Did this Timex have radium?

John 10/04/2018. 8 answers
Consumer Electronics Other - Electronics

I had this Timex diver a while back and I threw it away after I read the horror stories about radium on dials..

This watch I determined to be from the 70s

I could shine my light on it and it would glow for about 10-15 seconds before it fades. Does the radium/phosphor mix glow after it is exposed to light?...

8 Answers


AVDADDY 10/06/2018.

How many times must you ask the same question?


Robsteriark 10/04/2018.

The dangers of using radium as glow in the dark paint for watches was recognised as early as the 1920s.

By the late 1960s the use of radium 226 almost entirely ceased worldwide. US watchmakers ceased using it about 10 years earlier.

I’m unaware of any Timex watches which ever used it. The paint was not cheap and Timex was always an affordable brand. Instead, on some models they used non-radioactive fluorescent paint which would glow in the dark after exposure to light for up to about an hour or two, and far leas as the paint aged.

Your 1970s Timex definitely had no radioactive paint.


DR + Mrs Bears face 10/04/2018.

Hiyes you did expose yourself to a radio active powder which is what makes it glow when light is shone on it.


The original Peter G 10/04/2018.

If it "charged" in bright light and faded in a few minutes it was just plain poor quality luminous paint, probably Zinc Sulphide. If it was radium it would glow for ever


Anonymous 10/04/2018.

Are you what?

Sounds like you had a watch with a luminous dial. So what? I've had lots of them. They were quite common - luminous watches and alarm clocks.

What were you anxious about after opening it up and tinkering with it?


tellitlikeitis 10/04/2018.

Well if the Timex doesn't get you, eventually something else probably will. If you calculate your exposure to the small amount of radium/phosphor with the time you were exposed to it, you'll probably come up with something a lot less dangerous than breathing in the polluted air that's round about you 24/7. That's something much more harmful to be worrying about.


spacemissing 10/04/2018.

You should have kept the watch.

Timex watches aren't worth much in the collector market... yet.

At some point in the future, they may be.

Don't throw things away until you know for certain what they are.


Anonymous 10/04/2018.

Ask your doctor.


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