Well, this is kind of sad … (and the storage case, curious).

Sep 13, 2023,13:26 PM

Whilst recently rummaging (very carefully) through the safety deposit box, I decided to strap on my UN Perpetual Ludwig GMT +/- Ltd. Ed. in Pt. for the first time in a while only to find that … Alas! –  it’s apparently been TOO long of a while.


Appearing amidst the silvery dial’s pretty wave patterning… light brown stains, like English milk tea, dribbled about the subdial.

(I’m loath to call the localized discoloration "patina.")


I’m left wondering what could have caused this, as:

-       the watch has never been near water; and

-       the ambient air of the storage area feels nothing but arid.


Very odd.

I’m looking rather suspiciously at the old watch case by Underwood (purchased some 25 years ago) in which it was stored, as a Breguet Type XX Aeronavale that I had also placed inside it, next to the UN, appears to show some accelerated patina on its luminous numerals and hour markers as well.


Quite curious, indeed.  Other watches that I have nestled in separate watch cases (in the same safety deposit box) show no visible changes.  Perhaps the adhesives or the pigments used in the old Underwood?  Possibly- - but after more than a couple of decades, it’s hard to believe that they would still be (if they'd ever been) a cause of discoloration.  Hmm,.. maybe the storage case has a propensity to retain moisture.


Oh well.

Back to the Perpetual Ludwig GMT +/-.  Unfortunately, my past experiences with the service center in Japan have been far from satisfactory.  I suppose I’ll have to look into sending the piece back to its Swiss home… or, perhaps, learn to live with its newly acquired, …ahem, patina.


In any case, lesson learned, memo to self:   rotate watches regularly and often!

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Comments: view entire thread


Sad story indeed ! I don't know whether that could come from the box, but 2 things to be considered here:

 By: montres1 : September 13th, 2023-14:25
1 - Safes in banks (or anywhere) are actually quite humid and even if not felt should be considered as such... I recommend maybe a silica gel sachets, which if nt very useful, are not harmful at least ! 2 - Regarding the patina of your Type XX, I have rea... 

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:48
Thank you, Montres1, for your insights and recommendations… I’d previously given thought to silica gel sachets, but didn’t deploy them out of (misplaced) concerns about drying out lubrication. Very interesting that a drawer’s darkness can accelerate patin... 

I'm not an expert but my guess would be..

 By: JustaGuy : September 13th, 2023-15:04
Perhaps the lubricants used in the watch soaked into the dial and caused the discoloration? It may show more on this watch compared to others because of the light colored dial? Just a guess...

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:49
I’m assuming that the metallic dial (I’m not sure of its composition) isn’t porous, but thank you for your helpful conjectures, JG.

Humidity is certainly a factor as a watch will not be tight enough to fight if, …

 By: MCG (Markus) : September 13th, 2023-15:46
especially after many years with no service, i.e. the same (old) seals. Do you measure the humidity? It should be between 40-60% - everything outside this range could be a disadvantage for the longlivity of a watch, dial etc. and yes, it seems to be a sil... 

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:49
Thank you, Markus. Mea cupla. Years of no service, no measuring of actual humidity. I apologize to my poor Ludwig.

I fear it won't be possible.

 By: amanico : September 13th, 2023-21:25

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:50
Thank you guys, for your input.

Heavy situation

 By: Weems@8 : September 13th, 2023-17:36
I hope there is a solution for you. It happen, so focus to another mindset. Yes, i use some silica bags in my watchbox and i rotate my watches. ...  

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:51
Thank you Weems. I’ll plan to focus on another mindset (as my wife recommends this anyway : )

I had somewhat similar situation once

 By: MrkK : September 13th, 2023-18:40
Once I bought old NOS IWC Ingeniour once which was sitting in the retired watch dealer safe for decades. First time we took it out of the safe the dial was white, but after a day in the sunlight it turned yellowish. The dealer explained to me that is how ... 

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:51
Thank you, MrkK for the interesting Ingenieur anecdote and sanguine news about UN's spare dials w/ empty cartouches!

Bad new, as I have...

 By: Ronald Held : September 13th, 2023-18:51
No explanation. Maybe we all should check all watches locked away.

 By: pkonos : September 14th, 2023-08:52
Yes, indeed, I’ve begun checking my other watches, too.

+1! (nt)

 By: Ronald Held : September 14th, 2023-16:21

Banks shut off air conditioning at night...

 By: patrick_y : September 14th, 2023-17:30
Banks do shut off air conditioning at night, and the humidity does rise a bit. It's highly likely that your contents saw some humidity and temperature variation. Because banks close all of Sunday, from Saturday close till Monday morning open, the bank has... 

Watch specifications

 By: Weems@8 : September 14th, 2023-18:48
Do you ever seen it? I can little remember when i read a manual, it can be also a power tool or tv. A product can have this, usable at minus 5 degree Celsius to let’s say 45 degree Celsius. But a manual, and it can be with watches that the best habitat is... 

Found this on Amazon.

 By: patrick_y : September 14th, 2023-19:19
Photo taken from Amazon ...