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If you want to see your watch in the wee small hours then trit is pretty unbeatable but I find that it doesn’t exactly cover itself in glory come dusk and dawn. Tritium doesn’t just die after 10 years it starts to fade and is reckoned to still be usable at the 25 year mark.
 

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I think a solar Casio Gshock with a light would outperform tritium if illumination was a serious issue.
This is why I wear a G-Shock to bed. Easier to see than the alarm clock and dont need to worry about my eyes adjusting
 
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A couple of things: the tritium in my old watch didn't just fade in ten years - it was gone. Kaput. No glow at all. Granted, it wasn't a higher-end watch, it was a "Smith and Wesson" branded quartz watch. I'd expect better from watch-specific companies, and so far, my Luminox is showing no fade, but it's only about 8 years old.

Also, as an aside, you don't need an ultraviolet light to charge the lume on your watch. Yes, that charges faster because of the energy in the light, but most small flashlights use LED emitters these days, and the light from those is also energetic. They don't charge as fast as a UV source, but even 5 seconds exposure can last all night. A few seconds in the sun will do the same thing. The days of holding your watch under an incandescent bulb (with energy going off as heat) for a minute of more for a weak charge, are rapidly falling behind us.
 

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Add to Andy's great explanation that the color also will play a role in perceived lume after the passage of time. Since green simply is more visible than, say, blue, your green-tubed watches may seem move visible after 10-15 years than your blue tubes. I've found this to be true across the board with my Ball watch collection. On my Ball Skindiver (Gen 1), for example, I still can see the green hour markers but now strain to make out the yellow hand markers.

Rob

In to clear up the usual misconceptions about tritium before the thread gets too messy.

The half life of tritium is about (just over) 12 years. So after 12 years it will be half as radioactive. That doesn't necessarily mean the phosphorescent tube containing the tritium will appear half as bright though. There are a huge number of variables. Firstly, there will be a point at which there is 'wasted' radioactive decay as the efficiency of the phosphorescent coating will depend on the amount of alpha decay, so the actual brightness emitted may not be 50% after 12 years. There is also the fact that some of the tritium may have escaped. A very very small amount. Then there is the fact the phosphorescent coating will likely deteriorate as well. And then we have the fact that we are interested in how the human eye persieves light and not how much actual light there is, and this will depend on ambient light, how well adjusted your eyes are, and a host of other biological factors. All of this means that after 12 years, you will perceive the tritium tube to be somewhere between 25% and 75% of the original brightness, and that percentage will be different for different manufacturers and in different ambient situations and contexts. Anyone trying to give a higher level of accuracy than that is making some large assumptions.

Anyway, I don't know of any current options except tritium, and variations of luminous paint which need to be 'charged' and which decrease in brightness the longer they are in the dark.
 

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Did you read the earlier replies? I gave an example of a Ball Fireman that is 15 going on 16 years old, and is nowhere near in need of tritium replacement, nor will it be in a state of "no usable lume" four years from now. Of course any watch that needs to be opened up should also be serviced, but owners certainly won't need new tubes "every 10-15 years"--not even close. If you want the hands and dials replaced, of any brand, you of course must send it to that manufacturer, but if you want just the tritium tubes replaced, of any brand, you could either send it to the original manufacturer, OR, send it to a third party outfit, such as Bonding, who will remove and replace the tubes from the hands and dials of ANY watch, for a reasonable price. To refresh your memory, here is another shot, taken recently, of a 15 year old Ball Fireman--the age which you state is well into its tritium tube replacement date ("10 - 15 years")...not.

View attachment 15595694
Sorry, I don't read your posts because they're long-winded, lack paragraphs, and don't have much sensible content. Instant skip for me.

I would beg to differ. In 12.5 years it's half as bright. And the movement will need servicing in 10-15 years. So, when it's being serviced. The dial/hands should be replaced as by that time the lume is drastically reduced. After just 6 years I notice the lume is reduced.

Maybe your okay with 25% lume, I am not. And I would service a watch every 10-15 years (or earlier) anyway. So I believe you're 100% incorrect. But you do you.
 

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This is why I wear a G-Shock to bed. Easier to see than the alarm clock and dont need to worry about my eyes adjusting
I have a similar approach, but with a Samsung Galaxy Watch3. It's easy to see in a pinch and tracks my sleep. I love tritium but Ball doesn't have a sleep tracker. ;-)

Rob
 

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Add to Andy's great explanation that the color also will play a role in perceived lume after the passage of time. Since green simply is more visible than, say, blue, your green-tubed watches may seem move visible after 10-15 years than your blue tubes. I've found this to be true across the board with my Ball watch collection. On my Ball Skindiver (Gen 1), for example, I still can see the green hour markers but now strain to make out the yellow hand markers.

Rob
Timefleas would disagree and say you're wrong. Because he would know better about how your or my watch looks.
:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

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If you want to see your watch in the wee small hours then trit is pretty unbeatable but I find that it doesn’t exactly cover itself in glory come dusk and dawn. Tritium doesn’t just die after 10 years it starts to fade and is reckoned to still be usable at the 25 year mark.
Depends. For normal sized tritium tubes, probably only 15 years. For the huge "torch" tritium tubes, they very well could go 25 years (albeit with much reduced brightness). But still in 10-15 years it would need a service anyway, and you should get the dial/hands replaced (if they even have spares).
 

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Timefleas would disagree and say you're wrong. Because he would know better about how your or my watch looks.
:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
I see that. Timefleas and I go way way back on the Ball forum. I think between the two of us we have owned well over 100 Ball watches over the past 15+ years.

I missed his post with the Fireman picture and, frankly, am at a loss when he can see the blue lume but I struggled to see the blue lume on the equally old Ball Night Train I sold this Summer . . . and the yellow lume on my somewhat younger Ball Skindiver. I wish I could explain the discrepancy.
 

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My 3 best Lume watches:

Cronos Super-LumiNova C3, Hruodland Super-LumiNova BG9W and Seiko Lumi Brite

Lume lasts all night on all of them.

 

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I would recommend buying a small UV led light to "recharge" your superluminova or even light up your tritium, you will be retaining your night vision and bringing your watch to full lumn's quickly. However the tritium won't "recharge", but it will react and light up nicely with the UV light on it. Any inexpensive UV small led light will get the job done. They come in either 365nm or 385nm, the 385nm is visible as a blue light because it spills over into the 400nm range which is where we stop seeing light, the 365nm is practically invisible to us as its spill over stops short of the 400nm range. The 365nm is slightly more expensive but I have more fun with it than the 385nm...but I have other uses for it, also, so the added expensive is worth it for me.
 

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How are you judging this? Trying to view the watch after an hour or more with your eyes closed? Or just "charging" it, then looking at it again a few hours later without your eyes completely adjusted to the dark?

I find that my lume isn't glowing visibly to my unadjusted eye after some short time, but when I wake up in the middle of the night and look, it's bright enough to read. Your eye's adjustment to the dark is key.
I agree, I have lumed my watches and on the 3rd night I can still tell they are lumed in a totally black room with my eyes fully adjusted to night vision, but only peripherally if I look straight at them they aren't visible. It is an interesting phenomenon.
 

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fyi I wrote to mb-microtech about the difference between T-25 and T-100 and this is the response:
Good afternoon David
Thank you for your mail
The T25 and T100 on the watch is to show the max allowed activity that a watch may have
T25 means the watch may have up to 25mCi of activity and T 100 100mCi so if a watch has lights on it that are over the 25mCi level then they have to declared as a T100
The inscription on the rear of the watches is a requirement of the US Nuclear Radiation Commission and lets the know who produced the lights in the watch
As s matter of interest how old are the watches and what colour are the lights
Please donot hesitate to contact me should you have further questions
I look forward to hearing from you

Best Regards
Gavin James Palmer
Senior Sales Manager

I was having a problem with one T100 new watch not being as bright as another T100 new watch, one was from Nite and the other was from Isobrite, the one from Nite was awesome but the Isobrite fell far short of it in brightness..even though both were advertised as T100. Shortly after I bought the one from Nite, they stopped making the mechanical "Icon" model, I still think they make a awesome T100 watch. But last I checked they are only offering Quartz watches. I did purchase another one of their Quartz T100 models and am very happy with it...my interest at the time was starting to lean toward mostly mechanical watches so I haven't visited their site in over a year.
 

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I took this photo at 11pm last night and when I woke up this morning at 5am the lume was was still clearly visible on all three watches except the color had changed to white on all of them. I tried to take a photo but my camera couldn't see them.

 

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I took this photo at 11pm last night and when I woke up this morning at 5am the lume was was still clearly visible on all three watches except the color had changed to white on all of them. I tried to take a photo but my camera couldn't see them.

If you were in the dark when you looked at them, it's possible that the color hadn't changed, but your eyes had. In the dark, the cones in your eye that detect color don't function well, but the rods do, and they only detect light, not color. So your vision gets more black and white in the dark. Maybe the lume just appears white, because of your eyes.
 
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No, Tritium starts to deteriorate after ten years, but can be usable for up to 24 years. I have a Davosa watch with Tritium, and to be honest it doesn't matter how good the lume is on other watches, it never matches up after the first hour or so. I highly recommend it.
No. Tritium starts degrading from the moment it's produced. Every day it gets a bit dimmer. Look it up. Its half life is 12.3 years. That means 12.3 years from now, the tritium lume brightness will be half what it is today. After 24.6 years, it'll be 1/4 of what it is today. In 6.15 years, it'll be 3/4 as bright as today. The brightness of tritium lume has a lot to do with the quantity and quality of the tritium that is used in the vials. T25 isn't as bright as T100, for example.
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned T100 tritium vs T25 for longevity. Claims are 50 year lifespan which is about double that of the T25.
It's lifespan is "longer" because it's brighter to begin with. T100 has up to 4x the tritium concentration in the dial than T25. Its half life is still the same as T25, so it's still going to degrade over time. But you are correct that it lasts longer from a brightness perspective. I find that really bright lume can be a distraction if you sleep wearing your watch.
 

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If you were in the dark when you looked at them, it's possible that the color hadn't changed, but your eyes had. In the dark, the cones in your eye that detect color don't function well, but the rods do, and they only detect light, not color. So your vision gets more black and white in the dark. Maybe the lume just appears white, because of your eyes.
Oh that is interesting,thanks for the info!
 
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