Another disappointment...

Another disappointment...

technoguy
technoguy

August 27th, 2005, 3:33 am #1

Well, I found myself in that local Walgreen's pharmacy earlier this evening and decided to ask the clerk to open the locked case containing that interesting military style watch that I posted about several topics back.

The watch had an attractive two tone steel case, rotating bezel, and a black dial with white photoluminescent paint providing the night time illumination. Not only were the slightly oversized hands lumed, but the dial had a full set of Arabic numerals (because there was not date window at the 3 or 6 o'clock positions) each of which was printed with the white luminescent paint. It would look great in the dark.

As I peered through the display case, I noticed that the brand was, indeed, "Acqua" and not just "Aqua". This, of course, means that the watch was made by Timex!

Anyway, I finally got my sweaty little mits on the watch and was very impressed by its weight. It felt like heavy solid stainless steel and the case had an interesting matte finish on it to prevent glare when out in the sun.

Then the BIG disappoint came...of course, I knew it would...it's all part of my "curse".

I was on the verge of paying for the watch when I decided to turn the rotating timer bezel to see how smoothly it worked. I twisted and nothing happened. Then I twisted even harder and...NOTHING! The reason was that the "rotating" bezel was FAKE! It had merely been molded into the case and was for decoration only.

This really shook me up...I expected more from Timex. Anyway, I immediately had to downgrade the "perfection rating" of the watch from 85% down to about 40% which, of course, meant I would not be purchasing it.

Fake complications on wristwatches really turn me off. There should be a law against fake bezels, fake chronograph registers and pushers, and fake skeletonized movements. Either give us the real thing or leave it out!

But, then again, maybe I was expecting too much for only $20 USD. Afterall, if Timex was not willing to put their own company name on the timepiece, then there had to be a reason for it. The reason...it was cheaply constructed and I am even now wondering if the case was, in fact, solid stainless steel. It was heavy, but for all I know it could have been plated pewter or something!

My search continues...

technoguy
Quote
Share

EdH
EdH

August 27th, 2005, 3:43 am #2

if it seems to good to be true....then it probably is!!!

Sorry about your disappointment.

Keep looking...your "dream" watch is out there somewhere waiting for you. There is no 'perfect" dream watch. But, it will be close.

Cheers,

Ed
Quote
Share

C.W.
C.W.

August 27th, 2005, 5:13 am #3

Well, I found myself in that local Walgreen's pharmacy earlier this evening and decided to ask the clerk to open the locked case containing that interesting military style watch that I posted about several topics back.

The watch had an attractive two tone steel case, rotating bezel, and a black dial with white photoluminescent paint providing the night time illumination. Not only were the slightly oversized hands lumed, but the dial had a full set of Arabic numerals (because there was not date window at the 3 or 6 o'clock positions) each of which was printed with the white luminescent paint. It would look great in the dark.

As I peered through the display case, I noticed that the brand was, indeed, "Acqua" and not just "Aqua". This, of course, means that the watch was made by Timex!

Anyway, I finally got my sweaty little mits on the watch and was very impressed by its weight. It felt like heavy solid stainless steel and the case had an interesting matte finish on it to prevent glare when out in the sun.

Then the BIG disappoint came...of course, I knew it would...it's all part of my "curse".

I was on the verge of paying for the watch when I decided to turn the rotating timer bezel to see how smoothly it worked. I twisted and nothing happened. Then I twisted even harder and...NOTHING! The reason was that the "rotating" bezel was FAKE! It had merely been molded into the case and was for decoration only.

This really shook me up...I expected more from Timex. Anyway, I immediately had to downgrade the "perfection rating" of the watch from 85% down to about 40% which, of course, meant I would not be purchasing it.

Fake complications on wristwatches really turn me off. There should be a law against fake bezels, fake chronograph registers and pushers, and fake skeletonized movements. Either give us the real thing or leave it out!

But, then again, maybe I was expecting too much for only $20 USD. Afterall, if Timex was not willing to put their own company name on the timepiece, then there had to be a reason for it. The reason...it was cheaply constructed and I am even now wondering if the case was, in fact, solid stainless steel. It was heavy, but for all I know it could have been plated pewter or something!

My search continues...

technoguy
Well the hunt continues, eh?

It'll happen. By the way, I got to wondering why you are so aghast with Tritium and other radio-lum dyes, so I googled tritium. Needless to say I'm totally with you on this. It's irresponsible to the extreme considering there are plenty of readily available and comparable alternatives.

--Charlie
Quote
Share

technoguy
technoguy

August 27th, 2005, 1:45 pm #4

that you are "on board" with respect to tritium. Yes, the more I also read up on radio isotopes and their potential for harm, the more alarmed I become. It just seems to me that with all of the pollution and non-radio isotopic toxins we already have floating around in our environment, the last thing we need to do is add to them with something that can remain hazardous for decades / centuries / millenia and can actually damage the body's ability to repair and heal itself.

I recently learned that, aside from use in luminous watch paints, the number 2 use for tritium is as an "additive" to plutonium bombs where it serves to improve the "yield" of the resulting explosion. It is much in demand by the emerging nuclear powers for this purpose and is sold as a glowing green liquid. I assume that this liquid is tritium "water" or T2O.

Although I am an advocate of the new photoluminescent dial paints, I still only have limited experience with them and much of that has not impressed me. Can anybody out there tell me how long they have to charge up a dial using any of these new paints before it has enough glow to be readily visible in the dark all night long? I mean, can one just wear one's timepiece normally and then not have to worry about exposing it to bright light for it to glow all night long. In other words, are such luminous watches more or less hassle free so that they glow adequately even if the wearer did not wear them all day long in the sunlight and, say, they were just sitting on a table indoors all day?

If anybody has some extensive experience with these new paints, then please let me know if they performed up to your expectations.

technoguy
Quote
Share

Scott
Scott

August 27th, 2005, 2:11 pm #5

I've ordered some europium based glow powder-in blue and green- from United Nuclear,but it hasn't got here yet. Supposedly, it glows 12 hours or so. I have, of all things, a Sponge Bob clock whose hands glow all night quite brightly,just charged from the room lighting...nowhere on the package or clock is this mentioned. Bright enough to look like electroluminescent.
I'm going to guess that "stainless" case you were talking about is plated pot metal-easier to cast and plate pot metal than to grind out a stainless case..especially for 20 bucks...unless the words "all stainless steel" were on it, then even, maybe not.
There is a company set to make betavoltaic batteries for cell phones and laptops(watches?)..a small tritium-powered "atomic battery" trickle charges a conventional lithium-ion battery..I suppose, with a phosphor, the battery could provide both power and light for a watch. No date is given as to when these will go into production.
Quote
Share

technoguy
technoguy

August 27th, 2005, 3:46 pm #6

Well, if your Sponge Bob clock's hands glow as brightly as if they had an electoluminescent coating, then that is very impressive indeed. Assuming that their paint does not contain tritium, then that is exactly the kind of dial paint that I am looking for.



I'm very wary about this whole matter of betavoltaic "atomic" batteries. I notice that they avoid calling it a "nuclear" battery which, from a physics standpoint, is a more accurate term. This careful choice of nomenclature is, of course, all part of a marketing scheme to lull the public into thinking these products will be safe IF they ever make it to market. It's kind of like those MRI or "magnetic resonance imaging" systems that are in wide use today. When I was in college studying chemistry, we worked with the prototype technology that is, today, incorporated in those machines. However, at that time it was called "nuclear magnetic resonance". Although the process does not involve the exposure of the patient to harmful radiation or radio isotopes (but only a VERY powerful magnetic field), they decided to change the name by dropping the "nuclear" part so that they would not scare off potential patients / customers.



As more research is conducted, it is becoming evident that there is no safe level of exposure to radiation, either particle or ionizing. It seems all exposure raises one's risk of cancer. Of course, if one's life is at risk and one needs to have an X-ray or CAT scan, then the risks have to be weighed against the benefits. If I knew FOR A FACT that without the diagnostic imaging I would probably die, then I would opt for the radiation exposure even though it might increase my risk of a future cancer somewhat.



But, I always keep in my mind the fact that one CAT scan exposes the human body to the same dose of radiation that a person standing out in the open at a distance of 1.5 miles from the Hiroshima blast received. Sadly, there are mall boutiques opening up around our country that offer to let shoppers come in for a quick CAT scan just to make sure everything's all right! Such casual use of radiation is unprecedented and, in my opinion, should be outlawed. Medical imaging can reveal all sorts of small abnormalities and growths in the body, 99.99% of which are benign and will never cause the owner problems. But, finding them with the latest overpriced imaging technology can lead to months of needless worry and exposure to further unnecessary radiation, drugs, and even surgery!



technoguy
Quote
Share

Scott
Scott

August 28th, 2005, 2:45 pm #7

On that order, the europium glowstuff I ordered from United Nuclear came in yesterday-it does indeed glow at least all night,tho' it is brightest for the first hour-bright enough to read by-every bit as bright as a electroluminescent nightlight. It's in powder form,and shipped in little transparent butter-dish cups. No serious tests of it yet-it's still in the baggie the cups were sent in. The green seems brighter, but the blue looks better.Some of it is a gift for a friend of mine who is a scale modeller-since he builds mostly science fiction/aerospace models, this stuff should be of use.
The instructions suggest a 5% mix with the carrier, so an ounce should last a loooong time. I'm going to try Testor's Master Modeller clearcoat, in both gloss and flat, to see which one works best.
I doubt the clock is tritium-it's technically meant for children-tho the identical clock is used with a half-dozen cartoon characters from Betty Boop to Sponge Bob..could be either a children's or collector's clock, I suppose.
I'm going to test the blue glowstuff on a clock I have that doesn't have illuminated hands..the instructions also suggest a white basecoat for the stuff for best results,so a bottle of flat white Testor's would be handy.
The blue would look good on a watch..
In all honesty, I wouldn't worry one bit about the far and few in between medical diagnostic procedures..X-rays are on less time than an electronic flash..less than 1/1000th of a second,and digital x-rays need even less.I had an MRI last week,and what surprised me is how loud the thing is! Sounds like a giant transformer with loose core laminations.
I have some old uranium glass plates and things from the 1930's..it takes 4 months to lightly fog the very fast x-ray film..so there's very little radiation there. Lots of folks have probably eaten off radioactive plates in the past..
I really wouldn't even worry about the tritium nuclear battteries for commercial use..what I think is a far greater danger would be a sloppily run North Korean or Iranian(or whoever else and their second cousin has or wants a reactor/bomb) reactor-how long would it be after a meltdown or other accident before they admitted it? It took several days for the Soviets to admit Chernobyl went fubar..My guess is neither the North Koreans or Iraninans would admit any nuclear accident-it would be detected by someone else, possibly after spewing radioactive materials for days.
Quote
Share

technoguy
technoguy

August 28th, 2005, 4:42 pm #8

That europium based "Glowstuff" you mentioned sounds ideal for a luminous wristwatch dial and hands. I look forward to the day when one can get a watch with several different colored glows on it. Perhaps the hour markers could glow blue, the hour and minute hand yellow, and the second hand red!

I think that they recommend a white undercoating so that the material will "charge" faster and, when returning the energy put into it as a glow, will reflect the portion of the glow directed down toward the surface the paint is on back out to the eye of the viewer. That white undercoating could actually double the intensity of the glow. I am still, however, curious as to how long one has to charge the paint up by exposure to light in order to get it to glow all night long as well as how bright the light must be.

With regard to radiation exposure, it is now known that ANY exposure to radiation increases one's risk of cancer. While it is true that any one BRIEF exposure is probably negligible, it is the CHRONIC exposure to MULTIPLE sources that concerns me. The genetic damage done to, say, one's thyroid during a dental X-ray in early youth will STILL be there decades later. Any further exposures will only add to the damage. Then there's the additional damage due to environmental sources such as radon gas and other isotopes in food, air, water, and building materials. While the damage from any one source might be neglible, the CUMULATIVE damage from all of them starts to become appreciable to the individuals as the decades pass.

To offset the effects of this cumulative lifetime damage, I have opted to do what I can to minimize my own personal exposure levels. I avoid medical radiation whenever possible. I also avoid exposure to any types of chemicals or food additives that are known or suspected of causing genetic damage. In this way, I hope to greatly reduce my personal risk of contracting CANCER or any of the other diseases and infirmities normally dismissed as the "natural" consequence of "old age".

I am of the opinion that a healthy human body is supposed to remain fully functional and robust to at least the age of 100. Sadly, in our contaminated, so-called "advanced" western culture, this is only rarely achieved. I am convinced that the sea of pollution, radiological and otherwise, we are obliged to live in is the main cause of about 99.99+% of all people not realizing their full life span and "health span" potential.

Each of us has to decide for ourselves how we wish the remainder of our lives to be spent. I have known many people in my life who had what I would refer to as "bad habits". Most of them are DEAD now and did not have pleasant endings. The ones who are still alive are in poor health. My chief goal is to make sure that I do not wind up like any of them did!

technoguy
Quote
Share