Superluminova: The essential luminescent material in haute horlogerie

In the continuous search for solutions for displaying the time in low-light conditions, haute horlogerie has incorporated innovative materials. Among them, Superluminova stands out as a significant advance, allowing the time to be seen even in the dark.

What is the Superluminova?

Superluminova is a substance composed of alkaline earth aluminate, with the remarkable ability to absorb light, both solar and artificial, and emit it in the dark. The duration of its brilliance depends on the intensity and duration of exposure to light.

Superluminova History

To understand the origin of the Superluminova, we must go back to 1902, when Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium. Panerai, in 1910, was the first prestigious watchmaker to use radium and zinc sulphide to create luminous watches. Despite its popularity, radium was replaced in the 1960s due to its toxicity.

During the late 1950s, tritium and promethium were introduced as less harmful alternatives. However, it was not until 1998 that Luminova replaced tritium, becoming the preferred luminous material in watchmaking. Despite having been discovered in the 1960s, Superluminova gained prominence in the watch industry in the 2000s, surpassing Luminova in functionality.

With the growing interest in Superluminova, companies specialising in its manufacture emerged, such as LumiNova Switzerland, which launched Swiss Super-LumiNova® in 2007.

5 Interesting facts about the Superluminova

It is older than you think

Although its use in watchmaking became popular in the 21st century, the Superluminova was discovered around 1960.

It is not radioactive

Unlike radium, tritium or promethium, it is completely safe for human health.

You must load it first

In order to emit light, the Superluminova must first be exposed to a light source.

Continues to shine below the limit of perception

Even when it appears dull, it still emits an almost imperceptible glow.

Colour variants are available

Although green-yellow is the most common, there are variants in orange, blue, among others.

3 watches that use Superluminova

These are some of the models of watches that use Superluminova in some of their elements and that you will also find available in the catalogue of luxury watches of Ideal Joyeros.

Glashutte SeaQ

The Glashütte SeaQ is an automatic watch with a diameter of 39.5 mm made of stainless steel, a classic in the line of diving watches that stands out for its robustness and precision. The applied numerals and indices are coated with Superluminova, ensuring excellent readability under water. The timeless design and water-resistance of this Glashütte watch make it ideal for both underwater adventures and everyday use.

Superluminova: The essential luminescent material in haute horlogerie

Breitling Navitimer Automatic 35

The Breitling Navitimer Automatic 35 is a model that combines elegance and functionality in a compact design with a 35-millimetre case. Crafted in stainless steel with a silver-plated dial, this watch is a timeless timepiece that reflects Breitling’s rich aviation heritage. The use of Superluminova on its hands and indexes ensures visibility in low light conditions.

Superluminova: The essential luminescent material in haute horlogerie

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare

The Panerai Submersible Marina Militare large model with a 47 mm case, made of carbon. It is a professional diver’s watch with a striking and robust design. Its carbon case not only gives it a unique look, but also ensures durability and lightness. The Superluminova luminescent hour markers and dots ensure excellent readability underwater. This Panerai timepiece is perfect for lovers of fine watchmaking and extreme underwater activities.

Superluminova: The essential luminescent material in haute horlogerie

You can find more models of luminescent watches in our watch catalogue or if you prefer you can visit our boutiques and ask for more information about the different models that incorporate this feature.

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