Also, make sure that the description indicates "tritium gas" and "sealed vials" because several years back, I was duped by an ad that stated "tritium markers and hands" but what it turned out to be was a tritium based pigment painted on the hands and markers, much much dimmer than tritium gas. In fact, it was dimmer then watches that used non radioactive pigments such as Luminova (strontium aluminate based) which is much akin to "Alien Skin". But tritium gas has them all beat in terms of being "self luminous". Now that watch with the "tritium pigment" is 8 years old, it barely glows at all.
Just a caveat emptor warning. If it is cheaper than 90 bucks, it's probably just the pigment version.
e=mc makes a very valuable point. There are very few actual tritium watches out there. Make sure it says tritium VIALS. The cheapest out there are around the $90-125 mark. I have found great deals on Luminox watches from very unlikely sources, like Cabela's. They were selling the Dual Time Zone Luminox for $99. Looks like most have dried up now. Incindentally, the Luminox Seal is the least bright of all my Luminox's.
Watches I know ARE tritium vials
Stocker and Yale
Yes Virgina, you can get a real Tritium Tubed watch for $90.00. We sell the least expensive Tritium TUBED watch anywhere. The U.S. government buys more watches than any store. This means Marathon (the manufacturer) buys more Tritium tubes than anyone else and more movements than any other Tritium watch company. We have extras from the latest contract (about 6 months ago). http://www.countycomm.com/GPDESCRIP.htm
There are some MOS (Military Ocupational Specialties) that are forbidden from wearing tritium watches. They are supplied watches with Maraglow. Maraglow is a propriatary process of applying Luminova (strontium aluminate) that provides super results. http://www.countycomm.com/MARAGLOWDESCRIP.htm
It's not Tritium, But it's real good.
$90 is impossible to beat from my studies on the matter. The Marathons that I have had have been VERY bright. From my personal experience I would prefer the quality of the Marathon over the Luminox, I have had both.
Sure. It's pretty simple:
1. Quartz : Very accurate, runs on a battery. Swiss assembly using automation machines. Battery life is about 2 years. Uses a standard watch battery. Very robust
2. Mechanical : Not as accurate as quartz. more fragile. You must manually wind it every 24 hrs. Labor intensive hand assembly is required to manufacture. Also these watches are not mass produced adding to their increased price.
Quartz watches sell 50 to 1 over the mechanical watch. This figure is true for both government sales and civilian sales. I hope this provides some assistance. Frank
I have a Smith and Wesson tritium watch. It's sold from Big 5, and occasionally goes on sale down to $65. Not nearly as bright as the Luminox (though I've never held them side by side), but still very bright.
BTW, reading about the Maraglow watches. I had one of them before my S&W, and it was GREAT. Light weight, and a rather brief exposure to light would work for hours. By brief, I mean holding it to a lamp at home for 30 seconds or so. Being readable in the middle of the night, 5-6 hours later.
Easy battery to replace too.