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Gold "fill" versus gold "plated".

 
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pulsar3
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Gold "fill" versus gold "plated". Reply with quote

I know that gold Pulsars are filled with real gold. However, is there a difference between a watch that is "gold filled" versus one that is "gold plated"?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Gold "fill" versus gold "plated". Reply with quote

pulsar3 wrote:
I know that gold Pulsars are filled with real gold. However, is there a difference between a watch that is "gold filled" versus one that is "gold plated"?



"Filled with gold" isn?t really the right way to describe this.

"Gold-Fill" is when a layer of base metal is laminated with gold. Pulsar gold-filled cases were 14k gold with a few exemptions to some early 10k P2 cases. Karat of gold used for bracelets varied from model to model.

By law, any manufacture of any watch or jewelry that uses the gold-filled (GF) mark must follow a guideline. There must be 1/20th (5%) by weight of solid gold to qualify. There are no guidelines for Gold Plating.

To understand the process, imagine a flat sheet of base metal, then a layer of solid 14k gold mechanically laminated to the top surface. The gold is 5% the thickness of the base sheet of metal. High heat and pressures make the two metals one. This sheet is put into a massive press that stamps out the cases. Most people think of watchcases being molded from metal.

"Gold-Plating" is much different, this is a process of dipping a watchcase into a tank of solution with minute amounts of gold. The solution is electrically charged, as is the watchcase. This is known as electroplating because the gold in the solution is drawn to the metal, in this case, a watchcase. The gold is VERY thin and multiple applications are needed to obtain enough gold to withstand wear. One layer is so thin that just rubbing it with your hand will remove the gold.

Below is a diagram from a very rare Pulsar Flip Chart used by the Time Computer marking manager. This was one focus of his presentation to buyers, like Birks, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co.

As you can see, there is a huge difference. No other LED company used gold-filled cases and bracelets. This was just one reason why Pulsar was #1 in the digital watch market.


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Last edited by oldpulsars on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:45 am; edited 3 times in total
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pulsar3
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Durability of Gold Reply with quote

Someone told me that gold has a tendency to wear off over time- at the rate of about 1 micron a year. Is there any truth to that?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Durability of Gold Reply with quote

pulsar3 wrote:
Someone told me that gold has a tendency to wear off over time- at the rate of about 1 micron a year. Is there any truth to that?



I have no facts on this but my thinking is that so many factors come in play. I think that it would be impossible to come up with any amount of wear per year. Just think about how a watch is worn and the difference in how many hours a day from one to the other. Is the wearer a business man who wears a suit & tie were the watch is subject to continuous abrasion or a guy sitting at a computer all day with his sleeves rolled up? There are endless scenarios for this!

Is your source of this statement talking about Gold-plating or Gold-Fill? I do know there is a difference in the hardness between the two.
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Last edited by oldpulsars on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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pulsar3
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good point (s). We were talking about both gold-fill and gold plating in the conversation at the time, so I'm not sure which one he was talking about.

I was thinking the same thing about the rate of wear- I don't know how you could really come up with an accurate average- some people might wear their gold watch only once a week, or, as you pointed out that I didn't think about- with their sleeves up or down! Whatever the scenario, with 80 microns of gold, even 1 micron a year of consistent wear gives one 80 years! Whoever designed these Pulsars was really on the ball...
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is additional information here: http://oldpulsars.brinkster.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=752#752
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