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I serviced this Rolex for my dad (its a frakenwatch) 

He received it back after 2 weeks testing it and on the second day it fogged up. I didnt see any issues when testing it so it has shocked me that it has.

This being said though this did happen to my girlfriends once. My flat does have fairly high humidity.

What can i do to get rid of this issue moving forward. 

Can i put a cased watch on a hotplate under a dome with silica gel in and then put the case back on?

Thanks,

Tom 

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Did it pass any tests for water resistance before going out? Fogging on the crystal is pretty much a 100%* sure proof that water has entered the watch.

 

*We were taught this in school. The volume of air, even if there isn't a movement/dial in place, is too small to allow enough water in the form of humidity to actually condense. I've read somewhere that in extreme cases there can be some condensation- but these cases are, extreme.

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31 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

Did it pass any tests for water resistance before going out? Fogging on the crystal is pretty much a 100%* sure proof that water has entered the watch.

 

*We were taught this in school. The volume of air, even if there isn't a movement/dial in place, is too small to allow enough water in the form of humidity to actually condense. I've read somewhere that in extreme cases there can be some condensation- but these cases are, extreme.

No water resistance tests as I lack the equipment but I’m sure I didn’t leave any water in the case.

are there any tests I can do in the future to rule out me leaving water in the case after cleaning? 

my girlfriends watch once had condensation when using the oven and I had to dry it out with a silica bag and no issues since. I also had a watch have condensation while at a concert where humidity and heat was high.

im new to this issue and looking for guidance.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, easthammer said:

 

are there any tests I can do in the future to rule out me leaving water in the case after cleaning? 

 

If you heat the watch to 40-45C, then place a drop of room temperature water on the crystal, wait a minute and wipe it off, and there is no condensation under where the drop was, the watch is dry. There are special heating plates made for this, but you can use something like a heating pad or whatever, just get the watch to 40-45C.

 

If you have no way to test water resistance, in the case of your dad's and girlfriend's watches, I would guess that it's water intrusion, not water in the case when you closed it. London humidity level rates as very normal- if you were in Singapore or something there might be a tiny case for humidity being the cause (but still unlikely).

Edited by nickelsilver
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4 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

If you have no way to test water resistance, in the case of your dad's and girlfriend's watches, I would guess that it's water intrusion,

without any way of testing whether your watch is water resistant or not you're basically guessing but the safe guess is you didn't properly seal the watch.

7 hours ago, easthammer said:

(its a frakenwatch)

I assume you mean counterfeit? The problem with counterfeit is there not make the same standards as the original and how well things seal could be an issue. Ideally if you want your watch to stay water resistant you should change all of the gaskets.

Then of course there is the environmental factors. water resistant is an interesting thing doesn't always mean what you think. For instance take your waterproof watch in the shower and it gets hot. The gaskets and seals were not designed to keep the hot air inside the watch inside and that air will expand and a tiny bit will leak out. Then when the watch cools down in the air contracts it will pull back its missing air and with time depending on how good your gaskets are it will pull water with its. o typically any time someone says so watch exposed to hot in the form of shower hot water anything involving heat and water and sooner or later the watch will fill with water or a heck of a lot of humidity.

Also typically on a real Rolex watch don't know about your counterfeit they have screwdown crown's and if the crown is out that's another way to get moisture into your watch really fast.

 

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On 8/14/2023 at 7:54 PM, JohnR725 said:

without any way of testing whether your watch is water resistant or not you're basically guessing but the safe guess is you didn't properly seal the watch.

I assume you mean counterfeit? The problem with counterfeit is there not make the same standards as the original and how well things seal could be an issue. Ideally if you want your watch to stay water resistant you should change all of the gaskets.

Then of course there is the environmental factors. water resistant is an interesting thing doesn't always mean what you think. For instance take your waterproof watch in the shower and it gets hot. The gaskets and seals were not designed to keep the hot air inside the watch inside and that air will expand and a tiny bit will leak out. Then when the watch cools down in the air contracts it will pull back its missing air and with time depending on how good your gaskets are it will pull water with its. o typically any time someone says so watch exposed to hot in the form of shower hot water anything involving heat and water and sooner or later the watch will fill with water or a heck of a lot of humidity.

Also typically on a real Rolex watch don't know about your counterfeit they have screwdown crown's and if the crown is out that's another way to get moisture into your watch really fast.

 

It’s not counterfeit, it’s a 1601 case with a 1035 movement. The dial fits the 1035 but could be also originally from somthing else. All parts are genuine Rolex but not made to be together. The gaskets for the 1601 case were changed out which is making me question what could have happened.

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11 hours ago, easthammer said:

It’s not counterfeit, it’s a 1601 case with a 1035 movement. The dial fits the 1035 but could be also originally from somthing else. All parts are genuine Rolex but not made to be together. The gaskets for the 1601 case were changed out which is making me question what could have happened.

I was trying to think about this logically, old watches with no effective water resistance let air moisture in and out naturally without any real issues. Just the same as any container that has air leaks. We all have watches like this nearly a 100 years old that have no resistance yet also have no rust in them.  My thought was if moisure is  trapped inside a cased watch that hasn't shown any signs of condensation in the two week test period. First what were the tests in that period ? Was it worn ?  In my trade which is houses, condensation appears on the coldest surfaces of a room ( almost always glass windows, in a steamy bathroom then a lirror ) when temperature increases in an environment that has moisture.  Applying that to a watch, the heat from the wrist of the wearer increases the environment temperature of the movement ( probably where the moisture has collected ) which then condenses on the inside surface of the glass crystal ( the coolest part of the watch ).

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15 hours ago, easthammer said:

It’s not counterfeit, it’s a 1601 case with a 1035 movement

Yes, if your watch is a mix of genuine Rolex parts calling it counterfeit is inappropriate. A frankenwatch can be authentic, the movement can be all original. Even the best swiss service providers are frugal and have mixed parts of various references and calibers. Even Rolex has done this with ‘transitionals’, crossed out reference numbers and all…

…as to your issue, if speculating water not humidity…the obvious- you have an older cal in a newer case- are the stem and crown authentic to the case or the cal? Do they fit the crown tube? Do they really fit? How do the seals in the crown and tube look?

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Without a waterproof tester, it's is just guesswork. A waterproof tester is quite affordable nowadays. 

Any corrosion of the case can cause even new gaskets to leak. Hardened crown gaskets too.

As John mentioned above, temperature change is the most common cause of water ingress into a watch. It doesn't need to be a hot shower, just washing your hands or getting caught in the rain would trap some water around the crown tube, bezel or caseback. And when you remove the watch, the watch cools to room temperature and the air in watch contracts and draws the trapped water in. 

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Hi, I have an automatic Oris diver's watch model 7653 which has a small amount of condensation under the glass. This first appeared during a recent holiday in Vietnam, where the humidity is very high. If I leave the watch off my wrist with the crown open, the condensation disappears but will re-appear when I wear the watch again, presuambly due to the heat of my wrist. How can I permanently remove the moisture ? I have a plate warmer which operates at 45'; I put the watch in it for a hour with the crown open, will this dry out the moisture ? (I can change the temperature if appropriate.) Is there another method I should try e.g, placing thr watch in a bowl of rice ? Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

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5 hours ago, tonybutton said:

Hi, I have an automatic Oris diver's watch model 7653 which has a small amount of condensation under the glass. This first appeared during a recent holiday in Vietnam, where the humidity is very high. If I leave the watch off my wrist with the crown open, the condensation disappears but will re-appear when I wear the watch again, presuambly due to the heat of my wrist. How can I permanently remove the moisture ? I have a plate warmer which operates at 45'; I put the watch in it for a hour with the crown open, will this dry out the moisture ? (I can change the temperature if appropriate.) Is there another method I should try e.g, placing thr watch in a bowl of rice ? Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

Removing condensation, or any moisture really has more to do  with airflow than heat. Airflow will remove it quicker than heat, but the two together will work better. A food dry would provide both, set to a low temperature like 30 degrees for short periods at a time. As has been metioned though you also run the risk of drying out the lubricants if done for too long. Also wouldn't you want to check inside to see if any flash rusting has occurred ?

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19 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

with airflow than heat.

ideally if you want to remove condensation from the watch the best way is to remove the back. Otherwise pulling the crown out is wishful thinking as even when the crown is out it still supposed to be water resistant at least to a certain degree which means the moisture is not going to leave willingly if at all the longer the moisture is in there the more likely rust will form. Rust with lubrication makes a really good grinding compound especially over time. So eventually down the road your watch. And it will not be a pretty picture inside that is if there's any rust anywhere so the best way is to take the back off and get some air and get the moisture to go away

 

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Thanks very much for your responses. I did in fact take the watch to a local watchmaker (not easy to find in Tasmania) when I got back from Vietnam who cleaned the watch and told me that there was no water damage and no new parts were required. However, the condensation returned after a couple of days. I take your point about airflow and understand that flow through a the crown will be negligible even when it's open. Do you  think my next step should be to remove the back and leave it open for a day or so. Also, do you think it is safe to put the watch in the plate warmer for, say, 20 mins at 30' ? 

Thanks again for your advice.

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  • 5 months later...

the screw-in case tube needs to be sealed in and correct [some have a bevel and some have a squared shoulder with the lead gasket] I think yours being older is the bevel type, the case tube has an o-ring that needs to be in great shape [not hard or damaged] and the crown has a gasket inside of it that needs to be in great shape, after market gasket sets are available and work just fine, the 1601 case should have a 1565-1575 movement [if you were wondering] and a plexi 25-118 crystal, your movement swap may be ok fitment wise but the crystal should be correct as the bezel creates the tension needed, some people replace the crystal with a modern mineral/sapphire after-market replacement but they don't always seal good enough.... 

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  • 3 months later...
1 hour ago, DanielCampbel said:

I've dealt with condensation issues in replica watches before, and it can be a bit frustrating. Condensation often occurs when there's a sudden change in temperature, like going from a cold room to a warm one.

Warm moist air that settles on a cold surface .

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/28/2024 at 11:35 AM, DanielCampbel said:

I've dealt with condensation issues in replica watches before, and it can be a bit frustrating. Condensation often occurs when there's a sudden change in temperature, like going from a cold room to a warm one.

This happens because the air inside the watch expands and contracts, creating moisture. replica watches are more prone to condensation problems because they may not have the same level of quality and precision in their seals as authentic watches. So, to minimize condensation, it's essential to avoid exposing your replica watch to extreme temperature changes. Regular servicing is also crucial. This helps maintain the integrity of the seals and ensures that your watch is in good working condition. If you notice condensation in your replica watch, it's best to take it to a professional watchmaker for inspection and repair.

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I find this issue very interesting.

I live in the tropics, where relative humidity can be over 90%. I have serviced many cheap, $10 watches with snap on cases with no gaskets and only dust proof crowns. Yet these watches do not fog up or have water ingress damage.

I've had a Rado Voyager which would fog up everytime I got caught in the rain. The problem was finally resolved when I replaced the waterproof crown.

I suspect that the leaky gasket in the crown allowed water that was trapped under the crown to get sucked in when the watch was removed from the wrist and the air inside the watch case cooled and contracted.

16 hours ago, DanielCampbel said:

This happens because the air inside the watch expands and contracts, creating moisture.

No, you cannot create moisture by expanding and contracting air. If it were so, there would be no water problems in the world.

Many years ago I was asked to look into a problem that a popular brand of electric toothbrushes was experiencing. The toothbrush body was sealed with double gaskets and the oscillating drive shaft was sealed with flanged shaft seals, like the propeller of a submarine. But many toothbrushes were failing and when each one was opened up, they were filled was water, toothpaste and muck.

I dunked the toothbrushes in a tank of water and pressurized them and had no failures. But when the toothbrushes were switched on, dunked in water, pressurized and thermocycled, many of them failed.

My conclusion was oscillating shafts toothbrushes will fail. That's why you see many companies producing sonic toothbrushes instead.

 

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