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Do you shy away from buying Radium dialed & handed watches?

  1. airansun

    airansun Feb 12, 2020

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    I know I do. Particularly the pre 50’s watches that have lots of radium on them, for example with radium painted Arabic numerals, like my grandfather’s WWI watch.

    DD60D13A-D358-4332-8EFC-3798943790B9.jpeg

    Of course, this is a little funny for me. I played with this watch as a child, when it was broken and had no crystal in it. After I had it repaired in the 80’s, I wore it everyday for maybe a year or so, without thinking about the risk. And I still wear it occasionally. Just confessing that I can be inconsistent. I’ve never metered it; I suppose I should.

    But I’m much less likely to put up significant bucks for a radium watch. Little 50’s Seamaster radium dots don’t worry me, for example, but when the radium dots get to Submariner size, I get reluctant to buy because I’d hesitate to wear it regularly. Perfect example of a radium watch that I did buy but don’t wear much:

    8931C940-FEFA-4BD6-B5B4-77D598A6E176.jpeg
    Honestly, I can’t imagine ever regretting buying this piece, but I argue it’s the exception for me.


    What’s your view on collecting radium watches? If you have a bunch, do you store them in a special way?
     
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  2. Lazy_Lightning

    Lazy_Lightning Feb 12, 2020

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    I have one radium watch. I store it in a watch box separate from my other watches—but I don’t do that for any specific scientific reason.

    It’s also a watch that I have in regular wrist rotation.
     
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  3. Tony C.

    Tony C. Ωf Jury member Feb 12, 2020

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    Working on them is risky, and of course no one should sleep with them strapped to their wrists. They should also be stored in a well-ventilated space. But there is no evidence that wearing a radium watch, even a relatively "hot" one, is dangerous.
     
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  4. Lazy_Lightning

    Lazy_Lightning Feb 12, 2020

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    I’ve always wanted to test the radiation level. Are the inexpensive defectors from Amazon worthwhile?
     
  5. Tony C.

    Tony C. Ωf Jury member Feb 12, 2020

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    billving, Mad Dog, Njnjcfp88 and 5 others like this.
  6. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Feb 12, 2020

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    I motorcycle as close to year round as you can in Canada, riding mostly in the city and I’ve worked around chemicals most of my professional life.

    i figure a little radium is the least of my worries
     
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  7. Braindrain

    Braindrain Feb 12, 2020

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    I wear them and it's fine. It's a lot less "hot" through the caseback.

    PSX_20191118_095608.jpg

    PSX_20191213_120138.jpg

    PSX_20200211_230110.jpg

    PSX_20191213_120906.jpg
     
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  8. Walrus

    Walrus Feb 12, 2020

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    Is it accurate that eBay didn’t allow these to be sold/shipped anymore? Someone mentioned that in the other thread. If I saw a nice specimen I don’t think it would scare me away
     
  9. redpcar

    redpcar Feb 12, 2020

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    Just don't say Radium or Tritium in the listing.
     
  10. Fastsled

    Fastsled Feb 12, 2020

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    Funny I am reading the book “Radium Girls” right now. I’m pretty sure I do not want a radium watch!
     
    timecube likes this.
  11. noelekal

    noelekal Feb 12, 2020

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    I can't be concerned about it. Lots of vintage style out there with radium.
     
  12. vicsdca

    vicsdca Feb 12, 2020

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    Just don't lick (or eat) the lume and you should be fine
     
  13. Evitzee

    Evitzee Feb 12, 2020

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    The radium girls were wetting the tips of the brushes to help apply the radium, they ingested enough radium over the years to cause real health issues. That's a lot different than having a radium dial watch on your wrist. But i draw the line at putting radium on slipper buckles as mentioned in this ad.
     
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    Edited Feb 12, 2020
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  14. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Married to MacGyverette! Feb 12, 2020

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    I’ve heard from various “double secret probation” sources that a Mad Dog action figure* is 1,000 times more harmful than a vintage watch that has a radium dial and hands...

    *LATE ENTRY: Not a doll!

    C37304AD-9493-4700-8296-99B2AE928738.jpeg
     
    Edited Feb 12, 2020
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  15. cvalue13

    cvalue13 Feb 13, 2020

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    I assume that’s because radium is known to be 1,000 times less harmful than cargo shorts?

    ::rimshot::
     
  16. Eve

    Eve Feb 13, 2020

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    I only owned one single radium watch. It was a wonderfull 18k solid gold PiePan Conny, that i got from an original owner in full set.
    I was not aware of the radium, when i opened up the watch. When i realised it, i started reading online, researching, bought myself a Geiger counter and was surprised by the high reading this watch indicated. I actually started feeling very uncomfortable about it and sold it. I also promised to never buy a radium watch again.
    Its not that i feel they are terribly dangerous for wearing, but i like to regulate my watches by myself and i dont feel comfortable around radium. But thats just me.
    I will probably never find such a cool deal again, but i have no regrets! :)

    IMG_20200213_074618.jpg
     
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  17. KAP

    KAP Feb 13, 2020

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    My thoughts are there are a lot of nice vintage watches out there without radium so I stick to non-lume, tritium, or luminovia.
     
  18. lindo

    lindo Feb 13, 2020

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    Good you have no regrets - but I regret not owning your 18K pie pan: it looks superb. And at my advanced age I don't give a tinker's about exposure to watch dial radium.
     
    Eve likes this.
  19. timecube

    timecube Feb 13, 2020

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  20. Duracuir1

    Duracuir1 Feb 14, 2020

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    I bought an old watch for $30. I bought it mostly because I wanted the strap as a model to replicate (I make watch bands - see « adventures in strap making ») Have a look at the shipping details...dangerous goods? Is this due to the radium? Is it a coincidence? Was is stored near a « Mad Dog action figure ? » FB97A114-1827-4CAA-B37B-08767E039218.jpeg 4B3A1A05-BBAA-41E1-AE4D-B6297F7D8939.jpeg 8EFC597A-1BFD-46F5-8E72-88C8FFF715C5.jpeg