5980 while swimming: Answering my question, phase 1

Apr 26, 2009,05:40 AM

A friend of mine suggested I post this as a new post instead of here


Just to update you guys on what has happened so far.

I emailed Patek about a month ago asking them this question. So far, I haven't received a reply, so I decided to use the watch while swimming in the pool.



As in the pictures below, I started the chrono underwater, waited a bit, and stopped it. I wore some goggles and looked at the watch underwater during this process. I did not notice any air bubbles escaping.

before dunking

before dunking

underwater before starting chrono

underwater before starting chrono

underwater after starting chrono

underwater after starting chrono

out of the water while chrono still running

out of the water while chrono still running

I then went to the deep end of the pool and went down about 1.5 meters, started the chrono and kicked off to do my laps. When I was done I made sure to stop the chrono while I was underwater.

after stopping the chrono

after stopping the chrono

button view

button view

I made sure to clean the watch thoroughly after I got out of the pool and put it in a standing position (dial facing up and crystal facing down) for about a day.

5980 standing

5980 standing

I took a look at the crystal back and did not find any evidence that water had entered the watch. It has been running perfectly fine since then.

So far I’ve done my laps with the watch two other times seemingly without any issues.

I should be in Singapore sometime next month, so I’ll go to the service center and have them take a look at the watch so I can know if the seals were compromised while using the chrono underwater.

Here’s hoping they are still intact...


More posts: 5980nautilus

  login to reply

Comments: view entire thread


You didn't test it at a depth of 120m?!!

 By: SJX : April 26th, 2009-06:19
When you do that, come back with the results. Thanks for documenting the test. - SJX

I am willing to take it down to 120m if...

 By: o : April 27th, 2009-04:28
you are willing to take the old seadweller down to 1,200 meters and see how it fairs... or to make it easier, why not test the Sinn u1000 that you were telling me about at 1,000 meteres? ;-) O

Wow! - Had no idea you could activate any chrono underwater - Does Patek

 By: markkeenan : April 26th, 2009-09:10
say that the chrono can be used underwater? Mark

There are several brands who make chronos which are safe for use underwater

 By: AnthonyTsai : April 26th, 2009-10:53
First one of the top of my head is IWC Aquatimers. There are several others btw. Cheers, Anthony

Waterproof minute repeater

 By: zjpj : April 26th, 2009-20:27
Interestingly, Blancpain has also made a waterproof minute repeater (ref. 2835).

That's pretty cool, but I wonder...

 By: o : April 27th, 2009-04:53
how it sounds underwater. I was thinking of testing how minute repeaters sound underwater with my Patek 3979, but this is a much less expensive solution ;-) O

I was told ...

 By: small-luxury-world : April 27th, 2009-12:03
it works quite well. It is available in RG and in Titanium. Latter would be my choice and of course with a rubber strap ... Oliver...  

Thanks for posting the pics Oliver,

 By: o : April 29th, 2009-03:03
I agree with you that the titanium and rubber strap would be my choice as well... unless you wanted to get to the bottom pretty fast, then you would ask them to make it in PT with a PT bracelet ;-) O

I emailed Patek around a month ago and...

 By: o : April 27th, 2009-04:41
haven't received a reply yet. In the 5980 manual there's nothing about NOT using the chrono underwater... Of course there's also nothing that says it CAN be used underwater... Hopefully by the time this experiment is done we will know for sure which is it... 

In fairness, the local Patek representative here in Singapore

 By: SJX : April 28th, 2009-19:09
has always been forthcoming and helpful, as well as prompt. I have no experience with CH though. - SJX

I agree with you

 By: o : April 29th, 2009-03:11
that the Patek rep in Singapore has always been friendly, but that could be just my experience. As for CH, well, let's just say after the way I was treated there I almost thought of putting all my Patek watches for auction and going back to digital watche... 

Great Field Test!

 By: TimAbz : April 26th, 2009-22:44
Hats off to you Sir for a brave test! Great to read about....thanks. Tim

Yes, +1 [nt]

 By: PoyFR : April 27th, 2009-09:07
No message body

For sure, one has to do the job :-)

 By: small-luxury-world : April 27th, 2009-11:58
Watches are for wearing and if they write waterproof on it - one has to proof it. Brave man Oliver...  

Thanks, O...

 By: masterspiece : April 27th, 2009-13:07
for braving the test BEFORE you received a response from PP. Bob

A suggestion for salt water pools...

 By: patrick_y : April 27th, 2009-19:54
Most pools today are chlorine based pools that use chlorine, acids, and other chemicals to stabilize the water and set a pH balance. Most of the chemicals used are not mineral based and do not form minerals. It occurred to me after reading this post, that... 

Important Lesson. Patek is always more important, higher than the customer.

 By: bernard cheong : April 28th, 2009-00:20
If you had emailed most other companies, you would have had a reply.."like as in, please don't do it..or something". Patek is special, you are honored with a chance to own one. You pay if you ruin it. It is almost never possible that they made any mistake... 

I had a bad dream about Patek in that ...

 By: ling5hk : April 28th, 2009-16:22
Special VIP customers get different treatment. Those that always get picked to own complication watches which were subsequently sold in double plastic seal in second hand market. Regards Ling

sorry if I am speaking too frankly....

 By: WatchFan1 : May 1st, 2009-21:57
....but as I was reading the original posts I was continuously looking for the part where the original poster would say: "Ha ! Gotchya, I was just kidding.".....and to be be honest 'brave' was not the first adjective that was on my mind Pushing the chrono...  

Indeed! nt

 By: Dje : May 2nd, 2009-11:51

Water test nautilus....

 By: fifty fathoms78 : February 28th, 2011-10:35
You took the words right out of my mouth.....

I also have a 5980 but the idea of wearing it in the pool...

 By: mika13 : August 22nd, 2009-22:26
did not appeal to me, not until this day when I read your post! My pool watch has always been a good 'ol Sub or my Big Bang Hublot, or, on some rare occasions, a SS Daytona. But to wear and to push underwater the most expensive SS Chrono on the market (at... 

Thank you for your kind words mika13...

 By: o : October 13th, 2009-01:31
I am sure someone else would have been willing to do it, assuming the question was bugging them hard enough ;-) Have a good one. O

amen .... [nt]

 By: jzeraei : June 28th, 2010-21:34
No message body

Stop babying the things...

 By: Doctor : June 19th, 2012-20:01
We shouldn't worry about using these tools for that which they were designed to do. Let's trust one of the oldest and most revered brands and their technology.

Personnaly, I wouldn't use them underwater

 By: Mark in Paris : June 20th, 2012-01:02
High O ! First thanks for these pictures, it's always a great pleasure to see new pics of such a nice watch, congratz :) I'm not a specialist but, I wouldn't dare to push these button underwater. If the buttons are completly isolated from the inside (by a... 

Water Test With AD

 By: gary01 : June 20th, 2012-10:11
I would not take any Nautilus, 5980 or otherwise, under water unless the watch is tested in advance at AD for water resistance. AD's do this for no charge, and it takes all of 5 minutes. Kinda sorta worth it, no? AD will also tell you if pushers designed ... 

You have Platinum Balls!

 By: joeysing : January 10th, 2013-07:11
Hats off. Wouldn't do this to any of my nauts. Great to see someone using them as a tool watch... Lap timer duty.

Amazing. I use...

 By: no_frills : January 11th, 2013-03:50
... my Rolex 114270 as my "beater" / beach/water watch, but every time I travel without my 5711/1A I miss it! I am not sure I'd submerge my 5711/1A though, and it's missing a chronograph!

Looking at the date of the original post...

 By: nautilus : January 12th, 2013-05:29
I'd love to see the watch today.