November 26th 1962 NYC bans sale of Radium pocket watches

Vintage Rolex Discussion

November 26th 1962 NYC bans sale of Radium pocket watches

fatboyharris
VRF Member
Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

January 25th, 2012, 9:25 pm #1


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bn ... dial&hl=en


With such a stark panic striken warning 'Stop wearing them immediately and return them  to the retailer ' in Rolex's home town must have been ringing in their ears for weeks with the aftermath that simple but quite frightening warning...............punters will see radium.... most likely ignore the watches are ok and be down their jewellers wanting to know what their dial is made of and demanding their money back.

I think that might just prompt Rolex to mark their dials in some way so the material could be easily determined especially if they are tritium not radium..............do we detect any haste in some of those early T 25 dial markings espeially on those exclamation dot dials which may have been sitting in shop windows.

 

kind regards

 

John
Last edited by fatboyharris on January 25th, 2012, 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 7th, 2006, 5:02 pm

January 25th, 2012, 10:31 pm #2

...and pointing to one logical conclusion?
Kudos, John, you've done yeoman's work on this hard evidence research all along and this is just your latest coup.
We may be missing one or two small pieces of the jigsaw, but the picture is becoming quite clear now!
So good, I think I need a cigarette...and I quit smoking 14 years ago.
All the best,
Tom

P.S. This would be the second radiation "scare" for Rolex within 3 years, so no doubt:

A) They were very sensitive the issue in 1962 and reacted with great haste and probably did not worry about standardization of markings until later.

And

B) They probably still don't want to talk about the issue of radiation in their watches in any detail even today, no matter who's asking!

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Joined: October 13th, 2003, 5:24 pm

January 25th, 2012, 10:41 pm #3

How are they linked? Wrist watches were passed on, right?

Arthur
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Joined: May 7th, 2006, 5:02 pm

January 25th, 2012, 11:15 pm #4

...regarding radiation generally in timepieces? What international laws have just been passed or are about to go into effect regarding radioactivity in watches? What public relations nightmare had only just happened a few years prior to Rolex with the Strontium90 scare and recall of 6542 GMT bezels?

You seem to presume that everything occurs in isolation and all actions taken by Rolex happened in a vacuum. They just put the Underline on their dials for a purely arbitrary reason with no meaning to it at all.

That is an entirely untenable position.

Again, I am not here to do your homework for you and catch you up to speed on previously introduced evidence.

This is the advanced class now and you have to show your work.

For example:

You're still regurgitating your original argument from a year ago that non-luminous Patek dials from the 20s can teach us about luminous Rolex dials in the 60s, as if the intervening years never happened, the atomic bomb had never been set off and knowledge of radiation and the rules governing it had also never changed.

Nonetheless, maybe those Patek dials can teach us something. But you haven't provided any rationale or evidence to support it other then saying "Look over here: a Patek dial from the 20s with an Underline!" Sorry, that's not any kind of reasoned argument. The onus is on you to do some research of your own and show what the link is between non-luminous Patek dials with an underline produced in the 20s and luminous Rolex dials with the Underline produced in the early 1960s.

I look forward to your findings...
T.

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MC Yoon
MC Yoon

January 25th, 2012, 11:52 pm #5

...and pointing to one logical conclusion?
Kudos, John, you've done yeoman's work on this hard evidence research all along and this is just your latest coup.
We may be missing one or two small pieces of the jigsaw, but the picture is becoming quite clear now!
So good, I think I need a cigarette...and I quit smoking 14 years ago.
All the best,
Tom

P.S. This would be the second radiation "scare" for Rolex within 3 years, so no doubt:

A) They were very sensitive the issue in 1962 and reacted with great haste and probably did not worry about standardization of markings until later.

And

B) They probably still don't want to talk about the issue of radiation in their watches in any detail even today, no matter who's asking!
I would just not take Geneva's word for it. I am sure there is an embargo on anything related to Radium in their products. Hmmm... I still have some Radium lumed watches in my collection. Rolex never recalled them. Room for product liability...?? Scary stuff! But I speculate.
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fatboyharris
VRF Member
Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

January 26th, 2012, 8:14 am #6


It was the Health Boards that had control over these issues as the AEC had no control over radium. Rolex would not have known at this time exactly which way the report in 63 was going to fall and were  radium dialled watches next on the list to be banned.

How did a jeweller tell whats on the dial and with it being so topical,bearing in mind in 1959 Rolex had to recall watches with dangerous radiactive substances it would still be quite fresh in the minds of people. I dont think a Jewellry store is going to put a geiger on the counter, as there are also reports at that time on the high radiation levels found in jewelry stores from precious and semi precious stones........the geiger alarm would have been buzzing loudly.

Unless you grew up in that time and understood the change in peoples perception of the  new emerging dangers, rather than benefits extolled in the 50's of cheap radiactive energy, new medical advances etc theres no point in explaining it. Back then if you got cancer you were normally considered dead, its was just a matter of how much time you had left...survival rates of the big C were very low.

I just find it so interesting that with all these things were going on and for some people they do not feel that Rolex would have had to react to emerging events.....did you know that the last of the 1930's 'radium girls' a dial painter died in 1961 from cancer and the enormous amount of publicity that  dealth caused around the world. The radium  dial painters became know as the Society of the Living Death
<p style="margin:0cm 0cm 10pt;">[color=#0000ff" face="Calibri]http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5u ... dium&hl=en[/color]

The public was continually being bombarded by new reminders of the danger of radiation and its association with cancer.................children and radium was always a good newspaper 'story' just an example
<p style="margin:0cm 0cm 10pt;">[color=#0000ff" face="Calibri]http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ca ... dium&hl=en[/color]

And what I also find implausable is that Rolex a great moral institution, would be seen at this time doing nothing to help protect the health and safety of its own staff and its network of distributors. Tell me how you would know what you are handling if you are just a sales counter clerk in a jewelry store or a watchmaker servicing a watch.

If any of you had been working in industry when the first really meaty product liabilty legislation started hit the statute books around the world you will have a  true sense of the enormity of internal change and immense committment of resources to protecting the organisation was expended at that time.

You cant just look are a pretty dial and not question why you see a change in its composition without questioning why it happened........Rolex wasn't immune to all of this.

regards

 

John

 

 

 
Last edited by fatboyharris on January 26th, 2012, 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fatboyharris
VRF Member
Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

January 26th, 2012, 8:40 am #7


along with other Health Boards.............I think the ban not been repealed.

Its in my research folder on the HD, but I can't be arsed to go look, but heck you NYC guys all know about that being in the trade handling these watches day to day.

 

regards

 

John

 
Last edited by fatboyharris on January 26th, 2012, 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fatboyharris
VRF Member
Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

January 26th, 2012, 11:11 am #8

How are they linked? Wrist watches were passed on, right?

Arthur
some underline dials that appear to have been added after the dial was first printed on top of the lacquer. We have seen enough scans recently to know that is correct..................so why would Rolex put those markings on those dials if they did not contain tritium an AEC highly regulated and controlled radioactive substance?

You can debate as to when the lumi material was applied that I grant you, but does it not make those watches look a little 'unprofessional' maybe not upto their normal usually quite high standards, especially if those watches had yet to be despatched from Geneva........why not just pop new dials in.

 We have so many dial and print variations changes in serifs in quite short periods of time for short limited production runs, it must not have taken too long to have some dial variation put into production.

How many variations of 5513 explorer dials exists, was the last count I read somewhere about 9 variations for a very limited production series.Maybe they made up a new dial for every sales order they received.

Some many questions still yet to be answered.............................

regard

 

John
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Joined: October 13th, 2003, 5:24 pm

January 26th, 2012, 1:16 pm #9

I would just not take Geneva's word for it. I am sure there is an embargo on anything related to Radium in their products. Hmmm... I still have some Radium lumed watches in my collection. Rolex never recalled them. Room for product liability...?? Scary stuff! But I speculate.
Arthur lol




http://rolexnessreviews.blogspot.com/
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Joined: October 13th, 2003, 5:24 pm

January 26th, 2012, 1:25 pm #10

...regarding radiation generally in timepieces? What international laws have just been passed or are about to go into effect regarding radioactivity in watches? What public relations nightmare had only just happened a few years prior to Rolex with the Strontium90 scare and recall of 6542 GMT bezels?

You seem to presume that everything occurs in isolation and all actions taken by Rolex happened in a vacuum. They just put the Underline on their dials for a purely arbitrary reason with no meaning to it at all.

That is an entirely untenable position.

Again, I am not here to do your homework for you and catch you up to speed on previously introduced evidence.

This is the advanced class now and you have to show your work.

For example:

You're still regurgitating your original argument from a year ago that non-luminous Patek dials from the 20s can teach us about luminous Rolex dials in the 60s, as if the intervening years never happened, the atomic bomb had never been set off and knowledge of radiation and the rules governing it had also never changed.

Nonetheless, maybe those Patek dials can teach us something. But you haven't provided any rationale or evidence to support it other then saying "Look over here: a Patek dial from the 20s with an Underline!" Sorry, that's not any kind of reasoned argument. The onus is on you to do some research of your own and show what the link is between non-luminous Patek dials with an underline produced in the 20s and luminous Rolex dials with the Underline produced in the early 1960s.

I look forward to your findings...
T.
that the underline dial is for a lum material marking...You keep babbling about school is in and regulations regarding radium and tritium data. And you seem just to dismiss the PP underline dial, yet you do not put forth any Rolex document stating that unequivocally that the underline or lum dot at the "6" o'clock area is even remotely linked to the radium/ tritium exchange.

Why is going on headmaster? Arthur

http://rolexnessreviews.blogspot.com/
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