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  1. #1
    Member jean-michel's Avatar
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    Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Helson or the wanabe diver ...

    Let me tell you the story I have experienced with Helson watches

    I may introduce myself breifly : I am a watch collector since more than 20 years and I focus my collection on dive watches : this passion for dive watches is linked to my sport activityI am a diver since 1973today PADI Assistant InstructorCMAS *** and IANTD technical diver rEvo rebreather diver

    When helson watches first introduced their re-edition of the Omega Seamaster 1000I jumped on the occasion to have an historic look diver without the fear of diving with itso I ordered the Sharkmasterone of my diving buddiesJean-Marc also ordered that watch... and the nightmare began...

    After a dive at 40 meters the watch was completly flooded ! quiet a disapointment for a piece supposed to be 1000 meters waterproof ... Peter Helson replaced the watch with anotherbut not in the configuration I had ordered ! (lefty and black date instead of standard with white date)as I was a little bit pissed off sending back to Hong Kong the watchI decided to keep it like this ... but not for a long time



    Jean-Marc faced exactly the same problem with a dive at 17 meters : the watch was flooded and he asked for a replacementon his side the watch was the same model as he had ordered

    For my first dive at 20 meters with the new Sharkmasterthe watch was filled with condensation : game over !

    This time I asked Peter Helson a full money refunJean-Marc asked for a replacement ... and flooded it again !!!! as he really wanted the watch he asked for a replacement : at last his third Sharkmaster was waterproof !!

    Sharkmaster : 5 watches (2 on my side3 on Jean-Marc's side) only 1 really waterproof

    You should think the story finally had a happy ending ... but call me madI thought this was only bad luck and Peter Helson seemed really sorry for thoses bad storiesso when the Skindiver was issuedmy wife who is also a diver liked so much the design that I ordered again from Peter Helsonand guess what ... the watch was full of condensation at the fisrt dive ! hopefully my wife discovered the condensation only at 11 meters so she aborted the dive and got back to surface !



    Peter Helson this time did not seem to believe my storyand even did not propose to replace the watch immediatly ... after several e-mail exchanges he admitted that there was a potential problemtoo late for meso I decided to open the watch and have a lookFirst what stroke my mindwas a dry o ringand 2 little metal particles inside the casethat is what you can probably expect from a watch made in hong kong ?

    The design is a complete nonsense : 3 bridges are bent from an external ring to avoid movement movesbut thoses bridges bent manually prevent the caseback to fully close ! : the watch is waterproof 1 to 3 metersafter it leaks !I have tested the watch is a «wet» tester where you can perfectly see the bubbles coming out from the caseback





    As Peter Helson did not propose me any real solutions (send the watch back so the factory «can have a look»)I decided to fix the watch by myself : I bent the bridges down so they do not touch the caseback when it is screwed backand guess what .... I solved the problemI have tested the watch at 5 ATM and finally it passed the testSo if you intend to dive with your Helsonbe warned that you might be obliged to finish the job by yourself



    Peter Helson never proposed me any arrangement for this problemso I decided to tell the story over different watch forums : when you buy from Helsonyou buy a wanade diverfar from what you can expect of a real dive watch : a Seiko diver 3 times cheaper does the job !

    I personnally always dive with my watchesnot as a real dive tool but for pleasureand I have never been faced to such a failure ratio with any manufacturers !
    Last edited by jean-michel; May 28th, 2011 at 16:48.
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    Jean-Michel



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  2. #2
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Interesting post. What a shame that a dive watch cannot be dived! Your investigation of the inside of the watch certainly seemed to determine the flooding problems - if this is the case with Helson watches, buyer beware indeed!

    Who else out there has tested the WR of these Helsons?

    Wannabe diver it is indeed!

  3. #3
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Wow, I'm really surprised and upset about the lack of quality control. I have 2 Shark divers and even though I don't dive deep, my watches were waterproof. Peter has been great with me as far as customer service and I hope he takes this seriously and has a long talk with his Hong Kong suppliers. This is not the type of rep he wants to have and I'm sure he's smart enough to get on this and fix things quickly.
    Last edited by Kwcsports; May 28th, 2011 at 16:10.

  4. #4
    Member lexvil's Avatar
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Don't believe everything you read on the web, I find it odd that one small batch of divers in one part of the world have consistent problems with one brand, I have never had this problem and I have never heard of this from anyone else, it can be true and it can be a hit piece.

    I do dive by the way and have takes a Sharkmaster to 100+ feet several times, I haven't taken the Skindiver down yet but have to fear of doing it ASAP.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwcsports View Post
    Wow, I'm really surprised and upset about the lack of quality control. I have 2 Shark divers and even though I don't dive, I assumed the watches were waterproof. Peter has been great with me as far as customer service and I hope he takes this seriously and has a long talk with his Hong Kong suppliers. This is not the type of rep he wants to have and I'm sure he's smart enough to get on this and fix things quickly.
    XR1200 likes this.

  5. #5
    Member Mako's Avatar
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    So many mishaps seem more than coincidental. Perhaps these were only intended for those of us who are true "desk divers", and the 1000 meter rating is the distance one would travel from your desk to a water cooler? Shame when such issues arise.
    Last edited by Mako; May 28th, 2011 at 17:15.

  6. #6
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    OMG!
    This definitely is a TORNADO!
    How is your exp. with other diver? (Ex: Deep blue, Benarus, Zenton, Zixen, and etc...These cases seems to MIC, too)

    I already inform Peter about this thread...I think he should be introduced and has the right to speak here...
    From michel's inside post of skindiver... the bending of the bridge is really weired...
    Last edited by boboo1421; May 28th, 2011 at 16:02.

  7. #7
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Not sure what to say. I love my Skindiver and had great customer service from Peter. I don't dive and don't plan on ever doing so. I guess I do swim once in a while however. I really don't want to open up my Skindiver. Should be fine for swimming but would I risk it? I have swam without problems with my PRS 50B. Going to Barbados next month. Which watch to take? Hmm....

    Dan

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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Quote Originally Posted by NYDan View Post
    Not sure what to say. I love my Skindiver and had great customer service from Peter. I don't dive and don't plan on ever doing so. I guess I do swim once in a while however. I really don't want to open up my Skindiver. Should be fine for swimming but would I risk it? I have swam without problems with my PRS 50B. Going to Barbados next month. Which watch to take? Hmm....

    Dan
    I have had mine underwater a few times but no deeper than 10-15 ft with no problems at all. I think the majority of Peter's watches are fine and you can swim without worrying. If you're worried, look around your town for a watch shop that can pressure test it.

  9. #9
    Member MGtheGreat's Avatar
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    this to me goes to show that helson watches are crap and full of bs ..it claims to be used for diving to a depth of 1000m..but cant survive a meager 17m..what a load of bs!!you shud try maybe seiko's OM.at least its from a bigger,more reputable company
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  10. #10
    Member henryjbird's Avatar
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    Re: Helson watches or the wanabe divers

    Something does not add up here.

    I have the Sharkmaster and while I have not dove to any significant depth, I have swam with it and never any issue. However ... since I have not gone to depth, I can't speak to the 1000m depth rating.

    I can however speak to the customer service .... and I'd struggle to better understand why my experience has been so much different.

    First, my clasp failed .... I sent a quick note to Peter, no questions asked ... a new one was shipped by the end of the day and in short order was back in business.

    Next ..... through operator error .... I was quick trotting through the airport parking lot, running a bit late and putting my watch on as I walked .... dropped it.

    Smack dab onto the cement. Landed on the edge of the bezel. Despite the impact and the bezel truly being smashed ..... not a single other issue. Watch still ran great. Looked like hell. So I send another note and ask if I can buy a bezel and insert. Peter responds immediately and gives me a fair price. I procrastinate .... wait a month and finally ask about the process for payment .... another answer by end of day. I send the payment.

    Now a days go buy and stretches into a week .... no Bezel .... ( I do understand that Honk Kong to Denver is a distance but had been spoiled by previous experience).

    So a quick note to Peter ..... he apologizes, says there was a mix up in the hand off of the order (remember this is a non standard purchase.... as I am buying a bezel and insert due to my own goof up) ..... and he offers to give me a rubber strap to make up for it.

    Now compare that to my other recent overseas purchase .... a high end shotgun case from England (no offense lads) ..... and it takes a month to get here (it was an off the shelf model) .... when it gets here, it is in crap condition. Took another 3 weeks to resolve the issue (while they made good .... they were none so easy to contact nor too fast).

    I am not disparaging the original poster .... but our experiences are quite different in regards to the customer service we have received from Helson.

    An added note .... despite being dropped and hitting hard enough to destroy the bezel ..... the only "work" done post drop was to replace the bezel ...... still no leaks while swimming.

    Henry
    Henry



    Omega Speedmaster 105.003, Omega Seamaster 120, Ocean7 LM7, Helson Sharkmaster 1000, Heur Regatta, Squale 20 Atmos

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