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Depth-Testing My Seiko SKX013 Dive Watch: Jumping In At The Deep End | Quill & Pad

Depth-Testing My Seiko SKX013 Dive Watch: Jumping In At The Deep End | Quill & Pad

If you have perused my article Zen And The Art Of Wristwatch Maintenance: The Benefits Of Learning To Service Your Own Watch, you will realize that I am not loath to opening up my watches and fiddling with the innards, at times venturing to play out a full service. On account of jump watches, this involves replacing as well as lubricating the different seals to guarantee that the watch is just about as water safe as its rating indicates.

A time-just wristwatch generally has three purposes of entrance for water, especially under tension: the case back, of course, yet additionally the seal between the crystal and the case, and the crown.

In a jump watch, notwithstanding the elastic gasket on the winding stem that blocks the crown tube in the typical position, the crown is as a rule of the screw-in assortment, giving extra protection. The crystal has a gasket among it and the case, wedged in place by friction, and the case back normally has a gasket underneath its lip that closes against the case when tightened.

The case itself should be sufficiently able to withstand mutilation from higher water pressures, which is the reason jump watches will in general be fairly chunky compared to their non-wearing counterparts. If this is thus, the crystal, case, and back will be fixed ever more tight as water pressure increases.

Regular silicon lubrication of the multitude of gaskets keeps them from drying out and creating feeble focuses. This is likewise why you ought to never “murder” the elastic seal on a case back by over-fixing it: it needs to hold a portion of its cross-sectional “o” shape so it actually seals the hole on getting back to typical pneumatic stress on dry land.

The author’s Seiko SKX013 on Spain’s Costa Brava (photograph courtesy Colin Alexander Smith)

I had recently checked the seals on my Seiko SKX013 Pepsi and lubricated them utilizing silicon oil, successfully testing its basic water resistance while swimming and swimming in the ocean off France’s Atlantic coast on a few occasions over the summer.

Professional watchmakers have air-or water-based testing machinery to test the water resistance of their watches, however I don’t. So I was watching out for a chance to bring it down to the following level, so to speak.

What I did on my holidays

As a perfect illustration of the ridiculousness of current European COVID-19-related travel restrictions, despite the fact that France’s administration is, similar to its UK and Spanish counterparts, going around in steadily decreasing circles like the famous headless chicken, as UK nationals inhabitant in France there was no restriction of any sort on our movement to Catalonia for the occasion we had booked a while prior. So we packed up the car and took off on the six-hour drive to the Costa Brava in the respected manner.

Our girl was not all that blessed and could not go along with us as arranged as she lives in London and would have faced a 14-day isolate (“quatorzaine”?) period on her return, which according to the individuals who have gone through it recently is a senselessly cruel and unsettling experience, especially for youthful people.

Aiguablava cove in Catalonia, Spain (photograph courtesy Colin Alexander Smith)

So we had the option to go through a few days on a cliff-top inn disregarding the brilliant beach cove at Aiguablava , whose size and shape has normally restricted vacationer improvement to a small bunch of eateries, a boat enlist shed, and a plunging shop and school, Begur Dive . It was the last that caught my eye, especially as it offered a two-hour “Introduction to Diving” course. Here was a chance to present my SKX to some genuine water pressure.

Aiguablava cove on Spain’s Costa Brava (photograph courtesy Colin Alexander Smith)

My past experience of scuba plunging had until now been restricted to an establishing in the basics, gathered on a PADI course in a north London pool around 30 years prior. I had at last exited the course in the wake of hearing more experienced individuals from the club over and again regretting the fact that the “vis” (perceivability) on the wrecks they were investigating on their end of the week excursions to the English coast had been one meter or less!

I was hence quick to continue my preparation in the clear waters of Aiguablava, especially as, according to a data board arranged simply off the beach, four wrecks tracing all the way back to the main century BCE had been excavated in the rocky cove and found to contain amphorae containing wine and olive oil from North Africa, apparently on their approach to Rome.

After a short chat with one of the plunging instructors, I pursued the following day’s “Introduction to Diving” course. The next evening I turned up at the beachfront school and was kitted out, close by two different students, with full wetsuit, cover, buoyancy outfit, and compressed air tank.

For any individual who appreciates the opportunity of swimming and free making a plunge the ocean, the constricting nature and sheer weight of full scuba hardware takes some becoming accustomed to. I consoled myself that it would all vibe much more comfortable once underwater.

Lastly, I moved my left cuff up a little with the goal that my Seiko SKX would be clearly visible.

The author’s Seiko SKX013 (photograph courtesy Colin Alexander Smith)

The mission

After a maybe rather authoritative clarification of the basic breathing and veil the executives techniques (I was happy to have had some past practical experience of this, regardless of whether it was numerous years prior), we cushioned down to the beach and into the ocean, wearing flippers and swimming out to a profundity of around two meters.

Once lowered, my instructor Alan started changing my buoyancy jacket so that, with the assistance of the 10 kilograms’ worth of loads tied around my midriff, I started to sink until I discovered my buoyancy level.

Once balanced out, I was offered the alright hint (utilizing forefinger and thumb, NOT approval, which signifies “going up”) I was advised to embrace and keep a stooping situation on the ocean bottom while the other student jumpers caught up. A school of curious John Dory swam up to research this abnormal, bubble-transmitting phenomenon.

At this point I was very comfortable with the experience of breathing compressed air submerged, albeit breathing exclusively through my mouth took some becoming accustomed to and I felt that I was over-breathing.

Once we were all in position, we taking off to the ocean in a gathering. Alan tapped me on the shoulder and advised me to look behind us: the school of John Dory, presently 20 in number, was following us close behind on the seafloor.

As we swam farther, the seabed step by step fell away and we jumped further, stopping just to adjust the gaseous tension in our ears, similarly as in a descending plane. Before long we disregarded a load of amphorae scattered on the seabed, which I figured were most likely replicas as the first wrecks had for some time been excavated and moved to a museum.

By now the light from above was developing dimmer, despite the fact that it was an exceptionally radiant day, and the nose-pinching ear pressure changes became more successive. Similarly as they tell individuals with a dread of statures not to peer down, when plunging you should be ready interestingly you gaze upward and can’t see the surface.

I presently understood that at about a profundity of 9-10 meters, I was more profound submerged than I had ever been.

It’s far to the top (photograph courtesy

This was the place where things started to get fascinating: despite the fact that my eardrums were successfully balancing the increased water pressure my sinuses weren’t, and a sharp agony started to create across my temple. Much as I needed to continue the jump, I could feel my feelings of anxiety ascending as the agony increased.

Even experienced jumpers are not invulnerable to “modified perception” submerged, a psychological express that can be set off by something as basic as a hardware issue, forceful natural life, or basically an impromptu new development. In this express the jumper’s perception limits, frequently focusing fanatically on a certain something and losing the capacity to contemplate how to manage the situation.

If left unchecked, this can prompt developing nervousness and in the long run an all out panic attack, which can bring about possibly deadly endeavors to rip off veil, oxygen tank, and controller and scramble toward the surface, which is absolute lunacy in the event that you are more than three or four meters underneath the surface.

A panicking, thrashing jumper likewise presents significant peril to his plunge instructor or jump mate, which is the reason plunging instructors go through specific preparing in managing a panicking diver.

It was now that I caught myself calculating that in the event that I did at any point need to scramble toward the surface, as I didn’t have control over my buoyancy jacket (with an amateur, the instructor directs this all through the jump), I must cast off my weight belt, which was tied on with a buckle like a plane safety belt, trailed by the buoyancy jacket and oxygen tank, which were attached by considerably more fiddly buckles.

Fortunately, I recognized this nonsensical speculation as a definite indication that I was showing the underlying indications of stress and must cut short the jump. I motioned to Alan that I was “not OK” and needed to go up. He changed my buoyancy jacket and we advanced gradually back to the surface. Once there, we attempted to make my cover more comfortable by relaxing the tie, yet it didn’t actually help so we decided to call it a day.

In resentment of this experience, I am exceptionally quick to have a go at plunging once more, maybe subsequent to getting my idle sinus issue checked out by a doctor.

The author’s Seiko SKX013 on the wrist (photograph courtesy Colin Alexander Smith)

Oh, in case you’re pondering about the profundity testing of the Seiko SKX, I never took a gander at the damn thing the entire time I was submerged as I had additional squeezing concerns. Yet, I can report that it appears to have endure the experience too.

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