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Carrying on the Exclamation dot tax regime debate so not lost in earlier posting

February 15 2012 at 5:15 AM
fatboyharris  (Login fatboyharris)
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from IP address 78.86.97.77

That Raises More Questions..

February 14 2012 at 6:33 PM

MC Yoon (Login munchiew)
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from IP address 221.133.46.30



Response to Could well be

 

John, for example;

1] Why mark those watches with a lume dot? Surely there is an easier way? Like and additional letter/numeral on the reference number? Or a tiny stamp on the underside of a lug? I remember Jacek had one watch for sale that was so marked.

2] Why did these markings appear for only a short period, say 59 to 63, and then disappear, just as T Swiss T and "Swiss T appeared?


3] What was the tax regime at that time that will explain this as a import tax mark? This will be easily verified by asking the proper tax consultants or the Inland Revenue Department. I was a tax consultant in my previous job life, and we had comprehensive records of all legislation from the day tax was legislated. No information/archival gap here.


4] I would suggest that many other countries had different import tax regimes ( all countries have their own; in fact find me two countries that haave exactly the same regime), but why was there no special markings for the watches for those countries? For example, some Rolexes imported into the US at one time had lower jewels count in their movements, to circumvent higher taxes, but were these watches marked on their dials?

Not trying to give anyboday a hard time, but I feel these are legitimate questions arising from the new import tax hypothesis.

 

 

My response

 

Well the tax regime was interesting

February 15 2012 at 5:21 AM

fatboyharris (Login fatboyharris)
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from IP address 78.86.97.77



Response to That Raises More Questions..

From 1960 there was a series of World trade conventions, in which the Common Market and European Free Trade had not been previous included, and as these bodies reduced import duties between member states it was seen as unfair to the rest of the world and especially the USA.

Personal Imports into the USA to avoid duties had become a major problem and revenue loss, so much so they eventually introduced an ancient european custom called the Dane law, which meant you could only bring in duty free literally what you could carry.

In the US import duties to protect domestic industry were 4 times greater than those levied by most of the world on imported watches. From 1960 onwards but intensifying from 63 onwards over 4000 commodities and their respective duties were individually agreed, in the main the Common Market took on the USA in the negotiations. In 1964 the US lost the justification for the excessive duties on imported watches but it wasn't till 1967 they reduced them, to still twice the norm in the ROW.

So what has this to do with dial markings and taxation/market

May I use a slightly different analogy to illustrate how change may be denoted but not made visible outside the trade in question. In the UK prior to the introduction of VAT in 1973 we had Purchase Tax (PT) the rates varied enormously overtime and some rates were effective for very short periods of time, in some instances only for a few months. So to denote the tax paid the record labels ie background and lettering had different colour schemes to denote tax rate paid. This enable shopkeepers who had returned unsold records to the record company eg EMI to be credited back the correct PT amount originally paid on that specific returned record

This was a very prescriptive practice, as it fixed the colour of the label background and text to the PT rate in force at the time in a very competitive 'artistic and creative' industry, all bands had to have the same background colour and lettering etc according to what PT rate was in force at that time.

The only reason for this practice was to differentiate between the PT rate paid on records returned to the EMI etc for correct rebate of PT paid. It seems very extreme, when a simple code eg A=10%, B = 15% PT could have been printed on the label, but it does at a glance make it very visible to people in the industry but leaves the general public possibly absolutely none the wiser.

It just seems so co-incidental in a period of extreme change in the use of dial paint materials, work place restrictions and trade disharmony and trade protectionism that for a very short time frame, very visible dial markings are introduced and just as quickly disappear.

I dont have the answer but do believe there is some correlation with the introduction of those dial markings and major change or market segmentation. I am also not convinced that there is a straight forward transition from radium to tritium, I believe there may have been a spell when strontium 90 may have been in use. Achim made a very astute observation over the 6542 GMT that started this recent debate off, the lumi did not look like aged radium or aged tritium.

By way of background, Switzerland had its own source of strontium 90, by mid 1950's the tradition market in medicine was drying up and a major shipment of strontium 90 was returned to Switzerland I believe in 1957, so what are the Swiss going to do with this stuff and get rid of it.....what Swiss manufacturing industry needs a luminescent material.

Strontium had three major advantages over radium: a greater variety of luminescent colors were possible with strontium than radium, the gradual decrease in luminous intensity was minimal because strontium's beta particles did less damage to the zinc sulfide crystals that radium's alpha particles, and the photon (bremsstrahlung) emissions from strontium were less of a safety concern than the gamma rays from radium.

With regards to the introduction of tritium, these documents are very telling,
Kodak Eastman 1957 letter and AEC response- standards already set by 1957.

http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0110/ML011080160.pdf

http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0110/ML011080169.pdf

In essence, apply for licence for the paint an get it from US Radium, so back in 57, you could get tritium paint under licence.

Post Jan 1961 when AEC released trtium for use with dials just meant you nolonger needed specific licences for tritium, you just applied for an exemption from licensing for holding and distribution to the general public in the USA the exemption licence lasting 2 to 3 years subject to the maximum tritium limit T25.

So tritium may have been used prior to January 1961, difference being you had to get a specific licence. The development and patenting of Tritiated paint may set the earliest starting point from which to focus potential tritium paint usage dates. So Tritium could be sourced pre 1961 but on an individual licence basis.

However, Merz and Benteli the lumi appliers to Rolex dials and hands, with the exception of the AEC inpection 65 report in particular and the 68 AEC Rolex supporting papers there is absolutely no other reference to M&B in all the databases I've searched to-date. I would have expected them to have applied for the tritium paint licences pre 61 as they were using the stuff at some point in time, but they didn't have a US Office until after 1968 with the formation of MB Microtec, so may not have been eligible to be licenced by AEC prior to that and theres no reference to Rolex Ive found to date applying for any pre 61 licences.....hmmmmm its a bugger, so to speak.

We also know from an AEC inspection in August 1961 of the US Radium subsidiary Safety Light under licence 37-30-6 that the application of tritiated paint had not been undertaken as yet at that plant to watch dials or hands.

AEC licence for US Radium tritiated paint approved April 21 1961
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0403/ML040370496.pdf

Just an interesting observation
It appears that when zinc sulfide is used in the lumi binding material it has 2 effects as it decays

1. It discolours the lumi
2. drastically reduces the luminescence life, so much so for Strontium 90 the half life is 2.5 years.

Didn't someone once remark or observe that late 50's watches lumi had lost all its luminescence compare with slightly later watches.....so do we have strontium 90 use........till the USA bezel scare!

So should we also be looking not only at the exclamation mark, the underline, the changes in the colour of the 'Swiss' mark on the dial but also the colour, composition and luminescence of the lumi from the late 50's onwards...........and ask yourself why were some tests done on dials at that time?

Hope it helps.......................probably not, but doesnt pay to look at one thing in isolation to another, but conversely all these matters may be totally independent of each other.

 When do we start to see the introdution of matt dials ..................what do they signify if anything? Interesting times..........was it about the time the US duties start to tumble and why do they switch from metres to feet first very quickly afterwards, interestingly after the US excessive import duites were halfed.

 Feet is an Imperial measure on the wane but still used in USA, metric measures was the rising star, maybe growing market opportunity in the US caused the switch following import duties reduction.  Another interesting thought when did Rolex introduce the Trade Mark/Patent restriction on watches coming into the USA and how would you know a USA sold watches?

Who knows for certain..

 

regards

John

 



    
This message has been edited by fatboyharris from IP address 78.86.97.77 on Feb 15, 2012 7:22 AM


 
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AAKVIPER
(Login aakviper)
68.38.142.60

The "lum dot " is an easy way to add to a dial and..

February 15 2012, 6:23 AM 

... Identify it as a symbol without taking away from the dial appearance.


I agree that majority of the lum dots are 100% original to the dial..I own a few myself and have analized them till my eyes hurt.

But, in my opinion...as a watchmaker, I have worked on a handful of watches with lum dot dials which appeared to be added on having a slightly different lum color and being applied off center form the bottom hash mark ...but now with this "import or export tax' concept or theory it might explain as to hastily added lum dot was exercised for this purpose.
All it takes is dab of lum paint on the dial and you have a symbol. Even Rolex service centers in that respected country could have administered this task.

One other notion which I cannot prove is..maybe the underline dial was an import symbol for Europe. I have NO evidence of this..just a thought.

Intriguing concept.

Arthur


    
This message has been edited by aakviper from IP address 68.38.142.60 on Feb 15, 2012 6:26 AM


 
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tomvox1
(Login tomvox1)
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96.232.167.143

Rolex USA vs. Rolex Canada: a question>>>

February 15 2012, 7:09 AM 

Here is the question I have, which was raised by Roger's post below re: the Ex Point being an indicator of export to Canada:

When Rolex exported their materials to North America for assembly and sale, did they do separate shipments to the US & Canada or was the NA market treated as a whole, with all watches destined for New York first and then shipped up to Toronto from the US?

If someone knows the answer to that, it might help narrow things down a bit.
Best,
T.


 
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David
(Login fadaman)
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74.213.173.35

I'm not sure Tom, but a clue might come from the boxes

February 15 2012, 8:33 AM 

My experience with vintage Rolexes originally purchased here in Toronto that had complete box sets is that the boxes were of the same type and style as those I've seen in the UK and Australia. I have not analyzed bands of the same period, but would not be surprised to see a "commonwealth" trend for Canadian distributed Rolexes.

I would find it surprising if Toronto shipments were routed through the US, specifically where there is a long and documented history of Canadian market rolexes that suggest a unique and dedicated distribution relationship with Canada.

But I could be wrong, it has happened once or twice before happy.gif

 
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AAKVIPER
(Login aakviper)
68.38.142.60

I want to add to this idea..

February 15 2012, 8:37 AM 

if we include the USA, Canada, it seems plausible that South America can also be part of the market as well. I have no proof but just a thought..

Arthur

 
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tomvox1
(Login tomvox1)
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96.232.167.143

Ex Point 1675 GMT ca. 1961 w/ROW bridge code sourced from Canada>>>

February 15 2012, 9:06 AM 

Now whether it went across the border a few times in 50 some odd years, who the hell knows? happy.gif

[linked image]

[linked image]

Best,
T.


 
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fatboyharris
(Login fatboyharris)
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Wasn't the ROW watches determined by the jewel count

February 15 2012, 9:26 AM 

at that time 26 compared with 17 for USA?

regards

John



    
This message has been edited by fatboyharris from IP address 78.86.97.77 on Feb 15, 2012 9:33 AM


 
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pulutsantan
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60.50.74.133

ROW was intended as inhouse symbol to recognize legal import into North America markets

February 15 2012, 9:44 AM 

Rubies count on the other hand was probably marked
to identify which tax rate to use imposed by USA customs only.

For Canada the tax although high at the time may be not determined by the Rubies count.

2 cents worth.








 
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RolexWatchTime
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My 6202 bought in Inghon Korea.....

February 15 2012, 11:37 AM 

at the ship's store...has the ROW on the bridge...but it is hatch marked through as the watch was "destined" for N . A. but it was never sold there.

 
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tomvox1
(Login tomvox1)
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96.232.167.143

AFAIK, there was no change in the SCOC movements only non-Chronometers...

February 15 2012, 9:47 AM 

...like 5513, 5500, etc.
That's why you will see varieties of jewel count (17 vs. 25/26) in, say, 5513s of this era based on market but not 5512 or 1675 or 160x/180x for that matter.
Best,
T.




    
This message has been edited by tomvox1 from IP address 96.232.167.143 on Feb 15, 2012 9:55 AM


 
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AAKVIPER
(Login aakviper)
68.38.142.60

I believe the big part of the jewel count was in the rotor assembly..

February 15 2012, 10:03 AM 

A

 
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fatboyharris
(Login fatboyharris)
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I realised after I posted..............doh! regards John nt

February 15 2012, 10:33 AM 

regards

John


 
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CaveDiver
(Login CaveDiver)
192.91.173.42

thank you for sharing your research and presenting your finding in a non biased format...

February 15 2012, 10:55 AM 

John,
Want to thank you for sharing your research and presenting your finding in a non biased format.
My out take with questions below. Please respond if incorrect and to questions.

1) "I believe there may have been a spell when strontium 90 may have been in use."
2) "strontium 90 : It appears that when zinc sulfide is used in the lumi binding material it has 2 effects as it decays
. 1. It discolors the lumi
. 2. Drastically reduces the luminescence life, so much so for Strontium 90 the half life is 2.5 years."
3) Rolex Tritium license prior to 1961 in US
"AEC inspection 65 report in particular and the 68 AEC Rolex supporting papers there is absolutely no other reference to M&B
in all the databases I've searched to-date."


1 and 2: If Strontium 90 with zinc sulfide was used by Rolex prior to 1961 and it reduces the half like from 30 years to 2.5 years,
this could explain "if "dot" dial is a service dial then why would so many dials be replaced so early in life".
Maybe the loss of lumi can explain why so many 58 era watches are seen with the dot dial. It would be nice to see if any service marks exist for these time frames on case backs. So maybe the early change of the dial had nothing to do with radiation or taxes, but more likely quality of materials.

3: Was the AEC monitoring luminous on watch dials prior to 1961 for US watches/rest of the world?
Was your tritium license search only including the US AEC? If so, how could a US 58 5508 for example come into the US with a tritium dial?


Now to address this document from Stefano Mazzariol's Blog:

[linked image]

It would be nice to know the year of publish, can it be conclude it not from before 1961-62?
Also notice the dot is not centered, which seems odd, but as another pointed out they have seen dials where the dot is not centered. So, could these dials have been factory on post 61 watches and service on prior watches do to the reduction of luminous life?

Again, thanks for a wonderful non biased discussion.
Cheers,
CD

 
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fatboyharris
(Login fatboyharris)
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First you have to find who has Tritium in the 50's and 60's

February 15 2012, 1:36 PM 

My research to date has identified so far, only the US had commercial quantities of tritium back then. Russian hadnt enough for its military programme, Canada came on line in the mid 60s ( I beleive), UK relied on US tritium until Sellafield came on line in 67. Switzerlands reactors are later and didnt produce commercial quantities of tritium, Italian reactors are much later. France got its tritium from the US and part of that supply went from France to Switzerland.

Strontium 90 see my response to Bernhard.

The US AEC controlled all nuclear fission and fusion material for the US including Tritium and Strontium 90. Radium didnt come under AEC/NRC control till 2005, prior to that it was under the control of State Health Boards.

The AEC had total control and regulation in the US of Tritium and Strontium 90 including application of its uses, its licensing and distribution.

The Tritium supplied to Switzerland was all via USA it wasn't until 1988 when the US closed it Savannah Plant and stopped selling tritium that Canada took over from 1990 in supplying Switzerland.

I hope this helps

regards

John

 



    
This message has been edited by fatboyharris from IP address 78.86.97.77 on Feb 15, 2012 1:42 PM


 
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pulutsantan
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60.50.71.21

Origin of Tritium-->USA=H-Bomb-->Tritium = USA.

February 15 2012, 4:06 PM 

2 cents worth.

 
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fatboyharris
(Login fatboyharris)
VRF Member
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Not everyone is aware of that..............

February 17 2012, 8:22 PM 

and on occassions it is necessary to explain these matters more fully with historical reference to key events around the world. The availability of tritium today is very different place when compared to the 50's, back in the 50 and early 60's only the US had commercial quantites of tritium.

Today, because of the shut down of the US tritium producing plant in 1988, it currently nolonger produces it, but that is about to change  shortly when their new plant comes on line.

regards

John


 
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tomvox1
(Login tomvox1)
VRF Dial Archive Curator
96.232.167.143

Just a note: that bezel in that ad would never have been luminous (1675) so...

February 15 2012, 3:03 PM 

...hard to go by an advertising artist's rendition and come away with too much concrete data, IMO.
Best,
T.


 
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CD
(Login CaveDiver)
192.91.171.36

Don’t follow 1675’s really, but when did the hit the market? Post ‘61? nt

February 15 2012, 3:12 PM 


 
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tomvox1
(Login tomvox1)
VRF Dial Archive Curator
96.232.167.143

First ref. 1675 are generally thought to debut ca. early 1960, maybe end 1959. Best, T. nt

February 15 2012, 3:44 PM 

nt


 
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Bernhard
(Login bullibeer)
VRF Contributing Member
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Almost getting lost... but wondering...... John...

February 15 2012, 12:00 PM 

Dear John,

again big thanks for all your help and research in this.
Sorry if this might already be answered .. i get lost in all the post and details...

What makes me wonder about all of this is the following:

Here you see my EX-6538.... late series. 1959.. the greenish Lumious.
Which still shines real bright when hit with light. Greenish.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

No re-lume!!! But the typical greenish lump we see on also early 5512 and 6542 GMT's.

And what i have seen till now... lower radiation. Mine was low... and this one 5512 (my tropical one)... has the same kind of lump. Greenish (more creme patina) but when hit with sub... shining bright and strong.

As said.. i have seen the greenish lump on many '59 dials..... but often with wayyyy lower radiation then '56/'57.. watches. I don't know the exact numbers.. but my 5512 was not higher on the geiger then a tritium or '63 one.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]


So we have a mixture with relative low geiger value... but still high luminous quality (short very bright and about 3-5 minutes of brighter light).

Here another greenish material..

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]


Then we have my 5510.
Which has higher ratings on the Geiger.... but is dead in luminous quality. No shining at all.
Also about the same time then the 6538 .. a bit earlier.

What is your thought on material. And especially on the greenish material.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]


[IMG][linked image][/IMG]


[IMG][linked image][/IMG]



Thanks for your thought...


 
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