Of power outages and radium lume

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Of power outages and radium lume

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » January 16th 2019, 10:16am

Almost none of my watches have a working lume. Well, save perhaps a quartz Swatch chrono, and the recently acquired Dan Henry 1970. The vintage ones have no lume at all, or the lume's been dead for decades. Thus I never really looked at my watches in complete darkness. There was simply no bloody point in doing so. OK, I did notice the Turler-signed Roamer emitting a faint glow, but there was a tiny bit of aritificial light there, making the whole thing harder to observe.

Two days ago, there was a brief power outage in the neighbourhood - for repairs, or some other shite. I'll be damned if I know why. Had my DuBois on my wrist. I left my phone in another room, and there, I had no light source at hand when the lights went out. Had my eyes slowly adjust to the dark, while loudly implying that the people at the power plant cohabit with their own mothers. And there, after a few minutes, I could see the hands and hour markers clearly. The blue glow is fairly intense in complete darkness, and the watch remains perfectly legible.

Here's the thing, though - this occurs only in conditions of almost complete absence of artificial light. A phone screen, even at minimum brightness, kills the effect immediately. Having made it to the other watches without tripping or a head-on collision with the wall, I've noticed the Turler-signed Roamer glow with a similar intensity. The 28mm Eterna from 1943 was also glowing - alas, not as brightly.

The zinc sulphide base is - obviously - quite dead. I guess that the brightness of the lume of the DuBois has a lot to do with the fact, that the whole thing doesn't have a particularly intensive tint - it's a nice beige. The Roamer's lume has aged to a fairly dark, green-ish grey. The lume on the Eterna is almost black, and this one gave the faintest glow of the three.

So, that's it. Just a few observations. To whom they're obvious, they're obvious, to whom they're not, they're not. Mr. Bloke out.
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