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      12-19-2013, 12:43 AM   #1
dorkdog
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Looking for a specific feature... brightness!

I'm looking for a watch with hands and points that will stay lit at night the longest. I do not want a digital watch. Are there any watches out there that use LED technology (like angel eyes) to light the hands/legend at night so it doesn't fade?

Thanks
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      12-19-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
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There are some that use phosphor and tritium filled tubes, and those will glow for about 20+ years before they get dim enough where you probably will want to replace it...the half-life of tritium is 7-years, so in 21-years, it would be about 1/8th the brightness of when new, but still visible (1/2 after 7, 1/4 after 14, and half that again at 21, or 1/8).

I have one with this from - http://www.ballwatch.com/html5/index...k=1&lang=en_US . It's not very common, but you can find this tech on some others, but I think Ball does it best and with more of it than others. And, they have some designed by BMW with their logo, if you want this (I have a Fireman Stormchaser DLC Glow - not one of the BMW designs; I wanted more tubes!).

FWIW, wearing it 24/7, the radiation is equivalent of about 1/1000th of a chest x-ray in a year...you get FAR more in on one trip in an airplane.

Last edited by jadnashuanh; 12-19-2013 at 01:47 AM.
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      12-19-2013, 01:58 AM   #3
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The Ball Spacemaster has some of the best lume that I have personally seen.
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      12-19-2013, 02:54 AM   #4
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http://www.lum-tec.com/
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      12-19-2013, 06:59 AM   #5
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http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/12/na...ing-all-night/
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      12-19-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
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+1 to the other posts. Any watches using tritium such as Ball or Deep Blue for a lower price point (http://www.deepbluewatches.com/da65tut1trau.html).

Or any watch brands that apply superluminova such as Lum-Tec.
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      12-19-2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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Here's the luminox I wear
http://www.ablogtowatch.com/luminox-...-watch-review/

Like others mentioned, it has tritium tubes and glows all the time. If you've ever seen night sights on a gun, it's the same technology. Won't glow in daylight but in dim/dark, it's nice and bright.

Hard to take a picture of what it looks like at night but roughly like this:
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      12-20-2013, 12:22 AM   #8
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This is a picture from Ball's website of the watch I have...I wanted both day and date. Note that the seconds hand on the center dial only rotates when you are timing something, otherwise, it's the smaller one to the left that continuously rotates.
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      01-05-2014, 05:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkdog View Post
I'm looking for a watch with hands and points that will stay lit at night the longest. I do not want a digital watch. Are there any watches out there that use LED technology (like angel eyes) to light the hands/legend at night so it doesn't fade?

Thanks
By far, the brightest illumination on a watch will be tritium (H-3) tube variety. Next will be what is called Superluminova. Next comes standard lume, which is anything other than the prior two.

After something like 25 years, the luminosity on tritium tubes will fade entirely and the tubes have to be replaced if you still want the glow-in-the-dark functionality. The reason for that is that tritium's half-life is a bit over 12 years. So long as beta-decay is happening, they will glow. Their glow isn't affected by exposure to light; it's an atomic process governed by the "weak force." The more tritium int he tube, the brighter the glow.

Some folks will cite concerns about the fact that H-3 is radioactive. Exposure to radioactive H-3 could cause problems; however UK scientists determined that unless one is directly exposed, i.e., not through a plastic tube or even a plastic or glass crystal, there is no risk or cause for concern. In other words, don't disassemble your tri-tube watch and then break open the tubes.

Superluminova is strontium aluminate (SrAl(2)O(4) or just SrAlO) that is branded as "Superluminiva." will fade after about 4 hours. Technically, there is some glow out to about 10 hours, but you need pretty good vision to detect it. After the glow fades, it needs to be "recharged" by being exposed to daylight. I don't know how many years it takes for the glow-recharge-glow-again capability to entirely disappear, but as the half-live of Sr is nearly double that of H-3, I would imagine that one can repeat the process for longer before having to replace the SrAlO coating.

As SrAlO coatings go, there is a noticeable difference in the brightness of higher and lower quality coatings. The brighter ones will be made from coatings (paint essentially) having larger SrAlO crystals.

How can you tell who uses coatings with larger crystals and who uses smaller ones? As a practical matter, short of asking the manufacturer to tell you the crystal size or to tell you who made the coating for them so you can then ask that manufacturer, I have no idea. Academically speaking, there are probably several ways to tell, all of which involve things like light meters, measuring sticks, magnifying glasses and microscopes.

Prior to SrAlO, copper activated zinc sulfide (ZnS) was used to provide luminosity in lieu of H-3. I don't know the half-life of ZnS, but I have several watches that are ZnS driven lume and that are are 10+ years old. I can't see squat on those dials in the dark. It doesn't matter whether they are pricey watches or inexpensive ones. If I want to read them in the dark, I need an external light source of some sort. By my best estimation, they all stopped glowing somewhere around three to five years into my time of owning them. As a practical matter, this matters to me only when I wake up in the dark and there's neither a light nor electric clock nor cell phone I can use instead. In other words, I don't give a sh*t.

All the best.
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