corroded vintage watches

Thread: corroded vintage watches

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  1. #1
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    corroded vintage watches

    Why the movement, dial on vintage watches are corroded most of the times?
    Due to lack of air tightness? Would a watch with 300m water resistance have the same issues in 40 years? I'd imagine that it will remain air tight, so no moisture can get into the case.
    What other factors come into play?

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    Corrosion is usually a sign of water damage. Most vintage watches in good condition are not corroded. Obviously good water resistance will help but if the seals break down or water gets in it won't matter how good the initial water resistance rating was.

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  3. #3
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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    The sealing tech was not so developed in those days. Many watches had basically Zero WR.
    Most had something like 3 or 5 Atm WR, and it does not take much to get Zero in those cases.

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  5. #4
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    Quote Originally Posted by cueboy007 View Post
    Why the movement, dial on vintage watches are corroded most of the times?
    Due to lack of air tightness? Would a watch with 300m water resistance have the same issues in 40 years? I'd imagine that it will remain air tight, so no moisture can get into the case.
    What other factors come into play?
    The cause of corrosion is probably a combination of water and sweat. Many older watches either had no seals, or they were simply not all that effective or 40 years hence they are completely disintegrated. It is not uncommon for watch owners to defer maintenance until a problem like moisture under the crystal ocurrs.

  6. #5
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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    Good to know that my 300m diver watches will stand the test of time better.
    I guess manual watches are more prone to water damage, since most of them are only 50WR.

    Dust must be another problem, when you open the case for maintenance etc. It's next to impossible to have a dust/lint free environment when you go to local watch maker.

  7. #6
    Member PoliMalaka's Avatar
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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    Don't forget that these metal parts wear as well. Slowly they will "grind away" little bits of the gears, cogs, etc. This is part of the reason many older movements look "dirty".


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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    Quote Originally Posted by cueboy007 View Post
    Good to know that my 300m diver watches will stand the test of time better.
    I guess manual watches are more prone to water damage, since most of them are only 50WR.
    Your 300m Diver should, not will stand the test of timer better.

    Most of my modern manual watches range 100M WR, but are from 30M to 2000M

  9. #8
    Member Chev James's Avatar
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    Re: corroded vintage watches

    A quick perusal of watches advertised on eBay will show many with obvious signs of water entry and subsequent corrosion. Amazingly, the sellers will often state that their watches are "beautiful," "mint" or "near mint" when there are water stains on the dials!

    I have also noted that there are more signs of oxidation within a watch's movement if the seller of the watch is from one of the "tropical" countries. The high humidity is undoubtedly the culprit--that and seals that are deteriorated, allowing the moisture to enter.

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