Final word on Helium Release Valves

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Final word on Helium Release Valves

Post by koimaster » January 19th 2022, 5:07pm

While much real and virtual ink has been spent proclaiming the necessity of the helium release (i.e., “escape”) valve for any professional diver’s watch, this subtle and relatively simple case feature remains one of the most misunderstood complications in the undersea watch world. In order to bring light to the murky depths surrounding the real purpose behind this unassuming valve, I will call upon my training and experience as an inland commercial diver, along with a little help from a few salty saturation divers I happen to know, to finally and correctly describe the helium-rich environment for which the HRV was designed, how the concept works in practice, and why you don’t need one (unless you do). So, do all deep-diving watches need HRVs? How does water not infiltrate the watch through the valve when it operates? Is an HRV required for all dive watches certified over a certain depth? Speaking as a watch-nerd-turned-commercial-diver, I can tell you from experience that the answers to these important questions are not as straightforward as you’d expect.

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