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Old 12-13-2006, 12:22 PM
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Default Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

I have a nice Swiss Army watch, and a Freestyle Hammerhead watch as well, and they both need batteries. My local jeweler (scummy) says he can change the watches for 10 bucks a piece, although the last time he changed a battery on a different watch of mine, it soon after fogged up all the time and stopped working altogether. He never told me in advance that they would no longer be water resistant, although he will send them out to a guy he knows who will change the batteries properly, for $80 a piece.

How do you change your batteries? And have you had any issues keeping them water resistant? I already checked with Freestyle, and I can send it to them for $12 bucks, a good deal, and it will still be water resistant, but will take about a month turnaround.
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Most watches use a O-ring (custom, not actually an O, more of a rubber gasket) to seal the back. I have had pretty good luck; usually do the replacement myself, and simply wipe everything clean before reassembling. Dust and hairs (usually stuff like cotton fibers) are the things that cause leaks; make sure that the sealing surfaces are spotless.

Don't know about your Swiss Army watch (does it come with a fork?), but your Hammerhead is not the most expensive piece of equipment you own, so why not? Though, for $12, I might send it back to them, too.

A jeweler should be able to maintain watertight integrity on a watch; maybe try a different jeweler?

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Old 12-13-2006, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

What is said above, and … Some watches are filled with nitrogen to prevent that fogging from happening. Expensive watches may have +1 atm of N2 inside. That extra 14psi of inert gas pushing out makes a big diff down deep.

If you want them water tight again, send them to someone that can do it and guarantees their work. Anything less and it’s a “maybe” on the water tightness.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:39 PM
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Default RE: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

I have a Tag Heuer that's ten years old and I have only changed the battery once. It costs $90 to change the battery from Tag but at least I know it's done right. Nine bucks a year....no big deal.
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Same here, I had to send my Tag in once, it was about $100. I now need to send it in as one of the little glow pieces fell off and is floating around the face, looks like $150 or so with a battery change while they are in there.
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

The Swiss Army is a $250 number. The Freestyle is an $85 dollar watch. I just sent the Freestyle back to the manufacturer, and I'll look into the Swiss Army tomorrow.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

all my ironman timex's are not waterproof when you get them back...
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

I have to send out my Eagle Star dive watch for the battery to be changed - about $75. The watch has a 1000 meter depth rating to it....triple o-ring seal, therefore jewelers can not do it.
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

I have a Seiko diver's watch that is about 15 years old now. Always had a jewler replace the battery for about $12. I make sure to ask them to check all of the seals. So far, so good. I think that Seiko divers watches are a great deal, good quality at reasonable prices. Just make sure you take them to somebody who knows what they're doing to replace the battery.

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Old 12-14-2006, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Quote:
Capt. Dan - 12/14/2006 11:05 AM

Same here, I had to send my Tag in once, it was about $100.
I haven't done it yet but I'm supposed to send my TAG in every couple of years for an oil change and lube job. It's one of those auto winder things that self winds if worn regularly. Fully mechanical, no battery. No idea what it is going to cost.

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Old 12-16-2006, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

There's a watch store (kiosk) in my local mall. They have a machine that pressurizes and seals the watch when changing batteries. They charge something like $50 to change that way, or $10 for a regular old change with "no guarantees". Depending on how expensive the watch is, you decide whether it's worth it.

Personally, I try to wear cheap watches because I basically beat them to crap all the time anyway, so I consider mine almost disposable.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

This is a good reason Kinetic Electric Movements and true Automatics are nice...

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Old 12-16-2006, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Funny... I read this thread a few days ago and thought to myself "Pfft, glad my watch works great!"

I have a Luminox...

Well, Friday morning I noticed it was 15 minutes slow and the second sweep hand was having a little trouble.. DOH!

So, I went to the counter at the BX and changed it out myself. It has a nice seal and I have no worries as to its water proofness. It's not like I go diving to 100 feet all the time anyways. When I do, I use my $35 Casio with its slick indiglo display and digital timer - I find it easier to use for the quick look and if it gets water damage, I don't really care.

Oh yeah, I have a nice Sector watch that needed a battery changing. Took it to the jeweler and they did it on the counter. So none of this pressure, atmosphere mumbo jumbo...
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Chris,

I have to agree the Lumi has a nice setup on the seal, it sits down in a nice groove in the body and it doesn't get pinched by the watch back. I've had my Lumi apart lots of times with no ill effects. But when you get into real divers watches with internal nitrogen fills, then you have to send them back to the manufacturers to get them done right. I am not much of a diver....

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Old 12-17-2006, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Stinger,

I agree about the watches, but I am still not sold when someone says "Real divers watches." I believe my Sector is what would be classified as real diver's watch, as would be the Tag's, Rolex's and the nicer Seiko's, Timex's and Casio's too. I don't think money or how nice it is dictates it's capabilities though - especially since a $39 Casio can perform better than most watches well over 20 times its price.

As a recreational diver and this is just my thought - I doubt adding even some pressure to a watch will make a hill of beans difference unless you are going 300 feet deep or more and then, would you really be wearing some off the rack watch??? I think the whole issue is and always should be centered around the quality of the seals. Heck, even my underwater camera case is opened very easily on the surface, it's not pressurized, but I have personally had it down 110 feet and it's got probably 12 inches of sealing surface. I use this to just kind of put things back in perspective.

The water pressure is what makes it seal tighter. Deeper you go, the tighter the seal.

I figure if a watch is going to leak, it's going to leak - probably moreso at the surface depths (less than 20 feet).. I my opinion, alternating pressures on seals isn't necessarily a good thing either and I would be willing to bet that even that "pressurized" watch does not have the internal pressure to overcome a 100 foot dive. I liken this to the helium in the tires and more recently the nitrogen in the tires for consumers. :

Final thought, I would think that one would want negative pressure on the watch. That would force the crystal and any other seals tighter! But what do I know...
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

Nitrogen in car tires is just so you don't have to deal with temperature induced pressure fluctuation it's not magic it's just convinience

The gas inside the watch probably serves more functions than just pressing on the seals. I realize the outside pressure will push in the deeper you go the tighter they should get. But using a different type of gas inside the watch (argon or nitrogen) is probably more to eliminate the possibility of fogging.

Yes professional divers (those that do it for a living) will wear a Rolex Submariner down deep.... I am sure there are lots of divers who use Casio and lots of other brands as well. When I said real divers watches I meant those that have been around for ages, the classic divers watch, that't all.

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Old 12-22-2006, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

I have a Tag and the battery goes dead about every 4 yrs. I've had 3 batteries in 4 yrs at any rate. $75.00 per battery change. The local jewelry franchise sends it out to be done.
I understand tuning up an automatic watch costs approx $250.00. Has anyone had this done?

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Old 12-22-2006, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Keeping water proof watch waterproof when changing battery

JKN - a friend had his Breitling watch tuned up. It cost about that much for cleaning and tuning, but it’s only done every few years or so. Because of the maintenance costs I guess you can say the watch never really gets fully paid for.

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