On drying watches

We have to go back now to John Burgess post on drying small
parts ( watches in particular ). John I finally have an update
for you and the group about your concept of using drying salts to
clear up water trapped inside watches. As a watchmaker I feel
compelled to answer…I’ll try to not be so long.

There are many types of watches on the market today, so the
response by necessity is oversimplified. Waterproof, as in Rolex
and dive watches, water resistant to varying degrees of depth ;
and those with no rating . I actually took ten watches, a Rolex,
a seiko, a pulsar, a casio, a gucci, an older Hamilton, an older
gruel, and three pockets and introduced water into the cases and
movements, sealed them in kitchen airtight containers with your
blue(not white ) salts. The brand name in Florida is called
"Damp Traps", and they are individual packets. I waited 24 hours
and opened the containers and took the watches over to my bench
and took apart every watch down to the plates. This included
both the electronic and the manual watches. As I suspected the
water in the older watches was gone, some of the moister was
apparent in the better quality water resistant watches and the
water proof watches, ( I was careful to leave only the slightest
of avenues for escape in the water proof ones as they would only
have a minimal entry position in the first place and in the case
of many fine watches such as Rolex and Audemars etc… the
majority of normal people would not have the tools to open such
watches for your drying method) had a lot of moisture still

On the watches which had dried out completely ( if you open the
back the watches dry out completely ) there was readily apparent
stains from the moisture on the dials, the crystals and the
movements . This leads us to the conclusions that my job is
still safe ! If you have an inexpensive watch which gets shower
moisture inside, or water form any source, do Johns fix and live
with the water stains because it is too expensive to bring it to
your local quality watchmaker ( of which there are less than 5000
left in America…all 50 states and many of us better ones work
for ourselves or one of the large Swiss firms) If you have a
quality watch, or an older mechanical watch and it gets wet…take
it to a watchmaker…If you can’t find one in your area E-mail me
and I will check with AWI to find out who is in your area. To give
John his due though, I had a quality Rolex come in this morning,
swimmer left the crown unscrewed…since I was very busy I
unscrewed the case back and dumped it in the airtight case to dry
out before I take it apart and clean it up, so John your science
is useful and my job is safe > Whew !!!

Now I must go practice Vacuum casting and steam casting and a
really difficult job of studding a hairspring.

Terry Parresol in Central Florida where Spring has Sprung …