3 Hacks on How To Remove Condensation from Watches for Immediate Results

It’s not anyone’s particular story about getting water inside a watch.

In fact, people have countlessly encountered the same problems of identifying small droplets on the crystal on their watches out of nowhere, not to mention dropping them underwater.

The big question is, how to defog watches from the inside where you cannot touch with ease?

Which parts should you detach from the overall construction, the crown, or the O-ring?

Discover the three most conventional hacks of how to remove condensation from watches on top of its contributing factors and prevention approaches in our latest life-hack release below.

Why is My Watch Having Condensation?

Condensation is Formed by Suspended Solids in Cold Air

You’re having a foggy watch situation going around tracked down to multiple culprits, and it’s of absolute importance to hunt these parties down against future mishaps.

Below are the most encountered cases of condensation in watch faces:

Origin of the Watch
Drastic swings in temperature

This event takes place frequently during the winter. You have a walk outdoors in the chills, which allows colloids to penetrate inside a watch. Later when you step into cozy houses or buildings, these colloids appear under the form of liquefied droplets onto the watch surface.

A crack in the glass

Once your spotless watch gets a split on top, suspended solids will flock internally more rigorously, which facilitates condensation in watch faces after liquefaction.

A crumbling water-resistant seal

Condensation pays frequent visits to your watch if the water-resistant seal is falling apart at the seams. A loosely engineered watch winder would also play its fair share to create condensation, thus please consult a skilled watchmaker about the shabby seal upon first notice.

A plunge into the deep

Despite being water-resistant, if a watch stays underwater for ages, it will yield to condensation eventually because of high water pressure.

No water-resistant qualification

If you go without a water-resistant seal, yet accidentally dropped your watch down the blue and didn’t give it an immediate first-aid, condensation is ineluctable.

A dip in quality

It’s no easy task to admit that you’ve been deceived by the brand’s hocus pocus in the first place, and your watch is of poor quality. Please return if possible, as no craftworks can prevent a poorly-made watch from condensation or any other wear and tear.

How to know if your watch is having condensation?

If you want to remove condensation from watches, you’d better have the eyes to identify what condensation looks like.

The most common sign of a watch drenched in condensation appears under the form of internal tiny dew drops on the crystal on the watch face.

If there’s a fog-like curtain shading the internal watch face or you’re noticing some metal parts inside the watch becoming rusty, it’s high chances that all kinds of liquefied particles have successfully penetrated and corroded the inner system.

Do not hesitate to take your watch out to a skilled watchmaker, as the longer you allow saltwater, algae, or soap particles to come into contact with the watch, the more metal parts they would eat away.

Methods on how to defog your watch crystal

After successfully identifying whether your watch is truly covered in condensation or not, the next big quest is, how to get the moisture out of a watch?

The simplest way has got to be taking it to a reputable watchmaker. Yet not everyone wants to spend some coins out of their purse all the time, and maybe there are people who would like to get their watches treated at once before tossing them to the hand of competent experts.

Thus, by common wisdom, these are the most popular DIY methods of removing condensation from watches with the biggest amount of real-life proofs. Shall we self-verify?

Absorb the fog with a bed of rice/artificial desiccants

Remove Condensation using Instant or Uncooked Rice

On top of artificial desiccants such as silica and cat litter, a bowl of rice is conventionally the handiest when it comes to a case of emergency. In history, rice has normally been engaged with dehydrating camera equipment and preventing salt shaker clumping.

Among all kinds of rice, the instant branch is more commonly adopted in terms of moisture-wicking than uncooked rice, as it produces better results with its already dried state of preservation.

If you drop your watch into the water or notice internal droplets on the watch crystal, remove the crown and put it into a jar of rice overnight or twice the period. Afterward, check if the moisture has been completely sucked out.

In the same fashion, you can leave the crown into a small container of silica gel or cat litter for a while to get the fog off your watch.

Get the mist out of your watch under direct sunlight

Remove Moisture Out of a Watch under Natural Sunlight

Today is sunny and your patio/window sill is receiving a hearty amount of sunlight reflection.

Maybe you’ve walked out with the watch uncovered from a downpour yesterday.

Maybe you’ve dived into the swimming pool at the back of your yard without stripping off the watch.

When you allow moisture to enter the inner system of your watch unintentionally, the most economical way should be laying it out in the sun for the mist to evaporate.

If the back of the watch is easy to disassemble, remove it before lying the watch dial-up in a downward direction (facing the cloth or any contact area) and let the natural heat warm the backup.

Give it a quick check every then and now to avoid overheating.

Warm the foggy watches with alternative sources of heat

Remove Condensation using Lamp Hacks

The sun doesn’t radiate prominently for 365 days, so how to remove moisture out of a watch in the winter or on cloudy days?

The whole point of laying a foggy watch under the sun is to dry its face and crystal by heat. So to replace sunlight, we must find other controllable artificial heat sources.

The safest alternative will you find to substitute sunlight is a lamp beside your bed. It radiates a considerable level of warmth, so it’s easy to guard after you put your watch untucked back upside down the shade.

Once all the mist has vaporized, let the watch sit outside (in sharply cold weather preferably) for the parts to cool down completely before reassembly.

Other sources of artificial heat for you to refer to are a blow dryer or an oven. These defogging methods are the most time-effective, for sure, yet you have to put the most care into the execution process.

To put it simply, you would have to remove the back case of your watch, and more recommended, the inner workings as well.

Next, lay all the parts on a towel or cloth, regardless of the directions.

Proceeding, you can dry all the parts first-hand under the lowest heat setting of the hairdryer or guard carefully their drying process adjacent to the indirect heat from a working oven.

Finally, attach the parts in the same order you’ve taken them apart, pay special attention to the position and tightness of the water-resistant gasket if available.

What water-resistant ratings really mean for your watch?

Water-Resistant Ratings Engraved at The Back of A Watch

There’s little transparency in interpreting water-resistant ratings at the back of your watch. If you see the number 50 meters engraved on your back case, that doesn’t really translate into its capability of submerging 50 meters underwater and still running soundly.

In theory, if the watch is 50-meter watertight, this means that the rubber/silicone O-ring seal still stays in place under a 50-meter water bed. Take swimming for example, for practical reasons, all this rating seems negligible as the friction your arms create while swimming on the surface exerts equal pressure with the point 50-meter under still water.

That’s much left to say, for safety intentions and durability, you shouldn’t swim with a watch under 10 ATM/bars (100 meters) of water-resistant value, or dive with below 20-bar rating. In fact, you’d better not let the rain come into contact with your watch if it’s in a 3-ATM range.

The thing is, watchmakers use water-resistance in specs descriptions because no single piece of the wristwatch is completely water-proof. And since the O-ring gasket is prone to wear and tear over time, you may consider using a watch below its water-resistant rating to make up for the wearing out.

When should you consult watch professionals?

Consult Professionals if You Don't Know How to Take A Watch Apart or In Severe Damage

As mentioned in the beginning, all the DIY approaches are just temporary solutions. Out of consideration for your timepiece in the long term, at least pay a trip to a reputable watchmaker once to find out the roots of the condensation.

A wristwatch is made up of over a hundred pieces of microscope working inners. That’s why even with just mild condensation, you need to consult experts to get to the core of the issue based on how dedicated all the internal details are.

Walking your timepiece out to professionals is the most rational way to adopt if you find yourself Googling countless instructions just to figure out how to take the face of a wristwatch out, not to mention the back case or the inner workings.

Bring the watch to a skilled watchmaker or jeweler, and he will lift the fog out of your watch beautifully in no time on your account. Some may dry all the parts under a lamp, but more thoroughly and more dedicated in assembling techniques than a homemade routine.

How to prevent condensation from happening?

There’s an old saying, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, instead of waiting to find a way to defog condensation later, you can self-prescribe a dose of medication beforehand by employing the following disciplines.

  • Get yourself a timepiece with an excessive water-resistant rating intended for your daily use. That’s how you can make up for the wear and tear process of the rubber/silicone O-ring gasket around the crown and extend the life of your watch.

In particular, the following are the conventional rules of water-resistant ratings for you as a reference:

  • 30 meters (3 bars/ATM): Resist against hand-washing, water splashes, and a drizzle.
  • 50 meters (5 bars/ATM): Resist against heavy rain.
  • 100 meters (10 bars/ATM): Resist against water sports like swimming or snorkeling.
  • 200 meters (20 bars/ATM): Resist against deep diving.
  • If your watch face suffers a crack, it’s inevitable for condensation to occur. Hence, you should either buy a new watch or replace the face as soon as possible.
  • Under any circumstance, keep your watch away from coming into contact with water at any level.

Bottom Line

Condensation, no matter how thick or thin the fog inside your watch covers, still takes away all the essence and grace of the watch.

The best way to maintain your watch and stop as many incidents for moisture to enter your watch face as possible is to be aware of what water-resistant value it’s intended for.

If the gasket has compromised, or if you’ve accidentally dropped your watch down the water, you can employ some conventional methods of defogging such as using absorbent desiccants, heat, or consulting professionals.

Just make sure to trace down the roots of how the moisture got into the watch in the first place, and be able to perform the task of how to remove condensation from watches properly. If you work out the steps successfully, your watch will absolutely operate as well as new.

Further reading

Ten Tips for Watch care | IWC Schaffhausen

Watch Education – Watch Maintenance – Tourneau