How Do I Fix Weak Lume On My Vintage Watch?

 
Mike B. From Minnesota, USA asks:

My Rolex Submariner is now 12 years old and seems to be losing lume brightness at night. Do you know a way to “fix” that problem?

This would likely be from old, brittle or even water damaged luminous paint. The only solution would be a new set of hands, a new dial or a dial restoration.  New hands are usually covered in a regular service so if the hands are the priority, book it in for a service and you’ll have a regulated, well-oiled movement, with bright new hands. Win win!

Also… There are certainly aftermarket solutions for getting dials re-lumed, but you want to check what’s done in-house. For instance, a place called Motor City Watch Works, for example, only does a few dials in-house, and others are sent out. Perhaps not necessarily a bad thing, but it would definitely add time, plus you’re adding another variable to the mix of having work done on a watch.

With a Rolex, of course, there’s also a balancing game of how “original” you want to keep it. I’m sure there are purists who would state you should leave things be, so that may be something to consider if you want to restore it in the first place. But, it is probably OK if it is restored by Rolex themselves with original parts.


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2 comments
DG Cayse
DG Cayse

There are quite a number of shops and individuals offering quite good reluming services.

Do your searching on various forums.


Also, to consider, many prefer the "look" of aged lume - especially on Rolex models - over the look of 'new lume.'

Something to consider if you want to sell your Submariner.


Most offering the relume service can accommodate whatever style you would like.

johnthompson8
johnthompson8

Just keep in mind that Rolex won't be returning the original hands as a matter of policy..