Tritium Gas Half-life
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  1. #1
    Member Kauf2947's Avatar
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    Tritium Gas Half-life

    If tritium gas is an unstable isotope with a half-life of 12.32 years, and loses half its brightness in that period. Should I think twice about buying a 10 year old Ball watch?
    Last edited by Kauf2947; October 17th, 2014 at 03:30.

  2. #2
    Member jjlwis1's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    No

  3. #3
    Ball Watch, Bremont and Longines moderator samanator's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    Suggest reading through the collective, the Ball site, the MB Microtec site and any Ball add. Tritium is not the glow agent like older paint variety. It excites the phosphor coating of the tube. The half life is less of a factor in the total equation. It will last over 25 years and just like any lume source intensity will decrease over time. Probably longer than SuperLuminova and it's binder will last. I've seen a 13 year old Ball watch and it's a little dimmer, but it's not even close to half intensity. Before you go to the knowledge of some other brand note that while the tubes may be from the same source the manufacture can specify certain elements. So not all tubes are created equal.
    Last edited by samanator; October 17th, 2014 at 05:53.
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    Michael
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    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    Quote Originally Posted by Kauf2947 View Post
    If tritium gas is an unstable isotope with a half-life of 12.32 years, and loses half its brightness in that period. Should I think twice about buying a 10 year old Ball watch?
    At half life, the Ball would still be brighter than a similarly aged watch with superluminova, and would still last through the entire night, while the superluminova would have gone dark after the few few hours--if you like it, buy it--the tritium will be more than suitable for nighttime visibility.













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    Member lovebandit's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    I had a Luminox watch (labeled T25) and after 7 years the tubes were BARELY visible. Have they improved tritium tubes since then? Did Luminox use a substandard tube? I dunno. But I DO KNOW that the tritium tubes on the watch I had wouldn't come close to 12, let alone 25 years. YMMV.

  7. #6
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    Quote Originally Posted by lovebandit View Post
    I had a Luminox watch (labeled T25) and after 7 years the tubes were BARELY visible. Have they improved tritium tubes since then? Did Luminox use a substandard tube? I dunno. But I DO KNOW that the tritium tubes on the watch I had wouldn't come close to 12, let alone 25 years. YMMV.
    Luminox and BALL are two different things, with different production standards and values, different marketing criteria, and so forth, so with your 12 year old Luminox t-tubes now dead in the water or close to it, of course ("yes") t-tube technology has improved over the last decade, while, when compared to Ball, inferior ("substandard") tubes were also likely used in your Luminox--you get what you pay for.

    I have a 12 year old (2006) Fireman that I swear is just about as bright as the day it was made, and competes on even footing with my second gen. Fireman made some 5 or 6 years later--both of which will beat a brand new superluminova-lumed watch before the night is half over.

    I do own, or have owned, several other watches which had Tritium tubes, including a Mondaine, a Traser, a Deep Blue and a Luminox. Comparing apples to apples (T25 to T25) and oranges to oranges (T100 to T100--my Deep Blue is a T100), Ball beats them all, hands down--in fact, Ball beats any other tritium-tubed watch I have ever seen, when comparing like to like, in terms of t-tube performance.
    Last edited by timefleas; October 17th, 2014 at 11:19.













  8. #7
    Member lovebandit's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    Good info. As I said I cannot vouch for the quality of the Luminox tubes but I will add that they were very bright for the first few years so at least they started out impressively...

    Quote Originally Posted by timefleas View Post
    Luminox and BALL are two different things, with different production standards and values, different marketing criteria, and so forth, so with your 12 year old Luminox t-tubes now dead in the water or close to it, of course ("yes") t-tube technology has improved over the last decade, while, when compared to Ball, inferior ("substandard") tubes were also likely used in your Luminox--you get what you pay for.

    I have a 12 year old (2006) Fireman that I swear is just about as bright as the day it was made, and competes on even footing with my second gen. Fireman made some 5 or 6 years later--both of which will beat a brand new superluminova-lumed watch before the night is half over.

    I do own, or have owned, several other watches which had Tritium tubes, including a Mondaine, a Traser, a Deep Blue and a Luminox. Comparing apples to apples (T25 to T25) and oranges to oranges (T100 to T100--my Deep Blue is a T100), Ball beats them all, hands down--in fact, Ball beats any other tritium-tubed watch I have ever seen, when comparing like to like, in terms of t-tube performance.

  9. #8
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    It is a good question I've wondered about as well.

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    Ball Watch, Bremont and Longines moderator samanator's Avatar
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    Re: Tritium Gas Half-life

    Again I suggest reading all the tube information we have up in e collective. This came either from MB Microtec or Ball.


    To Peter's point and my observation of older Ball watches (13 years for the one I've seen) there is very little perceivable degradation at this point given the way the tubes actually work and the Ball specifications. As to the Luminox they make no claims on life which we pointed out before in other threads. I can tell you that the Doxa 800ti I had was not as bright as a Ball brand new and a five year old Maratac had hardly any glow that I did some work on. Clearly not all tubes are the same in watches.
    Last edited by samanator; October 22nd, 2014 at 23:33.
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