U2 and helium valve ?

Thread: U2 and helium valve ?

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  1. #1

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    U2 and helium valve ?

    Hello,
    I am new to this forum and actually thinking about to buy a real dive watch. (or to get on a waiting list for one)

    I came across the U2 and I am just stunned about it's specs, but I have one open question:

    How does the U2 handle a helium atmosphere under pressure (e.g. in bell diving)? and the following ascend to normal pressure?

    Does it have the standard helium vent built in, and it's so standard, that it's not even mentioned in the specs?

    I am a diver, we store helium in tanks up to a pressure of 300bar and there is no loss in pressure to be noticed over time.
    Is helium really entering a watch, due to the lower pressure inside the watch?
    And why, because the vacuum cannot be sealed against higher outside pressure in the same way I can seal a scuba tank with high pressure helium inside?

    Could you please explain what I am overlooking here?

    Thanks for your help,
    Tobias.

  2. #2
    Member oyster's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    319

    Re: U2 and helium valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tobias1234
    Hello,
    I am new to this forum and actually thinking about to buy a real dive watch. (or to get on a waiting list for one)

    I came across the U2 and I am just stunned about it's specs, but I have one open question:

    How does the U2 handle a helium atmosphere under pressure (e.g. in bell diving)? and the following ascend to normal pressure?

    Does it have the standard helium vent built in, and it's so standard, that it's not even mentioned in the specs?

    I am a diver, we store helium in tanks up to a pressure of 300bar and there is no loss in pressure to be noticed over time.
    Is helium really entering a watch, due to the lower pressure inside the watch?
    And why, because the vacuum cannot be sealed against higher outside pressure in the same way I can seal a scuba tank with high pressure helium inside?

    Could you please explain what I am overlooking here?

    Thanks for your help,
    Tobias.
    Hi and welcome Tobias !(hey this is Timīs job:-D )

    - first of all, if you are a pro diver, you are using a diving computer, there is no need for a old fashioned divers watch!
    - Helium valve is just a must have when you are going to depht of more than 100 or 200 m for several days. I guess you donīt?
    - Itīs more or less a marketing must have, nowadays like the Seamaster or Planet Ocean, Breitling.B-) (Not the Sea-Dweller in the 1970 used by COMEX Team)
    - If you are a bell diver you have quite enough time (several days) to acclimate, so does your watch.

    So forget the valve! I bet 99,999999998 % of the divers watch buyer will never need this bunk. Or are you that one in a million?
    For me the valve is just another hole in the case, and I donīt like extra holes in my divers watch at all! I like holes only in my Swiss cheese:-D
    Because every additional hole is a hole where water can come in.
    I have talked to Mr. Schmidt (Sinn CEO) who worked for IWC long time ago and worked on the IWC Ocean 2000 in the 1980s, and he told me that he didnīt want to weaken the strenght of the Titanium case and skiped the valve for the same reason on the U models.
    If you are looking for a remarkable divers watch, go and get yourself a UX:gold if you can


    regards oysterB-)
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    Last edited by oyster; August 22nd, 2006 at 23:25.

  3. #3

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    Re: U2 and helium valve ?

    Hello Oyster,

    Thanks for your answers. No I am clearly no bell or saturation diver. I am just a free time scuba diver, sometimes we breathe helium enriched gas from the tanks and do dives around 100m. So in no way that diving is an issue for the watch. Since watch never comes into contact with helium atmosphere of higher pressure than inside the watch. You're right.

    And yes there are plastic Casio-G's and Suunto's and other digital bottomtimers that have to be used to follow a run time table for doing your deco stops. Analog, is just not really working, since you always need to subtract at what minute you did start. And the bezel is just not exact enough.

    But, well, let's look at it from the technical point of view. Eitherway the only reason to buy such a watch. Other people could buy a complete scuba gear for that money...

    And also I had several 300$ watches rated to 200m or 300m and those didn't really broke but had condensation inside or got scratched easily over time or didn't seal after battery changes.

    For that money now I simply wanted the "eierlegendewollmichsau", a watch that simply has everything and can do everything and doesn't need to be opened because it's an automatik.


    I am still wondering about your statement from COMEX times, because exactly those years would have been the case for an overpressure helium vent.

    Because in early days of saturation diving the divers were travelling up back to the ship in the little bell, and then just jumped from one bell to the other, not always the bells were docked to travel under pressure.

    Well, just in that moment the watch should have exploded, since put back to 1 bar after saturated with helium over the days of the bell submerged.

    I guess it's more a gadget, as you said.

    Thanks again,
    tobias.

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  5. #4
    Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: U2 and helium valve ?

    I have read that the helium valve is a redundant thing as the helium will eventually egress from the case via the gaskets. I guess the molecular size of helium allows it to enter the watch. It will then, because of it's size, leave on it's own. The helium valve is a marketing thing according to posts I have read on WUS and elsewhere. Sinn has recognized this and felt it was unnecessary to install one and of course as Oyster has mentioned, it's another hole in the case.

  6. #5
    redstart
    Guest

    Re: U2 and helium valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oyster
    Hi and welcome Tobias !(hey this is Timīs job:-D )

    - first of all, if you are a pro diver, you are using a diving computer, there is no need for a old fashioned divers watch!
    - Helium valve is just a must have when you are going to depht of more than 100 or 200 m for several days. I guess you donīt?
    - Itīs more or less a marketing must have, nowadays like the Seamaster or Planet Ocean, Breitling.B-) (Not the Sea-Dweller in the 1970 used by COMEX Team)
    - If you are a bell diver you have quite enough time (several days) to acclimate, so does your watch.

    ...

    regards oysterB-)
    I'm relieved to know. My Anonimo Millemetri "Deep Blue" has a helium vent, described as "Automatic helium expulsion valve" (the standard issue Millemetri's vent is manual). But it has a screw slit on it, and I've always wondered if I have to unscrew it for the "automatic" factor to be in operation. Now I can just forget it altogether.

  7. #6
    Member oyster's Avatar
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    Re: U2 and helium valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by redstart
    I'm relieved to know. My Anonimo Millemetri "Deep Blue" has a helium vent, described as "Automatic helium expulsion valve" (the standard issue Millemetri's vent is manual). But it has a screw slit on it, and I've always wondered if I have to unscrew it for the "automatic" factor to be in operation. Now I can just forget it altogether.

    Rolex SD, Breitling Seawolf and some more, are working automatically.
    Great feature if you fall asleep in your diving bell :-D

    Your Omega Seamaster / Planet Ocean needs manual service.O|

    As mentioned before,

    IF YOU ARE PRO BELL DIVER, go for the valve! No question about that.

    If you are office diver, or at least diver going down without a BELL forget about this PR rubbish, itīs useless for nearly everybody.

    regards oysterB-)

  8. #7
    Moderator Emeritus Crusader's Avatar
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    Re: U2 and helium valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oyster
    If you are office diver, or at least diver going down without a BELL forget about this PR rubbish, itīs useless for nearly everybody.
    One might even say that it is one more thing that can malfunction ... after all, it is another hole in the case.

    Please note that the crystals of the U-series are tested for low pressure of 0.2 bars, so even if there is a buildup of pressure inside the watch while the helium escapes "the natural way", no harm will come to the watch.
    Cheers,

    Martin ("Crusader")

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