New Question re: Tube Replacement
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  1. #1

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    Question New Question re: Tube Replacement

    There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding tube replacement, tube life, whether it's possible to request customized tube colors, etc. But I don't recall whether anyone has pondered a possible future issue. It seems that all current models use strictly green and yellow tubes. Far as I can tell, blue or red tubes are no longer being used. (If I'm wrong about this, feel free to correct me). But what about the folks who currently own a watch that is equipped with blue tubes, such as the Fireman 40mm or the original Night Train? What happens when the tubes have reached their usable life and need to be replaced? Will the tubes be replaced on a like-for-like basis, or will the blue tubes be replaced with green or yellow? My three Balls are all fitted with green and yellow tubes, so at this point it's a non-issue with me. But if I owned one of the older blue-tubed models, it would be a shame to lose the unique color combination.

    Anyone have any knowledge?



    Thanks,
    Mick

  2. #2
    Member waterbrook's Avatar
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    At this point, the manufacturer's web site still shows all the colors (and some that Ball has not used) as available. Who knows what the story will be in 10 years!

    I think there are some current models using blue tubes and some with red, but I can't recall which ones.

    Mitch

  3. #3

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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    Thanks, Mitch. Only a very few models have utilized blue tubes and I think someone posted that one of them - the Fireman - is being phased out? The Night Train no longer uses blue or red tubes. All the newer models (Trieste, Aviator, etc.) use only green and yellow tubes. Blue tubes, even when brand new, have an output only 60% as bright as the green. Tritium has a half-life of about 12 years. I'm not a scientist, but this probably means that blue tubes will probably be getting fairly dim after only about 7-8 years. For people who bought their watches a few years ago, the issue - if there is an issue at all - will arise in only a few years.

    Maybe one of our illustrious contributors from Ball Watch might offer a guess or opinion? Will blue tubes be replaced by blue tubes when the time comes? Thanks in advance!

    With Best Regards,
    Mick

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  5. #4
    Member Crusher's Avatar
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    This question has been asked a few times already and there is never a clear answer. Guess we will find out in a few years, but if the tube replacements will be expensive and/or not all colors available, a lot of people will not be happy.

  6. #5
    Member rsr911's Avatar
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    If you go to Mb -microtech website, the maker of these tubes. It shows all colors to be available. Just FYI!
    Anonimo
    Chronoscopio AMG Special Edition
    Militare Chrono Ox-Pro Edition II
    Aquadive BS300
    RESCO ​Patriot
    Panerai 177 "The Stephanie"
    Sinn U1, 104 blue face
    Seiko SBDX014, SBBN013, SRP043K,
    Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver
    Casio G-Shock:GWG-1000-1A3, GD-100MS-1
    Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre, REVERSO 976, Navy Seal and Universal Geneve
    "Time is too precious to keep it on an inexpensive watch"

  7. #6
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    Actually the main concern should be should MB(touch wood here) shut down, who will produce the replacement tube in years to come... There only a hand full of watch company using H3 tube and MB is also moving to something else so if they decided to shut down H3 tube production who will provide the H3 tube for replacement...

  8. #7

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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    Mitch, Crusher, Ice -- thanks for your input and I guess we'll all wait and see. Ice, I hope MB never decides to stop production of the H3 tubes! That would be a real heartbreaker, for obvious reasons. I wonder if any other H3 applications exist outside of the watch industry?

    Hmmmm....

    With Best Regards,
    Mick

  9. #8
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    Ideally there should be more than one company unless they patent the method but then again may not too as i have not seem other stuff that uses H3 tube other than on watches for now. Anyway the financial crisis have already hit one swiss geneva watchmaker... Wonder who next on the list... But i think BALL should be doing OK as they just shifted to a bigeer HQ building couple of years back, they are quite well received in the market and they are expanding their dealership.
    Last edited by iceheller; January 29th, 2009 at 06:22.

  10. #9
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    First, let me state that tritium gas tubes are also used in the iron-sight inserts of pistols such as SIG, H&K, Glock, and Beretta. So, if ever Microtech shuts down, Ball Watch will have alternative suppilers for such tubes. These self-powered lumes are in demand by US military application. Have no fear guys, there are suppliers out there.

    Second, with regards to color-for-color replacement of tubes, I suggest you write in to :
    http://www.ballwatch.com/index.php?o...uiryForm_step1

  11. #10
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    Re: New Question re: Tube Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by TropiRock View Post
    Thanks, Mitch. Only a very few models have utilized blue tubes and I think someone posted that one of them - the Fireman - is being phased out? The Night Train no longer uses blue or red tubes. All the newer models (Trieste, Aviator, etc.) use only green and yellow tubes. Blue tubes, even when brand new, have an output only 60% as bright as the green. Tritium has a half-life of about 12 years. I'm not a scientist, but this probably means that blue tubes will probably be getting fairly dim after only about 7-8 years. For people who bought their watches a few years ago, the issue - if there is an issue at all - will arise in only a few years.

    Maybe one of our illustrious contributors from Ball Watch might offer a guess or opinion? Will blue tubes be replaced by blue tubes when the time comes? Thanks in advance!
    Another (potential) issue is with replacing, say, a broken or even just faded tube. Replacing only some tubes will result in uneven lighting due to the age differences of the tubes. Seems you'd need to do them all each time to stay right?
    adamcb likes this.

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