Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most commonly asked questions appear below. If you have a question that is not on this page, then please feel free to submit your question by clicking here. We will do our best to get an answer directly to you within two business days.
WHERE CAN I BUY ALEXANDER WATCHES?
The mission and vision for Alexander has been to deliver fine Swiss engineered timepieces to a broad audience. Since the brand has a limited annual production, we are in a handful of boutique stores throughout the world. In addition, we are beginning to sell our products on the Internet. The following are some of our more significant Internet partners:
- Perfect Timing
- A Bargain Now
- Timepiece Trading
HOW CAN I SHORTEN THE LINK BRACELET ON MY WATCH?
Many Alexander models are offered on solid stainless steel link bracelets. These bracelets have all been custom designed and engineered by Alexander specifically for each model. In most cases, the bracelet will be too large for most wearers. We do this intentionally in order to accommodate as many different wrist sizes as possible. Some people also prefer to wear their bracelets tight and slightly higher on the wrist and some like to wear them loose and lower on the wrist. In order to custom fit your bracelet, in most cases it will be necessary to take it to a jeweler to have links removed. Jewelers are usually very adept at this procedure and it does not take long to perform. Many jewelers will undergo the sizing of a watch bracelet as a courtesy and not charge anything for it. Others may want to charge $5 or $10 for this service. Jewelers have special tools and bracelet holders for removing links and they will know how to properly size your bracelet. We do not recommend that you perform this sizing operation yourself. However, if you are feeling adventurous and want to size it yourself then you should remove an equal (or near equal) amount of links from each side of the bracelet so as to keep the clasp in the middle of the underside of your wrist for optimal comfort. For watchmakers: Most Alexander bracelets are fitted with double-sided screw-pins to connect the removable links. These screw pins are specially engineered to prevent the screws from falling out accidentally. In order to successfully remove a double-sided screw-pin, one side of the screw-pin must be held in place while the other side is being unscrewed. You will therefore need two screwdriver bits to perform this task. There are specially designed tools to remove these kinds of screws. They utilize a fixed screwdriver head affixed to an anti-skid metal base. While the bottom end of the screw-pin is held in place with one of these tools, the other side of the screw-pin is gently unscrewed.
WHAT MAKES A WATCH WATER-RESISTANT?
There are several features that make a watch water-resistant. The most important is the gaskets, or O-rings - usually made of rubber, nylon or Teflon, which form watertight seals at the joints where the crystal, case back and crown meet the watch case. If the watch is a chronograph, the chronograph pushers will also need to have gaskets. In addition, some water-resistant watch cases are lined with a sealant, applied in the form of a quick-hardening liquid, which helps keep water out. The thickness and material of the case is also a big factor in determining whether a watch can safely be worn underwater. The case must be sturdy enough to withstand pressure without caving in. This means the case material must be stainless steel, titanium or an equally sturdy metal. Solid gold cases or stainless cases plated with gold can be water-resistant provided they are sufficiently thick. A screw-in case back, as opposed to one that pushes in, also contributes to water resistance. A screw-in crown, a feature commonly available in diver's watches, helps prevent water getting into the case through the watch-stem hole. When it is screwed down it forms a water tight seal much like the seal between a jar and its lid.
WHY AREN'T WATCHES EVER LABELED OR DESCRIBED IN ADVERTISING AS WATERPROOF EVEN IF THEY CAN BE WORN FOR DEEP-SEA SUBMERGED DIVING?
By definition, waterproof implies that the watch case is impervious to water under every condition. Watch manufacturers do not and cannot make this claim because under increasing pressure all watch cases will eventually begin to leak. The term waterproof was discontinued starting in the late 1960s. This change was brought about from several government organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission in the USA, who were investigating truthfulness and accuracy of product labeling and advertising. For example, if a watch is said to be water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet), this means that under still conditions at depths not greater than 100 meters, the watch case should be impervious to water leakage. Please read the next FAQ for more detail. Because the Federal Trade Commission of the US issued guidelines prohibiting the use of the term waterproof to describe watches, including deep-sea diving watches, the proper term is water-resistant. Therefore, before you purchase a water-resistant watch, become familiar with the different levels of water resistance and the limitations of water-resistant watches to ensure you obtain a watch suitable for your needs.
MY WATCH IS LABELED WATER-RESISTANT TO 100 METERS, BUT THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY I CAN ONLY WEAR IT SWIMMING, NOT SNORKELING OR DIVING. WHY IS THAT?
The different levels of water resistance as expressed in meters are only theoretical. They refer to the depth at which the watch will keep out water if both the watch and the water are perfectly motionless. These conditions, of course, are never met in the real swimmer's or diver's world. In real life, the movement of the wearer's arm through the water dramatically adds pressure on the watch as well.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF WATER-RESISTANCE AND WHAT ARE THEIR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS?
Watches with the lowest level of water resistance are labeled simply water-resistant. They can withstand splashes of water but should not be submerged underwater under any circumstances. The following usage recommendations are suggested by industry standards.
- Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet): Watches with this rating will withstand splashes of water or rain. They are not suitable for diving or being submerged.
- Water-resistant to 50 meters (165 feet): Watches with this rating are usually suitable for light showering.
- Water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for some swimming and snorkeling activities.
- Water-resistant to 150 meters (500 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for snorkeling.
- Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for skin diving.
- Diver's 150 meters (500 feet) specified to meet ISO standards: Watches with this rating are suitable for scuba diving.
- Diver's 200 meters (660 feet) specified to meet ISO standards: Watches with this rating are suitable for scuba diving.
IS WATER RESISTANCE PERMANENT?
No. Water resistance depends on several factors (as mentioned in other FAQs), some of which can be affected by wear or simply by time. Over time, gaskets can become weakened, corroded, or misshapen, cases dented or crystals loosened or broken. That's why your watch, like your car and your teeth, need preventive maintenance. There are misconceptions about water resistance. Lots of people assume the water-resistance level of a watch represents the true sustainable water resistance, when in reality it does not. As mentioned in answers to previous questions, this is because its water-resistance level is based on a motionless, static depth test, not in a turbulent ocean or on a rapidly moving wrist going into and out of the swimming pool. The depth level indicated on the watch dial or case-back does not account for sudden and rapid changes in depth, nor does it take into account temperature or atmospheric changes. Water-resistant watches can also experience water damage if the owner descends under the water too quickly or if the watch is removed from cold water and rapidly exposed to warmer air. Both consumers and retailers should note that these watches do not remain water-resistant for their entire lifetimes, as their water resistance will naturally decrease with time.
HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR A WATER-RESISTANT WATCH?
First, it is not recommended to wear your water-resistant watch in a hot shower, sauna, or hot tub even though the watch is tested to have the necessary water resistance. Many people actually don't understand the nature or properties of metal, and complain blindly to manufacturers or retailers when there is a water resistance problem with their watch. They don't realize that extreme heat can cause the metal parts to expand at a different rate than the rubber gaskets. This creates small openings that can allow water droplets to penetrate the watch. Sudden temperature changes are especially harsh. Take care not to jump into a cold pool after wearing your watch in the hot tub. After swimming or diving in salt water, immediately rinse the watch in a stream of fresh water. If your watch has a rotating bezel, turn the bezel several times while rinsing it. This will prevent salt buildup under the bezel or corrosion of the bezel ring. Some chemicals can corrode the gaskets and make them vulnerable to distortion. Heavily chlorinated water and spray-on perfumes and hairsprays are also problematic, as they may damage the case seams and gaskets. Moreover, while the watch is submerged in water or still wet, do NOT press any buttons or pushers on the watch. Do not pull out the crown while the watch is submerged in water. If the case, glass or seal is damaged in any way, the watch will no longer be water-resistant. Condensation can appear in any watch and is caused by a sudden change in temperature (i.e. when a watch is removed from a cold room and placed into a warm room, or vice versa). The appearance of condensation does not mean the watch will not operate properly, nor that it has lost its water resistance, but to be safe it should be serviced if the condensation does not go away within 24 hours. Batteries in water-resistant watches should be replaced by a professional so that the water-resistant seals can be checked and replaced if necessary, otherwise the watch may no longer be guaranteed water-resistant. It is good practice to change the battery hatch or case-back gaskets whenever the battery is changed. As mentioned previously, water-resistance is not a permanent condition. For example, the gaskets that are around the stem, case-back and glass can deteriorate with time and should be inspected and changed periodically (by a professional). Leather straps can be made to be WATER-RESISTANT too. Generally, however, leather straps are more easily damaged by frequent exposure to water. So if you are going to wear your watch while swimming - consider a metal bracelet or a rubber or nylon dive strap. Water resistance should be checked at least once a year. Like most manufacturers, we suggest that water resistance be tested every time the case back is opened, because opening the case can dislodge the gaskets. This is why unauthorized opening of the watch case-back is usually not recommended, because doing so will invalidate warranty rights. This rule applies even to a simple battery change done by an unqualified person.