SKU Code: CH/500M/SS/BL
These MWC 500m water resistant divers watches with helium escape valve are 100% Swiss Made and a member of MWC’s latest elite range, this model also has the advantage of an impact-resistant sapphire crystal and a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel. These watches are deal for all applications from an office environment to the most challenging outdoor activities such as use by professional divers.
The movement is a high quality 25 jewel Swiss Ronda R150 automatic with a 40 hour power reserve and hacking function to enable synchronisation.
All MWC 500M divers models are fitted with a helium escape valve, people often ask us how helium gets into a dive watch in the first place and the answer is very simple, essentially a helium molecule is among the smallest of all molecules. What this means is because they are so small even though the seals are working fine to keep water out the helium molecules can still get through and enter the watch even though other gases and water cannot.
The main users professionally of watches with helium escape valves are saturation divers who spend long periods of time at great depth with high pressure, the result is that the helium molecules can build up inside the watch creating pressure inside the case, this can inflict serious damage to the watch and even blow out the crystal or crown when it’s unscrewed, this is potentially extremely dangerous even if you are just checking or resetting the time, it can also potentially write off the watch. What the helium escape valve does is automatically allow the helium molecules to escape from the watch during decompression when the watch returns to normal standard sea level pressure. The valve is only one way so it lets the helium out but prevents anything external getting in.
For anyone who does not know why the helium is an issue, it’s important to understand why helium is employed for deep diving. The reason is that helium is one of very few gasses which does not have negative effects such as we see with nitrogen which causes nitrogen narcosis, consequently helium is used to replace nitrogen in most deep-sea mixed gas diving applications.
In some situations, professional divers can operate at great depth for extended periods where they live in dry environments pressurised with an oxygen/helium mix. When the divers surface and decompress after days or even sometimes weeks this gas must be removed to prevent problem as mentioned above such as the crystal or crown being blown out which can potentially injure or even blind someone.
The reality is that most divers will not be living in a pressurized environment for days or weeks on end, this means they will have no need for a watch equipped with a helium valve, regardless of how deep they dive but with deep diver watches such as our 500M range, it’s essential the valve is there just in case it’s needed because the watch would not be fit for purpose without it.
Dimensions and Specification:
- Movement: 25 Jewel Swiss RONDA R150 Automatic with hacking function
- Water Resistance: 500 m / 1640ft
- Helium Escape Valve
- Crown: Screw Down Locking
- Width 44mm
- Thickness: 13.4 mm
- Crystal Type: Shatter and Scratch Resistant Sapphire with Anti-Reflective Coating.*
- Lug to Lug: 52 mm
- Case: 316L Stainless Steel
- 120 click unidirectional bezel with ceramic insert
- Illumination: Swiss Super Luminova C3 on markers and hands
- Bracelet: Tapers from 22mm at the watch head down to 20mm and to 22mm at the clasp
* A lot of people ask us what are the benefits of sapphire crystal over a standard mineral crystal? The answer is that synthetic sapphire is by far the best material for watch crystals because it is very strong and also shatter and scratch-resistant, these characteristics make it very appealing to military and security personnel, police officers, and people who lead active outdoor lifestyles, these groups account for over 70% of our customers. To get things into perspective we find that when clients have accidents with watches resulting in a cracked crystal over 90% usually watches with mineral glass crystals, even factoring in that we use hardened mineral crystals they still do not come close to sapphire for durability under adverse conditions. The reason that sapphire crystals are so strong is that after the sapphire glass is manufactured it is also heat-treated to remove its internal stresses—which can cause weakness—it is then made into the watch crystals and two layers of anti-reflective coating are applied, interestingly sapphire crystal is now used on the latest iPhone. Of course, sapphire crystal comes at a price hence you find that it’s normally only fitted to higher-end watches.