Making a Watch Water Proof/ Water Resistant
Gray and Sons Jewelers has seen it all when it comes to watch repairs. One of our most common repair drop-offs is brought in by clients whose watches have suffered water entrance. What many clients are unaware of is that if this water entrance is not taken care of immediately, the movement can begin to erode and rust can quickly form, destroying the movement.
Whether a client is picking up a watch they just purchased or just had it repaired here at Gray and Sons Jewelers, we make sure to always provide them with one pivotal piece of advice. This being, whenever setting, winding, or even simply playing around with the watch's complications and features, always make sure the crown is firmly closed or screwed down when finished.
The #1 reason watch owners deal with water entrance in their timepieces is that they fail to check that the crown is closed while wearing the watch on their wrist. As mentioned earlier, when a watch experiences water entrance, there is a narrow window of time before rust and corrosion begin to overwhelm the movement of the watch.
This rust and moisture can cause buildup inside of the watch’s mechanism and cause friction or jams which compromise the integrity of the movement, affecting the quality of its performance in keeping time.
The kind of water that enters a watch is also crucial to its comeback rate. Salt water, for example, is much dryer and contains minerals that speed up the production of rust. It is for this reason that whenever a watch with moisture under the glass enters our repair shop at Gray and Sons Jewelers, we urge an entire overhaul and detail to be done on the timepiece right away.
First things first, we open the case back of the watch and look for any possibility of any unusable parts. If we find any rusted or damaged parts that need replacing, we locate and source them. Once we’ve diagnosed any issues in the watch and know what extra watch parts are needed, our watchmaker takes apart the watch piece by piece and prepares it for cleaning.
The watch movement, crystal, and watch stem are separated from the head and bracelet. The case and bracelet are given to our head polisher while our watchmakers begin working on the movement. Piece by piece, our watchmaker begins dismantling the watch’s mechanism evaluating every piece.
Once the watch parts that need sourcing are identified, our watchmaker prepares the timepiece’s wheels, springs, pivots, mainspring, barrel, and plates to be cleaned and sources the parts that are needed. We use six different cleaning solutions in an ultrasonic machine to make sure all dirt, dust, and dried oils are extracted from every crevice within the watch parts.
Oftentimes, a watch that has experienced water entrance has developed some stains or discoloration on the dial. If possible, we try to clean the surface of the dial to restore its original finish. However, sometimes these stains are so prominent, that only a dial re-finishing job can offer a solid solution. Here at Gray and Sons Jewelers, we also offer the option to refinish a dial with water damage, speak to our repair department for more information!
Once the watch parts are cleaned, the watchmaker starts to reassemble the movement while adding lubricants wherever designated and replacing all the gaskets to ensure the proper water resistance. This tedious process usually takes anywhere from two to five hours per watch! Of course, assuming the watchmaker isn’t interrupted and all parts continue functioning. Now is when a brand new acrylic crystal or sapphire crystal is placed on the watch.
While Gray and Sons’ watchmaker works on the movement, we have our polisher give the watch cleaning and polish around the case to remove the dents or scratches. He then put the case in our ultrasonic machine for a bath and finally to rinse and dry.
Once our watchmaker puts together the movement and re-cases the watch, it's time for the final steps of our repair process. Before returning the client their watch, we must execute a final quality control procedure to ensure the watch runs as accurately as possible.
In this quality control, we measure the watch’s amplitude using special machines that listen to the heartbeat of the watch. We also test the watch’s water resistance with a machine that simulates a deep plunge using air pressure to check for leaks.
Additionally, we check that all complications are functioning fully (i.e. the hour, minute, seconds, day, date, month, moon phase, chronograph, etc.). If both amplitude and water tests pass, the watch gets put on our winding wheel for observation where it rotates and mimics the movement of a wrist for 6-8 hours. The watch must then rest and run for the next 20-30 hours.
With this machine, we can analyze the power reserve on the watch and make sure the automatic is providing power up to par from 24 - 36 hours. Our complete restoration process can take up to 8 weeks.
Get to Know More About Us, Gray and Sons Jewelers - Watch Specialists and Estate Jewelry Buying and Selling
For over 41 years, Gray and Sons have specialized in the luxury business of pre-owned watches and estate jewelry. Every item in our inventory is estate pieces in platinum, gold, and silver that have been repaired or restored and polished to like-new condition.
Every day customers come into our independent watch repair center to sell us their watches and jewelry items so our inventory is ever-growing. Through our constantly updated website, customers can request a free monthly catalog that includes our updated inventory, as many things come in every month.
Our sales associates are fluent in English, Spanish, French, Polish, and Russian so language barriers are often not a problem. Aside from buying, selling, and repairing, we also do trade-ins or take things in on consignment. For all your luxury needs, come visit us!
Our showroom is located in the heart of Miami Beach diagonally across the street from the world-renowned Bal Harbour Shops. If ever in the area, we highly recommend you come into our store; we’d love to meet you!
Visit Gray and Sons Jewelers is a one-stop source for all your luxury watches and high-end jewelry needs throughout Florida, especially in Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, and Fort Lauderdale. Gray and Sons have an excellent reputation with many customers in New York, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Chicago. Access our website by clicking here for a free estimate.