Have been exchanging some very interesting emails with Robert who sent me this message in early July.
I have a Tudor Submariner which I bought 30 years ago. The Tritium Luminous dial / hands no longer show and I was wondering whether an independent watchmaker could re-lume the watch with Tritium. I work at night in dark confined spaces and need to know the time often – Tritium luminous hands would be handy even if I can just make out the time.
Any suggestions you may have would be appreciated.
Yes, you can re-lume a tritium dial and hands but re-luming seldom works well i.e. because it is normally applied by hand, it often looks uneven and like a DIY job.
Most people simply replace the hands and dial altogether either with original or aftermarket parts. Having said that, to reiterate a little more strongly, what I said in my post on Tritium dials, replacing a dial and hands on a classic watch destroys and not adds to the value of a vintage watch as it is no longer considered “original”.
One option would be to keep the old dial and hands and use after market or new dials and hands on your watch. That way if you ever decide to sell or pass it on to someone, you still have the original parts that can be reinstated. I do the same thing with leather bands when I buy a new watch. I will get an after market leather strap that looks like the original and keep the original strap at home.
I checked with a couple of people including Scott, at Just-a-sec in Sydney and they all pretty much agree.