Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!
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  1. #1
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    Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!



    Hello Everyone,

    I'm a brand new member, though I've learned a lot here over the past couple of years lurking and reading. Sorry for the abrupt first post without any introduction, but I started a shower a few hours ago and realized after about a minute that I was wearing a vintage Wittnauer, but by then it was too late. It seemed the watch was fine at first as it kept running, but sure enough it stopped after about an hour and now it won't run unless I move it. So, water and potentially soap have definitely gotten inside.

    Unfortunately for this circumstance, the watch has a closed back and there is no way I can open it up. First of all, I don't have one, and second I am not a DIYer in any event. If it has an openable back, I would give that a shot, but alas it's the Longines case that's a single piece.

    I just called two places, and both are closed until Monday, and I don't really know who else to call. So I guess my questions is, what is the likelihood that the parts will rust by Monday morning? I'll definitely want to have this repaired unless it's crazy expensive, and I gather it shouldn't be so long as nothing rusts. (It's a recent Christmas present from my wife and otherwise in beautiful condition.)

    Any thing I can do in the meantime short of opening it up?

    Thanks in advance, and I hope to get to participate more cheerfully in the near future.

    Regards,

    Josh

  2. #2
    Member ShaggyDog's Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    Maybe try getting a zip lock bag full of rice and put the watch inside it. It's said that it might absorb some of the moisture. It may work or it may do nothing but it probably wouldn't hurt to try it.

  3. #3
    Member atarione's Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    I suppose personally what I would do for now.. I would locate some silica gel packets (like come with shoes ... etc other things to absorb moister and assuming I could get a dozen or so I'd put the watch in a plastic bag with them (ziplock) and then put it someplace warm / in the sun... till monday and then get to the watch place and have them look at it.

    barring silica gel packs you could also place it in a bag with uncooked rice and do the same thing.

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  5. #4
    Member cuthbert's Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    I would recommend to open the back and let it dry close to a heat source, if the movement is rhodium plated like some Longines I know perhaps you're safe.
    .

  6. #5
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    not sure if it will rust or not but I would try the rice. Rice can also be used for electronics like cell phones etc..

  7. #6
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    warm the watch to body temperature.

    Put a drop of cold water on the crystal, one drop, it doesn't need to be bigger than an 1/8 inch.

    Wait 10 to 15 seconds.

    Wipe off the drop.

    If there is condensation under the crystal, get it looked at as soon as possible.

    If there is not any condensation, you don't have a water problem.

    EDIT: No major damage will be done between now and Monday at any rate...
    Last edited by lysanderxiii; February 20th, 2016 at 23:31.
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  8. #7
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    +1 to ShaggyDog and lysanderxiii
    Good call on getting it to a professional ASAP.

  9. #8
    Member I Like em BIG ! !'s Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    I am a big Wittnauer fan, owning many and I wish you the best of luck. It would be a shame to lose one! Any of the above advice is good.

    By the way... W E L C O M E ! !
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  10. #9
    Member T_SIMMONDS's Avatar
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    Hello,

    Excellent article about what happens if you get water in the movement:

    HowTo: What to do if water got into your watch | Watch Guy

    Regards


    Quote Originally Posted by Bulgoki View Post


    Hello Everyone,

    I'm a brand new member, though I've learned a lot here over the past couple of years lurking and reading. Sorry for the abrupt first post without any introduction, but I started a shower a few hours ago and realized after about a minute that I was wearing a vintage Wittnauer, but by then it was too late. It seemed the watch was fine at first as it kept running, but sure enough it stopped after about an hour and now it won't run unless I move it. So, water and potentially soap have definitely gotten inside.

    Unfortunately for this circumstance, the watch has a closed back and there is no way I can open it up. First of all, I don't have one, and second I am not a DIYer in any event. If it has an openable back, I would give that a shot, but alas it's the Longines case that's a single piece.

    I just called two places, and both are closed until Monday, and I don't really know who else to call. So I guess my questions is, what is the likelihood that the parts will rust by Monday morning? I'll definitely want to have this repaired unless it's crazy expensive, and I gather it shouldn't be so long as nothing rusts. (It's a recent Christmas present from my wife and otherwise in beautiful condition.)

    Any thing I can do in the meantime short of opening it up?

    Thanks in advance, and I hope to get to participate more cheerfully in the near future.

    Regards,

    Josh

  11. #10
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    Re: Wore my 1960 Wittnauer in the shower!

    Thank you very much Gentlemen. Both for the advice and also the well wishes.

    As an update, after I posted this and before I was able to read the results, I had opened the stem, put the watch on, and ventured out around my neighborhood in my power wheelchair (I'm not walking anymore, but that's another story). I found that so long as I was moving, the watch ran, and seemed to run accurately, but within a short time of stopping my chair and not moving my arm, it would stop. I assume that means that there is water in the gears, but that a slight dithering motion is enough to break the resulting friction.

    Immediately upon returning home and reading your initial responses, I put the watch in a ziplock bag full of white rice. We have a fair amount of that as my wife is Korean and we eat a lot of Korean food - Hence my User Name Bulgoki! [Now you know two things about me besides my misadventure]

    As of now, about 24 hours later, the watch still runs when I move it.

    First thing tomorrow I am going to go a watch repair shop that my cousin has recommended, so I don't think a full 48 hours will pass before they open it up. Also, I'm hoping that less water got into it than the situation in the article where the watch was laundered! Based on what you all have said, I am cautiously optimistic that it should survive a cleaning and oiling.

    I'll keep you all posted, and thanks again!
    ShaggyDog likes this.

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