Friday, March 26, 2010

Moisture Disc on the Bradley

Customers and friends have been asking for this since we started this project. I have to say I have had mixed feelings about it due to vanity. I just love the satellite black dial so much, it seemed a shame to hide it in any way. Nevertheless, the moisture disc is growing on me in a big way.

There is no doubt that the moisture disc has every reason to be on the Bradley, especially the acrylic version. The original specification that we followed in making the watch -- MIL-W-22176A -- gave precise instructions as to the materials and placement of the moisture disc. The Bulova UDT Prototype also had a moisture disc, albeit in a squared-half moon shape rather than a circle. Vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms also had a similar moisture disc. I have to admit that with the moisture disc, the Bradley is scarily authentic looking.

What is this thing anyway? It is two half-circles of paper placed together on the dial to make a circle. The bottom half (blue) is cobalt-impregnated paper. The top half is regular paper. The idea is that if moisture were to penetrate into the watch case, the bottom half of the disc would turn pink to match the top half. At that point the owner of the watch would know to send it in for service. Although the specification called for the top half to be pink paper, we used tan 25% cotton 24lb bond. The reason is that on every original we have ever seen, the pink has faded to tan. In fact, the long-term efficacy of this moisture detection system is questionable since on every original the blue has turned pink.  It would be very easy to use the pink bond on the top as well, if someone wanted to have the disc look like brand new.

How did we do it? We used genuine cobalt-impregnated paper and the bond paper, special double-sided adhesive tape, and a very high quality 1/4" circle punch. This creates perfect moisture discs that are essentially a small sticker. A couple of tweezers, a good eye, and a steady hand is all that is needed to put the disc in place. It took us months of testing and searching the internet for the correct materials. The hardest part was finding a thin enough adhesive tape and a good enough quality hole punch. Once we got the materials sorted out, it was all relatively easy.

If any Bradley owner would like to try this modification, we will be happy to send a supply of these moisture discs free of charge. No guarantees if you screw it up -- you're on your own. Also, we can't guarantee that if you change your mind about the sticker that it can be removed without leaving a mark on the dial. However, the satellite black is pretty tough stuff, and I think the sticker probably can be removed just fine. Just don't hold us to it. Drop us a note at with your serial number, address and whether you want tan or pink on the top. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. A great piece of work. Actually i love to have good and designer watches, and this piece is very effective. Thanks for the explanation u have givesn on this watch. Great job...