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Nickel pocketwatch cases really nickel, or nickeloid/silveroid

jess tauber

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Pure nickel metal is irritating to the skin for many people, and can cause very bad dermatitis in some. Where pocketwatch cases are described as 'nickel' are these really nickel, or silveroid?

Jess Tauber
 

Kent

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Jess:

I believe that most were nickel alloys. A list of the descriptive names appears in the Case Material Encyclopedia article.
 

Clint Geller

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Most "nickel" cases are alloys of nickel, copper and zinc, often with more copper than nickel.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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I have seen cases that are simply marked 'Nickel' rather than one of the fancy misleading names. Not sure if that means they were pure nickel, or not.
 

Clint Geller

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There would have been no advantage to using pure nickel. It wouldn't have been a selling point, and Cu-Ni-Zn alloys likely were developed for easier formability.
 

LloydB

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Pure nickel metal is irritating to the skin for many people,
and can cause very bad dermatitis in some. Where pocketwatch
cases are described as 'nickel' are these really nickel, or silveroid?
Jess Tauber
The nickel alloys were most likely developed
to mimic the sheen of silver. The skin made
only intermittent contacts with PW cases, so
Dermatitis seems unlikely.

My own Dad had this problem; very clearly it was
from daily contact with the back of his wrist watch.
 
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jess tauber

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I wrote an entire undergraduate chemistry thesis paper on nickel toxicity and immunological issues. Much jewelry is nickel-plated, for example earrings, which have extended contact with skin. Within alloys it is unlikely to cause issues, though, just as mercury doesn't generally leach out from dental fillings.

Jess Tauber
 

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