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Helium Release Valve

Question:

I'm familar with deep saturation diving. However I'm not sure about the He release valve. Can someone tell me:

Why can't a diver just open the crown? Is it that there are seals that would be pushed outward?

-Joe
Answer:
Opening the crown essentially unseals the case; the threads and seal combine to make the watch "waterproof" when the crown is screwed down. The helium escape valve, on the other hand, keeps the case watertight as only helium sized molcules (each He molecule contains only one Helium atom, and are an order of magnitude smaller than an H2O single molecule which contains two hydrogens and an oxygen atom) are allowed to escape, yet water can't come back in (althought Omega does state when diving to keep the helium escape valve shut, just to be safe I guess). While inside compressed diving bell there is no water to get into the watch, when you surface and swim out of the diving station, if you forgot to rescrew the crown, you would be out a nice movement. If you forget to rescrew the helium escape valve you're still protected. Or just buy a Sea-Dweller where it releases helium automatically and don't worry about it (just kidding - we all prefer Omegas, right?)
Answer:
It will resist light splashing and submerging, but if you dive with it open or swim with it open, you may be in trouble. Opening the crown on a dive watch will do the same work as the helium release valve. But the problem with that method is that divers would sometimes forget to open the crown and the crystal would pop off while in the dive bell. (The same problem exists with the Omega He valve since you have to remember to unscrew it.)

Best Regards,

Damon When your watch gets out of order you have a choice of two things to do: throw it in the fire or take it to the watch-tinker. The former is the quickest. -MT
Answer:
I think I remember reading in the manual that it's water resistant to something like 30m with the He valve open, and something similiar for the crown open. Of course, now I can't find a reference to cite...

The Omega He valve is pretty much just neat-o marketing window-dressing. But I believe Rolex still has a few more years on the patent for the automatic design developed for the COMEX Submariner that became the Sea-Dweller, so Omega can't include a similiar design. I believe Omega started including the 10 o'clock valve with the Bond models in the mid-90's to be more competitive with the Rolex dive watch models.

The funny thing is that as pointless and silly as it may be, I like the 10 o'clock valve design. Now that it's been used for so long, it's one of the things that makes it distinctive and makes a modern Omega an Omega to me. I think an SeMP or even PO wouldn't look as good without it; it would look rather plain and like a lot of other watches out there. "Mechanical watches are so brilliantly unnecessary. Any Swatch or Casio keeps better time, and high-end contemporary Swiss watches are priced like small cars. But mechanical watches partake of what my friend John Clute calls the Tamagotchi Gesture. They're pointless in a peculiarly needful way; they're comforting precisely because they require tending." - WG
How old is my vintage Omega? - Omega Serial Numbers by Year
Answer:
True,

I also like the maual He release valve. The automatic could fail, and I like the look of it. Breitling has an automatic release. I heard that Doxa invented the Helium release valve.

-Joe
Answer:
What about the IWC AquaTimer 2000m, does it have a helium releasing device? Or was it not designed for human use and will just withstand that water pressue if dropped to 2000m deep.
Answer:
First helium release valve was tested on a watch by Doxa. Rolex was working on a design at the same time. They worked together and shared the first patent in 1968. Doxa was the first to use it on their Sub 300T Conquistador, in 1969. Rolex introduced it on the Submariner, Sea Dweller in 1971. Omega has a nice illistration in the users manual which comes with the SMP 300. Thanks to Dr. Millar, you can read about the Sub 300, helium valve and an interview with the Doxa Sub Designer at this link.....good luck.....Peter www. /interview/interview.htm
Answer:
which is really frustrating because based on your description I really want to read it. :) Doxa's inclusion on the patent was news to me.

If the HTML is getting confusing, just post it plaintext. Failing that, if you could PM or email me the link I'd appreciate it, as I'm quite interested.

Thanks,
-r "Mechanical watches are so brilliantly unnecessary. Any Swatch or Casio keeps better time, and high-end contemporary Swiss watches are priced like small cars. But mechanical watches partake of what my friend John Clute calls the Tamagotchi Gesture. They're pointless in a peculiarly needful way; they're comforting precisely because they require tending." - WG
How old is my vintage Omega? - Omega Serial Numbers by Year
Answer:
The case and crystal design is such that the internal pressure can build up and the crystal will resist blowing off. Over time, the He will leak back out the same way it came into the watch so there is no need for the He valve on the IWC.

Best Regards,

Damon When your watch gets out of order you have a choice of two things to do: throw it in the fire or take it to the watch-tinker. The former is the quickest. -MT
Answer:
Hi Ryan: Not sure why the link did not work. Here it is in the message http://www. /interview/interview.htm
and just in case, the link to the main page of Dr. Millar's site. Scroll down to the "Interview" section.
http://www. /reviews.htm

Dr. Millar has compiled quite a bit of information here.....enjoy....Peter
Answer:
....that the TZ software doesn't like. Try puytting a couple of spaces in the word - such as he ll - so it doesn't read the whole word......

We can fix it as we plug it into our browsers..... When in trouble - obfuscate...
Answer:
Thanks CEB.. a bit new to this. Here are the links again. First for the main reveiw page by Dr. Millar and then the interview link. Should mention that as one who loves my SMP 300, I have nothing but good things to say about my Doxa as well. Thanks for the heads up......Peter

ht tp:/ /w ww.doxa300t.c om/review s.htm

htt p:/ /ww w.dox a300 t.com/inte rview/int erview.h tm
Answer:
Very cool link.

TZ isn't keep on posting links to other forums or sites where watches ar sold or auctioned, so that's probably what was happening.

Thanks,
-r "Mechanical watches are so brilliantly unnecessary. Any Swatch or Casio keeps better time, and high-end contemporary Swiss watches are priced like small cars. But mechanical watches partake of what my friend John Clute calls the Tamagotchi Gesture. They're pointless in a peculiarly needful way; they're comforting precisely because they require tending." - WG
How old is my vintage Omega? - Omega Serial Numbers by Year
Answer:
..I haven't read it but have had a previous debate with Pete regarding the HRV and how it was first patented by Rolex ( I gave him the patent numbers) and not Doxa although he reckons Doxa were the first to market a watch with an HRV to the general public ( whilst Rolexes watches were being used by commercial divers) which I can't argue against as he really knows his Doxas!

He is a top man and he is the process of publishing a Doxa dive watch book in which he is kind enough to include my name in the acknowledgements. Cheers, Neil.
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