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 !