I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

Thread: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

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  1. #1
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    I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    Every time I acquired a "vintage" watch, I saw that there's always pitting on top of the thread area where the backcover sits. I know that "alley" like areas like this attract rust to build up. This got me thinking, if I got a watch long enough so that it has built some pitting, it must be a very special watch. I wouldn't want my special pretty watch to develop pitting, so perhaps it's a good idea if this watch's case isn't iron based. Yeah I'm thinking about a case made of titanium, gold, platinum, bronze (?), etc. Something like this would be a good choice:



    I know that pitting takes a long time to develop, and the usual 316L SS is perhaps already rust proof enough that we won't see a speck of rust eating away our valuable watch. But I think a watch with a pitting proof case would be ideal if it's to be a special one.

    How about you? Have you ever thought that rust would be an issue on your watch?

    Unfortunately those materials which rust can't eat away the material itself are usually softer than SS, so it's a bit of trade off....

  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    For most owners of stainless steel case watches wear from scuffs, scratches,
    and bumps will be the only cosmetic issues involving the
    case they will encounter. There really is not a corrosion proof
    case material made although some are highly corrosion resistant. When you switch to
    exotic alloys to maximize corrosion resistance
    there are usually tradeoffs in other traits important to wearers
    of watches. 316L is widely used for good reason. It provides a very good combination of
    corrosion resistance, malleability, finish and toughness for watch cases. A few watch companies
    use more corrosion resistant stainless blends but the
    value of those blends lies mostly in advertising.
    Last edited by John MS; August 30th, 2011 at 12:37.

  3. #3
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    Older "Inox" cases are made from 304 or 18/8 stainless steel, which is susceptible to crevice corrosion in high salinity water, such as seawater or if worn and sweat is allowed to soak the watch. Pitting in these is worse than just cosmetic, in fact, you usually don't even see it. The pitting initiates in the gasket groove and destroys the sealing surface, fortunately, a thorough rinse will prevent this.....
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

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  5. #4
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    Re: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    Pitting is common on plated brass cases, not so much on stainless steels.

    Ther reason a watch is worn so much thy show pitting is more down to earth than you think. It is not that the watch is so loved the owner does not want to part with it, but more likely that the owner sees it as a pure, simple time keeping device. As long as it works (with service now and then) he kept it.

  6. #5
    Member mrsnak's Avatar
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    Re: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    Pitting comes more from sweat than anything else. Some people have even higher acidity (to where they used to not be able to wear mechanical watches without having them stop prematurely) in their body chemistry.
    One of the reasons I try and avoid buying vintage watches from high temperature/humidity countries or areas.

    I also wipe all my watches down before putting them away.
    Last edited by mrsnak; August 30th, 2011 at 17:50.
    "My grail showed up today"

  7. #6
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    Re: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    Most quality watches were "tropicalised" in the past. I think this is a measure of water proofing, to protect the movement.

  8. #7
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: I hate pitting, or how much I value rust resistant material

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    Most quality watches were "tropicalised" in the past. I think this is a measure of water proofing, to protect the movement.
    I have a 1950's Sandoz that proclaims it was at one time Tropicalized, Water Proof, Shock Proof and made of Stainless Steel (not Inox). It uses a decent if unremarkable screw back and a snap crown so I would take the water resistance claims as being somewhat hyperbolic. It's a nice watch in fine condition nonetheless. One trick that I have found for minnimizing sweat buildup under the case is to wear the watch as loose as possible. That works better with average to smaller size watches. Cases that looked great when new but did deteriorated quickly were those that were chrome plated.

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