Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?
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  1. #1
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    Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    If you want to give a watch a quick bath under running tap water, or take it into the shower with you (but not swimming), what would be the safe minimum water resistance?

    Obviously I think anything with a screw-down crown and at least 100m WR is not gonna have ANY issues with this.

    But what about when we are talking no screw-down and WR of 50m or 20/30m like a dress watch?

  2. #2
    Member Quotron's Avatar
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    Most manufacturers have a guide for what they determine is safe for the specified WR, it does seem to vary by manufacturer slightly

    Here is Seiko's for example


    And Omega's


    Here is a general guide, from what probably should have been your first stop
    Water Resistant mark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  3. #3
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    Thanks. Probably kind of stupid, but I have a hard time gauging how much water/ pressure I'm subjecting my watch to if I'm washing it off with water/soap under running tap water. Doesn't feel quite like a shower because I am concentrating the water at the watch itself, but doesn't feel quite like a swim since the watch is never completely submerged in water at any point either.

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    Member Alex_TA's Avatar
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    There is a difference between swimming with a watch and showering with it.

    Hot water and soup can eventually turn rubber seals into butter.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    The Benrus field watches issues to GIs in WW2 weren't particularly water-resistant, but they handled charging off a landing craft, though rough surf and explosions, just fine. I think almost any modern watch, with any degree of water resistance will do equally fine in a sink.
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_TA View Post
    There is a difference between swimming with a watch and showering with it.

    Hot water and soup can eventually turn rubber seals into butter.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    I wonder what they use to seal pipes in a soap factory?

    Oh, wait, it the same stuff they use to seal your watch.

    Internet myth:

    Soap and hot water will " turn rubber seals into butter".

    Truth:
    Modern elastomerics are very good at surviving simple soaps and detergents. The cause of rubber turning to tar-like goo is generally poor curing and age.

    Why do people falsely attribute showering with all sorts of water resistance. I figure that most people get their watch wet the most often while showering, and it is there under that warm spray of water that they first notice the watch is taking on water, so it is assumed that the watch was fine, until something in the shower broke it...
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    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    I had a 1 or 2 week old Movado that got wet in the rain and it fogged up...If it does not
    have a screw down crown and rated as a diver, I keep it dry!
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  9. #8
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_TA View Post
    There is a difference between swimming with a watch and showering with it.

    Hot water and soup can eventually turn rubber seals into butter.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Never seen soup ruining rubber seals....I don't believe soap will either.
    I've used soap to lubricate rubber seals, per manufacturers suggestion.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    Hot water is a bad idea, it will increase the internal pressure in the watch. The seals are designed to keep outside pressure out, rather than internal pressure in. This will probably do bad things to them.

    However, soap or detergent is harmless and cold water is also fine.

  11. #10
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    Re: Water resistance necessary to wash watch under running tap water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew McGregor View Post
    Hot water is a bad idea, it will increase the internal pressure in the watch. The seals are designed to keep outside pressure out, rather than internal pressure in. This will probably do bad things to them.

    However, soap or detergent is harmless and cold water is also fine.
    Hot water will heat up the watch, leading to increased internal pressure. But the difference in pressure, from 20 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius, will only result in a 27% increase in internal pressure. And that's only when the temperature inside the watch reaches boiling point.

    I don't have intimate knowledge about how the seals work, but I wouldn't think a watch designed to keep 20 atm out would fail so easily from a small difference in the internal pressure.

    Of course, I could be completely mistaken, in which case I would love to know the details.

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