Remove condensation from a watch: 5 simple tricks (2023)

Wearing a watch is one of those things that feels good. It's a symbol of class, wealth and power, and it's only fair that a watch lasts a long time.

However, no matter how careful you are with your watch, it is likely to rust, get dirty and smell bad over time. And if you're unlucky, you'll notice moisture on the inside of your watch. If you've ever had this problem, you're not alone, and you probably don't want to be.

All of our watches are subject to some degree of moisture damage, especially when we spend a lot of time in cold environments. Over time, this can lead to time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive repairs.

Here are 5 ways to remove condensation from your watch face without visiting your jeweler.

What does waterproof mean for your watch?

Water resistance is one of the most important specifications that watch owners look for these days. And it can be a decisive factor when choosing a waterproof watch. Water resistance refers to a watch's ability to function underwater.

The reverse of our watches is engraved with water resistance values. However,diving watchesor mechanical watches engraved with a 100 meter rating doesn't always mean you can dive 100 meters deep with it.

Haynothing like a 100% waterproof watch. Over time, waterproof watches lose their strength. Most waterproof watches have an O-ring around the crown to protect them from moisture.

This O-ring is a gasket that acts as a seal around the crown of the watch.

Since the O-ring is usually made of silicone or rubber, it wears out over time, reducing the resistance of the watch. This wear and tear can take months or years, but it does happen.

How to recognize forms of condensation on a waterproof watch

Before we dive into how to remove moisture from your watch, it's a good idea to show you what condensation looks like on a watch.

Condensation on a waterproof watch looks like tiny droplets of water appearing on the inside of the watch. If the watch face is cloudy, it is probably due to condensation.

Remove condensation from a watch: 5 simple tricks (1)

What causes moisture in a watch?

Condensation on a watch occurs for many reasons. Understanding these reasons can help prevent further occurrences.

1) Sudden change in temperature

Particles suspended in the air due to cold weather or during winter can enter a watch, and as soon as it enters a warm area, these particles liquefy to form droplets inside.

2) A compromised joint

If the water resistant seal on some watches is compromised, you may notice condensation forming from time to time.

The spaces around the crown can also be a source of moisture damage. Consider visiting a reputable watchmaker to repair the compromised joint.

3) Prolonged immersion in water

If you submerge your waterproof watch for a long time, condensation may form. This is because, over time, the water pressure can force some water through the waterproof joint.

4) A crack in the watch face.

If there is a small crack on the watch glass, particles suspended in the air due to cold weather can easily enter the watch. When this happens, condensation easily occurs as these air particles liquefy.

5) Watch quality

Poorly made watches with very weak waterproof joints are prone to water damage. If the quality of the watch is not what you thought it would be, it is a good idea to return it. Most problems fall into this category.

6) Absence of waterproof feature

Some watches are not completely waterproof, which makes it easy for condensation to form. Since some watches that are not waterproof are mistakenly dropped into water and not treated quickly enough, the probability of condensation forming is high.

How to defog a watch?

So how can you prevent your watch from tarnishing? There are a few DIY methods to remove condensation from your watch without damaging it. Try these simple methods and in no time your watch will be like new.

1) A bed of rice.

Instant rice or uncooked rice is supposed to be more effective in absorbing water droplets. Professionals used rice in the past to protect camera equipment from a humid environment.

Remove the crown from the watch and dip it into a small bowl of rice. You can also use a bowl of uncooked rice in this case. Leave it for a night or two before checking the face of your watch to see if it has absorbed any moisture.

2) Sachets of silica gel or kitty litter

Silica gel packets are perfect for removing condensation from a watch. Remove the crown from the watch and immerse it in a container filled with silica gel packets. Leave it there for a day or two.

If you can get your hands on a few pieces of kitty litter, follow the same procedure to demist your watch.

3) How to remove condensation from the watch using direct sunlight

On sunny days, you can use direct sunlight to evaporate condensation and defog the watch.

Remove the back ofwatch (if it is easy to remove) and place the watch face and crystaldirected downwards in a position where sunlight can warm it.

Leave the watch exposed to sunlight for some time and check it regularly to prevent overheating.

4) Alternative heat source

If possible, remove the back of the watch and the battery. Use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the inside of the watch. Using an alternative heat source is very intuitive.

Place the hair dryer a few inches away to reduce the level of heat received by the watch.

If possible, use your hair dryer outdoors to get the lowest dew point inside the clock when you're done.

Let the watch cool down for a few hours before putting it back together.

5) Visit a trusted watchmaker for repair.

If you damage your watch, you should consult a reputable watchmaker (not a jeweler).

No matter the level of water damage to the watch, it is highly recommended to take the watch to a watch repair shop for repair as soon as possible.

How to avoid condensation on your watches.

You can use preventative measures to avoid further condensation problems. We list a few below:

1.) Pay attention to the water resistance that a manufacturer recommends for a particular watch.

Always make sure to use thelook below the indicated resistance levelsby the manufacturer to compensate for wear on the waterproof seal.

Different ways of expressing water resistance include BAR, ATM, and meter. But what do they mean?

  • Water resistance rating of 3 ATM/BAR or 30 meters: This watch is resistant to rain and splashing water.
  • Water resistance rating of 5 ATM/BAR or 50 meters: You can wear this water resistant watch while swimming. They are not suitable for snorkeling or diving.
  • 10 ATM/BAR or 100 Meters Water Resistance: This water-resistant watch is good for most water sports like swimming, sailing, and diving. However, they are not suitable for deep diving.
  • Water resistance rating of 20 ATM/BAR or 200 meters: You can wear this water resistant watch for many water sports, including deep diving. They can withstand high water pressure.

2.) If you notice a crack on the screen, be sure to replace it as it is already a risk.

3.) Do not immerse the watch in water for longer periods of time if it is not necessary.

frequent questions

How do you know if a watch is damaged by water?

You may already know that water damage is the number one reason watches break. This applies to all brands of watches, high-end and cheap.

No matter how carefully you treat your watch, there are still chances of water damage. There are a few places to check if a watch is water damaged.

the clock face: The easiest way to tell if your watch is water damaged is if it has condensation on it. If you notice moisture on the watch face, it is probably due to condensation. You can follow the above simple methods to deal with this issue.

clock performance: Moisture can often damage the internal workings of the watch. If the hands on your watch stutter or stop working, it's probably because moisture has damaged the moving parts inside. Be sure to always check the battery (power source) before completing.

Luminous hands and markers: If you have a luminous watch, it's also a good idea to check the luminous hands and markers, especially if the watch is new. Make sure those parts are still shiny. If they don't, it's most likely due to water damage.Most Luminous watches use luminous inkssuch as Luminova and SuperLuminova and are easily affected by humidity.

Can water damage a Rolex?

While Rolex shines when it comes to watchmaking, its watches are not free from water infiltration.
As stated above, no watch is water resistant forever. However, occasional watch maintenance should prevent condensation or any water-related issues from the watch.

How do I prevent my watch from fogging up?

For many watch owners, the concept of condensation inside a watch is nothing new. It is a fact that everyone who owns a watch gets frustrated at least once.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce these cases. One of those ways is to look at the "water resistance" of your watch and stay within those limits when you wear it.


And acheap casual watchor a luxury watch, a tarnished watch is not a pretty sight to behold. You need to get rid of condensation on a watch before it damages the watch face.

You may have a different method to get rid of the moisture inside the watch. However, we have just given you some of the most popular ones.

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Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 01/11/2023

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