How to Repair a Water-Damaged Watch: A Step-by-Step Guide

5 min read

We’d be lying if we said that we don’t love watches. Everyone does. They are luxurious timepieces that are also practical for everyday purposes. This is what makes us care for our watches so meticulously. Water is one big enemy. Despite advances in water-resistant technology, no watch is completely immune to water ingress. If a watch gets water in it, it starts showing signs of damage. Immediate action can prevent further deterioration. Follow the below step-by-step guide if you have a water damaged watch:

Assess the Damage

1. Immediate Inspection

As soon as your watch gets water damage, it’s important to assess it closely and figure out how badly the water has ingressed. Look for visible signs of water inside the dial, such as condensation, water droplets, or fogging. Check the crown, pushers, and case back as well. 

2. Stop Using the Watch

If your watch is still running, stop using it immediately. To mitigate even further damage to the watch, it’s necessary to stop it’s functioning. 

Immediate Actions

3. Dry the Exterior

Gently dry the exterior of the watch using a soft cloth. Avoid using hair dryers or other heat sources, as extreme heat can cause additional damage to the internal components.

4. Remove the Case Back

If you have the necessary tools and expertise, carefully remove the case back to allow any trapped water to escape. This step is critical, especially if water is visible inside the case. Be cautious and gentle to avoid scratching the case or damaging the gasket.

5. Remove the Battery

Quartz watches can be endangered by an electric short circuit due to water, which is stopped by battery removal. Borrow a plastic knife or use another slender plastic utensil; you should then push the battery out of the battery compartment. Ensure you do not tamper with the battery in case it is defected or recycle it in the right manner.

Drying the Watch

6. Use Desiccants

There are small packets of silica gel that can be used in removing moisture from watches. Put the watch and several packets of silica gel inside an air-tight jar and let it sit for at least 24-48 hours. The preferred material, particularly effective as a desiccant is silica gel however rice can also be used in the absence of the material.

7. Avoid Heat Sources

Do not use ovens, microwaves, or hair dryers to dry your watch. Extreme heat can damage the delicate components inside the watch. Instead, let the watch air dry in a warm, dry place.

Cleaning and Inspecting the Movement

8. Professional Inspection

For a detailed cleaning process and checking, it is recommended that you should take the watch to the watchmaker. They have the ability and knowledge of disassembling the watch, cleaning the movement and even replacing a damaged part if any. This step is crucial especially if your watch is an expensive one because it will preserve its worth and usability.

9. Cleaning the Movement

If, for instance, you have operated watch repair before, it is recommended that you take a few minutes and clean the movement on your own. Cleaning of the components should be done using watch cleaning solutions and a soft brush. Make certain that all the components of the watch are thoroughly dried before putting it together.

10. Replace Damaged Parts

Although the movement is encased, be sure to take a closer look at it with an eye out for any rust or corrosion. Change any worn components, including the gaskets as these play an important role in proper waterproofing of the unit. If you feel you can’t modify these parts, ease up and look for help from a professional mechanic.

Reassembling the Watch

11. Lubricate the Movement

Before putting all the parts of the watch together, it is advisable to oil the movement using standard watch oils. The engine properly must be lubricated to lessen wear rate of and prevent hindrance in the operations of the parts. To apply the oil, one should treat the selected points with a fine applicator lightly touching its tip on the skin.

12. Reassemble the Watch

Follow up by putting all the parts back in place in a way that is ordered and well fastened. Place the case back again and check the position of the gasket, in order to provide the best waterproofing possible.

Testing Water Resistance

13. Pressure Testing

Before wearing the watch again, one should ensure they test the water resistance of the item after fixing it. Professional watchmakers utilise pressure testing equipment in order to confirm that the watch can endure an established degree of depth. If you are not able to get hold of such an equipment then it is advisable to to take the watch to a workshop for checking.

14. Monitor the Watch

Once the watch is reassembled and tested, monitor it closely for a few days. Check for any signs of moisture inside the case or irregular operation. If any issues persist, seek professional assistance.

Preventing Future Water Damage

15. Regular Maintenance

Constant maintenance plays an important role when it comes to water damage. Ensure that your watch is taken to a professional for servicing at least once in two years. Servicing also enables easy checks on the gaskets and seals and have them replaced if they are worn out.

16. Avoid Water Exposure

Even if your watch is water-resistant, avoid exposing it to water unnecessarily. Remove your watch before swimming, showering, or engaging in activities that involve significant water exposure. This practice can significantly reduce the risk of water damage.

17. Ensure the Crown is Secured

Always ensure that the crown is fully screwed down or pushed in before exposing your watch to water. An unsecured crown is a common entry point for water, leading to potential damage.

Conclusion

The worst thing that can happen to a watch is water damage and if measures are taken as soon as possible the damage can be prevented from worsening. Thus, the above steps will help you neutralize water damage and keep your favorite watch on your wrist.

 For the complete watch solutions and other professional services, one can approach Just In Time where you will find professional watchmakers and a variety of the best and stylish models of watches. Today Just in Time operates more than 65 stores all over India and it is ready to provide professional services to maintain your timepieces in perfect state.

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