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pmeis

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Good input here. Begs the question, though: if soap is that hazardous, how the hell is a Sub supposed to survive salt water at 300 meters?
Not a lot of soap in the ocean...

Seriously though, I believe the running theory is that soap, along with steam, can deteriorate the seals, leaving the ocean an opening. Not sure how true it is, but similarly, if you are using your Sub in seawater regularly, you do need to be a good boy and at least get your watch pressure tested somewhat regularly. Those seals don't last forever, especially if they've been put to use.
 

George Red

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Not a lot of soap in the ocean...

Seriously though, I believe the running theory is that soap, along with steam, can deteriorate the seals, leaving the ocean an opening. Not sure how true it is, but similarly, if you are using your Sub in seawater regularly, you do need to be a good boy and at least get your watch pressure tested somewhat regularly. Those seals don't last forever, especially if they've been put to use.
Can soap really be that much more hazardous than salt water? I’m no scientist, but that doesn’t make much sense.
 

usctrojans31

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I'd never shower with a watch. Horrible for watches. As one watchmaker said soaps can compromise the gaskets, and the daily quick change in temperature difference can also contribute to that, or one can get condensation forming inside the watch case or under the crystal from extreme temperature change (I've seen someone put an ice on their watch crystal for a photo and guess what...ended up with condensation under the crystal/inside the watch).
Pft. Plebs. I bought three Richard Mille Rafa Nadal watches for my thrice daily milk baths. If it can stand up to his play, it can stand up to milk and soap.
 

Ambulance Chaser

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Isn't the issue hot water compromising the gaskets? It's definitely a bad idea to wear a watch in a hot tub.
 

patrick_b

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Not a lot of soap in the ocean...

Seriously though, I believe the running theory is that soap, along with steam, can deteriorate the seals, leaving the ocean an opening. Not sure how true it is, but similarly, if you are using your Sub in seawater regularly, you do need to be a good boy and at least get your watch pressure tested somewhat regularly. Those seals don't last forever, especially if they've been put to use.
I typically get mine pressure tested every year for a diver and every other year for the GMT. We have a pool and live near the ocean so I my watches have always seen a fair amount of water. The 100M test can be done while I wait and takes 10-15 min. The 300M requires that I leave it overnight. Most years, I'd just do the 100M test. If it passes I feel fine swimming with it. No hot tubs or showers for my watches either.

One year my GMTII didn't pass the pressure test. That's when I elected to send it in for service. I tend to wait until they aren't working properly (losing or gaining time) or they fail the pressure test before I send it in for service. It was year 8 of ownership for reference.
 

George Red

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Pft. Plebs. I bought three Richard Mille Rafa Nadal watches for my thrice daily milk baths. If it can stand up to his play, it can stand up to milk and soap.
You win today, internet sir. Enjoy your milk bath.
 

dan'l

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I'm considering a new casual, daily wearer [beater?]. I have currently been alternating between a Speedy and a BB-58 in this capacity, but am looking for something with a bit more visual variety (read: not SS, not black dial...) that is more at home on a leather strap (I know the Speedy and BB are strap monsters, but during the colder months, I'd also like something that lies better under a cuff, that is not a diver...).

With this in mind, I was thinking about the IWC Spitfire bronze, with the green dial. Anybody have thoughts on this one? Or perhaps you have a better suggestion in that I might check out...?

Thanks!
I know you said not SS, but how about the Geophysic line from JLC? I like the True Second and it also comes in YG:



I am a fan of simple-looking watches with a complication (e.g. tourbillon visible only on the back; minute repeater; etc.) and have always wanted a watch with deadbeat seconds (the second hand „jumps“ each second instead of sweeping). Although Grönefeld, FPJ and AL&S all offer watches with the „seconde morte“ complication, the JLC TS is the only one from a mainstream watch company for the moment (Rolex stopped making the Tru-Beat decades ago).

Anyways, you‘ll need to try it first. Although I liked the watch on paper, I found the case a bit too large and thick for my tastes, plus I prefer watches without date.
 

Kaplan

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Can soap really be that much more hazardous than salt water? I’m no scientist, but that doesn’t make much sense.
I may well be misremembering this, but I recall reading somewhere that it has to do with how soap breaks down water molecules (you can see this if you put a drop of soap on water with some surface tension, like a glass filled to the brim).

With a decent dive rating it's not something I'd worry too much about: for my first 2 decades or so of wearing my Sub (300 meters rating), I wore it nearly 24/7, including in the shower, with no issues.
 

Dino944

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Good input here. Begs the question, though: if soap is that hazardous, how the hell is a Sub supposed to survive salt water at 300 meters?
Well, let's be honest most people aren't daily submerging their Submariners in salt water, but if one does wear it in salt water you are supposed to rinse it off with fresh water. Most watch companies don't say anything about using soap just fresh water. In addition, one of the bad things about showers is the watch going from say room temperature, or maybe your wrist temperature, to much hotter temperature very quickly (something Patek warns against). Also -who knows what chemicals are in various soaps people use and how they will react with a combination of heat and the gaskets.

This is directly from AP's website
"Before swimming, check that the crown and push-pieces are fully screwed down. Aside from crowns on our "Diver" models, crown and push-pieces should not be activated while submerged in water. After swimming in salt water, rinse the watch with fresh water."

A few words from Patek's website
  • protect your watch against extreme temperature fluctuations,
  • rinse the watch with tap water after each contact with salt water or chlorinated pool water.

Here is some insight into things that compromise water resistance according to VC's website.

"-Water-resistance joints are subject to natural aging and are altered by variations in temperature and contact with certain commonly used products (cosmetics, solvents), which modify their original characteristics.

-Antique watches designed to be water resistant, by virtue of their age, natural wear from being worn, and various successive polishes, may have permanently lost certain properties essential to guaranteeing water resistance. It is thus important to wear them accordingly. "

Edit, before posting this I noticed Rolex goes against most of this and says...you can use soapy water and showering will get salt water off your watch. I still wouldn't shower with it on, although as a novice watch owner, I used to do that. Over time you end up with a gross soap film build up in inside the clasp and its components (such as an extension link) or other small crevices in bracelets, or between lugs. In the end we can all do what we want with our watches...I just tend to err on the side of caution.

Here is what Rolex says-

You can help preserve its lustre by cleaning it occasionally with a microfibre cloth. You can also wash the case and bracelet from time to time using soapy water and a soft brush.

Water is the natural element for a Rolex with a metal bracelet, including the salt-water of the sea and ocean. All Rolex wristwatches are waterproof to depths of at least 100 metres for Oyster Perpetual models, and 50 metres for Cellini models. All you have to do after diving or a day at the beach is simply to rinse your watch with fresh water to remove any salt and sand deposits: wearing your watch while showering at the end of the day should do the trick.
 

double00

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real soap is salt of a fatty acid most of what you see in grocery stores is detergent in bar form
 

George Red

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I'll say this, I generally don't buy steel sport watches that I'd be afraid to take into the shower, swimming pool, or a hot tub. That's exactly why I sold my Zenith Daytona and 15202. I owned a no-date sub for years and still own an Explorer that I have literally dragged through hell.
 

taxgenius

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I'll say this, I generally don't buy steel sport watches that I'd be afraid to take into the shower, swimming pool, or a hot tub. That's exactly why I sold my Zenith Daytona and 15202. I owned a no-date sub for years and still own an Explorer that I have literally dragged through hell.
What were you doing in hell, and why bring a Rolex?
 

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