Oppenheimer, a Hollywood movie based on the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, is making the rounds on social media for its distinctive “glow in the dark” watches. 


Radioactive Watch 

Based on Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy, the film depicts Cillian Murphy wearing a radioactive watch. 

Not only Cillian, but also Emily Blunt (Kitty Oppenheimer) and Matt Damon (Lieutenant General Leslie Groves Jr.) wore similar watches. The pieces have ‘luminous paint’ that allows them to be read in the dark. Radium, a radioactive element, is the reason for the shine.

Reportedly, Nolan collaborated with Hamilton to obtain these watches, and this is not their first time working together. The watches used in Tenet and Interstellar were also designed by Hamilton. Following World War I, the US Radium Corporation hired ‘Radium Girls.’

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Radium Girls 

As soon as the war started, hundreds of working-class women went to the studio, where they were hired to paint timepieces and military dials with the new element radium. 

Radium’s luminosity was part of its fascination, and the dial painters became known as the “ghost girls” because they would glow in the dark towards the end of their shifts. 

The females were taught to paint the dials by slipping their paint brushes between their lips to form a fine point, a technique known as lip-pointing. The girls swallowed a little of the luminous green paint every time they raised their brushes to their mouths.

Many of these radium girls died horribly before reaching the age of 30. In 1927, the Radium girls banded together to sue the US Radium Corporation.

About The Movie 

Well, Christopher Nolan’s movie, Oppenheimer isn’t about its “radium watches”. Cillian Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who famously directed the Manhattan Project, an effort to develop an atomic bomb during World War II. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: News 18, People, Science Museum Group

Find the blogger: Palak Dogra

This post is tagged under: oppenheimer, christopher nolan, radium watch, oppenheimer watch, radium girls, dark history of radium girls

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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