Jump to content


Lume - Average Life Expectancy??How long generally speaking does Lume last


9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Bareges

    Automatic

  • Member
  • 433 posts
  • Joined 18-August 05
  • Location:Channel Isles

Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:59 AM

Apologies to all if this is a re-run. I have searched but not found the answer although I do remember references to life expectancy in some threads.........

I am particularly referring to the lume used on my Rolex GMT Master bought in 1990 which used to my eyes to be a white rather than yellow colour. Having dug the watch out in the last 24 hours it has developed that "aged" yellowish look to the luminous markers and isn't really that bright anymore (after dark). It was never in the Seiko diver league but it was reasonable. Now it is a dim reflection of its former self.

Would any of you have a watch like this re-lumed or should it be left as orignal and be allowed to age gracefully (my inclination is not to mess with it)?

#2 OFFLINE   unlcky alf

    Chronograph

  • Member
  • 1,500 posts
  • Joined 19-November 06
  • Location:South-West France

Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:14 AM

I was reading a thread the other day, can't post a link because it's on another forum, but here's the relevant extract:

QUOTE
Tritium paint is a self-luminous radioactive mixture that glows without the need for external 'charging'. It holds a constant glow under all lighting conditions, but will lose its glow slowly over a ten year period due to radioactive decay and require replacement after about 20.

SuperLuminova is a compound that must be charged with external light in order to work. Rolex use pure white SL for cosmetic reasons. Unfortunately, pure white SL is also the weakest in terms of light emission. SL will glow brightly for several minutes after a strong charge (sunlight, halogen lamp, blue-white LED or UV light) and fade out over time.

The reason why 'Rolex can't get the technology right' is because no one else has, either. I have yet to see a pure-white SL dial glow brightly for a very long period of time. Seiko, Omega and Panerai use SL pigmented with green, which results in much higher luminance and emission longevity. Despite this, it is simply not in the nature of SuperLuminova to hold a bright, constant glow over a period of several hours.

Tritium was abandoned by Rolex and most other Swiss manufacturers due to EU and US border restrictions on the transport of radioactive materials, I am given to understand. The initial SuperLuminova dials introduced by Rolex in 1999/2000 were not of good brightness at all. More recent iterations are much brighter. I also understand there can be 'bad batches' of SuperLuminova, as well. .............................posted by Elroy


I think that your GMT master uses Tritium, I'd probably leave it unless I had a pressing need to use the feature. I believe that my father had his submariner relumed at the last service but only because he used it for night navigation sometimes.

Edited by unlcky alf, 14 February 2007 - 09:14 AM.


#3 OFFLINE   Bareges

    Automatic

  • Member
  • 433 posts
  • Joined 18-August 05
  • Location:Channel Isles

Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE(unlcky alf @ Feb 14 2007, 09:07 AM) View Post
I was reading a thread the other day, can't post a link because it's on another forum, but here's the relevant extract:

QUOTE
Tritium paint is a self-luminous radioactive mixture that glows without the need for external 'charging'. It holds a constant glow under all lighting conditions, but will lose its glow slowly over a ten year period due to radioactive decay and require replacement after about 20.

SuperLuminova is a compound that must be charged with external light in order to work. Rolex use pure white SL for cosmetic reasons. Unfortunately, pure white SL is also the weakest in terms of light emission. SL will glow brightly for several minutes after a strong charge (sunlight, halogen lamp, blue-white LED or UV light) and fade out over time.

The reason why 'Rolex can't get the technology right' is because no one else has, either. I have yet to see a pure-white SL dial glow brightly for a very long period of time. Seiko, Omega and Panerai use SL pigmented with green, which results in much higher luminance and emission longevity. Despite this, it is simply not in the nature of SuperLuminova to hold a bright, constant glow over a period of several hours.

Tritium was abandoned by Rolex and most other Swiss manufacturers due to EU and US border restrictions on the transport of radioactive materials, I am given to understand. The initial SuperLuminova dials introduced by Rolex in 1999/2000 were not of good brightness at all. More recent iterations are much brighter. I also understand there can be 'bad batches' of SuperLuminova, as well. .............................posted by Elroy


I think that your GMT master uses Tritium, I'd probably leave it unless I had a pressing need to use the feature. I believe that my father had his submariner relumed at the last service but only because he used it for night navigation sometimes.


Simon,

Thank you very much for the information - I can't claim anything as useful as Night Navigation!!

#4 OFFLINE   JonW

    Perpetual Calendar

  • Member
  • 9,217 posts
  • Joined 23-March 05
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:57 PM

I would think the dial would be a T<25 dial and so has Tritium lume. IF you have the watch serviced by Rolex (and I would as its a bargain imho) then you should request they leave the dial as it it as that will preserve its value. If you change the dial it will have better lume but you will lose money if you sold to a collector. Rolex will NOT give you back the old dial if they swap it out... sad.gif

#5 OFFLINE   Bareges

    Automatic

  • Member
  • 433 posts
  • Joined 18-August 05
  • Location:Channel Isles

Posted 14 February 2007 - 02:48 PM

QUOTE(JonW @ Feb 14 2007, 12:50 PM) View Post
I would think the dial would be a T<25 dial and so has Tritium lume. IF you have the watch serviced by Rolex (and I would as its a bargain imho) then you should request they leave the dial as it it as that will preserve its value. If you change the dial it will have better lume but you will lose money if you sold to a collector. Rolex will NOT give you back the old dial if they swap it out... sad.gif


Jon,

Thanks for your comments - I hadn't realised that you didn't get the dial back if Rolex swapped it out.

I take your point about value - leave well alone!!

#6 OFFLINE   JonW

    Perpetual Calendar

  • Member
  • 9,217 posts
  • Joined 23-March 05
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 15 February 2007 - 06:45 AM

Yeah, not all Rolex RSC's have the same policy. But, the UK one defo doesnt give you the parts back anymore. I asked in November 06 what the latest was and the lady politely told me 'no'. The Sydney RSC is the same, but Melbourne offered to let me have my bracelet back "if I wanted it..."! The other RSCs (HK, USA in particular) sometimes play by different rules, but you should always check what the score if before you let em loose on your watch...

#7 OFFLINE   in_denial

    Moon Phase

  • Member
  • 629 posts
  • Joined 03-August 05
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:DUROVIGUTUM
  • Interests:Errrm, let's see...Motorcycles, Fencing, Real Ale, etc. But not watches, no... see; I am not a collector - I have fewer than 5^H10^H20 watches!

Posted 15 February 2007 - 10:58 AM


One thing not covered in this thread yet is the life expectancy of Superluminova lume - does it have a life expectancy for it glow and/or charge retaining capabilities?
I couldn't find anything concrete on teh interweb.

Any ideas?

-- Tim

#8 OFFLINE   murph

    Automatic

  • Member
  • 376 posts
  • Joined 14-August 06
  • Location:NE Scotland

Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:05 PM

For luminova, I'd imagine it's pretty long as it must degrade slowly. It's not as if it's being bombarded by beta particles as it would be on a tritium watch. I think radium used to damage ZnS crystals as well.
I don't know if super luminova has been around long enough for people to comment on its life.

I'm sure I saw some accel. ageing tests but can't recall where.


#9 OFFLINE   limey

    Chronograph

  • Member
  • 1,071 posts
  • Joined 24-August 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:over the water

Posted 15 February 2007 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE(in_denial @ Feb 15 2007, 05:58 AM) View Post
I couldn't find anything concrete on teh interweb.


How about this?


#10 OFFLINE   JonW

    Perpetual Calendar

  • Member
  • 9,217 posts
  • Joined 23-March 05
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 16 February 2007 - 01:05 AM

biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users