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Recently, my Vostok Amphibia fogged up when I was swimming with it.

I read a lot of forum posts where people immediately concluded that fogging was a sign of the water resistance being compromised. In fact, this seemed like the most common response.

But I also remembered seeing a video in which Marc from Long Island Watch put an ice cube on the crystal of a brand new Seiko SKX straight from the factory and showed it fogging up. He explained that this was due to the water vapor content of the air inside the case condensing due to the temperature differential created by the ice.

The problem might not be that the water resistance is compromised, but simply that the humidity of the air inside the case is too high as a result of the environment in which the case was last sealed.

With this possibility in mind, I opened up the watch and put it in a little box full of silica gel beads I bought on Amazon. I then shined a lamp directly into the box for a couple of minutes. The lamp created a reasonable amount of heat, which I assumed would dry out the air in the box.

In that hot, dry micro-environment, I carefully closed up the watch, greasing the main rubber seal with silicone grease for good measure.

Sure enough, my trick worked. Before I attempted the repair, placing the watch in a glass of cold water would immediately cause it to fog up. Now, I can submerge the watch in ice cold water in the middle of a hot summer day for as long as I want and I see no condensation. It has been fog free after numerous uses for several weeks.

Do with my anecdote what you will. I certainly do not recommend than an amateur open an expensive watch at home, let alone bake it under a hot lamp. But for my affordable little Vostok, this solution seemed perfect and the timekeeping seems unaffected. I tend to appreciate more expensive watches, but there are certainly advantages of having an affordable beater for activities like swimming, manual labor, etc.

The heat created by the lamp was, by my estimation, no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 Celsius). Even so, I would be hesitant to expose the hairspring to that direct heat on a more expensive movement.

Perhaps for those who prefer not to shine a lamp on their movement, other fixes could be simply opening up the case in a low humidity environment such as a plastic bag with silica, a small room with an electronic dehumidifier running, an exceptionally dry day outside, or well, Arizona. Any other suggestions on how to get moist air out of a watch case?

I hope this information helps someone. Condensation on a dive watch hurts my heart. The answer may be as simple as filling your watch with dry air.
 

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Thanks for the tip.

You would have thought manufactures would ensure that when the watch is assembled it’s done so in air with low humidity - but as you say the Long Island experiment shows you that isn’t always the case.




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So if your Rolex fogs, that is an indication that it was last opened (assembled?) in a warm, humid country, like Switzerland?
 

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I'd think that you wouldn't see that kind of condensation unless the temperature difference was very large. If you're seeing it in normal usage, I'd think it's a sign of a problem, not just internal humidity.
 

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I would expect higher quality watches to be assembled in a humidity controlled environment but top tip all the same.
 

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Good idea. Glad it worked for you. I will remember this just in case of future "fogging" incidents.
 
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