Are watches airtight?
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  1. #1
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    Are watches airtight?

    Are watches airtight?I was reading somewhere on this forum that watches are not airtight, even when they are waterproof. Is this true, and if so is condensation on the underside of the crystal (due to vapor entering the watch via the air) something to be bothered about or just accepted?

  2. #2
    Member Peteworrall's Avatar
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    Quote Originally Posted by orian View Post
    is condensation on the underside of the crystal (due to vapor entering the watch via the air) something to be bothered about or just accepted?
    Is this a problem that you've experienced?

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    Member Carl.1's Avatar
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    I suspect that condensation is because you either have a faulty seal or the watch has opened and subsequently re sealed in a rather moist atmosphere.
    I have only had condensation in a watch when a seal was not correct.
    I have dived with all my dive watches and never (apart from the faulty one) had the slightest issue. Nor have I ever had condensation at any other time.
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    Without getting overly pedantic, a watch that is water-tight to X atms will be effectively air-tight to that same pressure.

    Condensation under the crystal means there is moisture inside of the watch case. There are a few different ways for it to have gotten there.

    1. Failed seals. The watches seals are no longer functioning and air and water can now enter the watch freely.

    2. The watch case was opened in a humid environment, allowing humid air into the case and then this was entrapped when the watch was closed back up again. Since all watches are assembled in rooms with some amount of humidity in the air, all watches will have some amount of moisture trapped in the case and many/most watches will exhibit a little condensation under the crystal given the correct temperature conditions (generally extreme conditions like putting an ice cube on the crystal). Traveling from a hot outdoor environment into a nicely air-conditioned building is not an extreme enough case to cause condensation under the crystal, so if you're experiencing this, your watch may have a problem.

    3. The seals are intact, but water got into the watch when someone manipulated the crown while submerged or forgot to make sure their crown was fully seated before submerging the watch.
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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    Quote Originally Posted by orian View Post
    Are watches airtight?I was reading somewhere on this forum that watches are not airtight, even when they are waterproof. Is this true, and if so is condensation on the underside of the crystal (due to vapor entering the watch via the air) something to be bothered about or just accepted?

    Condensation is a problem that if left unresolved could damage your watch.
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    Something you may find of interest about your concern.

    https://www.sinn.de/en/Ar-Dehumidifying_Technology.htm
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    Quote Originally Posted by MX793 View Post

    Condensation under the crystal means there is moisture inside of the watch case. There are a few different ways for it to have gotten there.

    1. Failed seals. The watches seals are no longer functioning and air and water can now enter the watch freely.

    2. The watch case was opened in a humid environment, allowing humid air into the case and then this was entrapped when the watch was closed back up again. Since all watches are assembled in rooms with some amount of humidity in the air, all watches will have some amount of moisture trapped in the case and many/most watches will exhibit a little condensation under the crystal given the correct temperature conditions (generally extreme conditions like putting an ice cube on the crystal). Traveling from a hot outdoor environment into a nicely air-conditioned building is not an extreme enough case to cause condensation under the crystal, so if you're experiencing this, your watch may have a problem.

    3. The seals are intact, but water got into the watch when someone manipulated the crown while submerged or forgot to make sure their crown was fully seated before submerging the watch.
    In all the years I’ve worn a watch I never experience this so I’d go with MX793’s explanation.

  9. #8
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    The only watch that I had with this problem was an Ingersoll, no idea where it was made , which was sold when “waterproof” was allowed in watch descriptions.

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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    If all the gaskets, crown, crystal, and back are all in good shape it should be airtight.

    Sinn tries to address your issue with this technology:

    https://www.sinn.de/en/Ar-Dehumidifying_Technology.htm
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  11. #10
    Member Toothbras's Avatar
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    Re: Are watches airtight?

    Dude if you open the back and let out all that fancy Swiss air yourvwatch immediately drops significantly in value, be careful

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