Milky Acrylic Crystal

Thread: Milky Acrylic Crystal

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  1. #1
    Member 3sails's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Nipmuc, USA

    Question Milky Acrylic Crystal

    Hi Guys,

    I had received a Westclox auto as part of a lot some weeks ago and although running like a top, the crystal looks quite milky when looking dead center, while quite clear at some angles. I recently pulled the crystal and the translucence seems to be through and through. This is a 1950's watch and likely the original crystal. Would/could UV light simply have caused it to change over time? Is it at all possible it was meant to look that way? What is super strange is that it is just the face and not the walls of the crystal that are milky.

    Could it have been meant to be less reflective in the sunlight? The lume still holds a charge just from desk lamp light, which is kind of cool after fifty odd years but spooky.

    If I had a drawer full of acrylics in the right size, I wouldn't hesitate but as a monkey wrencher, my efforts/attempts make me likely to just live with it. The watch model is not clear to me either but is quite similar to the watch on the right at the base of the tree next to the Shadow Thin to the left.
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    This came in a lot, as mentioned but I was stalking a minty looking Shadow Thin yesterday and was just toying with the crystal this am.
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    Thoughts on the crystal? Just UV degradation? Anti-reflective on purpose?



  2. #2
    heb is offline
    Member heb's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

    Re: Milky Acrylic Crystal

    I have a 30 year old Heuer quartz watch which also developed the same "milky" appearance over time (it wasn't that way when I purchased it new). I figured that it was caused by outgassing of the tritium. I never thought about UV degradation, but considering its been in a drawer for a great majority of its time with me, I think it's the former.


  3. #3
    Member ltri's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    South Carolina, USA

    Re: Milky Acrylic Crystal

    I think that just from the plastic aging and slowly breaking down. I had bought some old stock GS crystals from ebay still sealed in their paper packages but about 1/3 of them were milky.
    I'm a watchbreaker not a watchmaker.

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