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Ok, so nothing in this thread makes me think that I should build a dry testing unit. A decent gauge is $300 and it's still not nearly as sensitive as the purpose built Witschi one. On top of that there is no software to do proper calculation for deflection, pressure and rate of change tide into the system. In all, I'd be guessing if the watch is water tight or not. On the other hand - no bubbles and we are good to go. I'll stick with my water based tester for now.
 

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Ok, so nothing in this thread makes me think that I should build a dry testing unit. A decent gauge is $300 and it's still not nearly as sensitive as the purpose built Witschi one. On top of that there is no software to do proper calculation for deflection, pressure and rate of change tide into the system. In all, I'd be guessing if the watch is water tight or not. On the other hand - no bubbles and we are good to go. I'll stick with my water based tester for now.

Yeah, it seems like water testing is the more reliable and repeatable home-built affordable option. Limits seem to be bursting resistance of the container and available air pump/pressure.

I'm sure i'll blow $40 outta the water, but i'm thinking that it would be nice to have something that could test higher than 10 bar. inexpensive hydraulic ram would or should be easy enough to adapt
 

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This is mine:


This is slightly more expensive because of the dial indicator. It would be better if the dial indicator were better.
So the principle behind this is, if the system goes under pressure, the dial should move? If it doesn't, then it leaks? I guess it moves and stays, but if it moves and goes back, then its leaking?
 

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That's correct cuevobat!

Usually a non diver watch with mineral or sapphire crystal is bending about 50 - 100 µm with pressure 3-5 bar. For example my O&W MP2824 (with sapphire) was bending 70 µm with 3,5 bar pressure. As mentioned above a Seiko SKX007 was bending 25 µm with 3,5 bar pressure. It is a stiff diver with replaced 3 mm sapphire crystal! So far there is no problem with too stiff cases.

My dial indicator by the way costs around 40 €. It is accurate enough to see bending +- 10 µm.

If there is slow leaking and and a crystal is vintage acrylic crystal, it can be pop up when the pressure is released. It has happened couple times in my tester. I'm glad that the tester was dry...
 

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Reviving this thread to say thank you to the OP for posting up his build - I've ordered the components and look forward to building my own sub €40 wet tester.
 

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Reviving this thread to say thank you to the OP for posting up his build - I've ordered the components and look forward to building my own sub €40 wet tester.
Oh wow. Thanks for the thread bump. This is perfect for testing my modded watches!!

And a bigger thanks to the OP for showing us this easy and cheap method of testing our watches.


Sent from the White House on the tax payers dime.
 

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In part because I'm puzzled and irked by the difference between a published WR rating (e.g 50 m.) and the prose version of appropriate water-related uses of that watch (e.g. shallow kitchen sinks), I built a wet pressure chamber. So far I've tested it to 350 psi (~240 m., fresh water) and have no leaks. I have a higher pressure regulator ordered and will test the chamber for 300 m. use (meaning to take it to +50% or so when completely filled with water).

So I started using it today, choosing a 40 yr. old Seiko quartz diver with nominal WR of 100 m.

I first took it "down" to 50m, left it dry for abt. an hour, then bled the chamber and flipped it immediately. So what did I see?

I dunno.

I saw 3-4 bubbles coming from around the bezel over 3 or so minutes. What I don't know is, did the air come from within the case, or was it trapped outside the case but under the rotating bezel. I could have removed the bezel, but didn't.

I retested the then-wet watch to 100 m. No apparent bubbles, which suggests that the case didn't leak, or that it did leak massively, so that in the 3-4 seconds it took to bleed and invert the chamber, the case wouldn't still be under pressure.

A way to resolve this question would be to pressurize a submerged watch. I think this would be a more reliable test, but with obvious consequences. I'll try this with a cheap watch I don't mind flooding.

I thought about dry/wet testing a watch, then wet testing it while putting the chamber in an old fashioned paint shaker, subjecting the case to g-forces while under pressure. And it'd be easy to heat/cool the chamber. Stay tuned.

Is there a better liquid than water to use? Alcohol, maybe? Or liquefied Freon(s)? In such cases, flooding would be easier to remedy.

One could also pressurize an air-diver with helium, bleed it suddenly to see if the crystal blows out. What fun!

Any suggestions welcomed!
 

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Great thread. Thanks all.

Lokifish with regard to the Vostoks (of which I have a few so I know their sealing mechanism) I don't quite understand why 100 psi air pressure would be any different to 100psi water pressure. I would have thought the same pressure acting on the same area would generate the same clamping force??

If i'm reading it correctly, the methodology is a bit off from standard procedures.

Standard "bubble" test is;

Partially fill container
Insert watch but do not immerse
Pressurize and wait five minutes
Immerse watch (if you see a steady steam of bubbles, remove immediately)
Slowly release pressure and check for a consistent release of bubbles.

If bubbles are present then it's a fail
If no bubbles are present then it's a pass

Your approach would only work if there was a very slow leak which introduced a delay in pressure equalization in the watch. In the event of a more serious leak, it would allow ingress. I also cannot recommend either methods for compression cases like Vostoks as they rely on water pressure to be water resistant.
 

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Great write up!! I contacted Pentair technical and talked with a very helpful engineer. He said that the opaque(blue) bowl is slightly stronger than the clear bowl but BOTH of them are failure tested to 500psi.

They do this on a routine basis to ensure safe housings. The opaque bowl is more impact resistant than the clear but they both test safely to 500psi. Suprisingly their clear material, SAN(Styrene acrylonitrile resin) Performs better than Polycarbonate (Lexan) in testing.

500psi would be 345M/1121ft, so testing to 10bar/100m/325ft/146psi is easy for this setup. I have taken mine to 20bar/200m/650ft/290psi but not with a watch in it yet. So 30bar/300m/975ft/438psi might work but I dont have the cojones or the compressor to do that.....

BTW I was wearing eye protection, Face shield, welding gloves and my Carharrt coat when I took it to 20 bar. And only the ground.....
 

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Great project!
But I think the procedure given in the first and later posts for the wet tester is not quite right.
My understanding is you first do a dry test (pressurization and depressurization with no water in the test vessel), to make sure the crystal doesn't pop out, and then you do the wet test, but a bit different from what has been written here so far: you pressurize with the watch above the water level, lower the watch (or invert your vessel), wait a moment for air trapped outside the case to escape (e.g. bubbles trapped under crown, or in lug holes), and then depressurize with the watch under water while watching for bubbles.
That way you see both fast and slow leaks.
 

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im gonna give this a go.... thanks OP.


and when I test my mod's now I just take the movement out and fully seal the case. Only variable is me screwing down the case back correctly when I put the movement/dial module back in.


why keep the movement in? lol no point in risking it.
 

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Curious if you do this test do you have to push down the crystal afterwards? Because if the pressure you or into the watch? Like is there a reseal process after water proof testing

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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I want to make an experiment to see if there will be any differences if we test watch water pressure in soft or sea water for instance? I have watched a video where a guy is making a test in 2 different waters. I can’t remember what waters were, but he affirmed that the figures weren’t the same in the end. At the moment, I don’t have a water softener to realize my experiment, but soon I will buy one from purewaterguide.net and see if there are any chances to make a new discovery. What do you think will be the final results? Will be a huge difference?
 

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Revived the thread to thank OP. Gave it a go and got all the parts in. Haven't tightened up n tested it yet. Plan to test it with a Vostok.
15450360
 

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How to build a 10 ATM/100m Watch Water Pressure Tester for $40 (assuming you already have a bicycle pump or an air compressor)




There are a few ways you can go about doing this depending on a) what you already have and b) how elaborate you want to get.
The simplest and cheapest way to go is to just buy the following items:
1) Water Filter Housing ($33 Shipped) Here is a link: Pentek 158110 3/8" #5 Clear/Blue Water Filter Housing | Water Softeners Filters
Everything else can be purchased at Home Depot/Lowes or online at a myriad of places
2) 1pc 3/8" npt Plug ($3)
3) 1pc 3/8" male to 1/4"npt female reducer ($3)
4 ) 1pc 1/4" npt tp Air Compressor fitting or 1pc 1/4" npt to Schrader Valve (Buy the air compressor fitting if you have an air compressor and buy the other one if you are going to use a bicycle pump) - ($2)
Total Cost $40


A quick note on these parts: The female ports on the Water Filter Housing are 3/8 NPT (National Pipe Thread) There are 2 sizes of fittings that are common and you will find at Home Depot/Lowes etc. They are 3/8 NPT and 1/4 NPT. Typically 3/8 are used for Paint sprayers and other uses that require more flow and the 1/4 NPT are used for most Air Tools like Nail guns etc. If you have a compressor you could skip the reducer and buy 3/8 NPT to Air hose connector, but if you are going to a Shrader Valve (bicycle pump valve) you might not be able to find the 3/8 fitting directly to the Shrader Valve. Here is what the necessary parts look like:
Here is the Plug: It doesn't really matter which side you put it on because both ports are open to the container, but you might as well put it into the port labeled "Out"

Here is the reducer. You might be able to avoid using this part, but I bought and used it.

You are going to need one of the following 2 parts. The first one if you have a compressor and the 2nd if you plan on using a bicycle pump:



A MORE Elaborate (and bit more expensive) way:
I have a compressor that is about 25 yrs old that works just as good as the day I bought it. FYI (For you young guys) a compressor is a handy thing to have. You are not going to use it every day, but I have used mine many times over the years and I would highly recommend buying one. One like I have is only about $100 and there are MANY uses for them.


I wanted to be able to disconnect the Tester from the Compressor. If you want to be able to do that you are going to need a Shut off Valve. I also wanted to be able to monitor the pressure inside the vessel with the compressor disconnected so if you want to be able to do that you are going to need a gauge that is not attached to the bicycle pump or compressor. If you want to go this route like I did it is going to cost you about $10 extra, but I thought it was worth it. Here is what you are going to need if you go this route:
1) Water Filter Housing ($33 Shipped)
2) 2 x 3/8" male to 1/4"npt female reducer ($5)
3) 1 Shut off Valve 1/4" NPT ($3)
4) 1 Pressure Gauge 1/4" NPT ($7)
4 ) 1pc 1/4" npt tp Air Compressor fitting or 1pc 1/4" npt to Schrader Valve (Buy the air compressor fitting if you have an air compressor and buy the other one if you are going to use a bicycle pump) - ($2)
Total Cost $50


Here is what mine looks like:



Here are a couple other items you are going to need:
1) PTFE tape (free as I had it, but I did find some for only 79¢)
2) Wrench to tighten the fittings - (Free as I had this)
3) A Bicycle Pump or a Compressor - (Free as I had this)
4) Coat hanger or something else to hang the watch on -(Free as I had this)
5) Pliers to bend the coat hanger -(Free as I had this)
6) Scotch Tape -(Free as I had this)


Procedure:


Assemble the fittings to the Water Filter Housing. It is going to be really obvious what to do here. If you screwed up and got something wrong you will just have to go back and buy a different part. Put the plug or the gauge in the "OUT" port and put the fittings to attach to your compressor or bicycle pump into the "IN" port. If you decide to use a shut off valve this needs to go into the "IN" port on the housing side of your air fittings (see the pic above of my setup) Use reducers as necessary. Once you pressurize the housing you are going to know pretty much right away if it is leaking. If it is leaking you are going to have to go back and put some PTFE tape on the fittings where it is leaking and that will solve your leaks. To test for leaking mix a drop or two of dish soap (Palmolive or Dawn) with about 1 oz water. You can do this in a soda cap or small container. Then just pour the soapy water on your fittings and you will immediately know if you have a leak. If it is leaking you will see bubbles forming and if it is not leaking there will not be any bubbles forming (again this will be really obvious)


Now that you have your pressure container together you are going to need something to hang your watch on. I took a coat hanger and bent it so I could easily hang a watch on it and so it would not move around in the container. As you can see I made it so it just fits inside the water filter housing. Here is what mine looks like:





And Now on to the testing Steps:


1) Attach watch to stand
2) Fill Water Filter container about 1/3 full of water
3) Drop stand and watch into the water filter container (watch side up so it is not in the water)
4) Attach Housing top (and fittings) onto the body and tighten
5) Pressurize the container to desired pressure
6) Let sit for minimum of 30 minutes at pressure
7) Quickly release pressure from the Water Filter Housing chamber.
- This water filter housing has a pressure release valve built in. It is the little red button on top of the cover. All you have to do is push it down and it will release the pressure from inside the container. If you put a shut off valve in there like I did, you can use that to release the pressure as well.
8) Once the container is depressurized immediately dunk the watch into the water so it is fully submerged. I just rotated the housing onto its side. I made my stand so the watch will just rotate onto the side of the housing and be submerged in water. I guess you might want to wait 5 or 10 seconds before dunking the watch in the water just to be sure the crystal doesn't pop off. If it is going to pop off it will do that pretty quickly and you don't want the watch to be in the water if this happens. The reason the crystal could pop off is if the watch is leaking the pressure inside the case will be greater then the pressure outside the case and if the crystal is not fitted properly (ie it is too lose) it could pop off.


One of two things is going to happen:
a) The watch will be waterproof and in this case you will not see any bubbles escaping from the case of the watch.
b) The watch will have leaked. So what has happened in this case is that at this point inside the case is a higher pressure than outside the case and now the pressure is trying to escape from inside the watch. If you see bubbles, don't worry water will not get inside the watch unless you leave it submerged until all the pressure has escaped. Just remove the watch from the water and remove the case back and go to work on the seals.


Here are some pics of the above procedure:


1) Attach watch to stand



2) Fill Water Filter container about 1/3 to 1/2 full of water. You want the water to be just below the level of the watch.



3) Drop stand and watch into the water filter container (watch side up so it is not in the water)



4) Attach Housing top (and fittings) onto the body and tighten



5) Pressurize the container to desired pressure


6) Here is what I used to pressurize it.


7) Let sit for minimum of 30 minutes at pressure
- Nothing really to show here. Hopefully you don't lose any pressure. If you do, you can give it a few pumps or attach back to the compressor. If you are losing pressure you probably should figure out why and fix the problem for the next time.


8) Quickly release pressure from the Water Filter Housing chamber. You might consider only releasing some of the pressure to make sure the crystal does not pop off before dunking the watch in the water! It is possible that if the watch leaks and if the crystal is not fitting correctly the higher pressure inside the watch (after leaking and depressurizing the chamber) could cause the crystal to pop off. This is the reason they have Helium release valves in high end deeply rated watches. The same principle can happen. Helium enters the watch at really deep distances and then when you come up quickly the inside of the watch will be at a much higher pressure than the outside and the crystal can pop off.



9) Once the container is depressurized immediately dunk the watch into the water so it is fully submerged. Here I have just set the housing on its side. The watch will then sit on the side of the housing sitting in the water.



Here is a close up of what that looks like:



If there are no leaks, it will look like the above pic (no bubbles coming from the case) In a way it is a little disappointing as nothing is happening. LOL


You should be happy to see no bubbles though as this means your watch is safe!


A NOTE about the Pressure and how Safe is this?
You might have noticed that on the picture of the Water Filter Housing it says it has a maximum pressure of 125psi. This is only 125/14.7= 8.5 ATM or 85m. I have a Mechanical Engineering background. Knowing that everything is over designed I looked up "Safety Factor" (this is the term that is used when talking about how much something is "over designed") Here is what is on wiki about this:


"Appropriate design factors are based on several considerations, such as the accuracy of predictions on the imposed loads, strength, wear estimates, and the environmental effects to which the product will be exposed in service; the consequences of engineering failure; and the cost of over-engineering the component to achieve that factor of safety. For example, components whose failure could result in substantial financial loss, serious injury, or death may use a safety factor of four or higher (often ten). Non-critical components generally might have a design factor of two. Risk analysis, failure mode and effects analysis, and other tools are commonly used. Design factors for specific applications are often mandated by law, policy, or industry standards.


Buildings commonly use a factor of safety of 2.0 for each structural member. The value for buildings is relatively low because the loads are well understood and most structures are redundant. Pressure vessels use 3.5 to 4.0"


What does all this mean?
It means that this Water Filter Housing is likely "Over Designed" by a factor of at least 3 so 3 x 125 psi = 450psi. I am not saying that you should routinely take this thing up to 450psi, but I think it is quite safe to go to 150psi (only 1.2 x what it is rated)


Everyone has to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with, but I am comfortable taking this up to 150psi. Why then, do you ask, do my pictures show approximately 132psi or about 9ATM? Well my compressor has a regulator on it that prevents it from going over 150. When I have the regulator maxed out it cuts out just shy of 150psi and after dumping some air into the Water Filter Housing all I have left is about 132 or 135psi. I could buy a different regulator, but I have decided that 9ATM is by far good enough for me.


Here is a pic of the housing thickness next to a dime. It is pretty dang thick and a whole lot more "Safe looking" than a Nalgene bottle!



Ok, here is my disclaimer......
If you blow yourself up or wreck your watch it is your own fault etc etc. Don't come crying to me....




I hope this was helpful!
Love it excellent design!
 

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Necrothread. Yawn.

This one's better https://www.christopherwardforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=10816

Mine followed this script except I left out the big stoppers (no need) and replaced the safety valve with a pressure gauge. The advantage is that you completely upend the device, submerging the watch at pressure and then slowly release the pressure. The problem with releasing the pressure before submerging is that you won't detect a catastrophic leak (like a missing gasket) and there is also some air that gets trapped in the watch and the works. Slowly releasing the pressure allows you to determine these from a real leak.

BTW, the filter housings are rated for 125 psi but I find that 45-60 is plenty to do the job.
 
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