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 Post subject: Stuck Bezel After Flight
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:13 pm 
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I rarely fly, but it seems the bezel on my Navitimer 01 locks up every time I get off a flight.

Last year, I flew from NYC to Orlando, FL. My bezel locked up immediately after I landed in FL. I could not move it at all. I wasn't able to move it again until about a week after I landed back in NYC.

Last month, I flew from NYC to Shanghai. Sure enough, the bezel locked up again when I landed. Oddly, though, the bezel returned to its smoothly operational state while I was in the air on my flights from Shanghai to Beijing and from Beijing to NYC. But, of course, the bezel locked up again when I landed back in NYC on the 13th. It's now been 5 days since I've landed and my bezel is still locked.

Does this happen to anyone else? Is it indicative a particular issue? Is there a fix I'm missing?

I'll appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:11 am 
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We got one or two opposite cases here on BSF :D :

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=60258

That Navi bezel locked in flight and was working OK on sea level.

And another one here:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=49058

Now we have another case of weird Navi bezel behaviour connected to flying and still no idea what could be causing it.

I wonder - pressure has nothing to do with it, commercial aircraft are pressurized. Maybe humidity ?

I found this article:
http://www.askthepilot.com/questionansw ... r-quality/

It says: "If passengers have one very legitimate gripe, it’s about dryness. Indeed, the typical cabin is exceptionally dry and dehydrating. At around 12 percent humidity, it is drier than you will find in most deserts. This is chiefly a by-product of cruising at high-altitudes, where moisture content is somewhere between low and nonexistent. Humidifying a cabin would seem a simple and sensible solution, but it’s avoided for different reasons. First, to amply humidify a jetliner would take large quantities of water, which is heavy and therefore expensive to carry. Humidifying systems would need to recapture and recirculate as much water as possible, making them expensive and complicated. They do exist: one sells for more than $100,000 per unit and increases humidity only by a small margin. There’s also the important issue of corrosion. Dampness and condensation leeching into the guts of an airframe can be damaging."

I found another source that claims as low as 4% humidity inside commercial aircraft, Boeing 787 being slightly better. So the air is very dry inside the cabin. Maybe this has some effect on Navi bezel that has a specific construction unlike other watches.

While I have Navitimer Heritage I must say that I never flew with it so didn't check the effect myself, but if opportunity arises, will do :D

P.S. I found a scientific study of air quality and relative humidity in commercial aircrafts so you can enjoy some more data :drool:
https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/53284046.pdf

If your Navitimer bezel is still blocked, maybe you can free it using this advice:

O2AFAC67 wrote:
Read a suggestion on another site to try dental floss to "degunk" under the bezel. Both my display back Cosmonaute and Old Navitimer bezels were so tight I could not move them at all without superhuman effort. Cut a long (10-12") length of dental floss, pushed the center of the strand under the bezel at one position and wrapped the strand around almost to where I started it. Pulled it around a couple of times and voila'! Worked great! The Navi bezel returned to its original (as I recall) perfect tension and the Cosmo bezel returned to its original tension as well. The Cosmo was always a bit tight but easily usable and it is again now. Give it a try. A very useful and easy technique for sure!
Cheers,
Ron


Good luck and enjoy your Navi :lingsrock:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:58 pm 
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FWIW, commercial airliners are normally pressurized to an altitude of 8,000 ft. during cruise. So, the initial pressure inside the watch will be greater than the cabin pressure.

The following is my thought process on what is happening. these watches are water resistant, not watertight. However, the bezel is mounted quite tightly. It may well be that the watch depressurizes during flight, but the outside pressure at sea level (or thereabouts) after landing puts pressure on the bezel to the point that the low pressure inside the watch cannot be equalized. My theory. Your mileage may vary.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:34 pm 
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Sounds plausible and most likely the cause of the problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:46 am 
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Could be that, makes sense. Watch slowly depressurizes during the flight and than takes much more time to equalize at the sea level.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:51 am 
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I went to the NYC boutique and the serviceman fixed the issue, though he took it to the back so I didn't see how he did it.

When he returned, he told me that the pressure change affected the seal/gasket/whatever the attachment mechanism is for keeping the bezel on the case. I replied that I was surprised that a flight negatively affected a Navitimer--the flagship PILOT's watch :? . He shrugged and said they'll address the bezel's attachment to the case the next time they service it :x

Overall, though, the experience at the boutique was pleasant and I was pleased that the serviceman fixed the issue on the spot.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 3:17 pm 
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The issue is back. I flew to California 5 days ago and, of course, the bezel has been immobile from the time I landed until right now--on the return flight to New York. I suspect it'll lock up when I land again. :x Looks like I'll have to head to the NYC boutique once more for this issue :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:11 am 
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Same thing yesterday with my Navitimer World. Bezel still turns but certainly has a lot more resistance.
Back on the ground it was ok again. I’m going to test onewatchnut’s theory today and see how the watch
Behaves during climb out.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:08 am 
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Same thing last night. Bezel friction increases almost right after take off.
I don’t think temperature or humidity has anything to do with it.
Pressurisation is the most likely cause.
Don’t think an aviation watch should do this really.
Bezel still turns but what when the airplane depressurises...
Not that one would be playing with their watch then but the bezel will very likely not move at all then.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:26 am 
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It sounds like you have the opposite problem. My bezel was fine in the air, but when I landed it was rigid.

Thankfully, the NYC boutique took it in the back and fixed it.

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