If you use your watch in or around water we recommend having it checked regularly for water resistance. Our suggestion is to have it checked every 12 months.
It’s necessary to do this because water resistance is not a permanent characteristic of a watch. In order to be water resistant, watches use various different types of seals and gaskets. These seals are perishable – the rubber can dry out for example. It’s of paramount importance that these seals are clean and in good condition.
One opportunity for a seal to be compromised is during a battery replacement – this is one reason why it’s important to take your watch to a trained watch repair specialist. There are many different ways an untrained individual may accidentally cause issues when changing a battery. We could probably write multiple blog posts about this subject alone, without even mentioning the numerous ways they can compromise water resistance too.
To give one example, if the case back is not cleaned prior to opening, dirt and debris from the case back can easily enter the case when the case back is removed. This may work its way into the movement and stop the watch, as well as interfere with the seal. If this watch were to then be worn in water, it could leak and a very costly repair bill would follow.
Suffice to say we follow industry standard best practices when replacing batteries and pressure testing watches. Let’s assume the battery has now been replaced and the seals are checked/replaced and greased properly. Once the case back is secured, this is when we can put the watch into our pressure testing machine.
We’re lucky enough to have an excellent pressure testing machine – the Sigma SM-8850. This is a brilliant piece of kit, which is able to test watches rated up to 300m water resistant. It tests using air pressure, so it is connected to a compressor (which in turn is fitted with a booster as it requires plenty of pressure). By using air pressure we are able to test the watch complete. From a user perspective it’s straightforward to use – taking just a few minutes to perform two different types of test, then providing us details of the performance of the watch alongside the overall pass/fail result. You can see some images of the pressure testing machine below.
Do you have a watch in need of a battery and/or pressure testing? Get in touch and see how we can help.