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SpotlightLet There Be Lume: Presenting Luminous Watches That Light Up The Festival Of Lights

They’re bold and attention-grabbing with dials that light up in dim lighting conditions, which makes these full-lume watches appropriate when celebrating the festival of lights

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It is called the ‘festival of lights’ for a reason. The clay oil-fuelled lamps of yore may have been replaced with LED lights powered by electricity, though their purpose remains the same. Last year, on Diwali, we showcased watches that were intrinsically linked with celebrating the festival. The analogy made by the Norqain Neverest Night Sight 40mm came close to defining what the festival symbolises, with its luminous dial lighting up a dark, moonless night. This year, we are dedicatedly shining a spotlight on—or removing the spotlight from—watches with full-lume dials.

Luminous watches Norqain Neverest Night Sight 40mm
The analogy made by the Norqain Neverest Night Sight 40mm came close to defining what Diwali symbolises, with the watch’s luminous dial lighting up a dark, moonless night

Luminous New Moon: Arnold & Son Luna Magna Platinum Meteorite

Arnold & Son Luna Magna timepieces are known for their unusually large moon-phase displays. This Luna Magna Platinum Meteorite, against a sand-coloured meteorite dial and platinum case, features a moon half-made from meteorite while the other half is opaline, as is the timekeeping sub-dial at 12 o’clock. This moon-phase watch is gorgeous on a full-moon night, with a Super-LumiNova-coated timekeeping sub-dial in the upper half of the watch offsetting an extra-large moon phase indicator with the same blue-ish glow. It is extra gorgeous on a new moon night. On Diwali, scheduled on a new moon each year, the top half of the watch-face will shine brighter courtesy of the Super-LumiNova coating, uninterrupted by the moon-phase indicator, which will be set to dark side of the moon-phase.

The Watch Guide

On Diwali, scheduled on a new moon each year, the top half of the this Arnold & Son Luna Magna Platinum Meteorite will shine brighter, uninterrupted by the moon-phase indicator

The Watch Guide

The moon-phase indicator visible through the exhibition caseback of the timepiece, along with a simpler two-dimensional indicator above the moon

 

A Luminous Firework: Tissot PRX Quartz White

Tissot’s PRX Powermatic 80 line was already plenty cool, and then the brand brought out quartz versions of these fantastic sports watches with integrated bracelets. Among the Tissot PRX Quartz releases was an unassuming and quiet 40mm version with a white dial and rose-gold hands and indexes. So far, so good. But walk into a darkened room with the watch on your wrist and that’s where the magic happens. The dial lights up like fireworks in the sky on Diwali night. This elegant timepiece with an integrated steel or rubber strap—Tissot’s quick-release spring bars allow for easy interchangeability—goes into party-mode with its full-lume dial. This is an already-cool watch with new tricks up its sleeve.

The Watch Guide

Among the Tissot PRX Quartz releases was an unassuming and quiet 40mm version with a white dial and rose-gold hands and indexes

The Watch Guide

In dim light, the quiet dial lights up like fireworks in the sky on Diwali night

Let It Glow: Bell & Ross Green Lum

Bell & Ross take the idea of luminosity to the next level, with not just a full-lume dial but also a luminous strap. The BR03-92 Full Lum features a round, pale-mint dial and matching rubber strap, with stark contrast provided by the square case, and numerals, markers and hands on the dial. In low light, the dial and strap light up, brightening the wearer’s face and widening everyone else’s eyes—much like solar-powered fairy lights that come on when the sun goes down. The brand have used C3 Super-LumiNova for this watch. With a distinct green glow, C3 is the brightest form of the lume. The strap is created by combining phosphorescent pigments into the synthetic polymer rubber prior to being moulded into the desired shape. Wow.

Luminous Watches Bell & Ross BR03-92 Full Lum
The BR03-92 Full Lum features a round, pale-mint dial and matching rubber strap, with stark contrast provided by the square case, and numerals, markers and hands on the dial. In low light, the dial and strap light up, brightening the wearer’s face and widening everyone else’s eyes

Luminous Stealth Impact: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT

Bulgari’s slim, octagonal case houses an eight-sided luminous dial in the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, created in collaboration with Revolution and Rake magazines on horology and luxury respectively. This watch was called the ‘Nuclear Option’ for how bright the neon dial glowed in the dark. Against a black sandblasted ceramic case with an integrated black ceramic bracelet, described by the brand as “stealth material for maximum contrast”, the dial of this Octo Finissimo GMT Chronograph lights up in the dark like a single firework that stealthily turns into a chandelier of fireworks in the night sky. Since the slim 0.3mm dial isn’t suited for luminous markers, the idea was to inject the dial itself with lume. The luminous octagonal dial stands out prominently in a darkened space. A nuclear option, indeed.

The Watch Guide
Against a black sandblasted ceramic case with an integrated black ceramic bracelet, described by the brand as “stealth material for maximum contrast”, the dial of this Octo Finissimo GMT Chronograph lights up in the dark

Luminous Dive: TAG Heuer AquaRacer Professional 300 Night Diver

Here’s a diver’s watch that takes no chances when telling the time underwater—much like a water-resistant LED string light decoration. The TAG Heuer AquaRacer Professional 300 Night Diver features a black sandblasted and DLC-treated 43mm steel case with a 300m water resistance rating and textured rubber strap. Against this is a white, horizontally-grooved, Super-LumiNova-filled dial. White-lume-filled hands and indexes at every quarter glow a light blue against the green SLN of the dial, and black lacquered dot markers offer contrast against the overall luminosity of the timepiece. This timepiece is inspired by a luminous dive watch from the 1980s, one that featured in a little-known James Bond film before Agent 007 upgraded to a Rolex, followed by the Omega Seamaster line.

Luminous Watches TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Night Diver
A white, horizontally-grooved, Super-LumiNova-filled dial glows green on the Aquaracer Professional 300 Night Diver, while white-lume-filled hands and indexes at every quarter glow a light blue against the green of the dial, and black lacquered dot markers offer contrast against the overall luminosity of the timepiece

Dual Identity: White Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl

Undeniably, a dive watch is best suited for a fully-luminous dial. Doxa’s Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl timepiece is another case in point. Against a black carbon case with a white strap, the Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl features an unpretentious-looking white dial with a dual identity, like the candle that’s used to light up the night as well as set off fireworks. In the dark, the 42.5mm carbon case forms a sort of tunnelled-view of the luminous green dial with blue-ish highlights in the hour markers and timekeeping hands, and at the 12 o’clock marker on the dive bezel. The slight, grainy texture on the dial enhances the duality of the timepiece’s aesthetic.

The Watch Guide
Against a black carbon case with a white strap, the Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl features an unpretentious-looking white dial with a dual identity, like the candle that’s used to light up the night as well as set off fireworks. In the dark, the 42.5mm carbon case forms a sort of tunnelled-view of the luminous green dial with blue-ish highlights

Luminous Decoration: Bovet Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two

With their rich history in decorating complex timepieces, Bovet’s Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two watch looks beautiful enough with the DLC-coated titanium case, and two sub-dials in the upper half of the watch-face, balanced by a flying tourbillon at six o’clock. But that’s not all. The decoration of the movement visible on the dial is only disrupted by the salmon or pale blue base for the sub-dials. In dim lighting conditions, the power reserve indicator and big date sub-dials shine like a clay lamp on a dark, dark night. The sixty-second scale on the outside of the openworked tourbillon matches the luminous display of the two sub-dials above, all further enhanced by the glossy finish on the case.

The Watch Guide

With their rich history in decorating complex timepieces, Bovet’s Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two watch looks beautiful enough with the DLC-coated titanium case

The Watch Guide

Two sub-dials in the upper half of the watch-face are balanced by a flying tourbillon at six o’clock

The Watch Guide

In dim lighting conditions, the power reserve indicator and big date sub-dials shine like a clay lamp on a dark, dark night

The Watch Guide

The sixty-second scale on the outside of the openworked tourbillon matches the luminous display of the two sub-dials above

The Watch Guide

The decoration of the movement and the luminous display of the sub-dials are further enhanced by the glossy finish on the case

Luminosity on a timepiece serves a very crucial purpose—telling the time when the time comes. What use is a timepiece if one can’t read the time because the watch has gone dark? On the other hand, full-lume dialled watches are not for the faint of heart, only for those who can overlook—or bask in—the attention their luminous dials attract. But then, fireworks aren’t for the faint-hearted either.

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