BOLDR Supply Co. has released a special edition titanium Venture watch that commemorates the Radium Girls, whose story is a solemn reminder of the watch industry’s dark past which claimed many lives before global health & safety standards were regulated. The Venture Un.dark is available in a limited release of 99 pieces.
The Radium Girls were a collective of young teenage factory workers who would handle this paint every day without protective equipment, exposing them to its harmful side effects and ultimately causing severe health issues and painful deaths to many.
The watch is dedicated to the memory of the fallen girls, featuring an outline of a dial painter on its face and custom artwork on its caseback.
Following its discovery in the early 1900s, radium-laced paint eventually found its way to the US where it was painted on the dials of watches, clocks and airplane dashboards during the first World War. Young teenage girls were hired by industry giants such as the United States Radium Corporation (USRC) in New Jersey, to handle the patented Undark paint. Assured that it was perfectly safe to use, the girls handled the paint without any protective gear. Each time their paint brushes were dipped between their lips to make a fine point for painting, they ingested small amounts of radium which seeped into their bones.
Slowly but surely, damaging effects of radium begin to show – in 1922, one of the USRC workers named Mollie Maggia suffered abscesses in her mouth, disintegrating teeth, and a jawbone that dislodged into her doctor’s hands upon touching it. Horror stories such as these began cropping up and affecting teenage girls all over the country, but they were largely ignored, misdiagnosed, and shamed for unfounded accusations while corporations rushed to cover up their injuries and deaths.
With cases increasing over years, it took the courage and determination of a few heroic workers such as Grace Fryer in 1927 and Catherine Wolfe Donahue in 1938 to fight against guilty corporations and force governments to tighten work safety regulations.
The work safety laws that resulted from the sacrifice of Radium Girls eventually saved the lives of countless workers around the world, yet this story is not well-known even to those in the watchmaking industry. The Venture Un.dark was created to keep their legacy alive, and to thank the Radium Girls for their priceless contribution to society.
Lug size: 20mm
Lug to lug: 44mm
Crown: Screw-down crown with custom embossed BOLDR logo
Lens: Flat sapphire crystal with Anti-Reflective coating
Case Back: Screw-down caseback with embossed limited edition designer artwork
Water Resistance: 200m (660ft) / 20ATM
Japan Miyota 8217 Automatic with hacking seconds
Printed Matte dial with Japan Superlume
Hands: Custom hands with Japan Superlume
Nylon NATO Strap with custom titanium buckles