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I am working on two 70's watches (Owix automatic & Polek Automatic) that both claim to be "waterproof". No screw down Crown, so I am aware one shouldn't go diving with them or maybe even swimming. 

I've seen the same case tube and crown build up on a couple of watches before, such as a Zenith Sporto, and I wonder if there is something I am missing. Like this it feels you couldn't even wash your hands.

Should there be a gasket inside the crown? As you can see in the picture I usually find alot of gunk inside the crown, but I have just thought it to be old dirt. Could it be a dissolved gasket?

There is no obvious place for a gasket inside the tube, and I've never found one there either in these types of cases.

It feels like there should be some more feature for this to be called "waterproof".

Anyone with any thoughts about this?




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The gasket (O-ring) is in the crown and makes the seal on the outside of the case tube. At almost 50 years old it has almost certainly disintegrated, melted (big mess), or hardened to the point of being useless. Often the case tube gets worn where the gasket seats too. Usually best to replace both if you're looking for waterproofness (I agree with Richard water proof should always mean "resistant").

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Back in the 50/60/70’s waterproof was essentially a marketing lie unless you were buying a professional dive watch or similar. If there are no stem gaskets and no screw down crown and back you might get away with a short time in a light rain shower. Minimum for swimming is 100m WR, screw down crown, (though there are one or two exceptions with multiple stem gaskets). 

hope this helps 



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Thanks for all the quick replies!

Yeah as mentioned the case back actually says "waterproof" which led me to these questions after a couple of these similar services/repairs. And the case back usually comes with a gasket. So some planning for water resistance was there.

1 hour ago, nickelsilver said:

is in the crown and makes the seal on the outside of the case tube

Similar to my idea to put a flat gasket in the crown that would sit against the tube opening. Put then it would go all the way in...

So basically I should find a O-ring that fits inside the crown and snuggly fits over the tube when pressed down? Does it usually sit "loose" inside the crown when pulled out, or is it usually a slot for it inside (that I haven't seen). I guess it needs to be tight in the outwards direction too

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  • 8 months later...


Back with some crown gasket questions.

This time on a screw down crown on a 60-70s "diver".

This time there actually was a gasket inside the crown, different from all the "dress" vintages I have serviced.
I however had to scrape it out from what seemed to be a groove right on the "top" of the gasket, clesest to the case.

When measuring for a new gasket I gound that the "bushing" closing of the crown is 5,4mm and the crown/case tube is 3,2mm.
I my mind I should have a gasket that fits these measurement as the gasket needs to slide over the crown tube.

However the biggest micro O-ring I can find at Cousins is measured at 5,4 x 3mm. Slighty smaller inner dm than the case tube. 

This lead me to rethink how to measure for crown gaskets.
Esslinger just says that crowns with internal gasket should be changed to a new one. But I have seen on Youtube how a new gaskets been fitted. (Mainly on Rolex watches - and I do realize they have their own specialzed measurements and might be easier to find)

So please see the picture below - how should I go about this?

Option 1 - buy the 5,4x3mm gasket.
This is the correct way since the gasket will be "forced" over the tuve for a thight fit?

Option 2 - buy a slightly smaller crown that sits "loose" within the crown but is then force pressed ON the tube when screwed in.

Option 3 - buy a flat gasket?
In Cousins description of Micro O-rings there is a reference to Rolex twinlock system - see in the picture below.
The crown gasket is referenced as a FLAT gasket. 
This led me to believe I was wrong to think there should be a o-ring gasket even? 


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  • 3 weeks later...

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