If you’re a frequent diver, or live somewhere with drastic temperature changes, your watch is vulnerable to condensation. We can deck out our dive watches to be as ‘ruggedized’ as we want and it will still not be completely invincible to the potential dangers of water entering it. 



You can use a titanium case, upgrade to a sapphire crystal, swap to a screw-down crown, or whatever else you can think of: as long as there are entry points for water, then that worry will never go away. The best we can do is to ensure that everything is sealed down tight to minimize this risk.

Which oil or grease do you need to use? And when should you lubricate your watch gaskets? Are Seiko modders required to lubricate their watch gaskets more frequently than OEM? Read on for the answers.

Why Lubricate Watch Gaskets?

Your watch may have all friction fit parts, but the crystal, crown, and caseback will always require a gasket to be watertight. You’d also want to lubricate the bezel gaskets to ensure smooth rotation. These small seals prevent dust, moisture and perspiration from entering the case and wreaking havoc on the movement. That’s why periodic lubrication is essential for gasket health and your watch’s water resistance, and is one of the most commonly done procedures when you bring in a watch for its regular servicing.



Gaskets act as a barrier between the inside of a watch case and the outside elements, and also as protection for moving parts. Though fresh gaskets usually do a good job of protecting the insides of a watch, they endure repeated stress that can lead to drying, cracking and deformation over time. A dry, damaged gasket allows air and liquid to seep in, risking condensation, mineral buildup and oxidation.

By keeping gaskets in their best shape with regular lubrication, you dramatically extend their lifespan and ensure all safeguards remain intact. Lubricants achieve this through advanced polymers that condition and improve the condition of natural rubber and silicone. Periodic reapplication also prevents friction and wear-and-tear during daily use.



Approach gasket lubrication as routine preventative maintenance, much like you would an annual physical. The minimal time investment helps you avoid costly repairs (or unplanned modding upgrades 😉) down the road. Whenever you open up your mod to adjust the movement or clean the inside, you should also reapply lubrication to your watch gaskets at the same time.

Understanding Different Gasket Types

When considering gasket lubrication, it helps to understand the different types of seals found in watches and their particular needs.



Caseback Gaskets: The circular gaskets along the back casing are often composed of nitrile rubber or silicone. Both require a plasticizer-rich grease that keeps the material flexible and sealed. Opt for a nitrile-compatible lubricant if unsure of the exact gasket material.

Bezel Gaskets: These are similar sized gaskets to the caseback gaskets, and most beginner modders actually confuse the two together. In general, the bezel gasket will be bigger as it is installed on the underside of the bezel which has a larged diameter than the caseback. It is also made of the same material and requires the same lubricant.



Crown Stem Gaskets: Extremely thin and delicate, these rubber gaskets circle watch crown stems and are usually already pre-installed. Use a lightweight mineral oil for fluid movement when winding and setting. Avoid gloppy greases that may inhibit the crown mechanism.




Crystal Gaskets: Crystal gaskets are thin gaskets made of a plastic material that is designed to get ‘squished’ when you install the crystal into the case, forming a seal. These do not usually need lubrication, although the process of crystal installation makes this gasket easy to deform so if you just changed crystals and notice condensation suddenly appearing on your watch, you might want to check this out.

Knowing When to Lubricate

When should you break out that grease and show some gasket love? Follow these key times for lubrication:

Regular Maintenance: Aim to lubricate every 2 to 3 years as part of routine care. Those who frequently get their watches wet through swimming, showering or fishing should lubricate annually. The more moisture exposure, the higher the upkeep required.


Source: Esslinger


After Case Openings: Anytime a watch case gets cracked open for battery changes, repairs or inspections, lubricate the gaskets before closing. The process stresses gasket seals, making re-lubrication vital for retaining water resistance.

Signs of Trouble: Detecting foggy crystals, shortened water resistance or stiff crown operation all indicate potential gasket issues. Lubricate worn gaskets to attempt to restore function prior to replacement.

Pre-Dive: Ensuring watertightness takes precedence with dive watches subjected to intense water pressure. Lubricate gaskets before each dive trip or extensive water activity for the best layers of protection. Don't leave safety to chance.

Easy Lubrication with namoki’s Silicone Grease

We’ve talked about the what, why and when, now let’s talk about how you can lubricate your watch gaskets and how you can do it easily. namokiMODS offers its own Lubri-Gaskets Silicone Grease that does the same job as the Bergeon branded one for about half the price. All you need to do is pop in your gasket, put on the lid, and give it a few rotations to completely coat your gasket with lubricant. After this, you can reinstall the gasket back on your watch. Isn’t that convenient?

Wrap Up

When doing Seiko mods, we can sometimes get caught up in the excitement of planning the look to executing the build that we sometimes forget about the little details. Of course, we all want our watch to look exactly as we imagined it, but once you finish your personalized watch, you’d also want to be able to wear and enjoy it for as long as you can. That’s where proper maintenance comes in, and gasket lubrication is one of the steps that you can take to ensure that your watch is protected from the elements that doesn’t take a lot of time or financial resources.

namokiMODS aims to be a one-stop-shop for modders so aside from stocking over a thousand Seiko mod parts for your enjoyment, we also offer modding tools and accessories to make sure that your watch is properly assembled. Be sure to check out our store for all things modding, and if you have any questions, feel free to email us at support@namokimods.com and one of our friendly customer service team members will assist you.

Happy modding!

February 15, 2024 — Jeremiah A

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.