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Luminosity Question


Cosd
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Most of my watches have Superlumiova as the luminous compound.  Omega Seamasters seem to be the best from new or post service and both of mine could light up keyholes in this state. 

Others exhibit a time lag noticeably Rolex and then the amount used determines the clarity and brightness. 

My IWC Flieger seems to have two sorts of lime at 8 years old. The hands light up quicker than the indices. 

Best of all was my Armida A2 which you could read by all night. Seiko's have good lume too and my Seiko 5 is still going strong at 16. 

Incidentally my Dad had an Otis he bought in 1946 that still had viable radioactive lume in 2009. 

Personally I think it's the amount of lume material which makes the difference these days and some makers obviously skimp even at the higher ends. 

 

 

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, William_Wilson said:

I do not believe the first two watches used tritium. It is not indicated on the watches, which was the practice, and I had read nothing in the past to indicate they were such. You'll notice the absence of "T"s bracketing "SWISS MADE" on the first two examples.

Later,
William

A post script to my above comments: The first two examples did not display any sign of continuous glow, albeit reduced due to half life, when in the dark at the time I received them.

Omega phased out tritium from 1997 production onwards. For a few years prior to that there was a transition period where watches with tritium lume were sold with simple 'Swiss made' markings. I have an Omegamatic from around 1996/7 with tritium but no markings. The Bond SMP had SL from day one but watches in the 120m range and several Speedmaster variants had tritium up to 1997.  I will look for something definitive for you but while Super-L fades in colour, it doesn't really lose its lume power to any great degree unlike Tritium which loses it totally within 10-15 years. Whether you rate him or not, Derek Ziegler alluded to it here, halfway down the page:

http://www.chronocentric.com/omega/technical.shtml

 

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This is my SMP which dates from 1999-2000...not sure what the lume compound was...
078-1.jpg

...and this is my Seiko SKZ 251 from 2007 which uses Seiko's own compound, 'LumiBrite'
038.jpg

.....both charged at midnight for about 20 seconds with a high power LED torch.

There is a noticable drop off on the SMP after about 2 hours, and by the morning (6am) it is finished. The Seiko lasts all night, but is done after 8 hours.

Edited by Roger the Dodger
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6 hours ago, hughlle said:

 If i go outside for a smoke, when I come inot the dark living room, my watch lume is really really really visible, if i stand there for another minute, it reduces.

I've noticed when I go out for a smoke everything becomes bright and shiny, but it depends what I'm smoking :)

 

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4 hours ago, Padders said:

Omega phased out tritium from 1997 production onwards. For a few years prior to that there was a transition period where watches with tritium lume were sold with simple 'Swiss made' markings. I have an Omegamatic from around 1996/7 with tritium but no markings. The Bond SMP had SL from day one but watches in the 120m range and several Speedmaster variants had tritium up to 1997.  I will look for something definitive for you but while Super-L fades in colour, it doesn't really lose its lume power to any great degree unlike Tritium which loses it totally within 10-15 years. Whether you rate him or not, Derek Ziegler alluded to it here, halfway down the page:

http://www.chronocentric.com/omega/technical.shtml

 

That is interesting as I thought it was industry practice to label watches with radiological compounds. What was said about Omega claiming Super Luminova wouldn't lose potency over time has been proven wrong. Mine has diminished over the last couple of years, as has Roger's SMP.

Later,
William

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1 hour ago, William_Wilson said:

That is interesting as I thought it was industry practice to label watches with radiological compounds. What was said about Omega claiming Super Luminova wouldn't lose potency over time has been proven wrong. Mine has diminished over the last couple of years, as has Roger's SMP.

Later,
William

Roger's watch is a titanium SMP, and as I noted earlier all of these used Superluminova from day 1. I have a 1997 GMT and it is just as bright as my sword hands SMP from 2007. I also have a SMP quartz from 1997 and that is also still torch bright (using S-L) . You say that your S-L paint has diminished. Which watch is this? Roger's seems pretty bright to me. I have several late 90s Omegas with S-L and they are perfectly useable, whereas the ones with tritium are useless from the lume POV.

Edited by Padders
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18 minutes ago, Padders said:

Roger's watch is a titanium SMP, and as I noted earlier all of these used Superluminova from day 1. I have a 1997 GMT and it is just as bright as my sword hands SMP from 2007. I also have a SMP quartz from 1997 and that is also still torch bright (using S-L) . You say that your S-L paint has diminished. Which watch is this? Roger's seems pretty bright to me. I have several late 90s Omegas with S-L and they are perfectly useable, whereas the ones with tritium are useless from the lume POV.

I am speaking of the 1999 Seamaster G.M.T. I have:

seagmt02.jpg

This was taken in 2008. I exposed the dial to sunlight coming through the window and drew my hand back out of the direct sunlight and took the picture. In 2014 I couldn't do this anymore, it wasn't bright enough. It used to remain quite bright for at least 8 hours without much exposure to light, now it has diminished somewhat.

Later,
William

 

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8 hours ago, William_Wilson said:

I am speaking of the 1999 Seamaster G.M.T. I have:

seagmt02.jpg

This was taken in 2008. I exposed the dial to sunlight coming through the window and drew my hand back out of the direct sunlight and took the picture. In 2014 I couldn't do this anymore, it wasn't bright enough. It used to remain quite bright for at least 8 hours without much exposure to light, now it has diminished somewhat.

Later,
William

 

Interesting, I had no idea that S-L ages like that but it does make sense I guess. I will have to take a look at some of mine though because I rotate mine a lot I perhaps don't notice any gradual deterioration. Even so, I tend to work on the assumption that no matter how old is gets, S-L still lumes to a noticeable extent (though I guess it hasn't been used long enough for this to be truly tested) whereas Tritium or Radium lume tends to die to nothing after 10-15 years, hence my assertion regarding your late 90s models.

Lovely watch btw. I got the same model last month and it is now with STS hopefully being fettled into as good a condition as yours appears to be. To be honest I would have preferred a great white but they seem to command an arm and a leg these days so common sense dictated I got the black dial version

Edited by Padders
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8 hours ago, Padders said:

Interesting, I had no idea that S-L ages like that but it does make sense I guess. I will have to take a look at some of mine though because I rotate mine a lot I perhaps don't notice any gradual deterioration. Even so, I tend to work on the assumption that no matter how old is gets, S-L still lumes to a noticeable extent (though I guess it hasn't been used long enough for this to be truly tested) whereas Tritium or Radium lume tends to die to nothing after 10-15 years, hence my assertion regarding your late 90s models.

Lovely watch btw. I got the same model last month and it is now with STS hopefully being fettled into as good a condition as yours appears to be. To be honest I would have preferred a great white but they seem to command an arm and a leg these days so common sense dictated I got the black dial version

I have found that tritium loses its ability to show in absolute darkness at around 18 to 20 years of age, due to reduced radioactive emissions. Radium, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. Its high level of emissions actually cause a breakdown of the luminescent material on an atomic level. It literally cooks the luminescent portion of the compound.

Thanks, the GMT has a bit of mild scarring but still presents fairly well with a bit of a cleanup. :)

Later,
William

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OK, so I understand that you may need to charge/activate the luminosity on a watch; I tried it on mine using the iPhone torch for a few seconds and it glows like a light house; Very happy!! I'll have to post a picture because it does look good, especially with the second hand sweeping round.

 

How long should the luminosity last on my watch? I have read some replies saying some watches will last for hours with a few seconds charge. I haven't timed mine, but at a guess It goes from super bright to nothing in less than half hour. Is this right?

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On 03/03/2016 at 15:55, hughlle said:

Indeed, but when you enter a dark room, small light sources are readily apparent, but as your eyes adjust to take in more light, the light given off by the watch becomes diluted by the increase in ambient light your retina receives, thus becoming less apparent. 

There's quite a lot of cobblers being talked on here about how the eyes work at night, anyone who has had service training knows the effects of night vision and it's something in human beings takes about twenty minutes to develop fully when in a dark environment, but that's because of the chemical changes in the eye.. Here is the actual science behind it all....:)     http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/eye/eyes-adjust-darkness.htm

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1 hour ago, Cosd said:

OK, so I understand that you may need to charge/activate the luminosity on a watch; I tried it on mine using the iPhone torch for a few seconds and it glows like a light house; Very happy!! I'll have to post a picture because it does look good, especially with the second hand sweeping round.

 

How long should the luminosity last on my watch? I have read some replies saying some watches will last for hours with a few seconds charge. I haven't timed mine, but at a guess It goes from super bright to nothing in less than half hour. Is this right?

Ernest Jones are telling me that if the watch gets a long charge then it will last a long time, but if I charge it for say 30 seconds, then the luminosity won't last long either. Is this correct?

Edited by Cosd
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1 hour ago, Cosd said:

Ernest Jones are telling me that if the watch gets a long charge then it will last a long time, but if I charge it for say 30 seconds, then the luminosity won't last long either. Is this correct?

i can only give you my experience, as i said 15 to 20 seconds under a bright light last me most/all night, but the are seiko's and other watches with a lot of lume on the dial,

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I suspect "lume" may work much better if your eyes are good, and that, in most cases means young.:yes:

Without my spectacles, I can't see watch hands at all, it takes many minutes for my eyes to adjust to the dark. My eyes are broken, that's where most of my Lume blame is focussed.:wink:

I have quite good ears, my un- jewelled pin pallet watches drive me mad. I can't wear one in bed. :biggrin:

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