How Well Does Ball Tritium Tube Lume Hold Up? Real World Experience? - Page 2
 

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Thread: How Well Does Ball Tritium Tube Lume Hold Up? Real World Experience?

  1. #11
    Super Moderator WTF Veteran CometHunter's Avatar
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    First, let's not compare apples to oranges. With Ball, you're talking about gaseous Tritium; with Rollie, TagH and Citizen it's SuperLuminova.
    And until the whole story is known, I see it as being unfair to condemn an entire watch company for a relatively isolated incident. While I haven't looked very thoroughly, yours if the first complaint I've heard of having to do with too-dim gas tubes. This, however, IS a serious matter and I am interested in hearing what Ball will have to say about it. Especially as my own Ball is now about to pass the 3-year old mark!
    (BTW... when the watch is registered with BallUSA they extend the warranty for a 3rd year.)
    -Bill

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  2. #12
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    They definitely have a powerful lume...

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
    My Fireman I is probably in that age range. Bought it preowned, so not exactly sure.



    She's a beauty! I have this same older Fireman model and the tri-color tubes are still one of my favorites, even with all the new Ball offerings!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
    My Fireman I is probably in that age range. Bought it preowned, so not exactly sure.



    Of all the new Ball lume designs, this is still one of my favorites!

  5. #15
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    OK, Here is the full story. At the request of Ball Switzerland, the watch was sent by the dealer to Switzerland for inspection. Their answer was that the tubes fade over time and the luminosity depended on the color of the watch face. Since the tubes are barely visible in darkness, they suggested that the minute and hour hands be replaced. The estimated cost for replacing the minute and hour hands, plus adjusting the movement for accuracy was $350.00.

    I requested that the watch be sent back immediately as I do not believe that it is a good investment to spend $350.00 every four to five years in order to be able to see your watch at night, and that is not even the cost of replacing all of the tritium tubes, just for the two (2). I guess I got myself a LEMON, and I really wish all Ball Watch owners good luck on their watches. As for me, I would never buy a Ball Watch again.

    By the way, I do own other brands, such as Rolex, BlancPain, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Omega, Ebel, etc. The Ebel started losing their gold plated luster and after 7 years of ownership and well past the warranty, the watch was sent to Ebel Switzerland and the band was fully refinished at their expense once it was determined that the deterioration was not normal wear and tear. One of my Cartier watches received a new movement after 15 years of abuse when after a regular maintenance a flaw was discovered.

    Ball Switzerland recommends changing the minute and hour hands, at my own expense, for a product that they advertise should last at least 25 years. Maybe the dealer in San Francisco had it for 20 years before I bought it.........

    Good luck with your watches, may they last as advertised!!!!

    Roderick Lee

  6. #16
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    Another data point:
    My Fireman was purchased new in April 2008, and the lume has no discernable degradation of intensity. It was never blindingly bright, but always effortlessly visible whether in bright moonlight or pitch black. I'll post a pic when I get more time.
    Henry Aguado

  7. #17
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    Maybe the perceived dimness relates to the tube colors: My original tri-lume Night Train dates back to 2007 and the blue and yellow tubes on the dial are noticeably dimmer than the green tubes on the hands- but we have been told to expect this as green is the brightest color visible to the human eye.

  8. #18
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    I'll need to shoot a picture of my Engineer Master II Aviator. I bought it in, if I recall, 2009 or 2010, and the lume remains strong...
    You would be amazed at how often "What if?" works...

  9. #19
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    I took some pictures today to share different Ball watches purchased over the years.
    To ensure consistency, the camera is set to manual mode (f5.6, 1/16s, ISO1600) and here are the pictures:

    Engineering Hydrocarbon - bought in 2005 (9 years old)


    Trainmaster Voyager GMT - bought in 2006 (8 years old)


    Engineering Master TMT - bought in 2008 (6 years old)


    and my wife's Conductor Ltd - bought in Dec 2011 (3.5 years)


    It is difficult to capture the differences in picture. In person I would say the 3.5year conductor is probably 20% brighter than the 9 year old Hydrocarbon.
    The 9 year old Hydrocarbon is still legible in cinema so its good enough for me.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #20
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    Without a lab and test equipment it's not easy to present better apparent visual results. I'd like to personally thank you for sharing this with us!
    -Bill

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