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Discussion Starter #1
I recently picked up an X series 14060 Submariner and I love it. I noticed, however, that it does not illuminate when in the dark. Does anyone know if this indicates that it is not real? :-S
 

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Good question. My 16800 no longer glows (well it does, but just barely), but then it's 25 years old. What year is your 14060? If I recall correctly, the X series dates from 1991, right? I wonder, should tritium still glow after 15 years? Anyone?

Regards,
Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
craniotes said:
Good question. My 16800 no longer glows (well it does, but just barely), but then it's 25 years old. What year is your 14060? If I recall correctly, the X series dates from 1991, right? I wonder, should tritium still glow after 15 years? Anyone?

Regards,
Adam
Correct, 1991. There is no sign of any illumination whatsoever. I assumed everything was good to go since I purchased it from a nationwide reputable dealer. Maybe I'm just being paranoid because I've never spent this much on a watch before.
 

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You know, when I bought my 16800 in 1993, it was barely glowing, and at that point it was 11 years old. As such, I suppose it makes sense that your 15 year old Sub no longer has any lume left. Mind you, I bought my TAG around the same time brand new, and it still glows quite strongly to this day. :think:

It would be great if someone with a Rolex from your year could chime in, but until then, I wouldn't be too concerned if I were you. So long as your AD was trustworthy, I doubt they'd risk besmirching their good name by knowingly selling a fake.

Regards,
Adam
 

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My Rolex DJ is about 37-38 yrs old,the tritium is still nice and bright.The lume shld not be a prob,try bringing it to Rolex and check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
craniotes said:
You know, when I bought my 16800 in 1993, it was barely glowing, and at that point it was 11 years old. As such, I suppose it makes sense that your 15 year old Sub no longer has any lume left. Mind you, I bought my TAG around the same time brand new, and it still glows quite strongly to this day. :think:

It would be great if someone with a Rolex from your year could chime in, but until then, I wouldn't be too concerned if I were you. So long as your AD was trustworthy, I doubt they'd risk besmirching their good name by knowingly selling a fake.

Regards,
Adam
I'll probably take it in to have it checked out. I too have a TAG that I purchased in 1990 brand new and it still glows like new.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, just ran across this bit of info on another site, I guess this answers my question:

Today only a few late manufactured watches can be found with their tritium material still functional. Most tritium watches do not shine any longer. Luminova and/or Superluminova always shines, but must be ‘charged’ before it will shine by exposing it to a strong source of light. Luminosity decreases quickly with the time in the dark. It is initially brighter than a new tritium watch but fades as the stored energy from exposure to the light source is used without further replenishment. Dial printing allows us to easily identify which material is used:
 

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Darkangel said:
My Rolex DJ is about 37-38 yrs old,the tritium is still nice and bright.The lume shld not be a prob,try bringing it to Rolex and check it out.
About 12 years is all you should expect from tritium. If it's glowing after that then it was re-lumed. =) maverick
 

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maverick said:
About 12 years is all you should expect from tritium. If it's glowing after that then it was re-lumed. =) maverick
Mav, generally speaking, I would somewhat agree with what you say, but that kind of statement will not always hold true. :rodekaart

The half life of tritium ~12.6 years, however, that does directly correlate to how long a tritium dial will glow. In theory, the decay of tritium is gradual after each half-life; it does not just stop emiting beta altogether. In addition, tritium by itself does not glow. Tritium paint contains phosphor which is what actually reacts to the tritium beta emissions as well strong light sources, thus creating the "glow". The tritium just made sure the phosphor burned bright even without out a strong light source (e.g. the sun).

To put my money where my mouth is, I have several tritium dials greater than 12 years old they still glow, albeit very faint. I assure you they have not been re-lumed.

Prime example, my 1665 circa 1979. Amazingly, the dial, hands and bezel pearl all still glow. My white 1680 circa 1976 glows as well.

 

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Clifton said:
Mav, generally speaking, I would somewhat agree with what you say, but that kind of statement will not always hold true. :rodekaart

The half life of tritium ~12.6 years, however, that does directly correlate to how long a tritium dial will glow. In theory, the decay of tritium is gradual after each half-life; it does not just stop emiting beta altogether. In addition, tritium by itself does not glow. Tritium paint contains phosphor which is what actually reacts to the tritium beta emissions as well strong light sources, thus creating the "glow". The tritium just made sure the phosphor burned bright even without out a strong light source (e.g. the sun).

To put my money where my mouth is, I have several tritium dials greater than 12 years old they still glow, albeit very faint. I assure you they have not been re-lumed.

Prime example, my 1665 circa 1979. Amazingly, the dial, hands and bezel pearl all still glow. My white 1680 circa 1976 glows as well.

Hi Clifton, I was speaking in general. Surely no one would think that it will glow for 12 years and just stop. LOL And as you say, yours are "very faint". I was referring to if it really glowed like a newer one. |> =) maverick
 

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maverick said:
Hi Clifton, I was speaking in general. Surely no one would think that it will glow for 12 years and just stop. LOL And as you say, yours are "very faint". I was referring to if it really glowed like a newer one. |> =) maverick
Agreed, just did not want a new rumor to start that any tritium dialed Rolex that still glows after 12 years is a re-lume job.

Even though some of my vintage pieces glow faintly, you can still see what time it is etc. which to me means they still have usable glow.

So maybe a more clear statement would be, a tritium dialed Rolex will not glow as bright, if at all, beyond 12 years. |>
 

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Clifton said:
Agreed, just did not want a new rumor to start that any tritium dialed Rolex that still glows after 12 years is a re-lume job.

Even though some of my vintage pieces glow faintly, you can still see what time it is etc. which to me means they still have usable glow.

So maybe a more clear statement would be, a tritium dialed Rolex will not glow as bright, if at all, beyond 12 years. |>
I have a '79 Cosmograph which you can easily read in the dark, provided you shut one eye and don't need to be anywhere on time :)
 

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Clifton said:
Agreed, just did not want a new rumor to start that any tritium dialed Rolex that still glows after 12 years is a re-lume job.

Even though some of my vintage pieces glow faintly, you can still see what time it is etc. which to me means they still have usable glow.

So maybe a more clear statement would be, a tritium dialed Rolex will not glow as bright, if at all, beyond 12 years. |>
I was referring to the post that said one glowed after 37 years. I would not want a rumor to start that tritium will glow forever, either. ;-) =) maverick
 

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maverick said:
I was referring to the post that said one glowed after 37 years. I would not want a rumor to start that tritium will glow forever, either. ;-) =) maverick
Actually, Tritium has a half life of 12.6 years, so theoretically after 37.8 years (3 half life) the markers should glow with 12.6% of their original brightness in the absence of a light source. ;-) ;-)

Who said forever anyway? :-S
 

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Clifton said:
Actually, Tritium has a half life of 12.6 years, so theoretically after 37.8 years (3 half life) the markers should glow with 12.6% of their original brightness in the absence of a light source. ;-) ;-)

Who said forever anyway? :-S
37.8 yrs?!! uh oh...mine ain't gonna last for long...my DJ is 37 plus
 

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All I can say is my 1972 1680, 1978 1675, 1980 5513 all do NOT glow at all. My 1803 has no lume and my 16622 of course glows fine. If a 37 y/o Rolex glows, I would like a pic. :-! :thanks =) maverick
 

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maverick said:
All I can say is my 1972 1680, 1978 1675, 1980 5513 all do NOT glow at all. My 1803 has no lume and my 16622 of course glows fine. If a 37 y/o Rolex glows, I would like a pic. :-! :thanks =) maverick
Mav,
Just b/c the few vintage pieces that you own don't glow (are you sure about that B-)), does not mean that all other vintage pieces with tritium dials don't. A ridged conclusion don't you think?

Have you ever really spent time in the dark staring at any of them? Some of my pieces don't glow when the lights go out. However, after a few hours watching a movie in the dark, I've discovered that several of my vintage pieces glow. I was shocked myself!!! Try it. :-!

The simple facts I presented about tritium are being avoided here. Do a little research on tritium and the composition of the paint used with tritium based dials. Then when we meet up for a beer one day, I'll show you several vintage pieces w/original lume that still glow. :) No pics needed. ;-)
 

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Clifton said:
Mav,
Just b/c the few vintage pieces that you own don't glow (are you sure about that B-)), does not mean that all other vintage pieces with tritium dials don't. A ridged conclusion don't you think?

Have you ever really spent time in the dark staring at any of them? Some of my pieces don't glow when the lights go out. However, after a few hours watching a movie in the dark, I've discovered that several of my vintage pieces glow. I was shocked myself!!! Try it. :-!

The simple facts I presented about tritium are being avoided here. Do a little research on tritium and the composition of the paint used with tritium based dials. Then when we meet up for a beer one day, I'll show you several vintage pieces w/original lume that still glow. :) No pics needed. ;-)
Clifton,
I think we are starting to split hairs here. When I say glow, I mean I can actually see the hour markers and hands well enough to tell the time in the dark w/o waiting an hour or two for my eyes to adjust. If they glow in some minuscule form, I could care less.

I really do not understand your point of continuing to insist vintage watches as old as 37 years will glow well enough to tell the time. I cannot say such a watch does not exist but in general as originally stated, they will not IMHO. If I call this logic, not being rigid.:think:

I am not discussing chemistry, I am debating the practical idea of telling the time w/o exterior light or a flashlight, not some scientific meaning that it will glow with eagle eyes or some light measuring instrument. In other words, if it's a vintage watch and looks like this I will not buy it. I do not expect to tell the time in the dark with my vintage watches and know no one who realistically does(except maybe you do):roll: =) maverick

 

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maverick said:
Clifton,
I think we are starting to split hairs here. When I say glow, I mean I can actually see the hour markers and hands well enough to tell the time in the dark w/o waiting an hour or two for my eyes to adjust. If they glow in some minuscule form, I could care less.

I really do not understand your point of continuing to insist vintage watches as old as 37 years will glow well enough to tell the time. I cannot say such a watch does not exist but in general as originally stated, they will not IMHO. If I call this logic, not being rigid.:think:

I am not discussing chemistry, I am debating the practical idea of telling the time w/o exterior light or a flashlight, not some scientific meaning that it will glow with eagle eyes or some light measuring instrument. In other words, if it's a vintage watch and looks like this I will not buy it. I do not expect to tell the time in the dark with my vintage watches and know no one who realistically does(except maybe you do):roll: =) maverick
Splitting hairs? Seems more like I offended you for correcting the record. You stated any Rolex that glows past 12 year is a re-lume. That is simply not true. Your responses have been retreating from that original statement ever sense. :-S

Quite frankly, I could care less if mine, yours or anyone else's vintage watch glows in the dark or not. What I don't want is fellow watch collectors to be misinformed about a glowing vintage dial or falsely claiming it is a lume job. :-X

Some vintage tritium dials will glow, period. Some will even respond to light exposer. THIS DOES NOT always indicate re-lume if they are > 12 years old as you so surmised. <|

Further more, I never said a 37 year old Rolex will glow. Please show me :-S What I did do was provided technical data for tritium and proposed that in theory it is chemically possible for old dials to glow. Defaulting to your own vintage pieces to draw a conclusion is the rigid thinking I was referring to. B-)

Like I said before, a more clear statement for everyone would be, a tritium dialed Rolex will not glow as bright, if at all, beyond 12 years. |>.


Below, Explorer II (1655). Dial was not re-lumed. :)
 
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