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Article: Watches visible in the dark: luminescent watches

Watches visible in the dark: luminescent watches

Some watch dials are readable in the dark, especially where the hands and indexes are placed, thanks to a luminescent material. Different materials have succeeded each other to create dials that are visible in the dark, let's go back to the origin of the luminescent material.
  • Luminescence is an emission of light that appears in the 19th century, we speak then of radio-luminescence. The first luminous watches contained radioactive materials such as Radium. But the risks associated with the handling of these materials are significant, and it ends up being banned in 1963.
  • Radium is then replaced by Tritium, slightly radioactive but supposedly not harmful to health. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that emits light continuously for at least a decade. Tritium is generally used for specific watches such as diving or military watches. It is used on indexes and hands so that the time can be read in the dark, according to the principle of radioluminescence.
  • Later, in the 90s, Luminova was invented by the Japanese company Nemoto. Unlike the other two materials, this new technology of phosphorescent pigments has the advantage of not being radioactive. It is used in watchmaking but also in the field of signage. LumiNova is a phosphorescent paint used by Swiss watchmakers since the 1990s. This phosphorescent paint is composed of photoluminescent or remanent pigments based on non-radioactive and non-toxic strontium aluminate. Unlike tritium, LumiNova loses its luminosity after a few hours and needs to be exposed to light to regain its phosphorescent properties. Whether tritium or LumiNova is used, this luminescent material is used to illuminate dials, hands, bezels or a brand name in the dark. Finally, SuperLuminova appeared in 2007 and is reserved entirely for watchmaking.

Our luminescent watches

At Charlie Paris, we offer men's watches that are visible in the dark thanks to the use of SuperLuminova. We offer a men's dive watch that is ideal for us with luminescent Super-LumiNova markers and hands. We have designed and developed the Concordia Automatic as a tool to be worn everywhere, every day, day and night. The watch case is made of 316L steel with a unidirectional rotating bezel. Water resistant to 300 meters, the Concordia has a 3mm thick anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal. The Concordia is a watch that exists in automatic and quartz versions. These two watch models have indexes and hands in Super-LumiNova. 

We also offer a men's sports watch, the GR. On this sport watch with a 39mm diameter case, we have placed nice and readable Arabic numerals and sword-shaped hands covered with Super-LumiNova that allow you to read the time in the dark. A seconds and minutes track runs across the dial with small Super-LumiNova accents on the hours. Thanks to its sturdy case and screwed back, the GR is perfectly waterproof and has passed the 10-atmosphere (ATM) pressure test with flying colors. This waterproofness allows you to swim or practice a sport activity without risking to damage your watch.

Discover without further delay all our French watches in SuperLuminova as well as all our men's and women's watches!

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French watchmaking house