As Tom Robbins famously pronounced, it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. If your childhood didn’t include getting under the covers with a glow-in-the-dark watch, it is time. Here are my three favorite luminescent watches . . .
Luminox Dress Field 1834 – $329
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Your average glow-in-the-dark watch uses luminescent/phosphorescent paint to get its glow on. There are some amazing formulations that can light up your life, but Luminox has a better solution (so to speak). Their Light Technology tritium tubes (a.k.a., borosilicate glass capsules) generate a constant light 24/7, in any environment.
U.S. Navy Seals and a whole host of operators operate operationally with Luminox watches; most of Luminox’s models project military machismo. The blue-faced stainless steel 42mm Dress Field 1834 is a pacifist’s pleasure, an everyday and dress watch that’s water resistant to 200m. Downsides: its tubes fizzle out after 25 years and the second hand doesn’t glow. Which is half the fun. So . . .
Tudor Black Bay 41 – $2,625
I love me some Tudor Black Bay 41. Click here if you want to know why I handed the Rolex sub-brand’s three-hander five stars. For our purposes, clock the fact that the Black Bay 41’s right-sized blob and dash indices and trademark snowflake hands make this high-quality Swiss timepiece an incredibly legible watch.
The same factors that give the Black Bay 41 at-a-glance perfection in the day shine though when the lights go out. If you can’t read this watch in the dark, you’re asleep. The 41’s white Super-LumiNova paint holds a full charge for eight hours. With a half-life of slightly over 12 years, the tritium-powered light source will gradually fade to black after 20 to 30 years. So there is that. And then there’s this . . .
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Full Lume
There’s Super-LumiNova, and then there’s Super-Luminova C3. No surprise that Bell & Ross slathered the company’s brightest pigment on their 03-93 Full Lume’s dial and the rubber bracelet. The combo make the BR 03-92 Full Lume the star of Glow Watches Gone Wild – an entirely legible timepiece in all aspects at all times in all places.
The downside? It ain’t easy being green. If you’re red/green color blind, you’ll miss some of the show. But you still won’t lose an example of the 250-piece limited edition good-to-glow B&R in a darkened bedroom. At $5,700 I sure hope you don’t.