Moisture or water built up in a watch is the most common enemy to affect its functionality. Water or moisture causes condensation and in turn, corrodes the components from within.
Various reasons can cause water condensation in your watch – temperature changes, increase in humidity, a water-resistant watch exposed to a lot of water than what it can take, small gaps or cracks in your watch allowing water to seep in, or even an older watch with shrunken o-ring. When water gets into the watch, you will notice a fog form on the glass, making it difficult to read the time.
Even some of the best swimming watches on the market that are specifically designed to be submerged in water can still get condensation.
When this happens for a long period, it can also affect the overall performance of the watch or even cause your watch to stop working. Once you notice condensation in your watch, act swiftly to get it rectified. Do not let it sit with the moisture for too long. For this reason, this article focuses on different ways to remove and prevent condensation in a watch. Not all degrees of condensation requires a visit to the watch repair shop. Some home remedies work well without even having to remove the back case.
Keep reading if you are looking for a simple and easy solution to remove the condensation from your watch.
Table of Contents
How To Remove Condensation From A Watch
This list covers different ways in which you can remove condensation from a watch without removing the back case of the watch or without having to visit the repair shop for every small instance.
These easy and effective home remedies offering a quick fix and work effectively for smartwatches and smartphones as well.
A simple Google search will give you multiple hits with this recommendation to use uncooked raw rice as means to remove moisture in your phone or watch. Rice, a common household ingredient, effectively dries out the moisture from watches and electronics. This is a rather simple, but one of the most promising home remedies with a high rate of success.
Place your watch in a bag or sealed container of uncooked rice. You may want to first cover your watch loosely in a paper towel.
The type of rice does not matter, as long as it is uncooked. Then, let it sit in the container for a couple of days. Remove your watch and check for improvement. If the water condensation does not fully leave the watch, place it back in the rice bag for another couple of days and check again. The idea is that the dry rice will slowly absorb the moisture that is trapped in the watch.
You can repeat this process till the rice takes out all the condensation. If your watch has been fully submerged in water, there may be no amount of rice that will totally dry it out – in which case you’ll need to take it to a repair shop where they can open it up and carefully dry all the internal parts.
Sunlight, a natural unlimited source, is one of the easiest and effective methods to remove moisture from any device. The heat from the sunlight evaporates any moisture or fog built up in your watch. Some watch experts recommend pulling the crown out while letting it sit in the heat.
However, remember to not leave your watch or device in direct sunlight for long hours. The sunlight can increase the temperature to more than it can handle. As a result, the process can turn out to be counter-productive.
If you receive direct sunlight at home, place it under that heat for a maximum of a couple of hours. But, if this does not dry out all the moisture in one go, leave it in the sunlight again the next day. The trick is to use a few hours of sunlight in a day, and not expose it to long hours of direct sunlight.
A common household appliance – the blowdryer can come to your watch’s rescue. Place the watch on a surface that can take the heat from the blowdryer without heating up the surface swiftly. Set the blowdryer to low heat and blow out the watch until you visibly see the condensation dry away.
It is essential to remember that using a blowdryer can get extremely hot when running it for a long time so it is best to use a blowdryer with caution. Likewise, if your watch has a plastic case or a material that cannot withstand heat, avoid using this method altogether.
You may have noticed a small white bag with gel or small beads in new electronic boxes or clothing you buy or you can buy them specifically for storing items and keeping out moisture.
Known as Silica Gel, these small bags drain any moisture, keeping the electronics dry.
Place your watch in a bowl full of silica gel for a few days and you will evidently notice the condensation dry away.
While this might seem like a rather unusual method – cat little absorbs moisture and can work for your watch as well. If you have a cat at home, you have easy access to cat little. Similar to the method of using uncooked rice, first loosely wrap your watch in a protective piece of cotton fabric or paper towel since cat litter could be abrasive (rice, as we mentioned above, would be a better choice for this method) and then place it in a bag of cat little and check back after a couple of days.
If you don’t have a cat at home, you can try one of the other proven methods mentioned in this list.
Visit The Repair Centre
We recommend not removing the back case yourself in the case of condensation. It can be difficult to place back correctly or can also expose the components to external factors, leading to more damage.
But, if none of these above steps removes the fog in your watch, the condensation may be far more severe than what meets the eye. In this case, take the watch to an authorized repair center for an assessment and evaluation. The experts are better at removing the case and separating all the components out. In doing so, they clean the watch out to dry and fit it back into one piece without any further damage. This can be your last option if all other methods else fail.
How To Prevent Water Condensation Inside Your Watch
Although there are effective remedies to remove condensation in your watch, prevention is always a better option than cure. In light of this, there are few steps you can take to ensure moisture does not build easily.
The first step is to learn about your watch, its features, and its functions. What is the level of water resistance? Is it a sports watch or a dress watch? Is it vintage or new? Each watch is unique and comes with different water specifications. Understanding this encourages you to use the watch in accordance with its specifications, helps you understand why condensation can happen, and thereby, how to prevent it from ever happening.
Waterproof vs Water-Resistant
Contrary to popular belief, waterproof and water-resistant are not the same thing. Waterproof watches, as the name suggests, are completely waterproof. On the other hand, water-resistant watches mean that they are resistant to a certain degree of water exposure. You cannot use them for water-based activities. Simply put, the watch is resistant to some water exposure like splashes and not a lot of water.
However, no watch is truly “waterproof”. Watches come built with resistance to water going up to a certain level, and beyond which, can never be fully waterproof. This means that watches claiming to be waterproof, too, come with a limit on how much they can work underwater. Such watches can normally withstand water activities like diving or snorkeling
Reading Water-Resistant Markings
With every watch, you may notice the level indicated in numbers – feet, meters, ATM, bars, IP, or ISO. What do they mean?
For consumer understanding, watches fall within the range of 100-1000 feet of water resistance. Alternatively, brands also use meters or ATM formats. ATM stands for atmospheres. As a general rule of thumb, less than 3 ATM watches come only with splash resistance. Watches with 3- 5 ATM are good for swimming, and 5-10 ATM or more indicate their deep-water capabilities. Bars are the same as ATM. Many a time, watch brands also indicate time to denote how long the watch is water-resistant, i.e., immersable up to 30 minutes in water.
The IP rating is another method to denote water resistance, often used by industrialists and watchmakers. Determined by International Electrotechnical Commission, the IP rating forms standard for sold and water resistance. For this reason, this rating using the format IP followed by two numbers, i.e., IP22 or IP44. The first number shows the resistance to solid, whereas, the second shows resistance to water. Lower the number of the second digit, lower the resistance to water, and vice versa.
Above all, watches with grater diving usage come with an “ISO 6425” or “Divers” marking on the back case. Accredited by the International Organization for Standardization, this sets the standard of water resistance needed for diving watches.