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Super Glue isn’t Super Gasket

by J.Edwards


I have read about people using glue to make their watches water resistant on a number of occasions and have even heard of the odd watch repairer using it in their daily practice. I am all for using Seiko glue or UV cured epoxy et al to seal a crystal and Loctite to secure pusher housings in place, but the mere notion of using it anywhere else on a watch case, in hopes of rendering it water resistant, simply makes me cringe. And with good reason! Not only can the results be unsightly, glue simply doesn’t perform in the same manner that gaskets do when subjected to the changes in pressure associated with submersion and expulsion from water. Furthermore, many glues are very brittle once cured and are all too prone to fracture when jolted by a physical shock or a change in temperature. Case in point, I’ll end my rant here and let this picture of a “super-glued” watch that came across my bench this week work its thousand words.

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  1. J.Peter
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Timing is everything. I just got a Rolex with the bezel glued on yesterday. Luckily it doesn’t look like yours.

  2. Posted February 12, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Fortunately, this wasn’t a Rolex.

  3. Nick Diieso
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Thread on TimeZone stating that the new GMT ceramic inserts are glued onto the bezel…

  4. Posted February 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Nick,

    Gluing ceramics makes sense. What Rolex has done there (if that is the case) is perfectly acceptable.

    Gluing a spring-fit bezel to a watch, however, or using glue where gaskets should be used, is unacceptable practice.

  5. J.Peter
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree as J. Edwards said glues have their uses but not in creating a water tight seal.

  6. Philip
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    J. Peter,
    I am considering a career in watchmaking and would love to know more about your daily routine and, in particular, how the economic situation has affected your business. If you have a spare moment, please contact me at my personal email. Thanks alot.

  7. Posted February 14, 2009 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Dangit. So using dusct tape is bad too?

  8. Posted February 14, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    It takes a very special individual to achieve that brand of water resistance Rrryan. There is only one man I know with the skill and experience to make it possible ­čśë

  9. wnkt
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    What I used super glue for was to keep from bleeding on a watch when I punctured a finger with a screwdriver.
    Super glue would cloud up a plastic crystal pretty quick so it was forbidden for regular use.
    Super glue would also ruin a good necktie. Don’t ask how I know that

  10. Posted April 16, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting usage, wnkt. I wonder what sort of physical side effects there may be to using something as chemically potent as super glue for a bandaid…

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