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Broken Crystal On My Personal Zodiac Air Planet. Need Advice


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Hi all,

This is my first post, so apologies in advance if this is the wrong forum. However, I am looking for advice and repair help, so this seemed like the place!

I had this watch for about 2 years, brand new, never worn. I took it out today and as I was sitting on a chair, I tried to put the watch on, it slipped off my leg and hit the floor, cracking the crystal right down the middle!

It looks to be intact, but obviously I want to fix the watch. It was keeping great time, and I wanted to start wearing it. It is still running, and there does 't appear to be any pieces of glass on the watch face, either floating around or caught under the various hands.

I have attached a photo of the watch, and am also including a llink from the zodiac website for a listing of the specs. [ http://www.zodiacwatches.com/en_US/shop/air_planet-ZO8100P.html?searchTerm=ZO8100&imagePath= ] (exclude leading and trailing bracket and space when placing the url in your browser.)

My questions:

1) this is supposed to be a dive watch, and it has a perfectly flat crystal. I watched a repair video on youtube that replaced a similar-looking crystal, but I have no way of knowing how similar it was, if at all, except for the shape and the flatness. Where can I find a replacement crystal for this exact watch?

2) is there any way to tell what this crystal is made of? I thought it was sapphire, but I didn't see any indication of that on the website or the watch itself, so perhaps you all might know.

3) is this something someone brand new to the hobby should and could tackle, or if it isn't, can anyone give be a ballpark of what I am looking at in terms of repair costs?

I am hesitant to start taking this watch apart for my first repair, since I have very little idea of what to do... I have seen people use a small plastic disk and a mallet to remove a crystal, as well as a small press, which has also been used to insert the new crystal.

I am thinking this would be a relatively inexpensive and quick repair for someone who knows what they are doing and who has access to the correct crystal. However, perhaps if I could find the correct crystal and folks here think this is a good, doable project for a beginner, I will consider tackling this one.

Thanks for reading this. Also, could someone tell, just by my description of how this crystal broke, if it is a sapphire crystal? Or is what I described of how i broke a characteristic of some other type of hardened glass or plastic material?

It seemed like incredibly dumb luck when it broke, but things happen. I don't want to compound the problem by turning an easy fix into a nightmare.

Thanks all for your help and advice!

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This will be a divers mineral glass, most likely 1.5mm - 2mm thick and they are available off the shelf from watch material dealers. The outside diameter of the glass needs to be measured and they increment by 1/10th mm. I would guess that it's a standard mineral glass rather than a sapphire but this is just a guess.


As to wether you can do it at home will depend on wether you have a glass press. If you have one and you are confident then by all means, it's not an overly difficult job. But if you are not so confident and/or do not have the press, and the means to pressure test it after then I may advise you to outsource it to a local watch repairer, you should not need to pay more than about £50 for it to be done and tested.

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Thank you for your reply.

I think I will be sending this out. I am just beginning this hobby, and although I can change batteries, and I have purchased the press, I am not confident in replacing this and making it watertight.

I also don't have the means to pressure test the watch, which is important to make this repair correctly.

I used my digital caliper, and the crystal is approximately 33.45 mm (give or take). I did my best google-fu search and couldn't turn up anything that would indicate the crystal size and material. Is there anything out there in the trade that has this information indexed or does each watchmaker keep this information for its own use in-house?

I don't think it is trade secret info... But I don't know how much is catalogued, especially for a brand like Zodiac. I found Omega parts for just about everything as I searched this weekend, but only turned up very limited Zodiac parts, and nothing for this model.

Does chosing a mineral crystal or a sapphire crystal impact the water resistance rating? (i.e., one is better than the other for the purpose of being a dive watch?) I thought Sapphire crystals are preferable for any applicarion... Is this correct? Or does a sapphire crystal only improve the scratch resistance of the crystal? For choosing the replacement, Should I get what is currently in the watch, or should I get a sapphire crystal if one is available?

Thanks and regards,


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hi zodiac, welcome to the forum.

If you are sending the watch to a watchmaker, permit me to recommend our Mark here (if you are in England of course and if he is free to accept any more jobs at this time). In any case, sapphire is a superior crystal and much more expensive than mineral. I believe the water resistance may not improve significantly since there are other case properties that influence this. All that said, if money is no object I would upgrade (it is only a few more dollars).

As far as the replacement part, it is not a secret. Many suppliers storck those but you must --in your case I guess-- supply the measurements as Mark suggested and also the thickness of the original.

Hope this helps,



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Thank you for the note and suggestion. I am in the US, so I cannot image this particular repair would be cost effective... I have no idea, but shipping and insurance fees would probably be rather stiff. I have every condidence, however, that he could bang this out in minutes.

He is mesmerizing to watch on YouTube... I stumbled onto one of his videos and It is how I found this forum. I have been watching his repair work with great interest and respect. I will wait until I have something a bit more worthy of his skills.

With that said, if anyone has any suggestions for a place to send this in the US, feel free to share it either via a post or a link to a thread. I am going to call the Zodiac repair service that is on the company website, which handles these things for a flat fee. It isn't the cheapest service, but I would think it is the safest bet for a repair on this watch.

I don't want to make this too complicated/involved. It IS just the crystal, after all. But since it will be seeing water, I want it done correctly.


Thanks for the link and the suggestion. I am leaning toward doing just that. I do have a desire to keep the watch as it was when I purchased it, however a sapphire ceystal is probably a better choice for me. And the price difference isn't nearly what I would have expected, at least from one on-line supply house. When I call the Zodiac-recommended service, I will ask them if they will upgrade the crystal (if they are by default using a mineral crystal for the repair).

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I contacted Zodiac today, and they gave me an estimate of $77.50, which includes taxes and shipping.

According to Zodiac, the crystal is indeed sapphire. I did the quick tests given by the video supplied by Geo (actually, I only did the one test.. Tapping the crystal) and I definitely heard the difference between a sapphire crystal and a mineral crystal.

Anyone have a feel for the price of this repair? Seemed a bit higher than I was originally thinking, however I may have seen a repair price assuming a mineral crystal, and not a sapphire one.

I am probably going to send it off to them, since they would repair it with the correct crystal, pressure test it, and guarantee the repair for 2 years. I don't know if all watch repair services guarantee their work, although I guess a lot depends on the quality of the shop.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Edited by zodiac
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