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So my question is, if you have had a vintage watch serviced with new seals and pressure tested is there a risk when wearing it in the water?

I would have thought that if the above had been done it would not be a problem however I always read people warning against doing this...

Any feedback?
 

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I would not risk it with my vintage watches. If it's pressure tested, it might be ok -- but if you love the watch is it worth the risk to you? Perhaps you could get an inexpensive casio g-shock or similar for those times you are in the water (?) Cheers
 

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If it was a vintage watch that was originally intended to be submerged and has been serviced and the sealing tested, then yes, you could wear it in water with some expectation that it may be OK. But why? Vintage watches are not like off-the-shelf modern watches which can be readily (if expensively) replaced if necessary.

For the majority of vintage watches, being non-dive watches, then no, I would not submerge any of them. Many had minimal (or no) water resistance when new. People had the sense in those days to look after their nice watches and take them off before swimming :)
 

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If a vintage watch has been shown to be watertight by testing, it is watertight. I have never understood the reluctance of owners to expose tested vintage watches to water. ... actually most of my vintage were acquired for far less than the cost of new watches nowadays. So if it is fear of loss of the watch, the new ones should logically be protected. But to me that seems strange logic.
 

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Usually, the "waterproof" aspect is a function of the lubricated seal being pressed against the metal of the case. And the problem is that 50 year old metal usually isn't quite a smooth as it used to be. If it passed a pressure test, it's probably okay, but the consequences of being wrong are such that I'd wouldn't want to risk it, personally. At least, not if I cared for the watch.
 

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I don't understand the logic of wanting to wear a watch into the water for ordinary swimming? Even if you are a diver, aren't their gauges that tell you when your oxygen tank is running low? When I am in the hot tub, swimming pool, the last thing on my mind is the time.
 

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Its not just about the amount of oxygen. Deep diving especially, you have to be careful about how long you remain at a certain depth, and how fast you come back up.
 

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I don't understand the logic of wanting to wear a watch into the water for ordinary swimming? Even if you are a diver, aren't their gauges that tell you when your oxygen tank is running low? When I am in the hot tub, swimming pool, the last thing on my mind is the time.
I don't usually like leaving my watch laying on the beach when I am in the water. And, being a paleface, I NEED a watch when at the beach or at the pool.

I refer all questions on diving with watches to the Dive watches forum :)
 

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Hi there,

water needs no watch, and a watch needs no water.

However, if I want to wear a watch in water, I care for watertightness, disregarding its age. This may mean any between new gaskets, refinishing gasket seats and impossible.

Regards, Roland Ranft
 

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So my question is, if you have had a vintage watch serviced with new seals and pressure tested is there a risk when wearing it in the water?

I would have thought that if the above had been done it would not be a problem however I always read people warning against doing this...

Any feedback?
I'm not a diver but I've been swimming with my 1680 from the 70's without any problems so far. It's built to go under water so if the pressure test says ok I won't bring something else. Because it's vintage I do check it regularly just to be safe.
 

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As long as you are aware that it might be the last trip the watch ever takes. Pressure tested watch should be able to hold water. However, I would never risk putting a watch with sentimental value under any unnecessary risk. Only use a watch you don't mind losing when messing around with water.
 

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Hi there,


Maybe I couldn't laugh if English were my first language. But it's not, and therfore you mady my day, thank's :-d :-d :-d

Regard, Roland Ranfft
Bitte schön.

I do admit, I had a good laughter myself now that you pointed it out. However, I did still not lie. It should hold the water as well! I do not guarantee what happens to the movement, though.
 

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Providing the watch has a screw down crown and was tested for water tightness, I would go swimming with it. Otherwise, I'd forget it. And that requirement goes for both vintage and modern watches!

Hartmut Richter
 

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If the watch is a diver with new seals and has been pressure tested, then theoretically it's fine to go into the water.

But my own rule of thumb is to never take a vintage watch into the water. It won't be watertight if you accidentally smack it into something and crack the crystal, and a ruined vintage watch is a shame. I don't wear vintage watches when doing anything that involves flailing my arms around, that's what beaters are for.
 

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I just don't understand why you would take the risk when it's completely unnecessary. There are numerous inexpensive watches that you could use for the task instead.
 

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So my question is, if you have had a vintage watch serviced with new seals and pressure tested is there a risk when wearing it in the water?

I would have thought that if the above had been done it would not be a problem however I always read people warning against doing this...

Any feedback?
As others have said, if the seals have been changed, the sealing surfaces are in good condition, and it passed the pressure testing, then there is no technical reason why you can't get it wet. The problem is seals are fine, right up until the point where they aren't, and then you have a leak. So if you regularly get any watch wet, modern or vintage, then get it pressure tested regularly.

I think the main reason you see people advising against it is that if the watch has a very nice dial, that is a big part of the value in a vintage watch. Once the dial is wet, the value will likely go away. So I think people (myself included) are reluctant to risk taking a watch with a very nice dial with great patina into the water when another watch can do the job. In the end it's a personal decision people need to make for themselves.

Cheers, Al
 

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Sorry to post to an old thread, but I've been thinking about this issue quite a bit.

I've built a collection of vintage watches of which I'm proud, but - especially for dive watches - it's sad to see them 'out to pasture'.

I was a the Omega Boutique yesterday, and their policy is that while they will replace seals and pressure test any watch, they will not guarantee water resistance of any case older than 20 years.

I recently bought a hot tub, and this has made me realize how few of my watches really can be in that environment. I'm sure some would say that even a new watch shouldn't be in a hot tub.

The other problematic use case is the beach. If you're wearing an expensive watch, it's scary to leave it while you pop into the ocean, but it's even scarier to have it in the ocean.

All of that said, however, significant engineering went into these watches - especially the dive watches - to make them live up to this use case - anyone else think it's sad that an old Ploprof can't go for a dip at the beach?




Hi Hartmut,


and not to forget: for both, water in and out b-)

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 
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