WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I'm considering a Marathon SAR for my next purchase and wanted to know your thoughts on the Tritium tubes used. There's a radiation symbol on the face and wanted to know if you thought long term exposure may be a problem. I'm in law enforcment and have Tritium sights on my gun but it's a far smaller amount (3 tiny dots). I'm getting a hell of a deal on it being in Canada and being in the Government so it's to good to pass up. Any thoughts on the watch itself as well??

Cheers and thanks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
Buy it. Not enough there to even worry about. I always heard the true risk from Tritium wasn't to the wearer of the watch but rather to those in the watch industry that worked around the stuff such as those that applied it to the dials. Remember, they had larger amounts of it in the presence in vials and jars. The small amount in the tubes on the dial is insignificant.

Smurfe :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,363 Posts
The warning is there to serve as a reminder to dispose of the watch properly when broken or used up. There is a theoretical risk if a quartermaster were to dump a box of used/trashed/unissued watches indiscriminately.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
You would need to chew the tritium vials after removal from the watch, then swallow them, for the amount of tritium contained therein to do you any harm.

There are various types of radioactive decay, with different isotopes emitting alpha and beta particles, gamma radiation, high energy neutrons... and tritium gas in GTLS vials only emits beta particles, which are low energy electrons. Even a sheet of paper stops them, so they are definitely not escaping the glass vials -- just not energetic enough.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
I think you receive more backround radiation in a few days on earth than you would get from the watch in a year. Pilots and frequent flyers are exposed to even more. I also collect uranium glass, it has uranium dioxide in it to give it a yellow color. I will register on a geiger counter but is safe to handle and even drink out of. No worries, get the tritium watch. I have had 2 marathons, a gsar and a sar both are great and worth the money. Gsm
 

· Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys for the input. I figured as much but it's nice to get feedback. I look forward to a nice sized "tool" watch for everyday use. It'll be a step up from my St.Moritz which I still love.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
as long as you don't eat your watch you'll be fine :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,290 Posts
Dont Worry!!!

Even if you left arm changes color just a bit, I like to think of it as unique...and I got used to the tingling feeling after a month or so. :-d



Obviously, I am just kidding. I dont know the technical details, but I expect we get much higher doses of radiation from other sources every day.

Enjoy the glow...That SAR will be AWESOME! :-!
Al
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,307 Posts
As already stated, unless you ingested the tritium vials, there is no health risk.

The total amount of radiation emitted by the average painted tritium watch is a maximum of 25-26 millicuries. So what does this mean? Not much and here's why.

If you are wearing a watch rated at 25 millicuries of low level beta radiation, your total yearly exposure will amount to 0.1 microsieverts. To put this into perspective, the average radiation exposure level at sea level from unavoidable background radiation (sunlight, naturally occurring radon gas, etc) is approximately 0.03 microsieverts per hour. People that live at higher elevations are exposed to higher levels of radiation. For instance, residents of Mexico City (elevation 7342') are exposed to a radiation level of 0.09 microsieverts per hour. This means that by spending just 4 hours outdoors at sea level, you are naturally exposed to more radiation than you are wearing a tritium watch for a whole year! If you were standing outdoors in Mexico City, in just over an hour you would be exposed to more radiation than you would wearing your tritium watch 24/7 for a solid year!

The bottom line is it's irrational to fear the radiation exposure from tritium watches. ;-)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,395 Posts
Ditto to all the above, nice Steve|>
Jeff get a box and pass on the deal to us, I always thought it strange that a watch made in Richmond Hill not 3 hrs from me, and you can't even get a hold of the company and buy one in your backyard, so you have to get one from a forum or from the american distributor, sucks yeah.
I love my Marathon 2004 SAR but it is superluminova, can you say glow for ever- yea it does.:gold
Enjoy Jeff
Regards
Robt
 

· Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As already stated, unless you ingested the tritium vials, there is no health risk.

The total amount of radiation emitted by the average tritium watch is a maximum of 25-26 millicuries. So what does this mean? Not much and here's why.

If you are wearing a watch rated at 25 millicuries of low level beta radiation, your total yearly exposure will amount to 0.1 microsieverts. To put this into perspective, the average radiation exposure level at sea level from unavoidable background radiation (sunlight, naturally occurring radon gas, etc) is approximately 0.03 microsieverts per hour. People that live at higher elevations are exposed to higher levels of radiation. For instance, residents of Mexico City (elevation 7342') are exposed to a radiation level of 0.09 microsieverts per hour. This means that by spending just 4 hours outdoors at sea level, you are naturally exposed to more radiation than you are wearing a tritium watch for a whole year! If you were standing outdoors in Mexico City, in just over an hour you would be exposed to more radiation than you would wearing your tritium watch 24/7 for a solid year!

The bottom line is it's irrational to fear the radiation exposure from tritium watches. ;-)
As always X-Trooper your watch brain astounds! Thanks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,028 Posts
You guys shouldn't mention possible harm from ingesting tritium dials.
In these days of "Never put a plastic bag over your head" warning labels, we'll end up with a "Do not consume" warning on watch dials! :-d :-d :-d
 

· Banned
Joined
·
3,727 Posts
The Health Risk from wearing a Tritium dial watch is ZERO.

Tritium is a low energy beta radiation emitter which will not penetrate any part of the case of your watch. There is more hazard from the tritium that is in the atmosphere around us all the time. It is not worth worrying about.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
i think the risk was with radium - where the Panerai Radiomir got it's name. The early watch dials were hand painted with radium to provide the lume and the painters even painted their nails and teeth for fun so they'd glow in the dark! Radioactive poisoning was the result.

But I understand tritium does tend to yellow with age though...anyone can confirm this?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
This is a good thread.

I always have to explain my tritium watches when they are asked about.
It's obvious that XTrooper has dealt w/ this question before and his
reply could not have been better.

Common seems to fly out the door whenever the word "radioactive"
comes up. I guess it's really just a niche geek fact only well know in
military circles and the WIS community.


WatchUSeek administrators should consider making this part of a FAQ.
or maybe stickying(sp?) I'm sure that many newbies would find it helpful.


Peace,
J.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Dear All,
After noticing your very informative thread on tritium illuminated watches, I wanted to provide some more data from our side. XTrooper graciously welcomed me to the discussion.

I hope that the enclosed info helps to further explain the differences (and improvements) of 3H tubes over tritium paints, and I will certainly try to answer all the probing questions that I know to anticipate.

Best Regards,
Jeremy Hogan
Ball Watch Company Inc.

So without further ado...

All information below is valid for Ball Watches, and should be valid for other brands using 3H gas tubes aka GTLS. Though, clearly I cannot vouch for them.

Ball micro gas tubes are borosilicate glass coated with phosphors, then filled with tritium gas. The tubes are unaffected by water, oil, and most corrosive materials. Additionally, they are shock resistant and unaffected by climatic extremes.

Tritium gas (GTLS) has several benefits over traditional tritium paints:

1. Radiation. Simply put, Ball gas tubes do not create radiation when intact. The weak beta rays given off by the decaying tritium gas cannot even penetrate a sheet of paper. Were you to break a gas tube, the minute amount of 3H gas, which is lighter than air, would quickly dissipate with no ill effects.

2. Decay. The tritium paints off the past not only gave off radiation but also caused the paint to decay along with the tritium itself. The crystal structure of the phosphors in the paints often broke down more quickly than the radioactive source, resulting in a shorter effective life.

3. Efficiency. Gases react more efficiently than solids; this is a basic chemical fact. The minute quantities of 3H gas needed to activate the phosphors in Ball micro gas tubes react more efficiently than many times the same quantity of luminous paint.

And finally, the info you've probably been waiting for:

Conservative estimates by the NRC and others suggest that the amount of tritium in 40,000 Ball watches would not even cause the first level of radiation sickness measurable by scientific standards. The prescribed treatment for a level 1 exposure: drink 4 glasses of water. The 3H is then expelled naturally with no ill effects.

Truly, the only parties who could be at risk of any type of exposure are the technicians who work in assembling the tubes. But a quick examination of the labs shows they are well equipped with the relevant clean room technologies.

Thus, it is clear that it is unnecessary to speak of health risk when it comes to Ball watches or 3H tubes.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top