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I had some free time about a month ago and I've always been disappointed with the lume on my Steinhart GMT Ocean 1 which uses superluminova C1 so I decided to see how it stacks up with both superluminova C3 and Seiko's Lumibrite.

Watches from Left to right are
Seiko Sumo SBDC001: Seiko's Lumibrite
Omega Seamaster Professional: Superluminova C3
Steinhart GMT Ocean 1: Superluminova C1

After about T+90 the pictures started turning out slightly (10-15%) brighter than they actually were to the human eye. Both the Sumo and SMP were easy to read however the Sumo was the easiest due to the design of the hands. In terms of brightness and longevity there was no real difference between C3 and Lumibrite over the 3hour test. The Steinhart became difficult to read after T+60 and near impossible towards the end of the test. With that said I didn't give my eyes time to fully adjust as I only entered the near dark room for about a 1min at a time to take the photo. I would imagine if I allowed my eyes time to adjust I would have been able to read the time on all watches.

All the watches were "charged" with a 1w UV touch directly prior to the photo T+0, the room was quite dark but not pitch black. And if anyone is interested the photo was taken at 4sec exposure, f1.8, iso200 and at 50mm.

 

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Great comparo - thanks!

It seems that Lumibrite really is just a brand name for C3.
 

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I know how much trouble it takes to set one of these up, so big props and thanks for doing it. Looks like the C3 and Superluminova are pretty close, but the Seiko seems to really benefit from a larger surface area, especially on the hands.
 

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Thanks!! I love seeing these elapsed time lume shots! Lume freak here!! Thanks again!!
 

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Wow. That's really, really interesting. Great job and big thanks for doing this.
 

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Awesome pictures. I love lume.


So, if I want to tell by looking at my watches what it has, I can tell by color right?

Chase-Durer: Appears white, glows green, legible for 6+ hours in complete darkness
Hamilton Scuba: Appears white, glows green, legible for 4+ hours in complete darkness
Hamilton Sunset: Appears white, glows green, legible for 1 hour.
Bernhardt Officer: Appears white on indices, green on hands. Legible for about an hour


My Tag and Jazzmaster lume is not really even worth mentioning.
 

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Very nice comparison shots. The Seikos really do have fantastic lume characteristics. Second to none and often at very, very attractive prices. Whatever materials they use work very well, and they often have large markers and hands that hold a lot of the luminous materials...

I have a couple of watches that do have white lume (daylight color) and glow blue. While I haven't done a side-by-side test, they both seem similar to all of my other C3 watches. One's a Kobold LSD, so it has huge luminous covered hands and markers, but the other is a white dialed Glycine F-104 that has very small markers. I don't know if they use C1. Perhaps they both use Superluminova BG W9?
 

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I seem to recall that BG W9 is a relatively new mix--within the past 2 years or so. If your watch is newer then it might well be W9. If older, then probably not. My Steinhart Nav.B Chrono II likely uses W9 too--very white in light and very bright and blue in dark. Side by side it is noticeably dimmer than my Monster at first, but after 30 minutes or so they seem to be about the same brightness. The blue is sweet!

Thanks to the OP for a nice post.
 

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Well done! :-! Love these comparisons... And one thing not to forget, lume isn't only about what product you use, but a lot has to do with how you use the product! Not every watches with C3 have great lume that last, a lot seems to depend on the application technique. Just like Marathon with it's Maraglo, basically C3 with some Marathon twists. One thing for sure, I think it's safe to say that the technology is available to everyone today and there are no reasons not to have good lume on all the watches of today, just bad will or ignorance IMHO. Look at the boutique watches, most of them have nuclear lume that are as good and even better than Seiko in some cases. I love lume :)
 

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Well done test - thanks for sharing it. It confirms what I've thought about my Steinhart and Seiko watches.
 
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