There and back again

There and back again

There and back again. The anatomy of a Rolex, part 4

This is the Rolex helium escape valve. Patented in 1967, it protects these watches designed for extreme diving. Rolex invented this valve so that the helium used for dives in hyperbaric tanks could be released during decompression.

The valve triggers systematically when the pressure inside the watchcase is too high. Thus, the hermeticity of the watch is never compromised. Indispensable to human beings when saturation-diving, helium is a noble gas, but an intrusive one. Its atoms penetrate anything. Even watchcases, through its seals, no matter how airtight they may be. And if they are not dealt with swiftly enough during the ascent, the internal pressure can cause the glass to pop, therefore affecting the integrity of the case, and impacting the performance of the movement. That is why Rolex invented this self-regulating system, which today consists of a hermetic cylinder, a piston, a seal and a spring. Because to us, when it comes to depth, the true feat lies not only in the descent, but in the journey back to the surface.

Credit to Rolex for the content of this article.

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