If you’re looking a watch for use in underground mining, we have several tips might just help you make the right selection. Underground mining presents a unique environment and it can be extremely hard on watches. here’s our five tips to find the best underground mining watch.
Tip One – Understand the environment that your watch will work in
If you select a watch for use in an underground coal mine, that watch will need to be either a mechanical movement or intrinsically safe. If it’s in a metalliferous mine and there’s no chance of ignition from a flammable gas a battery-operated watch may be ok. Understanding the environment is critical for not only your own safety but the safety of your fellow miners.
Tip Two – Ensure that the watch has a waterproof and dustproof seal
Water and dust in underground mining are common. There will be times when your hands are immersed in water and the watch will probably go as well. Some water in mines can also be slightly acidic, so you really need to protect the watch mechanism with effective dust and waterproof seal.
Additionally, a watch with replaceable seals is important if you plan to keep the watch for a long period of time.
Tip Three – Consider the watch glass
Try to make sure your new underground mining watch is equipped with a watch glass that won’t easily break or scratch and is well fitted in position.
In the watch industry, glass is often referred to as a ‘watch crystal’
Sapphire watch glass is considered the toughest and is typically used on most high end watches like Rolex or Tag Heuer. It is practically indestructible and unscratchable which will be perfect for use in underground mines.
One point you should check out is how well the watch crystal is fixed to the watch. Some are glued while others are pressure fitted into position. You can watch the video on testing sapphire watch crystal.
Tip Four – Consider the case
There are many options that watchmakers use for the production of watch cases. There will always be a range of ‘for’ and against’ for most materials. Here are our top picks of underground watch materials:
- Stainless steel – Why…because its’ corrosion-resistant, hardwearing and will retain its shine for an extended period. If it’s well made it won’t be too heavy and will remain durable. It’s also affordable as stainless steel is commonly available. try and look for cold-pressed cases as they retain shape longer.
- Titanium is also our favourite pick for an underground miners watch. It’s super hard and lighter than stainless steel but it’s also significantly more expensive.
- Carbon Fibre has recently made its way onto the market for watches. It’s super light and very very strong but it seems it is also very expensive.
Tip Five – Dial Luminosity
If you’re in a dark environment you need a watch that will be clearly visible. That’s where a luminous dial can come in. Luminous pigments are used on the hands and face of the watch to make it more readable. Well you’d think that luminous pigments are all the same..right? Actually there’s a range of quality and luminosity for the pigments used.
Most quality luminous watches today use special products like Super-LumiNova, LumiNova and LumiBrite although Tritium and some luminous paints are also used.
We are informed that the application of the product on the hands and face of the watch is also important to its’ brightness. Try and select a dial that will remain luminous at least your whole shift or longer.
The luminosity on a watch has previously helped rescuers find trapped people so the brighter the better we say.
Summing up – underground mining watches
While it seems a simple decision, there’s more to buying an underground mining watch than first meets the eye. We would always recommend that you consider what your site rules might be with regard to wearing a watch. Understanding that will help you on your way but keep in mind the technical aspects of the watch as well. A good underground mining watch is an investment and, with a little luck, you’ll wear it with pride for many years to come.
You can also read more of today’s Mining Safety News