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Previous Next Up Topic WATCHES / ROLEX Forum / Tritium in watches (6535 hits)
- By Paul G. Date 2002-06-05 04:06
Does anyone have an authoritative opinion on the health risk of wearing a watch that uses Tritium? Do newer Subs use tritium? Most of what I have seen suggests it is no big deal. Just wanted to see what the Turfers think as well.
These are my principles - and if you don't like them, I have others.
Parent - By Stryke Date 2002-06-05 04:12
The older Subs used them until the wrist of the wearer started turning green and setting off electronic devices miles away so now they switched to Luminova. It's made up of old Chevy Lumina's and Nova's hence the name "Lumi-Nova". Less radioactive than Tritium.
<Space for Rent>
Parent By davilo Date 2002-06-05 11:30
Stryke.......now now I'm starting to see the cynical ny side of you without at least a sincere response.....come on man snap out of it!

I think a good question. I think the tritium causes no harm to the watch wearer but would have more risk for the manufacturer and in line production personnel. Since they no longer manufacturer Rolexes with tritium, I would say no one is at risk.

Since tritium is considered radioactive with a limited luminescence life or ~12 year half life, does anyone know if it would pose a danger after its half life. I found an article on this, very little info though, http://www.srs.gov/general/outreach/srs-cab/recommnds/reccom7.html

Thanks,
davilo
Parent By REORX Date 2002-06-05 12:22
Stryke;

Forget what Davilo said - don't snap out of anything - I like your posts just the way thay are - don't change a thing.

-R-
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By Dennykgee Date 2002-06-05 04:50
I like the old tritium dials and hands, they were nice.
Parent - By esthete Date 2002-06-05 11:05
i just bought a 1993 datejust . on the dial it says 'T SWISS MADE T' .does that mean the hands contain tritium ?
Parent - By John_W Date 2002-06-05 11:39
I believe I read elsewhere that T did mean Tritium treated. Also, some watches seem to read "L SWISS MADE L" nowadays, which I assume is Luminova.

We'll have to cut Stryke a little slack, Davilo. He's just a little chapped that when he excamined his dial more closely, his TT Sub was found to have the Chevy bowtie emblem on either side of SWISS MADE.
Parent By REORX Date 2002-06-05 12:09
... and then he got a loop with higher magnification and saw the "chevy bowties" were actually "invicta wings"! ...
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent By Stryke Date 2002-06-05 13:46
Here is actually a closeup of my watch.

<Space for Rent>
Parent - By Stryke Date 2002-06-05 13:27
Not just tritium my friend, but Tritium with a capital "T"..........runnnnnnnnnn
<Space for Rent>
Parent By teamgiles Date 2002-06-05 16:41
I think Bob Seager has a Sub just like that. -Giles
Parent By REORX Date 2002-06-05 22:47
Nope, I take it back. It's definitely and Chevy bowtie and not a set of Invicta wings...
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By REORX Date 2002-06-05 12:03
Paul;

First, tritium emits "beta" particles which, on a good day, have a hard time penetrating a piece of paper. On a watch dial, tritium is absolutely NO danger to the wearer of the watch as NO "beta" particles can penetrate the watch's case or crystal. It may be hazardous to those who handle or work on the dial (like watch makers and redialers). The reason that the watch industry stopped using tritium had to do with the safety of the workers and not the general public.

All current "new" Rolex watches with luminous dials and/or hands use luminova and not tritium.

-R-
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By davilo Date 2002-06-05 13:59
You think?
Parent - By REORX Date 2002-06-05 22:40
Often! How about you?
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By DarthSidious Date 2002-06-10 23:01
He was pointing out that what you said is well-known and obvious.
Parent By REORX Date 2002-06-10 23:06
Not to Paul it's not (read his original post at the beginning of this thread)...
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By axcontrols Date 2002-06-05 14:49
What does the

SWISS - T < 25

mean on the dial of my Sub?

By the way, the only thing that I can see in the dark on the sub is the 12 O'clock spot on the bezel. It's 11 years old.

My Brand New Daytona is quite bright but not as bright as the Omega SMPro. But, the brightness prize goes to a "Gucci Diver" That thing is so bright I can use it to read in bed. (OK, OK, stop laughing......... Yes, I said Gucci. But the Girlfriend bought it for me so it now comes under the all protecting umbrella of sentimental value. In fact, it's not bad built. Not a Rolex or an SMPro but better than many. Screw down crown, clear dial, 100mtrs.)
Parent - By TonyP Date 2002-06-05 14:57
SWISS - T < 25 indicates the concentration of tritium in the luminous paint on the dial. I believe that it means: "less than 25 parts per million"
Parent - By REORX Date 2002-06-05 22:43
Well, not exactly Tony...

The "T" does mean Trituim. The "<25" means that there is less than 25 millicuries of radioactivity.
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By TonyP Date 2002-06-06 03:18
Thanks for the correction! At least I knew it was less than 25 of SOMETHING... ;-)
Parent - By Paul G. Date 2002-06-06 03:36
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I have a TT Sub & DJ w/white face & gold romans, but am getting a pretty neat watch from d freeman ( Ancynt Mariner reviewed in latest issue of Watchtime). The company says that the Tritium used to illuminate the face is safe. Most of what I have read here and on other web sites seems to support this view. Hope they are right. Luminox Navy Seal watches also use Tritium, so it seems that not all watch manufacterers have eschewed it for alternatives.
These are my principles - and if you don't like them, I have others.
Parent - By REORX Date 2002-06-06 12:08
Luminox (and a few other) uses trutium GAS TUBES (not trituim paint) as a source of luminosity (very much like tritium sights on handguns). This type of luminosity poses no risk to anyone in the watch industry as no-one is ever exposed to the tritium unless a tube breaks and that is a rare event. If the watch looses its luminosity at any point, the tubes can be replaced but there is no need to work with tritium paint.

-R-
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By Paul G. Date 2002-06-06 13:06
Reorx: Good point. Do you think that there is more risk to the wearer of a watch painted with Tritium, as compared to people working with the product? I assume there is a level of Tritium that cannot be surpassed on a retail product. I wonder what the practical difference of the paint versus the tubes is as far as exposure. Do you have any thoughts?
These are my principles - and if you don't like them, I have others.
Parent - By REORX Date 2002-06-07 00:11
There is no difference (paint vs gas tubes) for the wearer of the watch. Tritium emits beta particles (a type of radioactive particle - others include alpha [even less energy than a beta particle] and gamma [which CAN penetrate a watch case and/or crystal and/or your wrist and/or most internal walls in your house, and/or etc.]). Beta particles do not have enough energy to penetrate glass nevermind steel. As a general rule, tritium is only dangerous if you get it into your body. The only easy way to do this is to eat it or breath it in. The average watch wearer couldn't do either so there is no danger to him (her). Tritium paint particles ON your skin are completely harmless assuming - A) you don't lick your skin and B) you shower occasionally so as to prevent the particles from sitting on your skin for weeks!

Watch makers and redialers occasionally grind and/or polish parts which can produce file particles of tritiated paints which can be an accidental ingestion or inhalation hazard in their working environments. Redialers (in the good old days) would frequently repaint the luminous parts (by hand) of the dial and/or hands using tritiated luminous paints. The danger here is that they would swirl the very fine brush on their tongues to get a nice fine point for precise painting. I have read a number of interesting case studies of mouth cancers in these workers.

Tritium gas tubes are reasonably safe to work with if handled appropriately. In the gas tube design, the trituim gas and the luminescent material are both inside a sealed glass tube. The beta particles from the tritium can not penetrate the glass of the tube. When the watch looses its luminosity, the repairer simply removes the old, "spent" glass tubes and replaces them with new ones. The only danger to the repairer in this case could be if a tube accidently broke during the process of replacing - releasing tritium gas. This problem can be easily circumvented by doing the replacement procedure under an exhaust hood.

In terms of the allowable quantities of tritium that can be used on "retail products", I don't think any governmental agency has set an absolute maximum limit however, I assume that above a certain quantity of tritium, a product must have some sort of "hazardous materials" warning which would outline proper handling and disposal.

-R-
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent - By Paul G. Date 2002-06-07 01:06
Thanks Reorx. That was a really helpful post. I don't know what your credentials are, but you sure sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks again for taking the time to post such a long and informative response.
These are my principles - and if you don't like them, I have others.
Parent - By Alan from NYC Date 2002-06-07 01:30
What REORX failed to mention is the reason why so many companies switched from Tritium to Luminova.

I vaguely remember reading that Tritium was getting more difficult to find so the fine folks at Seiko started using Luminova. Everyone else (except for Traser, a company that manufactures and markets Tritium based products) has followed suit. The few watch companies that still use tritium are exhausting their inventories and are just now starting to issue product that uses both.

It's also cheaper.
Most people check the time.  I look at my watch.  :-)
Parent By Paul G. Date 2002-06-07 03:07
Thank you too Alan
These are my principles - and if you don't like them, I have others.
Parent By REORX Date 2002-06-07 04:09
Paul;

You are welcome... In addition, thank YOU, it's nice to be appreciated... ;-)

In terms of my credentials... well, ummm, errr, I've been around the block a few times...

In terms of tritium, I learned most of what I know about tritium when I was doing nucleic acid research in college in the late 1970s. We used tritium as an isotope "tag" for RNA synthesis... but that's an entirely different story...
-R-

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard
Parent By chrisbitmead Date 2002-06-06 13:49
In theory, there is no risk from tritium because the watch case is more than enough to block the radio waves. However to my mind that is a bit like saying there is no risk hanging around outside nuclear power plants. The thing on your mind is whether all the bad stuff is definitely inside the watch. Did any rub off on the case during manufacture? During servicing? Probably the answer is still not to worry, but for a paranoid android, questions remain.
Parent - By extreme Date 2002-06-06 16:31
Just for fun, I bought a Luminox Navy Seal dive watch Series II off Javier on Timezone last week. I either wear my GMT or DJ to work during the day light hours.

I have been wear my Luminox at night when I go out to walk the dog, because it is neat looking at the Tritinum filled hands and markers. Lately, I have noticed a cancer like patch forming on the back of my hand.

Just got back from the dermitologist, he said I have to get my left pinky removed, something about radioactivity poison.
Parent - By Mike-16610 Date 2002-06-07 00:54
My Sig 228, 9mm auto has tritium night sights. They are great. They actually have gas filled tubes just like Luminox uses. IMHO, much better luminescent qualities than tritium paint.
Best, Mike
Parent - By teamgiles Date 2002-06-07 12:37
I have a 229 in .40 S&W with night sights, I love 'em. Next I will get the same in Sig .357. I also have a Luminox Navy Seals. I am torn as to weather I should wear my new GMT or the Luminox when I go to the field for Army training. -Giles
Parent - By Mike-16610 Date 2002-06-07 17:32
Giles, I think the 229 just needs a new bbl. You can even use the same mag. (The .40SW cases are necked down to .357.)

Iíve seen the barrels for under $200.00.

BTW, Your GMT can take the abuse, I'd just hate to see it get dinged up. I really like luminox for your purposes.

Best, Mike
Parent - By teamgiles Date 2002-06-10 15:38
I know I can just get another barrel but I want another gun. Also I just got back from drill and I wore the GMT. It took a lot of abuse and is no worse for the wear. I think I'll wear the Luminox when I go away for my two weeks though. -Giles
Parent By Alan from NYC Date 2002-06-11 16:05
Despite the abuse of driving a bus ("Wotsamatuh? Doncha watch woik?"), I think I'll keep wearing the GMT. Besides, the Rolex magic quiets passengers when they discover I'm not running late due to a faulty watch.
Most people check the time.  I look at my watch.  :-)
Previous Next Up Topic WATCHES / ROLEX Forum / Tritium in watches (6535 hits)


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