Why no He ???
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  1. #1
    MJM
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    Why no He ???

    Just curious why Sinn chooses not to use an He valve on most of their deep dive watches, where some companies use them on watches rated at much less depths. I'm a Nitrox diver and spend a lot of time in the water, and really have never had any use for an He release valve, but I've heard some commercial divers use them. Your thoughts???
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  2. #2
    Member Hoppyjr's Avatar
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    Re: Why no He ???

    Most generally, HE valves are just there to add to the "diver look" as the vast majority of people never use them. Sinn is able to acheive deep pressure resistance using solid build quality, excellent gaskets, and a specially sealed crystal. I am glad they leave the frills off their watches.

    Read Jason's articles here: Timekeeping: The Dive Watch, Deconstructed « Gear Patrol

    and here: Opinion: Too Much Hot Air About Helium Release Valves

  3. #3
    Member Kurt Koerfgen's Avatar
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    Re: Why no He ???

    Quote Originally Posted by MJM View Post
    Just curious why Sinn chooses not to use an He valve on most of their deep dive watches, where some companies use them on watches rated at much less depths. I'm a Nitrox diver and spend a lot of time in the water, and really have never had any use for an He release valve, but I've heard some commercial divers use them. Your thoughts???

    IMO, the He valve is added to some dive watches purely to make these watches look more "professional" and give them more appeal for aspiring divers.

    There is actually very little sense in having a He release valve unless a diver works at great depths in a dive bell or similar He enriched pressurized environment.
    As long as the watch is strapped onto a wrist and this wrist is surrounded by water, how would He - that the valve is supposed to release after the dive - get into the case in the first place?

    The concept of a He valve that vents gas from the inside of a case is also incompatible with the concept of a dehumidifying gas that prevents moisture from entering the case, as by actuating the He valve both gases would be released.


    In short, just because there might be some He in the diving cylinder that doesn't mean the watch needs to have a He release valve.



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    Last edited by Kurt Koerfgen; November 23rd, 2013 at 06:07. Reason: Reference to dehumidifying gas added

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  5. #4
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    Re: Why no He ???

    The need to release any helium that may have diffused into the watch under high pressure is to avoid the problem of lowered external pressure (when returning to the surface) causing a major imbalance between internal and external pressures and blowing out the crystal. This is a similar problem to that encountered by a pilot's watch at high altitude. Sinn makes a point of the low pressure resistance of (at least some of) their watches. This should protect a surfacing diver as well as an ascending pilot. The other benefit is the absence of an ugly excrescence as found on many expensive watches.

  6. #5
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    Re: Why no He ???

    Hi,

    IWC has stated many times that their GST Aquatimer and Aquatimer 2000 watches have been engineered to cope with internal over-pressure negating the need for a helium escpae valve. At least GST Aquatimers and Ocean 2000s/Bunds have been pressure tested at 320ATM (3,200m) and both GST Aquatimer and Aquatimer 2000 watches have 200ATM (2000m) depth rating & 60ATM (600m) internal pressure rating achieved with incredible engineering tolerances in a merely 14mm thick case. I don't believe there is another dive watch on the market that is designed to handle such internal over-pressures as IWCs. To my knowledge the only other saturation diver on the market without a helium valve is the Seiko Marinemaster 300. The case is not designed to cope with internal over-pressure, rather the gasket system is designed to not let helium in at all.

    Aquatimers, IMHO exhibit a level of engineering that no other dive watches do. Therefore, I think that watch's tolerances, internal pressure rating and sealings/seals determine the need for a helium escape valve. Furthermore, quoting Leo Sweeney's, the Workshop Manager for IWC UK for the last 14 years or so, e-mail in 2011:
    3 years ago I received an email from a guy who was in a decompression chamber 250 meters down at the foot of an oil rig. He had an Aquatimer 3536 and his dive partner had a Rolex with escape valve. His partner had convinced him that his IWC would not survive their 2 week assent. I spoke at length to all concerned in IWC and the summarised opinion was that the valve is a gimmick or compensation for insufficent sealing of the watch. I relayed this to the diver and 3 weeks later he let me know that his watch was still functioning perfectly, now on dry land.

    I think
    Leo Sweeney's e-mail pretty much summarizes the need for a helium escape valve.

    Just my 2 Cents

    Last edited by MAJJ; November 23rd, 2013 at 16:42.
    Cheers,

    MAJJ

  7. #6
    Administrator CMSgt Bo's Avatar
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    Re: Why no He ???

    I agree with everything said here regarding proper case sealing. Seals and adhesives from the 50's and 60's (when the HEV's were invented) pale in comparison to modern synthetic Viton seals and super adhesives.
    Hoppyjr likes this.

  8. #7
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    Re: Why no He ???

    I have the UX. Problem solved!
    PAM 177, 240 & 24
    Sinn UX Hydro
    Dievas Vortex Professional
    Tutima Grand Classic UTC
    Rolex Sub SS
    GP vintage

  9. #8
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    Re: Why no He ???

    Quote Originally Posted by vicbastige View Post
    I have the UX. Problem solved!
    Well said!
    Cheers,

    MAJJ

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