Why are some people filling their watches with oil? Would you? (Updated with new video)

How much oil is too much oil?

A while ago, I came across a tutorial video on YouTube demonstrating how to fill a wristwatch with oil. At first, I thought it was one of those parody ‘how to wash your camera with soap and a bucket of water’ type videos. But as I continued to watch this gentleman fill his watch with silicon oil all the way to the end, needless to say, I was quite blown away. Before I go on, here’s the video so it can blow all your minds as well:

So how the hell does this work?! After doing some research, this effect is due to the refraction of light. As light passes from one medium to another, it changes speed according to the properties of those materials. In a normal watch, the layer between the crystal and the dial is filled with air and so light is refracted when it passes through. Oil, on the other hand, shares a very similar response to refraction when compared with the crystal and so the dial appears as if it is right on the crystal. And, it gives the viewer a much wider viewing angle. TLDR version: some science stuff makes the dial look like it is right up at the crystal.

From what I can gather, the process is not very difficult to do. Unfortunately, this will only work with quartz watches, and only when you use a non-conductive substance to fill the watch. This process will NOT work with a mechanical watch as rate the balance wheel oscillates will change when submerged within a viscous liquid.

I have only come across one brand, Ressence, that uses this oil-filled technique on a mechanical watch. And even then, they had to come up with some innovative solutions to make it work. Some other brands with this particular feature are the Sinn UX and the Hydromax from Bell & Ross. In the case of Sinn and B&R, they do this because the oil allows them to use a thinner crystal and still be able to withstand the atmospheric pressure as it goes deeper under the sea.

Pretty cool stuff. So, are you going to fill up your watch with oil?

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