7 Luminescent Watches That’ll Keep the Party Rolling All Night Long

Before the advent of luminant watches in the early 20th century, wristwatches (which were relatively new creations anyway) were useless in the dark. Thankfully, after some radioactive missteps painting watch hands with radium, watchmakers found materials that glowed by absorbing light while they could, then releasing it slowly. Seen from a certain light, lume watches aren’t only useful, they’re otherworldly.

Cartier Calibre Diver


Cartier’s most impressive lume-applied watch is the newer Calibre Diver collection — which even in the dark is unmistakably a Cartier by design. Note the sword-shaped hands, familiar to anyone who knows their dress timepieces. $10,000

Panerai PAM574


Many Panerai watches employ a unique technique, known as a sandwich dial, that maximizes luminant material. A flat surface is totally coated in luminant, then overlayed with the dial, with holes cut out in the shapes of the hour markers. Intricate and beautiful. $9,600

Citizen Military Collection


Citizen employs its own speical luminant, which mixes heritage technology with modern conveniences such as Eco-Drive light-powered movements. Here, both the quartz movement and the luminant rely on external light for energy. $350

Seiko Sportura Kinetic GMT


Seiko has a reputation for producing some of the brightest luminant material in Japan, a result of not only quality, but quantity. The Sportura Kinetic GMT is a hybrid quartz movement that uses an automatic rotor to charge the battery. The rotors are used in mechanical movements to wind a mainspring. $950

Tag Heuer Aquaracer


One of the key measures of any diving watch is visibility in dark waters. Official requirements for “professional” dive watches even include a lume “pip” on the rotating timing bezel. TAG Heuer’s most recent iteration of its Aquaracer collection continues the line’s heritage of being a truly distinctive diving watch. $3,000

Tudor Black Bay


Improving on its own history, the Tudor Black Bay blends classic styling and modern manufacturing with contemporary luminant materials to typify a “retro” watch that is considerably more reliable than its historic counterparts. And more stunning. $3,350

Hamilton Khaki Field Quartz


Today, luminant-painted dials are as important for military field watches as they are for underwater timepieces. Field-style watches are all-purpose military-heritage sport watches with a versatile style and a casual yet purposeful look, epitomized by this Hamilton. $645