Author Topic: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands  (Read 865 times)

Offline meeko835

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Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« on: December 19, 2017, 10:33:22 AM »
I am just getting into Zodiac Seawolfs and am having some trouble determining if some of the dials I am seeing have been relumed. Can anybody shed some light on this subject? Is it common to see vintage Seawolfs with different color lume on the hands than the dial and have it be original? Thanks to anyone who wants to help!

Offline YuriyV

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Re: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 11:11:42 AM »
I'd say, this is very typical for Radium dials/hands. Different thickness of Radium lume leads to color difference during aging.
Tritium could age differently as well sometimes. But very often different color means hands were changed/relumed.
I noticed that if Tritium lume is still glowing on hands, but does not on dial markers, it is definitely relume.

Offline meeko835

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Re: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 11:34:37 AM »
Thanks for the reply. If I may bother you with one more question. Would Seawolfs have been originally manufactured with Radium dial lume but tritium hands? Thanks again!

Offline YuriyV

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Re: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 01:42:57 PM »
I'm not certain, but it is possible in transition period (early 1960) when Zodiac migrated from Ra to 3H.
Hope experts will be able to prove or refute this.

Offline Saloonkeeper

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My favorite SeaWolf was re-lumed.......................
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 09:27:00 PM »
with a vintage lume by BWG. I love this watch and he did such a fantastic job on it.

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 12:06:02 PM »
It is possible for the hand/dial lume not to match, as I have seen this on watches I know were original and untouched otherwise.  However, that is not usually the case.  From new, Zodiac used two different colors of lume.  They used either a light cream, or a light green.  I have seen originals with cream triangles but green hands, and vice versa, though usually they would be green/green or cream/cream.  Due to the thickness of the lume on the triangles, and its reaction to the printing process for the numerals, it is common to see slight variances in that color as opposed to the hand color. 

Honestly, it takes examination of the hands to see if they are original lume or not as due to their shape and being taken on/off (often times roughly) numerous times over the years losing their lume is common as the material dries out and becomes more fragile.

So many collectors do not realize that for a vintage watch, the luminous compound is likely the most fragile thing on it.  Luminous material is made of granules suspended in a liquid, and using scientific properties we are allowed to spread it in a controlled manner on either flat surfaces or across open expanses.  As the material ages the moisture component disappears and it can lose its adherence to where it has been applied or begin to break back down into the powder again in the absence of the liquid holding it together.  Combine its aging process with the other elements of time (moisture, dirt, uv light etc) and you can see how it becomes so fragile.

Offline Butch

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Re: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 09:30:52 AM »
Let me add that back in the day people would return their Zodiacs to Switzerland for servicing. Once in house, much parts swapping went on as they had plenty of parts and wanted to get them out quickly. If it fit, it got swapped. Movements would get serviced but cosmetic parts were easily changed. And even problematic movements would get changed out with a newer ones after the 2nd tear down did not fix the problem.

Oh the joy of having spare parts like that.
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Offline meeko835

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Re: Different Color Lume on Vintage Seawolf Dial and Hands
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 11:28:35 AM »
Thank you all so much for the information!

 

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