WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all.

I'm working on a project watch, and I'm looking to do something a little different. Everybody on earth has watches with black dials and luminous hands. Every now and then I see pictures of watches with black hands and markers on luminous dials, and I'm absolutely in love with how they look. I attached a "borrowed" picture as an example (I hope that's not a no-no).

I must be about the only person who finds this appealing, because I can't find anybody who makes luminous dials. I don't mind making something myself, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I don't have to.

Can anybody point me in a direction?

Thanks in advance, as always!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Hi, all.

I'm working on a project watch, and I'm looking to do something a little different. Everybody on earth has watches with black dials and luminous hands. Every now and then I see pictures of watches with black hands and markers on luminous dials, and I'm absolutely in love with how they look. I attached a "borrowed" picture as an example (I hope that's not a no-no).

I must be about the only person who finds this appealing, because I can't find anybody who makes luminous dials. I don't mind making something myself, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I don't have to.

Can anybody point me in a direction?

Thanks in advance, as always!
You're 100% right. Nobody likes those dials. They were on the market for a while and didn't sell, so you can't find them anymore.

However, you can find the same material in use by many sign making companies, which is where you could probably get the type of material this dial is made of. It's not "luminous" material per se, but rather light gathering. After it has been illuminated for a number of hours, it glows all night long.

Whether they have the material in a thin enough plate for a dial or not I don't know. It's a type fo plastic material and my memory was that it was glued onto the dials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Wiegand (Lum-Tec distributor) has a reverse-lume California dial made for 6497 movements that you can find on their website or via ebay. I've used it myself in an Asian homage that I had laying around, and I'm very satisfied with the quality. The glow is intense and the black print is crisp, shiny and slightly raised. It appears the dial is actually coated with luminous material (presumably from Lum-Tec) rather than using the much weaker plastic material found in most commercial watches (as Somewhere else described). I don't know what movement or case size you plan to work with, but that particular dial doesn't have sub-seconds, so you may be able to modify it to work with other movements if your case will accommodate a dial that large. I actually had to trim mine about .3mm to fit my case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Other forum members pointed me in the Weigand / Lum-Tec direction. Thank you to all who PM'd me.

I have managed to figure out so far that my taste in watch dials is suspect at best!

I also learned that the luminous plastics are not the best for this application. With luminous plastic sheet or film, luminous powders such as Super Luminova are mixed with carriers like polyethylene and extruded. The concentration of the luminous powder is low and the plastic carrier blocks some of the light getting in to the powder as well as getting out of the powder.

The luminous dials I have found are painted with luminous powder cut with lacquer. Much more luminous material, much less non-luminous material involved. They seem to glow much better and longer.

I'm sure if you wanted to make an exit sign the plastic is the way to go - much more durable and easier to mass produce. But if you're making a watch dial, painting with several layers is the ticket.

I found a company that I'll keep secret for now. They say they'll refinish a spare dial I have here with several layers of luminous paint, pad print the numbers and markings, then fill in the numbers with contrasting luminous paint. If they do a good job and I get their permission I'll share it with you all. If they do a really really good job, I'll post pictures, keep the source to myself and start taking orders from anyone who wants one!

Thanks again for everyone's response, I'll share the results in a few weeks!
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top