Show us your Tritium Lume - A surprising experiment
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Thread: Show us your Tritium Lume - A surprising experiment

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  1. #1
    Member kazrich's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    United Kingdom

    Show us your Tritium Lume - A surprising experiment

    I primarily collect 1960's sports watches. They all show the 'T' mark indicating the applied lume
    is tritium rather than the older radium type.
    I've never really seen any blinding fireworks from these applications, and didn't really expect any due their age.
    The sun shone brightly all afternoon last Saturday. I left the Enicar Sherpa Graph on the kitchen work top whilst I was
    working on my car.
    As the sun set, I strapped the watch to my wrist and to my great surprise the lume lit up and clearly showed the time .
    It must be said that half an hour later it was impossible to read in the dark.
    I decided on a little experiment. I took 3 watches and left them sunbathing for 30 minutes under a standard 13W T5 florescent kitchen cabinet tube .

    These are the watches

    I then photographed them in the dark. The lume looks more impressive in the pictures, because in an attempt to focus in the dark the camera throws out a beam which enhances the brightness of the lume.

    The Super Divette looked very promising to start with

    However after 25 minutes it lost nearly all of it's glow and retired.

    After a further 10 minutes the other 2 were still glowing

    This was the state of play after a further 3 hours

    None of the watches have ever been re lumed and all date from 1965 ( Enicar's ) to 1968 ( Gallet )

    I was really surprised and impressed that they had any lume functioning at all. Anyone had a similar experience with a 60's watch ?
    JOSE G and velvet396 like this.

  2. #2
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Re: Show us your Tritium Lume - A surprising experiment

    my 1967 Flight Officer does have original lume that glows, although not as brightly as that nice MultiChron of yours.

    kazrich and ChiefWahoo like this.
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  3. #3
    Member velvet396's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Western PA

    Re: Show us your Tritium Lume - A surprising experiment

    Thanks for pointing out some watches that I'll now have to start shopping for... Ha!
    kazrich and RandalW like this.

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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Canada

    Re: Show us your Tritium Lume - A surprising experiment

    The "Glow" you see has nothing to do with the Tritium, of course; you charged up the phospor with natural UV radiation, in lieu of the radiation that the Tritium used to (but no longer) provides. From a vintage perspective, we're all rather more used to the behavior of pre-war Lume, where the phosphor will have long since have broken down while the Radium is still active. These Tritium products are at the other end of the scale; the Tritium has long since degraded past the point of providing enough radation to excite phosphor, but the phosphor itself is still alive and kicking. Phosphors tend to degrade due to oxidization, so the "dustproof" cases that were the norm post WWII helps this too.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages:

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