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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an Explorer I from around 94-95. The tritium luminosity is practically gone. Even if I charge it by holding it directly up to a bright bulb and go into a dark room it is so minimal that my eyes will need to adjust for 15 minutes before perceiving the faintest glow. Not cool for a tool watch after only 15 years. Moreover, the numbers 3,6,9 would have the room for lume and it looks like lume but there is no lume there (it's designed like that, how stupid is that?). It has been like that for already two years or so.

I have a Panerai PAM001 (Tritium) from '97 and a Breitling Chronospace from '96 (don't know what the Breitling uses, no T marking on the dial). But both watches still shine brightly. I love it.

So here are my options.

1. Getting a new dial and hands from the RSC. This will set me back around $350. The question is how good these new Rolex dials are. The replacement Explorer dial from Rolex will most likely not have lume on the numbers again. Will it?

2. Getting a relume from Jack at IWW. This will set me back perhaps $150 with shipping and all. Most likely he will be able to put lume also on the numbers. He uses Super Luminova, the same stuff Rolex uses. He also has the white color available. White is not as bright as green but I don't really want to change the daytime color of my markers and hands. And even the white is supposed to last 6-8 hours after 30 seconds of charging. Good enough. It's not a diver, after all.

Anyway I go it will decrease the resale value for a collector but I have no intent of selling this, so it's not an issue.

What would you do? Has anybody sent their Rolex to Jack to be relumed?

Thanks for your input?

Till
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Nobody here has an answer to that? Perhaps a little lume shot of one of the new dials? That would help a lot! I can just go to my AD but the light conditions there are not great, not dark enough to get a good idea. The cupped hand in front of eye position is not so great.

Till
 

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Rolex is not a brand that excells in the lume department, even with the super lume material on the current versions. Glow in the dark lume lovers tend to gravitate to other brands for that 8 hour glow on the overnight. The new maxi dials for Rolex glow better than the older versions, but that's just the way it is.

A dial and hand swap at the 'official' Rolex RSC will indeed cost about $350, but that will be in addition to a regular service in the mid $500 range because except under extraordinary circumstances, Rolex will not swap dials and hands without the full blown service.

Modern Explorers just don't have much 'collector' value, so swapping out the dial/hand set means little to future value, and besides, if you keep it for another 20 years or more and then decide to sell it, do you think any potential buyer is going to care about the dial swap from the year 2010?

So, if you want the real McCoy, you're faced with a service and swap. If you just want the hands and dial to glow again, then IWW has as good a reputation as anyone and the price is certainly better. If you want the numbers lumed, that will make the watch a custom job...and that's perfectly OK if you like it, but it would curl the toes of the Rolex purists who would never let anything but stock in or on their precious timepieces. I would probably ask Jack for some photos of recent relume jobs just to satisfy myself that I'll be happy with the end result...but my bet is you will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your insightful answer, Kawika. If the new Lume isn't much better it's probably not worth it. Also, the dial would be an older dial with normal luminova material anyway probably. So no go. I also just had the watched serviced by my watchmaker in Germany. Runs very nicely (as it did before but it was just time for a service after eight years or so), is completely lubed, pressure tested and has had the case, bracelet and clasp repolished. Excellent job. I paid $350 and happily so.

I kind of like the idea of a custom job from Jack, as you guessed. My only concern would be if it is possible for him to put lume on the really small white inlays in the number markers. I think that line is just a millimeter wide if that. Doesn't matter if it ain't stock. It's my watch and if Rolex can't get the job done right than I will have to make up for it. ;)

So did anyone else here get a Rolex relumed by Jack?

Thanks again!

Till
 

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A good lume person can squish the super lumenova material in the smallest of places...keep in mind that watchmakers poke around VERY tiny spaces. It's likely that IWW would use lume material that far exceeds the Rolex lume specs, so a custom job would probably glow a lot better than the stock stuff. Also, try and define what you want the lume to do...glow all night? Look cool after a charging with a bright light? Glow blue or green?

I love my Rolex's, but wear a TAG to bed each night because I like knowing the time when I get up to use the facilities and don't want a bed stand clock with lighted numbers. But that's just me. The best I can do is with a Tudor Sub or Yachtmaster which will glow somewhat for about 5 hours in the dark. The TAG Aquaracer however stays readably bright for the full eight hours. I'm told that the Omega sport models do likewise, and people with the large lume Seiko's seem to have the best lume of all, or so they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd like the lume to look white in the daytime and glow white-green at night. Not blue. That would be too flashy on this watch for my taste. If it can glow for eight hours that is much preferable than a cool super bright glow just after charging. I'd use it for the same purpose as you do and also while driving or just being outside at night.

I don't wear a watch to bed, though. I have an Oregon Scientific alarm clock that has a green backlight but only when I push the button. Easy enough. When I'm not at home I use the watch and put it on my nightstand.

I'll talk to Jack and see what he says.

Till
 
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