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waterproofing a rep

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15 replies to this topic

#1
MasterJere

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Ok, forgive my ignorance, but I was told a few times on this forum that any "watchsmith" can waterproof a watch... And that this was done by "greasing the seal and the pin or something like that"...

Now after your help in finding a watch smith, I went ahead and called up your referrals and 3 others of my own... Every single watchsmith told me that all we can do is "pressure test" the watch, and making a watch "waterproof" is not something we do.... They also said, whether a watch will be waterproof or not totally depends on the "build or assembly" of the watch.... Now this is completely contrary to what I've been told...


I swim in every one of my watches, and always will... What am I missing here and why am I getting different information?

Thanks,

Jeremiah

#2
hiker01

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Ok, forgive my ignorance, but I was told a few times on this forum that any "watchsmith" can waterproof a watch... And that this was done by "greasing the seal and the pin or something like that"...

Now after your help in finding a watch smith, I went ahead and called up your referrals and 3 others of my own... Every single watchsmith told me that all we can do is "pressure test" the watch, and making a watch "waterproof" is not something we do.... They also said, whether a watch will be waterproof or not totally depends on the "build or assembly" of the watch.... Now this is completely contrary to what I've been told...


I swim in every one of my watches, and always will... What am I missing here and why am I getting different information?

Thanks,

Jeremiah

"Search and yee Shall find!"

#3
MasterJere

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I did search, and what I found was conflicting with what I was being told by the watchsmith's... I'm turning to a thread to get some help, cause I can't find anything!

Thanks,

Jere

"Search and yee Shall find!"



#4
highoeyazmuhudee

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Depends on the model of watch largely. Chrono forget about it. What model of watch do you have and we'll take it from there

#5
JAMZ

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I did search, and what I found was conflicting with what I was being told by the watchsmith's... I'm turning to a thread to get some help, cause I can't find anything!

Thanks,

Jere



I definitely agree with Jere. I have spent hours sifting through threads and mostly all I can find is ways to pressure test or the science of. There have been comments here and there on how some chronos were tested and survived. Others explain just what Jere wrote about the greasing and caseback tightening. Other then that, I haven't found a single watchsmith or even types of reps that are more "proofed" then others.

So what's a lad to do?

I currently want to "proof" my Skyland Avenger and all my PAMs. . .

#6
alligoat

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I can understand a watchmaker not wanting to waterproof a rep. If he works on it for 30 minutes and it doesn't pass the test, what's he going to do? He can't get parts, it's a rep. And he'll be lucky to get paid for his time.

On a Rolex, a watchmaker can keep putting new parts on it until it passes and you get to pay the bill.

Now take a Rolex since it's what I know- four keys to WR:
1. Crown seals when screwed into the case tube
2. Case tube is screwed into the case and seals
3. Crystal is attached to the case and seals
4. Case back is screwed on to the case and seals
In a 16610 Sub, all four connections have o-ring gaskets and can be silicone greased. Earlier subs and other models may vary slightly. But the four components make the watch WR (to a certain depth).

So if you want your rep to be WR, you pretty much either get lucky or you work on it yourself. That entails taking it apart and making sure all four parts are WR. If it fails the WR pressure test, it's back to try again, maybe some new parts, maybe some glue, maybe more silicone, maybe new o-rings. It may or may not work. But a lot of people do get lucky and end up w/ a WR rep.

You might also consider a dive watch like a Seiko, or an Invicta- they're inexpensive and reliable. When I dive, I don't wear a real Rolex or a rep, I wear a $200 dive watch- that way if anything happens, I'll get over it!

#7
offshore

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As alligoat says, there are normally 3 points where water can get into a watch, caseback, stem seal/crown, and crystal.
After WP testing, you would have an idea of the area where it was leaking. Then you need to inspect that area to discover why.
Sometimes greasing or replacing a seal is all it takes, other times it is just not possible to seal the watch.
Each has its own characteristics. (Note that chronos have extra points of entry at the pushers, and these are sometimes VERY difficult to seal)
Crystals are another area where a seal is sometimes difficult to obtain. Most reps have push fit crystals with nylon seals, and if these get a nick they can prove very difficult. In a lot of cases, I replace the crystal with a larger one, discard the nylon seal, and glue the crystal into place. Not exactly how the manual says to go, however very effective, and time efficient.
Also check for porous cases; I have been seeing more and more, where air is leaking through pin holes in the case metal. Epoxy will make the case WP, but it will never be pressure proof!
Offshore

#8
MasterJere

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As alligoat says, there are normally 3 points where water can get into a watch, caseback, stem seal/crown, and crystal.
After WP testing, you would have an idea of the area where it was leaking. Then you need to inspect that area to discover why.
Sometimes greasing or replacing a seal is all it takes, other times it is just not possible to seal the watch.
Each has its own characteristics. (Note that chronos have extra points of entry at the pushers, and these are sometimes VERY difficult to seal)
Crystals are another area where a seal is sometimes difficult to obtain. Most reps have push fit crystals with nylon seals, and if these get a nick they can prove very difficult. In a lot of cases, I replace the crystal with a larger one, discard the nylon seal, and glue the crystal into place. Not exactly how the manual says to go, however very effective, and time efficient.
Also check for porous cases; I have been seeing more and more, where air is leaking through pin holes in the case metal. Epoxy will make the case WP, but it will never be pressure proof!
Offshore


Thanks for the reply's guys... Well I guess the real question that we are trying to ask is how can we have these proofed without doing it ourselves... I'm a watch buyer not watch smith... Any help in this REGARD would be very helpful!

I basically want to be able to pay someone to do what you just explained above... if it costs 100 or something I'll do that... Is there someone on this forum that will do that?

Cheers,

Jeremiah

#9
fakemaster

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The problem is people keep dropping the word waterproof. There is no such thing only water resistance. Thes guys can do the sealing and testing. But they don't want to because they know if you drown it you're going to come back to them looking for something.

#10
marblegranite

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Have there been any advancements in this in the past 2 years? I'm looking for someone to pressure test and make my watch water resistant (won't use the term waterproofing per fakemaster's comments above).

I just purchased a Hublot Diver rep which is supposed to be water proof up to 100m, but per the recommendations from other members I would like to have it pressure tested before getting the watch near water. I would like to use this service on future reps that I purchase as well.

#11
Jkay

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Resident modder/watch tech Vacuum has a brand new Bergeon 10 ATM testing chamber for our watches. Send him an email.

#12
Logan

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Another must do is to epoxy up any un-needed penetrations in the case, e.g. helium valves, redundant chrono pushers (3rd pusher or split time chrono's etc). JB Weld works extremely well.

Also the crown tubes are often not well fitted into the case, often only press fitted, sometimes with no o-ring or similar. Those can often be removed and pressed back in place with JB weld.

#13
marblegranite

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Resident modder/watch tech Vacuum has a brand new Bergeon 10 ATM testing chamber for our watches. Send him an email.


Thanks Jkay! I actually sent Vac and The Zigmeister a message earlier today asking this question but haven't heard back yet. I wasn't sure since it wasn't listed in the information I read about the services they offer.

#14
Logan

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Oh and another trap, many reps actually have 2 part case, the case proper and a bezel mounting ring which press fits into the main case. In some cases the bezel itself presses into that for a second join. The chinese assemblers seem to use regular clear epoxy to fit these all together so it's not very strong and is often not applied evenly.

All the older Royal Oaks used this type of assembly as I discovered when a watch arrived with the bezel mis aligned.

#15
Jkay

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Vacuum is also a trusted modder on the RWI forum and he publicly announced the pressure test service there a few weeks ago. He quoted me a price for it as well. So he definitely supplies this service.

Also ... It is Saturday. maybe that is why he isnt working (answering your mail)?

#16
marblegranite

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Also ... It is Saturday. maybe that is why he isnt working (answering your mail)?


Yes, I didn't really expect to hear from him until Monday. I was half expecting the answer to be that he didn't provide this service and wanted to get other input in the mean time. I should probably have waited for a response before posting in this thread. I'm just anxious to receive my Hublot diver and wanted to have everything lined up to get it ready for the water :)


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