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Can I See This Watch in The Dark?

Can I See This Watch in The Dark?

A request we get asked almost every day here at Creative Watch Co is "I need a watch that I can see in the dark."

Luminous watches date back over 90 years, in the past the biggest wearer’s would have been military personnel. Understandably the ability to see a watch in the dark was imperative for their safety. Back then radioactive paints were used on the dials of watches, as this was by far the most effective substance available that achieved a luminescence effect. Surprisingly the radiation in these paints was not at all dangerous for the wearer, but unfortunately had detrimental effects on the health of factory workers and repairers who came into constant contact with radioactive paint.

Luminous watch dials became increasingly popular with the general public the demand for glow in the dark Watches grew and were manufactured in their millions for prestigious brands such as CWC, Seiko, Omega, IWC, Hamilton etc. Due to potential health risks for those who came into close proximity with radioactive materials our government banned the use of radiation in paint form.

We have come a long way since, and there are now three key methods used to make your watch glow in the dark.

Photo-luminescence, this is a simple process whereby exposure to daytime light enables your watch to glow in the dark. This method of luminosity is by far the brightest but it does only last for a few hours. This is a non radioactive form of glow in the dark. Recognised brands that use this process include Lumibrite and Super Luminova.

Radio-luminescence, this process does use radioactive materials but they are encapsulated with glass ensuring the safety of those working with radioactive materials. This type of fluorescence maintains its glow throughout the hours of darkness, but do not achieve the same intensity of brightness as photo-luminescence does.

Electro-Luminescence is when an electrical current is used to make a watch glow in the dark. A press of a button will illuminate the watch face, this can be awkward to use and subsequently uses a lot of battery life.

Most day to day watches have some type of luminous attributes, be it the whole of the dial, just the batons/numbers, the hands of a watch or the bezel on a divers watch. The most popular to be used is the Radio-Luminescence technology. Brands such as Mondaine, Traser and Luminox are currently using this process. We have selected a range of significantly luminous watches on our website.