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Old 17 May 2021, 01:10 PM   #1
Gab27
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Dear Experts--How often should my Rolex be pressure tested?

I've read different things on different forums about this. Obviously, I recognize that it is a lot more expensive to overhaul a watch that suffers water damage than it is to replace gaskets. I also assume that gaskets/gasket lubricants have improved substantially since some of the things I've read on forums dating 10+ years back.

I'm going to be doing quite a lot of swimming and some diving this summer (under 60 feet) and I plan to wear my watch while doing this now and going forward given that is what it is made for. It's about a 2.5 year old 114060 and I am the second owner. Presumably, it might not need movement service for another 5-8 years, but I know that gaskets can degrade in that time. Usage will be fresh, brackish, and salt.

With regular aquatic usage, how often should my watch be pressure tested?
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Old 17 May 2021, 03:23 PM   #2
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If you're in salt water frequently I'd get it pressure tested every year and maybe have the watch case taken apart every 5 years to replace all the gaskets.

I've seen 10ish year old Rolexes that passed a pressure test but when taken apart the gaskets were rock hard and the crystal gasket simply shattered. Better safe than sorry IMO.

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Old 17 May 2021, 05:28 PM   #3
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If you're in salt water frequently I'd get it pressure tested every year and maybe have the watch case taken apart every 5 years to replace all the gaskets.

I've seen 10ish year old Rolexes that passed a pressure test but when taken apart the gaskets were rock hard and the crystal gasket simply shattered. Better safe than sorry IMO.

Have to agree when I was working as a Padi dive instructor used to pressure check my SD twice a year and service every 3-5 years without fail.
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Old 17 May 2021, 09:20 PM   #4
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Once a year with more frequent service.
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Old 17 May 2021, 10:10 PM   #5
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I can understand the need for frequent pressure checks of Rolexes used in the water. How about for those of us who don't get near the water?
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Old 17 May 2021, 10:44 PM   #6
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I can understand the need for frequent pressure checks of Rolexes used in the water. How about for those of us who don't get near the water?
For regular use I'd just get it serviced every 10 years and not worry about it
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Old 19 May 2021, 10:02 AM   #7
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Bas, Peter, and William - thank you so much! I really appreciate it! I'll plan to service more frequently.

I talked to a Rolex AD and they said that they would not pressure test a Rolex under warranty and instead would send it to RSC for this. It looks like there are inexpensive (bit over 100 USD) pressure testers on Amazon that have a pretty straightforward function of placing the watch in a cylinder chamber with the watch suspended above a water line, the air in the chamber is compressed allowing the pressure inside the watch to build and then equalize over a few minutes, after which the watch is lowered into the water, and then the air pressure is reduced to see how much air leaks out of the watch. Any thoughts on using one these? Is this one of those straight forward things that is reasonably safe or something to avoid like the plague?
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Old 19 May 2021, 11:12 PM   #8
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I dive fairly frequently and have on my calendar to pressure test (RSC or other brands service agency) every two years and full service every five years for watches seeing salt water service. Other watches just get serviced per manufacturers recommendation.
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Old 28 May 2021, 04:40 AM   #9
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My local CW21 has said they won’t do a 300m wet test without a full service. Does that make sense? I’m not doing a full service every year to get a pressure test.
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Old 28 May 2021, 04:52 AM   #10
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My local CW21 has said they wonít do a 300m wet test without a full service. Does that make sense? Iím not doing a full service every year to get a pressure test.
The watchmaker likely wants to know that all of the seals and gaskets are optimum.

Ask yourself though, do you really need a 300m pressure test, or do you just need to know that it is not overtly leaking. You aren't going to take it much deeper than 30 feet.
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Old 28 May 2021, 05:55 AM   #11
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The watchmaker likely wants to know that all of the seals and gaskets are optimum.

Ask yourself though, do you really need a 300m pressure test, or do you just need to know that it is not overtly leaking. You aren't going to take it much deeper than 30 feet.
I wouldn’t bother with a dive < 30 ft. I dive regularly to 80-100 ft and occasionally to 170-250 feet. Obviously not 1000 ft, but enough to need more than the dry test.

Added:

They also didn’t offer to change the seals and do the test. They wanted to do a full service. Why do I need a perfectly working movement serviced to get new seals?
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Old 28 May 2021, 06:13 AM   #12
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Dear Experts--How often should my Rolex be pressure tested?

Watchmakerís time is worth more $ per hour than the price one is willing to pay for a wet test.

Hereís an example of what sometimes happens with a wet test



So Iím guessing your watchmaker knows why he doesnít do these tests without a full overhaul.


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Old 28 May 2021, 06:21 AM   #13
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New trustworthy seals? Sure. Full movement service? Why?
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Old 28 May 2021, 03:32 PM   #14
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I wouldnít bother with a dive < 30 ft. I dive regularly to 80-100 ft and occasionally to 170-250 feet. Obviously not 1000 ft, but enough to need more than the dry test.

Added:

They also didnít offer to change the seals and do the test. They wanted to do a full service. Why do I need a perfectly working movement serviced to get new seals?
Because they don't think it is worth their time and effort and rather want to do a full service.
I'd find a different place.
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Old 28 May 2021, 04:16 PM   #15
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Because they don't think it is worth their time and effort and rather want to do a full service.
I'd find a different place.
I plan on it. Thank God there are Rolex certified watchmakers on every corner.
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Old 28 May 2021, 05:31 PM   #16
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I can understand the need for frequent pressure checks of Rolexes used in the water. How about for those of us who don't get near the water?


Given the cost of service you'd be better off buying a Timegrapher and monitoring. Then you can get it serviced when it needs to be rather than possibly raising your money.


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Old 29 May 2021, 05:31 AM   #17
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Because they don't think it is worth their time and effort and rather want to do a full service.
I'd find a different place.
Presumably a competent watchmaker would rather strip the case down and inspect each component prior to subjecting a watch to a 300m wet pressure test. Seals are all well and good but its no good if you've got an old/faulty component within the case assembly.
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Old 29 May 2021, 07:20 AM   #18
Mal H.
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I'm not trying to be difficult, but there seems to be mixed signals.

On one hand we're advised to have the watch pressure checked once a year and have it serviced a little more often. Fine. No problem.

On the other we're told watchmakers are too busy to do pressure tests which is a problem if you want to follow the above advice and reduce the risk of flooding your watch.

So, what am I misunderstanding? These annual pressure tests that members are advising...do you all mean 10 BAR dry tests? Or am I expected to pay for a full service and be without my watch 4-6 weeks per year just to keep its waterproof rating?
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Old 29 May 2021, 04:04 PM   #19
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I usually go to my AD for a pressure test. It is a 10 bar dry test, all of the staff know how to do it as far as i know. I only use my watches for swimming and I think that is OK. It costs something like $20, but they have so far always waived it when I want to pay.
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Old 30 May 2021, 09:06 PM   #20
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I'm not trying to be difficult, but there seems to be mixed signals.

On one hand we're advised to have the watch pressure checked once a year and have it serviced a little more often. Fine. No problem.

On the other we're told watchmakers are too busy to do pressure tests which is a problem if you want to follow the above advice and reduce the risk of flooding your watch.

So, what am I misunderstanding? These annual pressure tests that members are advising...do you all mean 10 BAR dry tests? Or am I expected to pay for a full service and be without my watch 4-6 weeks per year just to keep its waterproof rating?
This is unnecessary and no component watchmaker would advise this

Have the watch serviced every 5 years, at which point the seals are replaced. They are then good for the next 5 years. You've then got nothing to worry about.
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Old 20 June 2021, 11:11 AM   #21
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Great recommendations and as someone who spends a fair bit of time in salt water..these tips were extremely helpful
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