals being no longer available. This would be fine if they had let us know and given us a chance to warn/inform the customer.....but often the first we knew was when it came back done!!....not ideal and generated a few irate punters!! Hands and faces often need replacing....especially in watches that have leaked as moisture quickly destroys the illuminous paint on those parts. Hands loosing their green hue and going whiter is often a sign of water ingress long before the watch actually fails.......but I'm guessing the watch in question wont have that feature if its that old.
 
Be careful with TAG.....especially if you want to keep it original. They don't have the supplies of older parts that some brands do. Sometimes older TAGs would come back fully service and functional.....but with hands/face from a later model dues to the originals being no longer available. This would be fine if they had let us know and given us a chance to warn/inform the customer.....but often the first we knew was when it came back done!!....not ideal and generated a few irate punters!! Hands and faces often need replacing....especially in watches that have leaked as moisture quickly destroys the illuminous paint on those parts. Hands loosing their green hue and going whiter is often a sign of water ingress long before the watch actually fails.......but I'm guessing the watch in question wont have that feature if it’s that old.
Oi, “that old”?! I resemble that remark! 😁

Thank you for the tip off that’s very helpful. Whilst I don’t mind it losing it’s originality, I wouldn’t want it to lose original features, ie I’d want the parts replaced like for like rather than a relative alternative.
 
Oi, “that old”?! I resemble that remark! 😁

Thank you for the tip off that’s very helpful. Whilst I don’t mind it losing it’s originality, I wouldn’t want it to lose original features, ie I’d want the parts replaced like for like rather than a relative alternative.
My old TAG from 2004. It’s not luminous anymore, the bezel has seized up and I don’t even bother correcting the date these days.

It’s seen more dust, sea, pools and dirt than most people have had hot dinners.
 
My old TAG 1500 is much the same.....its still luminous.......but no longer keeps good time. I won it from Audi in a regional sales competition in about 1990 and its never been touched apart from new batteries....so its well overdue some love......but I have other watches that wont require spending several hundred pound on to tell the time.....so it will wait for now!!! Looks exactly like this...
1698501921983.png
Today I'm wearing my classy Seiko 5 Day/Date Auto from 1998....all original, even down to the original glass with the "5" etched on it....most replacements don't have that....its missing in the one in the pic below.. Super reliable and accurate (for an auto at least!)....NOT water resistant at all.....just splash proof!!
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I love reading these threads about expensive diving watches.
I’m sure that the OG’s here are gutted that their Rolex’s, Breitlings and Omegas possibly won’t stand up to a couple of hours of saturation diving. 🤪🤪
 
I love reading these threads about expensive diving watches.
I’m sure that the OG’s here are gutted that their Rolex’s, Breitlings and Omegas possibly won’t stand up to a couple of hours of saturation diving. 🤪🤪
I think mine would :thumb:
I certainly would not!! 😵‍💫
 
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