Accutron Astronaut Lume

Submitted by M_L on June 4, 2020 - 10:53am

Greetings all first post here.  I am in the process of selling my 1968 Accurtron Astronaut Black Swiss and I am being asked if the markers have been relumed.  They appear to have a slight green tinge under macro and do not appear as aged as the hand/symbol lume.  Any input would be appreciated as I do not want to provide incorrect information to the buyers I am currently talking with.  Thanks!


Geoff Baker
Posted June 8, 2020 - 6:12am

The numbers on the bezel seem to glow the same as the markers and hands. It does not appear to have been relumed in my opinion but I couldn't say for certain.

Posted June 8, 2020 - 10:26am

Thanks I appreciate the input.

Reverend Rob
Posted June 8, 2020 - 12:39pm

It looks to me like two different colours, the indices are greenish while the hands are whitish/almost orangey. Maybe this was how they were originally? The hands do show aging whereas the indices not so much. If you hold it under a light for a bit and then look at the glow, they should be the same. If not, I suspect the indices are re-lumed. 

If that is the case, it certainly looks like it was a very professional job, and should not detract from the value, but there are collectors who insist on 100% original, which is very difficult. Lots of things get repaired and changed over the course of a watch's life. 

Astronaut M2
Posted June 21, 2020 - 4:54am

In reply to by Reverend Rob

I believe I have seen this before, if you look at the Accutron fork symbol at 12 o:clock on the dial that lume matches the hands which would seem to indicate that the dial and hands are of the same age, I believe that it's possible for whatever reason Bulova used a different lume for those hour markers that seem to have a "channel" for the lume and the lume fills that "channel", possibly for that reason a different type of lume was needed?

Never say never with Bulova! lol     

Posted June 8, 2020 - 1:52pm

I would agree the two colors are different.  It may just be how they were.  When I used a UV light to charge the lume the color looks uniform.  I would agree with that as well based on how uniform it was if it was re-lumed it was exceptionally well done.  That person ended up not buying the watch but I sold it to someone else who was not concerned about that detail.  Thanks for the input I appreciate it.

Astronaut M2
Posted June 21, 2020 - 4:39am

In reply to by BlackbirdM3

I'm sorry but I don't believe that test will work with the dials that are marked "T Swiss T" on the front or "Tri" on the back as Bulova had switched from using Radium based lume which that test will work to the Tritium based lume which I don't believe that test will work on.

I believe the switch was made beginning in 1964, notice the first watch which had a relumed dial but had original lumed hands and the geiger counter showed nearly no elevated count. 

Posted June 18, 2020 - 9:27pm

Thank you very much I appreciate the information.