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  1. tovewabe

    tovewabe Aug 23, 2013

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    Do you guys ever worry about it? What's your stance on the danger, real or imaginary, over a lifetime of wearing vintage watches? I'm hunting for my first, but I'm a little nervous of something that a geiger counter registers.
     
  2. watchyouwant

    watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Aug 23, 2013

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    there are a few tests on the net. military watches and early russian watches. eventually we all will die one way or the other, luminous material from old watches will not play a big role in that...... if you fear that, send them to me. we will dispose of them in a resonsible way. kind regards. achim
     
  3. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon How do these messages get here? Aug 23, 2013

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    IIRC, the main issue with radioactive paint was that the girls that painted it on the dials used to suck the brushes to a point between applications. I don't think wearing the result on your wrist is so much of an issue.
     
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  4. Alpha

    Alpha Kilt Owner, Beagle Parent, Omega Collector Aug 23, 2013

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  5. tovewabe

    tovewabe Aug 23, 2013

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    O_O
     
  6. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Aug 23, 2013

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    If the radium on your old watch makes you nervous, don't use the microwave!
     
  7. mac_omega

    mac_omega Aug 23, 2013

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    I am not afraid when wearing them,
    but: be careful when you work on the movements, when you dismantle the watch!
    There might be some fine radioactive dust from the luminous numbers inside the watch - if you aspire this dust this will be dangerous for you health - lung cancer! Half-life time of Radium is extraordinary long compared to the life of a watch (or person who wears it).
    It is still there and dangerous even if it does not glow any more in the dark!
    I would be very cautious when working with Radium dialed watches...
    This is what I know as a natural scientist -
    just my 2 cents
    Erich
     
  8. John R Smith

    John R Smith Aug 23, 2013

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    To put it in perspective, though, smoking is probably a lot more dangerous . . .
     
  9. Stewart H

    Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Aug 23, 2013

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    I bought a large collection of unused, vintage spares last year and as a matter of interest, I opened a couple of the packets to see how the parts had stood the test of time.

    Included in these were a few sets of Radium hands. All I will say is that where the hands were in contact with the waxed paper inner packaging, they had eaten through the waxed paper - a bit like a mutant Pacman.
     
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  10. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Aug 23, 2013

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    I can understand how that'd give you some pause in handling them lol
     
  11. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Aug 23, 2013

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    Radium can be dangerous, but more for the watchmaker than for the person wearing the watch. I am very careful when working on a watch that still has radium paint on the hands or dial. For the most part, the movement and case will block the radiation, and the crystal will also, so generally speaking they are safe to wear.

    Now to illustrate how the radium can damage things, here is a vintage Illinois pocket watch I serviced a while back - note the radium burns on the crystal at each number:

    [​IMG]

    The owner thought it was on the dial, and sometimes hands can burn the dial if left in one spot for a very long time, but in this case you can clearly see it's the crystal:

    [​IMG]

    Disassembled - replaced the mainspring:

    [​IMG]

    All finished and with a new crystal:

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Al
     
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  12. Hijak

    Hijak Aug 23, 2013

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    Wow that is a little freaky what it did to the crystal!:cautious: Is that a new crystal or did it clean up off the old one?
     
  13. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Aug 23, 2013

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    Yea that's crazy how the dial is just perfect underneath
     
  14. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Aug 23, 2013

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    I'll quote it again for you:

    "All finished and with a new crystal:"

    ;)
     
  15. Hijak

    Hijak Aug 23, 2013

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    :oops:...
    Looks fantastic Al:thumbsup:
     
  16. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member Aug 23, 2013

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    That radium was so powerful it even cracked the crystal! ;)
     
  17. Time Exposure

    Time Exposure coordinates his cast with his car's paint job Aug 23, 2013

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    I glanced at the photo of the crystal, noting some burns were heavier than others. Once I got my orientation (the area missing the burn is sub-seconds) I looked again. I CAN JUST MAKE OUT THE NUMBERS FROM THE ACTUAL BURN MARKS! like seeing a ghost or something...truly freaky!
     
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  18. Alpha

    Alpha Kilt Owner, Beagle Parent, Omega Collector Aug 23, 2013

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    I remember years ago being advised on how to clean a dial " cotton bud and saliva " on radium dials ? no thanks ::facepalm2::
     
  19. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Aug 23, 2013

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    I thought radium was part of a healthy diet. ::confused2::
     
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  20. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member Aug 23, 2013

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    Easy fix - Just don't inhale.
     
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