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Discussion Starter #1
As per the title ( and yes, I did use the search function and also perused the Stickies, Reference section, Main Forum, Watchmaking and other Sub forums ) ...is there a Dive Watch Maintenance thread?

I dislike reinventing the wheel just as much as the next Neanderthal so I'm hoping some of you more astute and experienced on here might point me in that direction..

Specifically, I'm wondering about what professionally employed or hobbyist SCUBA divers do for their watches.

And even more particular what is done for the spring bars?

I get the regular stuff -

• ensure the crown is screwed down

• inspect the watch and strap or bracelet before and after immersion in water

• rinse in freshwater after submersion in saltwater

• scrub the gunk off

• run the bracelets and straps through an ultrasonic cleaner on an as needed basis

• grease ( silicone ) the stem and case back gaskets as needed

• replace the stem and case back gaskets as needed

• replace the worn parts and scratched crystal as needed

• perhaps schedule the maintenance on a calendar like semi-annual or as needed

• perhaps include a visit with a trusted watchmaker/jeweler annually or as needed


oh GREAT! - i just made a dive watch maintenance thread....

Sooo.....what is done for the spring bars? Switch out all of them to stainless? Replace as needed? Is there a practice among divers ( like toothpaste in the face mask? ) to prep spring bars for saltwater immersion?

I just started on my 2020 watch maintenance routine and found a rusty spring bar in a clasp. A cheap, non stainless one. Out it goes, in goes stainless. But stainless also rusts in saltwater.

Can spring bars be soaked in light oil or greased with Yamaha blue marine lube?

My watches get wet very often in salt and fresh water - but not from SCUBA diving.

Looking for some ideas of what you Divers do before and after water immersion.

Any and all tips, tricks, ideas and common sense stuff I've overlooked...even voodoo if you find it effective.

TIA - Steve


PS - I had another search idea and mr. Google sent me back here...under the Steinhart Sub Forum. Of Course! why didn't I search Steinhart, first....wait...I don't own one. Shame on me.lol!

Gotta thread to read now. https://www.watchuseek.com/f275/rusted-spring-bars-3169170.html
 

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Aren’t all springbars nowadays made of stainless? I have never once did anything for my springbars and I have enjoyed all of my watches in the ocean, the pool, the shower etc.


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You've mentioned a lot of good maintenance tips in the OP. I'm not a pro diver but I change my spring bars every couple or so years. Good spring bars are inexpensive and changing them out regularly is not a bad thing, saltwater or no water. I am always suspicious of such tiny springs lasting long on anything that requires them.
 

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You seem to have all the bases well covered. Re the springbars - in a past life I’ve used the same ones for years on end and believe me they were really tatty (shudder). Fitting new good quality ones every few years may be slight overkill but springbars are hardly expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aren’t all springbars nowadays made of stainless? I have never once did anything for my springbars and I have enjoyed all of my watches in the ocean, the pool, the shower etc.


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I'm not so sure they ALL are made of stainless steel. This pic shows one that isn't and another is suspect. Forgot to do the magnet test and only have neodymiums on hand which do stick to stainless.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You seem to have all the bases well covered. Re the springbars - in a past life I’ve used the same ones for years on end and believe me they were really tatty (shudder). Fitting new good quality ones every few years may be slight overkill but springbars are hardly expensive.

I know, right?

I'm guilty of the same thing...."if it ain't broken, don't fix it til it is".

But when I did the most recent micro adjustment on this particular bracelet, the spring bar I depressed did not move easily and felt "crunchy" aka rusty.

So I'm still hoping some Ocean SCUBA diver(s) may chime in and share the magic tip for prepping spring bars - soak them in light oil, grease them or...?

Of course the simple answer is start with all stainless spring bars ( which still may have carbon steel springs inside ) and just replace them as needed....and stop overthinking it, Steve.
 

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Just like anything else, they need occasional maintenance if used regularly, IMHO.

Toothbrush and warm soapy water with a bit of denatured alcohol works well for me.
 

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I'm not so sure they ALL are made of stainless steel. This pic shows one that isn't and another is suspect. Forgot to do the magnet test and only have neodymiums on hand which do stick to stainless.
Guess I’ve just been lucky and all my springbars have been stainless. Most of my watches (the ones that see water) are divers. Perhaps the manufacturers of divers intentionally use stainless?


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Discussion Starter #11
Guess I’ve just been lucky and all my springbars have been stainless. Most of my watches (the ones that see water) are divers. Perhaps the manufacturers of divers intentionally use stainless?


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Light bulb! Didn't think that far. Most of my Seiko's and other stainless divers have fared well in seawater. This particular bracelet is not original to the watch and so might explain the non SS spring bars which have rust.

I appreciate the replies....and especially the humorous 'change the oil, rotate the tires' response.

Duly noted - swap out the non stainless spring bars, replace as needed & regularly and in general keep up the cleaning maintenance.

I will try soaking some in thin oil to see if I can get it to weep or wick internally.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Last night I disassembled 5 dive watch bracelets and mainly inspected, cleaned and oiled the spring bars.

That's a LOT of spring bars @ 5 bars each on most.

Needless to say the couple of Seiko's I did were all stainless and ALL in amazing condition.

These particular watches were in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans this past year during week long vacations at the beach in NC and fishing in Alaska.

Of course I rinsed them all off right after swimming or immersing them in the salt, but the spring bars and other nooks and crannies were bound to have retained saltwater residue.

And the cheap spring bars did. The nibs on the ends of a couple of them showed visible rust and did not actuate well. Those got replaced. Now I need to replenish my parts kit! lol.

I also used a syringe filled with 3 in1 oil to squirt micro sized drops just about everywhere that I saw needed some lube on the bracelets. Then wiped them down.

Now on to prep my reels for this year's fishing season....well...it's always fishing season to me if the water isn't solid. No ice fishing for me. A Christmas gift from the local river.
 

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Aren’t all springbars nowadays made of stainless? I have never once did anything for my springbars and I have enjoyed all of my watches in the ocean, the pool, the shower etc.


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Pretty sure the tubes are, but the springs aren't. I had the spring bar for the micro-adjustment on the clasp of a Seiko Shogun rust out.
 

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Pretty sure the tubes are, but the springs aren't. I had the spring bar for the micro-adjustment on the clasp of a Seiko Shogun rust out.
I wonder if any springbars is stainless springs? Probably not. If not then, it’s an item that should be swapped out every couple years or so I guess depending on frequency of water use.


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Anyone know about the springs used in a Panerai quick change case? Seems sometimes when I get mine wet a lot in-between strap changes its much tougher to get the release button to work as well...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Anyone know about the springs used in a Panerai quick change case? Seems sometimes when I get mine wet a lot in-between strap changes its much tougher to get the release button to work as well...
I don't have one but just watched the quick change video...very slick! And the Pam looks way good on a bracelet. But as far as your Q...maybe warm it up on a home heater vent or hairdryer a few minutes? Just guessing. Probably some residual moisture in there and as you may know gases compress but liquids don't ...so there might be some resisting pushback when you depress the release magic button. YMMV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcv2AKTWWFU
 
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