Nitrogen Purging
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  1. #1
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    Nitrogen Purging

    Theoretically speaking, would it be possible to manufacture a wristwatch with a nitorgen-purged interior? Obviously something like this would be a superfluous feature for most people, but it would all but eliminate the possibility of the crystal fogging up, as there wouldn't be any water vapor whatsoever inside the watch. Aside from the obvious difficulties of having to construct a watch in an oxygen-free environment, the other major problem I see would be the crown--even with a screw-down, once you unscrew it and start manipulating it the seal is less than perfect, and regular air can start creeping in, albeit in very tiny amounts. Scientific vacuum chambers deal can deal with this issue using magnetized manipulators, but not only would that be impractical to implement at such a small scale, I don't imagine having a magnet--even a small one--that close to the movement would be good for the watch. Anyone more experienced have suggestions on how this could be done?

  2. #2
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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Quote Originally Posted by asorel View Post
    Theoretically speaking, would it be possible to manufacture a wristwatch with a nitorgen-purged interior? Obviously something like this would be a superfluous feature for most people, but it would all but eliminate the possibility of the crystal fogging up, as there wouldn't be any water vapor whatsoever inside the watch. Aside from the obvious difficulties of having to construct a watch in an oxygen-free environment, the other major problem I see would be the crown--even with a screw-down, once you unscrew it and start manipulating it the seal is less than perfect, and regular air can start creeping in, albeit in very tiny amounts. Scientific vacuum chambers deal can deal with this issue using magnetized manipulators, but not only would that be impractical to implement at such a small scale, I don't imagine having a magnet--even a small one--that close to the movement would be good for the watch. Anyone more experienced have suggestions on how this could be done?
    I take it you are referring to what MING watches have done with their watches.

    Excerpt from Hodinkee review " In order to help ensure optimum performance and retard deterioration of lubricants the case has also been filled with nitrogen. Stainless steel screws are used to secure the caseback (to prevent the contact welding that can occur when like metals are used) and the movement is mated to the multi-part dial and then cased, with the entire assembly process taking place in a nitrogen cabinet."

    I believe they still do it with their current line up of watches.

    Review link here :

  3. #3
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Should not be all that difficult to eliminate most oxygen during the assembly process as described above. However is there a measurable increase in lubricant life and optimization of performance? I ask because normal air is already 78% nitrogen.

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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Quote Originally Posted by John MS View Post
    Should not be all that difficult to eliminate most oxygen during the assembly process as described above. However is there a measurable increase in lubricant life and optimization of performance? I ask because normal air is already 78% nitrogen.
    Not as far as I know, as I said this is definitely superfluous to most people's needs. The main reason to nitrogen-purge would be to remove even the smallest amount of water vapor from inside your watch, to remove all possibility of condensation fogging up your crystal.

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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Will that seal hold when you pull out the crown? Or will the nitrogen all leak out?


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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Quote Originally Posted by BBCDoc View Post
    Will that seal hold when you pull out the crown? Or will the nitrogen all leak out?


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    Good question. They do it on tires and the argument is that nitrogen uses larger molecules so it's less likely to leak as air. The other part of that argument is that the average tire will slowly raise it's nitrogen concentration over time because the oxygen will leak out before the nitrogen. The difference with a watch is that it isn't pressurized and we also don't intentionally raise the pressure of a watch case. I'm not sure if it would equalize over time, but I'm guessing it could happen if a seal wears out.

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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    That's a gimmick.
    grnjp88 likes this.

  9. #8
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Quote Originally Posted by asorel View Post
    Not as far as I know, as I said this is definitely superfluous to most people's needs. The main reason to nitrogen-purge would be to remove even the smallest amount of water vapor from inside your watch, to remove all possibility of condensation fogging up your crystal.
    An easier method would be to assemble the watch in a room that has been dehumidified.

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    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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  11. #10
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    Re: Nitrogen Purging

    Quote Originally Posted by asorel View Post
    Theoretically speaking, would it be possible to manufacture a wristwatch with a nitorgen-purged interior? Obviously something like this would be a superfluous feature for most people, but it would all but eliminate the possibility of the crystal fogging up, as there wouldn't be any water vapor whatsoever inside the watch. Aside from the obvious difficulties of having to construct a watch in an oxygen-free environment, the other major problem I see would be the crown--even with a screw-down, once you unscrew it and start manipulating it the seal is less than perfect, and regular air can start creeping in, albeit in very tiny amounts. Scientific vacuum chambers deal can deal with this issue using magnetized manipulators, but not only would that be impractical to implement at such a small scale, I don't imagine having a magnet--even a small one--that close to the movement would be good for the watch. Anyone more experienced have suggestions on how this could be done?
    Check out Sinn watches, they use Argon and a little copper sulfate capsule that absorbs moisture.

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