Old luminous material?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Mike Kearney, Mar 7, 2001.

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  1. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Many old watches from the '20s to the '50s contain old dried up luminous material in the hands and on markers on the face. Since it doesn't glow, it must be worn out, right? Any problem if I just scrape it off and put on new luminous stuff? How does that stuff work, anyway?

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  2. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Many old watches from the '20s to the '50s contain old dried up luminous material in the hands and on markers on the face. Since it doesn't glow, it must be worn out, right? Any problem if I just scrape it off and put on new luminous stuff? How does that stuff work, anyway?

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  3. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2000
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    Hi Mike, I can only relay what has been told to me by my jeweler friend. About 15 years ago, I took a Hamilton WWII era ww into him to be staffed. This is a watch that was brought home from Europe in 1945 and subsequently given to my father. He wore it as a work watch, working as a machinist, until 1960. When I picked up the watch, my friend showed me the reading on his geiger counter when he held it to the watch dial. the geiger counter really chattered, so there was definitely radiation present. The watch dial did not glow at that time. He told me that the law, don't know which law, required him to check all jewelry for radiation and report it to the customer. Although a watch dial may not still glow, the radiation will be present for a long time. I would hesitate to scrape any off in my watch repair area.

    Maybe a local jeweler could assist you on any rules governing radiation.

    Tom
     
  4. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Thanks, Chuck. Actually, since I've learned everything I know about Radium from discussions with you, I was really trying to draw you into to sharing what you know with others. I find the subject both facinating and scary at the same time. I've been meaning to check out the 'Radium City' videotape from the NAWCC library, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  5. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2000
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    Alan, I also have a watch with shows burning on the plastic crystal. It's a Gruen ww with a luminous dial. Got it at a yard sale a few years ago. Still in the junk box, never got around to repairing it.

    Tom
     
  6. bsaunders

    bsaunders Guest

    In Detroit, Mich. a dial company was said to get into a lot of trouble. More over if you get this dust onto your bench and breath it into your lungs what is the long term effects over years as a watch maker. I would not refuse to work on them but be carefull of how you do your cleaning of the bench.
     

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