Did you know that watches are considered jewelry and do you know what to do with a water damaged watch? Precious things deserve extra care, but what should you do when they get involved in accidents?
Pieces of jewelry are commonly precious metals embedded with stones of even higher value and are widely used as gifts for special occasions. With that definition, watches fit the bill, and you may have received one from a loved one.
As with other jewelry, we wear certain watches daily; for work, workouts, and other activities. As such, it’s not that far-fetched that they get some scratches here and there and, worse, get soaked in water.
4 Things To Do To Save Your Water Damaged Watch
When you’re strolling along a beach, passing by a pool to work, or showering after a workout, many things can happen. Some accidents occur in the blink of an eye, and then your favorite watch falls for a splash.
Here are the things you must remember to do for your watch.
1. Immediately pull it out of the water and dry it
Shortly after it has fallen into the water, immediately take the watch out. The faster you can take it off from contact; the better are its chances of coming out unscathed, especially for non-water resistant pieces.
Watch out for your safety when doing this; make sure you don’t injure yourself from trying to save your belongings. If the watch has fallen into a pool of hot water or anything corrosive and skin-irritating liquid-like acids, find something near that you can use to fish it out without directly touching it.
After you’ve recovered it, turn it off and find a clean towel, preferably something made of terrycloth, specifically designed to absorb water. Rub your watch thoroughly with the cloth to take away as much moisture but not too much that you get scratches into it.
Ideally, short contact with water will not cause too much damage to your watch as in other electronic devices where a short circuit is almost inevitable with water. Even most brands of smartwatches are designed against sudden submersion in water.
However, even if your watch was advertised as waterproof or has a water-resistant tag, you must still go over and dry it immediately. Experts would tell you that the part working as the barrier against water entry can wear in time and allow fluid entry.
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2. Let the watch stay in moisture-absorbing materials
After you’ve dried the timepiece well, find some moisture-absorbing substance in your house (or wherever you are) and place your watch there for further water absorption. You don’t have to open the back for this, as the material might enter and disturb the watch’s inner circuit.
Water-absorbing materials have pores and swell with contact with it, examples being rice and other grains. Anything dried organic can work, too, since the water will naturally try to create balance and transfer to the drier material (like oats and tea bags).
The best material for this is desiccants, as they are a medium used even in scientific laboratories. If you have silica gels from your previously bought shoes or bags, that can work as a desiccant for your watch.
Place some drying material in a sealable container, add your watch to it, add more drying material, then cover it. Let it stay there for about two or three days to let all the moisture out while ensuring the container is completely sealed.
3. Check for any water
Once the three-day period has passed, you can now take the watch off the container. Check it thoroughly if there is any more water present inside its cover.
The best way to see that the drying worked is to check for any condensation on the glass embedded in the face of the watch.
Condensation is the liquefying of water from a previously gaseous form. It is evident with intricate droplets, similar to what happens in your window on rainy days.
If no condensation is present, check if all of its hands are ticking normally and if the lights are working well(if it has any). Check if its buttons and knobs are reacting as they usually would before the incident.
If all of these are going well, then your watch has survived. The next step is for you to clean it, to remove any imparted dirt from the drying.
4. Send the watch for maintenance and repair
This step is more of a guarantee but can replace most of the mentioned items. After you have fished out the piece and rubbed it with dry fabric, you can proceed to bring it immediately to a watchmaker for a check-up and repair.
As a guarantee, though, it will help reassure you that nothing went wrong due to the accident and get the watch some proper cleaning.
When something in your watch is working as it originally did, make sure you don’t skip this step if you want to be able to use it for a longer time.
How to check if your watch is waterproof?
There isn’t really a totally waterproof watch. They can resist a decent amount of water interaction for a while, then their seals wear off, where water damage occurs.
Look for an opaque, white rubber material underneath the cover to check for proofing. It should still work if it hasn’t shrunk or turned yellowish yet.
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Now that you know what to do with a water damaged watch, it’s up to you to decide if you’re drying it yourself or sending it for professional care. Remember, though, that you, a jeweler, and a professional watchmaker can do different levels of repair.