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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:23 am 
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Kurt ,

you have probably handled (more than!) enough Navitmers to maybe help with my question, but if anyone hs an idea please chime in

By looking at your collection of Breitling watches , can you tell when Breitling stopped using Radium and started using Tritium ? , my guess is somewhere in the mid 50ies but it may help to date watches if we can narrow it down to a year or 2 years. As Radium was radio active and Tritium a safe replacement I can only assume there was a 'cut in' date where all watches from that point on contained Tritium instead of Radium on the dial and hands

thanks
-Rene

edit : Radium , not Barium !


Last edited by Dracha on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:58 am 
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Hi Rene,

No, I am not answering because I know the answer to your change over date question :lol: . Sorry.

I am answering because I am wondering how knowing the swap over date from Barium vis Tritium would help to date a watch. It assumes that you can tell the difference between each type by, I guess, looking at it. I am pretty dumb when it comes to these things, but I can't imagine how you would be able to tell. Is there a difference in the appearance of each?

Just a thought.

Regards

Jim

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:07 am 
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Hi Jim , sorry but I had to correct my first post , its Radium they used, not Barium :oops:



I am told that that is possible to differentiate between the 2 , I am also told tritium is smoother than Radium (not as smooth as luminova though) and tritium gets darker in moist environments , and as for example the Navitimer is not waterproof the ones with tritium can (should ?) be darker than radium ones

again, I am just trying to piece together info to find out if we can pinpoint when a/the change occurred and if we can use that to date watches


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:28 am 
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hmm.. maybe it cant been seen, only measured :cry:

http://orologi.forumfree.it/?t=36682637

and maybe Roff can add this thread to Cruvon's
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=35838&hilit=radium

as I just think this is a duplicate :oops: and the question should be added to Cruvon's thread


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Was end of 50's with Rolexes, could have been same with Breitlings too? Wonder if the switchover was because of a govt legislation in the US to stop using Radium. This article spelling out the dangers of radium to workers applying radium to watches back then says it's use in the US was stopped in 1968
http://www.damninteresting.com/undark-a ... ium-girls/


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:25 am 
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off topic (not Radium but tritium) info but still related
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle ... 98163.html

if you do a quick search on the NRC site you will find a lot more Breitling info (incl BUSA VP e-mail adresses)

more on topic , this doc states BUSA no longer supplies any tritium parts , so watches sent to them are (I think) stripped of tritium components and sent out with something else ? , and as this only relates to BUSA their sub tier suppliers (like the Heists) are I presume not included ?

http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0814/ML081410890.pdf

On Breitling & Radium
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1114/ML111400237.pdf

I am actually thinking about buying a dosimeter / geiger counter to start measuring some watches , Maybe Kurt would be so kind to assist as well (I can send him the meter if I get one) to get a clear view of when the change occurred ?, this should also clear up the '53-'60 debate if we find that the Radium to Tritium cut over happened somewhere in the 50ies or at least between '54 and '59 ?

p.s. I am finding several investigations being performed on the Rolex fora as well, we're lagging


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:33 am 
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Dracha wrote:
Kurt ,

you have probably handled (more than!) enough Navitmers to maybe help with my question, but if anyone hs an idea please chime in

By looking at your collection of Breitling watches , can you tell when Breitling stopped using Radium and started using Tritium ? , my guess is somewhere in the mid 50ies but it may help to date watches if we can narrow it down to a year or 2 years. As Radium was radio active and Tritium a safe replacement I can only assume there was a 'cut in' date where all watches from that point on contained Tritium instead of Radium on the dial and hands

thanks
-Rene

edit : Radium , not Barium !


Rene,

I'll be happy to assist in any way I can, but to be honest, I wouldn't know how to see the difference.


/ Kurt


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:43 am 
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Dracha wrote:
more on topic , this doc states BUSA no longer supplies any tritium parts , so watches sent to them are (I think) stripped of tritium components and sent out with something else ? , and as this only relates to BUSA their sub tier suppliers (like the Heists) are I presume not included ?



This gets a little complex, but.....

Breitling shifted 100% to SuperLuminova as a result of the import restrictions in the US / threats of legal action, but as I understand it the restrictions are on importers, not on domestic users. As such as long as a distributor / importer maintains accurate records it's perfectly OK to sell tritium to anyone for use in watch repair so independents including the Heists will be able to secure it.

That said, I'm not sure whether there is a 'real' market in producing tritium paint / paste these days - the market is dominated by tubes. Obviously there will still be tubs of the stuff lying around, but that will be losing it's luminosity as it sits.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Dracha wrote:
Kurt ,
........
... Breitling watches , can you tell when Breitling stopped using Radium and started using Tritium ? , my guess is somewhere in the mid 50ies but it may help to date watches if we can narrow it down to a year or 2 years. As Radium was radio active and Tritium a safe replacement I can only assume there was a 'cut in' date where all watches from that point on contained Tritium instead of Radium on the dial and hands

thanks
-Rene

edit : Radium , not Barium !

René,

there is only one possibility: To believe what is written on the dials! Most probably Breitling was one of the first to use Tritium for their dials and hands and to mark this on the dials with a ' T ' added to ' Swiss Made '.

As another result (vide viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19598&start=15) shows, I have good experience in directly contacting the manufacturers of products as the best way to get clear answers.

The Swiss Manufacturer of RADIUM, TRITIUM and LUMINOVA is

(RADIUM CHEMIE A.ZELLER & CO.)
RC TRITEC AG
Speicherstrasse
P.O.Box 147
CH-9053 Teufen
(rctritec.com)

and I contacted already beginning of 2008 its CEO and owner Mr. Albert Zeller to possibly get some information about the use of RADIUM, TRITIUM and LUMINOVA in the watch business. Reason: My 1955 Navitimer with the all black dial had ' Swiss Made ' without the ' T ', but the 1962 Navitimer dial had the 'Swiss Made T '.

Here is the result of the phone conversations + email exchange with this extremely nice and obliging elder gentleman:

a) Although TRITIUM was already available in the early 60s, certainly not every manufacturer of dials or
hands immediately started to use TRITIUM instead of RADIUM.

b) A missing ' T ' on the dial does not necessarily mean, there was not TRITIUM used resp. there was still
RADIUM used, because marking the dial with a ' T ' was purely volontary.

c) Since 1975 there exists the ISO 3157 ( International Standard - Radioluminiscence for time measuring
instruments - Specifications). Thus only since then manufacturers of watches are liable to mark the dials.

Don't waste your money for a Geiger counter but much better "waste" it for a bottle of single malt that you can drink on a cosy evening while deliberating how you can use your Troll Spray on MrGoodfornothingMichaelWhatshisface.

Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Chris K wrote:
Since 1975 there exists the ISO 3157 ( International Standard - Radioluminiscence for time measuring
instruments - Specifications). Thus only since then manufacturers of watches are liable to mark the dials.



Not quite true.

ISO 3157 does not require dials to be marked unless they use higher amounts of tritium (technically emitting between 7.5 mCi and 25 mCi), in which case they must be marked T < 25. The use of tritium emitting less than 7.5 mCi still results in an optional dial marking of T. This means that any dial marked simply T is always optionally marked.

Also, current ISO 3157 is 1991, not 1975.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Roffensian wrote:
Chris K wrote:
Since 1975 there exists the ISO 3157 ( International Standard - Radioluminiscence for time measuring
instruments - Specifications). Thus only since then manufacturers of watches are liable to mark the dials.

Not quite true.

ISO 3157 does not require dials to be marked unless they use higher amounts of tritium (technically emitting between 7.5 mCi and 25 mCi), in which case they must be marked T < 25. The use of tritium emitting less than 7.5 mCi still results in an optional dial marking of T. This means that any dial marked simply T is always optionally marked.

Also, current ISO 3157 is 1991, not 1975.


Partly true.

a) "..... marked simply T is always optionally marked" = correct (vide § 3.7 of ISO 3157: "For the other time measurement instruments, the marking can be made on the dial by the letters T or Pm".) However, § 3.7 also mentions "...only for special time measuring instruments...(T 25 / Pm 0,5)" and " ...other time measuring instruments...(T / Pm)". Question: What is a "special time measuring instrument"?

b) I can't find any sentence where I state that the current ISO 3157 is of 1975.

:lol:
Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:17 am 
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The distinction is not the type of instrument, it's the amount of tritium.

When 3157 refers to special time measuring instruments it means those containing sufficient Tritium to emit more than 7.5 milliCurie, which then triggers the mandatory dial marking of T < 25.


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