Whether or not your watch is water-resistant, exposure to moisture, high humidity, perspiration or any amount of water increases your risk of collecting water inside the watch face, which can cause malfunctions, mechanical errors and the need for replacement of the crystal, crown, back gasket and more. Taking it for professional service is essential.
Debunking Watch Myths
Several myths on how to remove water from a watch are circulating. Trouble is, many of these so-called fixes are implausible -- such as filling a zip-locked bag with rice, which does not remove internal water. Other purported fixes can, potentially, actually cause further damage -- such as airing out your watch near a heater: Heat can cause rusting, and radiators let off steam that can cause further damage. Additionally, if your watch is under warranty, removing the back of the watch to air it out can void the warranty.
Whether or not your watch is under warranty, when water collects inside the face of your watch, take it to a service center as soon as possible so a professional can repair it properly. Qualified service centers have advanced techniques -- and technologies -- such as ultrasonic cleaning machines and high-pressure air devices, designed to remove water from timepieces.
Regular upkeep and maintenance reduce your risk of collecting water and debris inside your watch face. If your watch is water-resistant, take it in for regular checkups, about once a year, to test and renew this feature, and ensure all gaskets and seals are intact. And keep in mind, not all water-resistant features function at the same degree, so read up on the specific anti-water features your timepiece offers.
If your watch is not water-resistant, avoid water and moisture. But the biggest way to prevent water damage, even if you own a water-resistant swimmer or diver's watch, is to ensure the crown is properly closed. And, if you do dive or swim with your watch, after use, clean it with fresh water and dry with a soft damp cloth.