Whether you spend your time working in the dark or you just want to be able to check the time at a glance in the middle of the night, watches you can see in the dark can give you exactly what you need.

There are different technologies used by different watch manufacturers to provide luminosity. Here you can read about some of the most popular luminous watch options on the market. That way you can decide which is The best for you. VE watches use different technologies based on their style and function.


Super-LumiNova is a proprietary solution, based on strontium aluminate, non-radioactive and nontoxic photoluminescent pigment. It is used for illuminating markings on watch dials, hands and bezels, including in some Vostok Europe watches. It was invented in 1993 by Nemoto & Co Ltd, and is  one of the safest and most widely used luminescence materials in the watchmaking.

The material works on the principle of “phosphorescence”. It is charged through exposure to light. It is non-radioactive and slowly decreases in brightness until recharged again. Watches with a marking of “L-Swiss Made” indicate the use of Super-LumiNova on the dial.

Tritium gas tubes

A radioactive isotope of hydrogen, tritium filled luminous tubes entered the market in the 70’s. The tiny glass tubes were made of RC Tritec and other companies. The ones used by Vostok Europe are made by the swiss company mb-microtec.

Tritium can glow without recharge and reduces its luminosity over a very long period of time (over 5 yrs). Super-LumiNova is brighter than tritium but does not have the longevity that tritium offers.

Tritium emits a total of 25 milli-curies (mCi). Tritium gas tubes were used as a light source to backlight liquid crystal display (LCD). Tritium poses no health risk to the wearer or to the workers who assemble the watches. Tritium’s radioactive decay produces only weak beta particles that are contained completely within the sealed glass tubes. Even if exposed, the beta particles do not possess enough energy to penetrate the outer layer of human skin.


In this type of watch illumination, a very thin panel uses high voltage to energize phosphor atoms that produce light. The panel itself is extremely simple. It’s made of thin glass or plastic layer, coated with clear conductor, and a very thin layer of phosphor, hen another layer of thin plastic and another electrode. Essentially, what you have is two conductors with phosphor in between. When you apply 100 to 200 volts AC (alternating current) to the conductors, the phosphor energizes and begins emitting photons. The dial lights up.

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Learn more about the watch illuminaton