How to Get Water Out of a Watch?

Water damage is a common issue that watch owners face. It can affect the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the timepiece. Removing water from a watch is crucial to prevent potential damage and prolong its life. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the methods and precautions involved in this process.

There are numerous reasons that could lead to water ingress in watches, from a simple splash while washing hands to exposure during a swim. Irrespective of the cause, swift and appropriate actions can significantly minimize the potential damage. This article aims to offer a comprehensive guide on how to efficiently get water out of a watch, preventive measures, and the significance of professional intervention when necessary.

Understanding the issue at hand and learning how to tackle it effectively is vital. This knowledge not only salvages your beloved timepiece but also extends its longevity, maintaining its appeal and functionality.

What Causes Water to Enter a Watch?

Reasons for Water Seepage

Water can seep into a watch due to several reasons. A common cause is exposure to water during activities like washing hands or swimming. Water can also infiltrate watches due to worn-out seals or a malfunctioning crown, which could be the result of regular wear and tear.

Types of Watches Prone to Water Damage

While all watches can potentially suffer from water damage, non-water-resistant watches and those with lower water resistance ratings are more susceptible. Even water-resistant watches can succumb to water damage if subjected to pressure beyond their rated limit.

Why is it Important to Remove Water from a Watch?

Effects of Water on Watch Components

The water inside a watch can adversely affect its components. It can cause rusting of the metal parts, disrupt the movement, and lead to condensation under the crystal. Over time, this can severely impact the watch’s accuracy and overall performance.

Long-term Damage from Water Retention

The long-term effects of water retention in a watch can be significant. If left untreated, it can lead to substantial mechanical or structural damage, potentially rendering the watch unusable.

Quick Steps for Removing Water from a Watch: An Overview

Quick Fixes: Shaking, Tapping, and Blowing on the Watch

When you notice water inside your watch, quick actions can often help minimize damage. Gently shaking the watch or tapping it against your hand can dislodge some of the water. Additionally, blowing air (preferably cool, dry air) into the watch can help evaporate the moisture.

How to Safely Open Your Watch to Remove Water?

Necessary Tools for Opening a Watch

To open a watch safely, you’ll need the right tools – a watch back remover, a pair of tweezers, and a soft cloth. These tools can aid in delicately opening the watch without causing any damage.

Step-by-step Procedure

Opening a watch should be done with utmost care. Unscrew or pry open the watch back using a watch back remover. Once inside, carefully remove the battery (in quartz watches) to prevent any short-circuit. Use the cloth to gently pat the interior dry.

Can You Use Rice to Get Water Out of a Watch?

Using Rice as a Desiccant: How it Works?

Rice acts as a natural desiccant and can help draw out moisture. By placing the open watch in a bowl of rice, the water can slowly be absorbed, helping to dry out the watch.

Effectiveness and Potential Drawbacks

While this method can be effective, it’s not without potential drawbacks. It may take a considerable amount of time for the rice to fully absorb the moisture. Additionally, dust or debris from the rice could potentially enter the watch, causing further issues. Therefore, caution must be exercised when using this method.

Professional Methods to Remove Water from a Watch

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Professional watchmakers often utilize ultrasonic cleaning machines to remove water and debris from watches. This method involves placing the watch in a special chamber filled with a cleaning solution. High-frequency sound waves create vibrations that agitate the liquid, effectively dislodging water and dirt from the watch’s components.

Watchmaker’s Intervention

For severe water damage or complicated watch mechanisms, seeking the expertise of a professional watchmaker is recommended. They have the necessary knowledge, tools, and experience to diagnose and repair water-damaged watches. A watchmaker can assess the extent of the damage, disassemble the watch, clean each component meticulously, replace damaged parts if needed, and reassemble the watch to restore its functionality.

How to Prevent Water from Entering a Watch?

Regular Maintenance and Servicing

Regular maintenance is key to preventing water ingress in watches. It is essential to have your watch inspected and serviced periodically by a professional watchmaker. They can ensure that the gaskets and seals are intact, test the water resistance, and address any potential issues before they escalate.

Waterproof Watches: Are They Really Waterproof?

Waterproof watches are designed with enhanced water resistance features. However, it is important to understand that no watch is entirely waterproof. They are rated for specific water resistance levels, often indicated in meters or atmospheres (ATM). It is crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and avoid exposing the watch to water beyond its specified limits.


What is the best way to get water out of a watch?

Quick fixes such as shaking, tapping, and blowing on the watch can help dislodge water. If the problem persists, consider professional methods like ultrasonic cleaning or consult a watchmaker.

Can a water-damaged watch be repaired?

Yes, in many cases, water-damaged watches can be repaired by a professional watchmaker. The extent of the damage will determine the necessary repairs.

How much does it cost to repair a water-damaged watch?

The cost of repairing a water-damaged watch can vary depending on the brand, type of watch, extent of damage, and required repairs. It is best to consult a watchmaker for an accurate assessment and cost estimate.

How long does it take for a watch to dry out?

The drying time for a watch can vary depending on several factors, including the amount of water, the watch’s construction, and environmental conditions. It is recommended to allow ample time for the watch to dry thoroughly before using it again.


Getting water out of a watch is crucial for preserving its functionality and appearance. Swift action, utilizing appropriate methods, and seeking professional help when necessary are key to minimizing damage. Remember to handle your watch with care, follow the outlined steps, and prioritize regular maintenance to prevent future water ingress. By understanding the causes, effects, and preventive measures, you can ensure your timepiece stays in optimal condition for years to come.

Sherry's editorial journey seamlessly merges with her passion for horology at WatchReflect. As a seasoned editor and watch enthusiast, she curates insightful guides that cater to novices and connoisseurs alike. With a penchant for research and a flair for storytelling, Sherry transforms horological complexities into engaging narratives. Her mission is to illuminate the path for those navigating the multifaceted realm of timekeeping.

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