Lume Patrol: Great Glow-In-The-Dark Watches
These five timepieces will light up your life.
Lume is practical. It lets you read your watch in low-light situations. Lume also provides light therapy. Luminous materials come in a vast array of treatments and fun colors such that you could plausibly get dozens of glow-in-the-dark watches and never get bored. And charging up your lume with a flashlight under a table at a restaurant is an excellent party trick.
For many enthusiasts, there’s no end to the joy that a little extra luminescence can bring into our lives.
Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic
While most dive watches focus their luminosity on markers, hands, bezels, indices and/or numerals, Citizen has gone for the full glow on with a high-performance, fully luminous dial. Not only does the Promaster Dive Automatic provide easy readability, but in our experience it can also use the dial to help light your way in the dark – not a flashlight level of illumination, but enough to find the light switch in a dark room.
Another nice thing about this watch is that it looks great in the light of day. Based on a 1989 diving watch, this 44mm, ion-plated stainless steel watch features a distinctive, serrated, rotating bezel design that was inspired by a fugu, the Japanese name for pufferfish. It also features an unusual left-hand crown placement at eight o’clock, is water resistant to 200m and is powered by the automatic hand-winding 8204 caliber with a 42-hour power reserve.
Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech PAM02661
Panerai is leaning into its legacy of luminosity in 2023. Just to recap, the brand patented the name Luminor in 1949, to describe watches using luminescent and self-luminescent materials. And it was designed to meet the specifications of the Italian navy, so you know it’s going to glow.
What makes the PAM02661 Luminor Marina Carbotech stand out amongst sport luxe timepieces is that its luminous backing pops up through the cutout indications of its black sandwich dial construction. In daylight, the lume looks blue, at night it’s a bright green. Combined with its 44mm case size and impressive 300m water resistance rating, it’s a powerful watch.
Luminox MIL-SPEC 3350
Luminox calls itself the original self-powered luminous watch brand. Its Luminox Light Technology (LLT) illumination system employs tiny glass tubes to light up the dial and hands 24-7 for up to 25 years. This system has made the brand a favorite of rugged, outdoor adventurers like Bear Grylls. No charging is required.
With the new 3350 Series, Luminox has brought its brilliance to the military performance standards of the U.S. Department of Defense. The collection is crafted from Titanium and the brand’s own CARBONOX material making it both bright and lightweight at the same time. For civilians, it’s perfect for nights spent camping (or glamping) under the starry skies.
Tudor Pelagos FXD Chronograph “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition”
The brand always used X1 Super-LumiNova to provide contrast on the dial and bezel. Now, with the launch of the Pelagos FXD “Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition,” the brand has used the material to heighten the aesthetic aspect of the Pelagos.
Inspired by the elegance of yacht racing, Tudor has, for the first time, combined a high-tech carbon composite with titanium and stainless steel with a colorway that recalls the Tudor x ARBR’s AC75 hydrofoil racing yacht. And it’s also the first time Tudor has integrated a chronograph calibre into a fixed strap-bar case.
Breguet Type XX
In a bit of a surprise, Breguet recently launched two new timepieces inspired by its archival Type 20 models, one made for the French Air Force between 1955 and 1959, the other designed in 1957 for civilian use.
While some brands use lume to create a “fauxtina” to emphasize a vintage vibe, the military-focused Type XX Flyback Chronograph Ref. 2057 (our favorite of the two new editions) has modernized this tribute by coating the Arabic numerals, the triangle on the bezel and the syringe-shaped hands with a fresh, minty green glow.
This 42mm steel chrono is also fitted with a non-engraved, fluted bidirectional bezel, as was the style of the model delivered to the military back in the day.