A watch is a very delicate piece of engineering, featuring hundreds of carefully connected pieces that make it work. Water affecting just one opponent can render your watch inaccurate in everything it reads. As a watch fan, you may probably have suffered moisture developing inside your watch face. Most people think having a water resistant watch means they’re safe from the watch fogging up. Oh ‘Hell NO’, it is possible to get condensation in waterproof watch not only when diving or swimming, but when you expose watch to high temperatures. If you’re looking for ways how to remove moisture from inside watch dial, we got you a working solution. In this article, are tested and proven ways how to get moisture out of a watch.
These are just a number of simple methods quite effectively tested and found to be working well in removing moisture from a watch. Trying out these ultimate methods doesn’t require extensive expertise of-course. Just know that if you’re having a few tiny water droplets appear on the inside of your watch, you’re not alone.
Overview How to remove moisture
How to get rid of fog? If you are in a hurry, here is a quick summary how to get moisture out from inside your watch.
- METHOD 1 – Putting watch in absorbent materials – unboiled rice, or silica gel or salt.
- METHOD 2 – Disassembling the internal workings of watch and drying them out.
- METHOD 3 – Remove the case back and expose it to heat from the sun or hot lamp.
- METHOD 4 – Remove the case back and expose it to hot air from hairdryer.
- METHOD 5 – Take your watch watch professional repairer.
- METHOD 6 – Have a nice cry, Accept the Loss, And learn to prevent condensation in future
How does condensation develops in a watch?
Lets first see how moisture forms inside a watch dial before going to simple steps about how to get water out of watch.
Condensation in watches is a very common inconvenience to most watch enthusiasts and can occur for a number of reasons. Inorder to provide a a good level of protection, watchmakers get your watch marked and certified to be water resistant (a nice feature, that every good timepiece must have).
Unfortunately, water resistant watches that are marketed are trusted to be water-tight, are not 100 percent waterproof. Even the best diving watch that’s depth rated at 1000 meters still suffer condensation in the watch face. Again, 100 meters water resistance rated divers watch does not mean you can dive 100 meters underwater with it.
Lets see why moisture or fog appear in a watch. It’s useful to understand where the condensation comes from inside fog watches, as a way to prevent it from happening again.
Worn out gasket ( O-ring)
Water resistant watches lose their water resistance over the years . The silicone (rubber) gasket O-ring build into the watch offers a tight seal around the crown, preventing ingress of water. This rubber gasket can wear out and lose their water sealing ability after some times(months or years) . The end result is water gets into the watch dial.
Sudden Temperature(weather) change
Another cause is related to high temperature. carrying a watch under hot weathers(high outdoor temperatures) my cause some air trapped inside the watch face to liquefy(turn into water droplets) when the sharply temperatures falls or when weather suddenly turn chilly.
Fractures on Watch Dial
A crack that might have developed on your watch dial when it got crashed against hard objects could let air and water in. Just a slight crack on the watch crystal glass, can let cold air and humidity get in quickly. After, they can liquefy and cause moisture appear inside the watch.
Prolonged contact with water
Most people don’t realize watch and water are enemies. Allowing you wrist watch get prolonged contact with water, can cause cloudy fog to develop inside the watch.
Holding a water-resistant watch underwater for a long time, would likely cause condensation to form. Some watches can only resist water only for a limited time and diving with the watch beyond that time, is a risk not worth taking.
A cheap and poorly constructed watch gasket can pose huge problems if you purchase it. My advice is after your watch is delivered, let a local expert check the quality of your watch dial and gasket. A weak gasket is very prone to making your watch go foggy when you need it.
Non Water resistance feature
Watches without gasket o-ring, screw down crown and other water resistance features will immediately form a foggy watch dial if poorly handled. It can mean all hopes are lost if you buy a non water resistant watch and it accidentally drops into a kitchen sink or into washing machine.
A sudden the change in weather condition when you go Moving from warm environment (or hot weather) to a very cold environment ( cold weather) can cause cloudy moisture in your wrist watch. Leaving a warm room and walking in a cold winter night is enough for fog to build in your watch face.
Taking cold shower
Taking your watch into a mix of cold and hot showers has two effects on your watch:
- frequent heating(hot shower) and cooling (cold shower ) causes uneven expansion and contraction in the watch glass and case. Little cracks on dial let in moisture into watch dial, forming condensation.
- moving with your watch into a cold shower(low temperatures) immediately after you got a long outdoor exercise under the sun(high temperatures) is a sudden change(fall) in temperature. This gives moisture the opportunity to be formed when warm air inside the watch face liquifies.
Early Signals of condensation in watch
What clues can help you identify when fog will probably form inside you watch dial?
Many watch owners don’t immediately recognize when moisture starts forming inside their watch face. However, there’re simple but less obvious ways how to quickly recognize if there could be moisture formation in your watch face.
1- loss off watch accuracy
It can be due to rusting of mainspring or moisture formation. Presence of humid air in the watch case causes rusting of watch’s mainspring, and affects accuracy.
The watch lume (luminous paint) can start losing their luminosity and the observable effects is that the watch hands and markers glow less brightly in the dark.
3-watch hand malfunction
Watches with second hands show irregular ticking to mark a second off time. The watch hand can start slowing down, and may finally stop if nothing is done about it.
4- crystal glass becomes less transparent
the crystal glass covering over the watch dial starts becoming less clear or less transparent when cloudy vapor or steam slowly accumulates on the inner side.
How to Get moisture Out of A Watch
How to get water out of a watch is something that most watch fans probably must learn. Don’t feel lost if you are unfamiliar with components or the internal workings of of your watch? Here are few easy steps for a quick fix to get the water droplets out of your watch dial.
Condensation will occur again if not actively corrected. Remember that removing condensation from a watch doesn’t correct the cause that led to moisture forming in the very first place. So if the real fault is not corrected, fogging inside watch dial will most likely happen again.
Here are 6 Methods for Getting Moisture Out of your Watch
METHOD #1 – Use Moisture absorbent material
Absorbers are common household materials that soak away moisture from your watch and return it it to proper functionality.
Before the first watch was invented, Drawing out moisture is an age-old working method, anciently used to remove moisture from delicate objects.
Silica gel : If you haven’t known, you have probably seen it. Silica is sandy material that comes in small packet labeled “Do not eat”. You’ll often find it inside your new pair of shoes or inside the packaging of an electronic gadget.
Raw Rice : Uncooked rice has often been used to absorb moisture from wet phones that dropped into water. The same procedure works for a wrist watch. Boiled rice does absorbs water well but unboiled or instant rice is known to be more effective in absorbing water droplets.
Cat litter and salt
Take the following Steps and getting moisture out of your Watch would be quick and easy.
Follow these steps to remove moisture
- Get an airtight container with lid.
- fill a quarter of the container with uncooked rice, or cat litter, or packets of silica gel or salt.
- wrap you watch in a dry cloth/cotton for extra protection
- Place your wrapped watch inside the container, immersing it inside the material you filled in the container.
- Tightly close the container’s lid, and leave it somewhere safe
- You would probably wait and check it out later, after 24 to 48 hours.
METHOD #2 – Internal Exposure to Heat -thermal defogging
Using heat from sunlight or warmth from a hot bright lamp is going to help evaporate moisture from your watch. This method to get the mist out of watch may take hours in cold winter but for guys living in hot climate like California, you are recommended to probably check in on your watch very often, like hourly.
This minimal method to get the fog out, is an opportunity to defog your watch with some risk of letting it get damaged by overheating, or disassembling or loss of components
Take the following steps on how to get defog out,That gives the moisture a chance to evaporate easily
- Remove the watch case back. if you have the knowledge, remove the watch gears and other components inside the watch. If you’re not comfortably experienced with internal workings of watches, then just removing the case back is better enough. Use a watch repair kit
- Lay the watch pieces in an opened space under the sun
- Let the crown of the watch be in very open position.
- Position the watch dial face-up
- Check it an hour later, the steam is probably gone
- Reassemble the watch carefully when the visible condensation disappears
- Make sure to Push/screw the watch crown back in it’s original tight place.
Removing your watch movement
METHOD #3 – External Exposure to heat : Simple watch drying
- Remove only watch case back with watch repair kit.
- Expose the watch to heat for some hours
- Check it an hour later, the steam is probably gone
- Put the case back in place
- Push the crown and make sure it’s tightly secured
METHOD #4 – Use a HAIRDRYER
Using hair dryer is another heating method which is quick but still carries the risk of killing the watch with overheating beyond temperature tolerance off the watch. Most people use this method, they pick up a dryer and flush water droplets of their watch immediately. However, I use this method when my watch happens to drop in water and gets soaked and when I get serious condensation.
- Remove the case back of the watch’s said some internal component I’d need be
- Place the pieces out on a table of hard surface
- Set the dryer to its lowest heating direct the heat towards these watch pieces.
- Re-construct your watch when fog disappears
METHOD #5 – GO TO AN EXPERT
If after all steps are taken and there’s not sign of correcting steam formation inside watch face, consulting a watch professional or a local watch expert is last but not final option.
An experienced watch repairer have developed their own unconventional ways to deal with condemnation inside watch, and you probably need their help is do-it-yourself methods don’t work.
The probability is the repairer will surely repeat method two, completely disassemble the watch, dry every component and carefully put it back in it’s right place, while replacing compromised components. It cost few dollars, but worth it if your are having a high end grail watch.
METHOD #6 – Have a nice cry, Accept the loses and Learn
If experts can’t fix your luxury watch, the last but painful option is; you have a nice cry, accept the loses, and work hard to prevent any condensation of water droplets in to your next expensive timepiece in future.
Stopping the Moisture getting into your watch in the First Place is a better solution If you know exactly how and why moistured developed in your watch.
Insanely simple Mistakes You Make To cause fog in watches
People accidentally make mistakes that ruin their watches with condensation. Here are few errors you might be making
1. Buying a watch that does have certified water resistance rating. Most watch manufacturers do just engrave water resistance value on case backs but are they ISO compliant? don’t swim with a watch with less than 100 meters depth rating for water resistance. For the same reason, I definitely wouldn’t go diving with less than a 200 meters water resistant divers watch.
2. Wrong use of watch in different situations. Expect nothing than ruin you watch when wearing a 50 m waterproof-watch for beach swimming. Taking a 30 m wrist watch under winter rain is insane way to break the timepiece. I don’t swim with a watch with less than 100 meters depth rating as water resistance. For the same reason, I definitely wouldn’t go diving with less than a 200 meters water resistant divers watch.
3. Pulling the watch crown while diving or swimming can accidentally break water resistance seal and cause water ingress. You must make sure the crown is properly screwed before going in the water.
4. Moving straight into cold shower immediately after traveling or doing outdoor sports in hot weather.
5. Buying a vintage watch – old watch for diving. A refurbished watch, a vintage watch and even an already used divers watch is prone to condensation forming inside watch dial. Most vintage watches and used Watches have compromised gaskets place on watch case. Gasket corrodes as watch gets old.
Dangers of drying out your watch
High risk of damaging your watch’s internal working if you get it exposed to conditions beyond the temperature tolerance of the watch.
Dangers of Removing your watch case back
For quick thermal defogging, you may choose to remove the back from your watch, and if possible, remove the inner components and gears as well.
- Disassembling your watch to get fogging out of the component should be avoided if your are not familiar with watches internal components and gears, else contact an expert with the right tools and expertise.
- There’s risk of some inner component going missing or damaged when opening watches
- Opening an already cracked watch is a sure way to completely ruin it, so you are are advised of the risk, beware!
How to remove the back of a watch
Here is a more careful way how to remove watch back and expose the internal components for drying.
Tips for Reassembling a fog watch after thermal defogging
To rebuild your watch after drying it out, remember there is no less important component inside a watch. Every internal working gear is equally important.
Misassembling would ruin your watch and more condensation will form frequently than before especially if the gasket or the rubber ring is not placed where it suppose to be.
1. The gasket is important in maintaining water resistance for the watch, put it back in it’s original place
2. Maintain each screw in it’s original hole
3. Make sure the internal components are not place upside down
Tips to prevent condensation in watch
We have seen how to get water out of watch. Lets see how to prevent condensation by prevention. Your watch doesn’t necessarily have to have been in the water in order for moisture to find it’s way inside the case
- make regular visit to a reputable local watch dealer or expert to check if your watch gasket is been compromised. Let the watch expert change the O-ring immediately a fault is observed in it.
- Avoid prolonged immersion of your watch in water
- buy quality watches – watch dealers with expensive watches often provide better after sales client services than cheap watch makers.
- Make sure the manufacturer of your ideal watch has several years of experience in the watch making industry. They would hardly compromise the value they have built for over decades.
- If watches without water-resistant properties accidentally gets dropped into water, treat it immediately
- Don’t buy a watch if you’re unsure about the watch’s waterproof/water-resistant properties.