Surviving 6 months in Salt Water
The Harbour Master
Elliot Brown are passionate about testing their watches to the limit. During the build process, every watch goes through two air pressure tests at 150m. Once it’s passed those, every single watch is submerged in water and pressurised to 200m/20ATM for 10 minutes. Only once the watch has survived these extreme tests are they happy to put their name to it.
Constantly on the look-out for new ways to put their rugged watches through their paces, Elliot Brown knew that they wanted to put a standard watch to the test in conditions far beyond what could ever be considered ‘normal use’. Determined to test the seals and the anti-corrosive properties of 316L Stainless Steel to their limits they devised a new test that was much more extreme in a location that was right on their doorstep – Poole harbour.
In October 2013, they fixed a standard production Bloxworth 929-007 watch at the bottom of Poole Harbour and left it there. After 30 days they returned to take some underwater shots of the watch and, impressed that it was still running, decided to leave it there. They took a few more shots at 60 days and by 90 days it was barely visible and covered in sediment. Determined to make this an ultimate test of endurance, Elliot Brown eventually decided to leave the watch underwater for the entire winter to see if it could withstand the effects of prolonged salt-water corrosion and constantly low temperature.
In March 2014, 6 months (and a full winter) later, they brought the watch back to the surface. It had spent the equivalent of approximately 12 years use in salt water based on 1 hour per day, however the corrosive effects that this rugged watch had been subjected to at the bottom of Poole harbour were far greater than this 12 year figure may suggest.
On retrieving the watch, Elliot Brown were dismayed (although far from surprised) to find that it looked wrecked. It had things growing on it and a thick brown crust that looked like rust had formed all over it. Nervously they cleaned the face just enough to reveal the seconds sub-dial – and were amazed to find that it was ticking as normal. And more than that, once dried, a little of the crust cracked off the case back revealing the polished stainless steel surface – it was perfectly intact.
Arguably the Harbour Master test was possibly more a test of corrosion resistance than underwater pressure, but whatever way you choose to view it, any watch that can withstand 6 months under water has a kind of honest durability and that’s exactly what Elliot Brown set out to achieve.Shop Elliot Brown Watches Elliot Brown BRAND FOCUS