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Old 12 August 2020, 02:09 PM   #1
RenePeters
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Icon7 Rolex seals and dust entering the watch- likely? Effects?

Hello and good day!

I would like to say how it is such a wonderful and knowledgeable community that has been built here and how I feel privileged to be a member. I do not really go online frequently but I have a lot more amount of spare time now thanks to Covid

Anyway, to my thoughts- I have a 12 year old Explorer and was hoping to find out how dust proof it is with the crown out. I say dust and I mean pocket lint, small fibres, bits of hair, run on the mill house duts (nothing fine like sand etc).

I was preparing my watch for some macro photos with friends when I pulled the crown out and can see what I have heard described as a fine line of gunk across one of the crown threads. I also noticed what looked like a nice little environment of hair and clothing fibre at the base of the crown tube.

It is nothing too serious since I had my camera out I just gently brushed threads with lens cleaning micro cloth and then lightly swept away what I could see with a small soft brush that is used to clean my lens. Finally I finished it off with a few puff of air from the blower I use to remove dust from camera sensor. This look to have removed all of the visible dust and residues from crown area

My question are:

1. How effective is the o-ring around the stem in keeping out dusts? I have heard from research experience here that people have swim fine with crown out accidentally but also that after a hot shower with crown out leads to condensation inside watch. Assuming o-ring seal is in a new watch on a twinlock watch like Explorer.

2. Can dusts and hair enter through open crown and actually work its way into the watch? I did notice I had a hair wrapped around my crown threads since I am a hairy person but for others it might be a fabric thread from a jacket etc. If the crown is closed 99% of time, just opened when winding or setting time, could something actually work itself up threads into the opening of tube and down to the stem? Or is this something Rolex engineers have thought of already?

3. If dusts does enter watch somehow, can it actually damage movement or work its way into the dial where you will just see it one day or is the dial completely separate from movement? Is this something people consider when buying second hand or older watch? Since it is not something easily checkable without a watchmaker or a loupe for the dial.

Thank you for reading this far and providing your input. I hope this thread can also help someone in the future doing research.

Best regards

Rene
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Old 12 August 2020, 07:12 PM   #2
RenePeters
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Thank you moderators for approving my post

Rene
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Old 12 August 2020, 07:45 PM   #3
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I think the answer is in your question, you have 12 years with your Explorer and it's perfect! They are little wonders.

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Old 12 August 2020, 10:02 PM   #4
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I wouldn't worry too much. You've had it for 12 years already and didn't mention any issues. When you next send it in for cleaning/servicing, they'll clean the remaining dust and debris.

Last edited by DC116710LN; 12 August 2020 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 12 August 2020, 10:15 PM   #5
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It’s not an issue to be concerned with, so long as the crown is fully tightened. One of the things I like the most about my Rolex is I simply don’t give it much thought. I go about my day doing anything from mountain biking to housework to office work and it takes what ever I throw at it. I’m long beyond the stage of worrying about a scuff here and there and so have never worried about it failing on me in some way.
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Old 13 August 2020, 12:28 AM   #6
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Iíve had to replace crown / crown and stem during RSC overhaul on a couple of occasions, on watches that tagged along on desert deployments.

Both probably got crap on the threads and started to feel gritty. No idea if there is a correlation between damage and environment, but thatís been my experience.

Short of having to replace the crown / crown and stem, no other damage reported during service.


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Old 13 August 2020, 01:05 PM   #7
RenePeters
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Thank you for all the input. My Explorer works fine, moving the crown does not feel gritty at all- I was just wondering on a more general sense with how the whole assembly works.

Rene
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Old 13 August 2020, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChips View Post
Iíve had to replace crown / crown and stem during RSC overhaul on a couple of occasions, on watches that tagged along on desert deployments.

Both probably got crap on the threads and started to feel gritty. No idea if there is a correlation between damage and environment, but thatís been my experience.

Short of having to replace the crown / crown and stem, no other damage reported during service.


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In the real world crown tubes are always replaced as part of RSC service,and sometimes crowns too, both just disposable service items.
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Old 13 August 2020, 10:09 PM   #9
RenePeters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC116710LN View Post
I wouldn't worry too much. You've had it for 12 years already and didn't mention any issues. When you next send it in for cleaning/servicing, they'll clean the remaining dust and debris.
Thank you, I have not had it serviced yet and I am a believe in if it is not broken- don't fix it! It is still keeping good time so I am hoping to go a few more years before sending it back to RSC.
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Old 13 August 2020, 10:13 PM   #10
RenePeters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChips View Post
Iíve had to replace crown / crown and stem during RSC overhaul on a couple of occasions, on watches that tagged along on desert deployments.

Both probably got crap on the threads and started to feel gritty. No idea if there is a correlation between damage and environment, but thatís been my experience.

Short of having to replace the crown / crown and stem, no other damage reported during service.


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That's very interesting, sounds like they just replace the crown and stem as part of routine maintenance like Padi has said. I live in a beach town so there is always some sand everywhere, I usually keep my house tidy enough but you never know I always am careful but it's just one of those over the years things hoping nothing has gotten in when changing time :) I am an old man, due to be retiring soon- no more money to spend on watches!

Rene
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Old 13 August 2020, 11:17 PM   #11
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I had my sub leak once while scuba diving. Prior I had been working in extreme dust conditions for months. I would occasionally find crown loose or popped all the way out.

The layman way I see it is if you can turn the crown to set time date then there is a connecting rod that goes from the outside knob to the inside mechanism. That rod has to be sealed by an inner o-ring that you cannot see. O-rings need to be clean and dirt free to function properly. One microscopic piece of sand will cut the o-ring when rod is turned inside it. So that outer o-ring you can see below the crown will not pressure proof the innards of the watch by itself but will act like a filter to stop dirt from getting to the critical internal o-ring seal.

Some dont know what an o-ring is: It is a rubber doughnut that creates more sealing when more pressure is applied to one side of it.
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Old 13 August 2020, 11:55 PM   #12
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This story might give you more confidence about the design integrity of the crown to keep water and debris out.

https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=252013
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Old 14 August 2020, 12:57 AM   #13
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In the real world crown tubes are always replaced as part of RSC service,and sometimes crowns too, both just disposable service items.

Right. That has been my experience as well, although I donít think it happened on the last service of my Explorer II.


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Old 14 August 2020, 12:59 AM   #14
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This story might give you more confidence about the design integrity of the crown to keep water and debris out.

https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=252013

Thatís a cool story.

A friend of mine lost a class ring, while diving off the east coast of Africa. 20 years later, the ring was not only found but also returned to its rightful owner.

Weird shit happens...


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Old 14 August 2020, 01:32 AM   #15
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When the crown is unscrewed, it does not leave an open hole to the environment. While, over time and motion, it is possible for something to migrate past the seals that are inside the tube, it is not a common event.

Here is a diagram. for a Twin lock, there is one less o-ring in the tube, but it does have the primary inner o-ring seal, which clearly states that it is active even with the crown unscrewed.

TripLock.jpg
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Old 14 August 2020, 03:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tools View Post
When the crown is unscrewed, it does not leave an open hole to the environment. While, over time and motion, it is possible for something to migrate past the seals that are inside the tube, it is not a common event.

Here is a diagram. for a Twin lock, there is one less o-ring in the tube, but it does have the primary inner o-ring seal, which clearly states that it is active even with the crown unscrewed.

Attachment 1156973
Awesome diagram.
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