A watch that you can't miss in the dark.


How do you make a case glow? Not that many watch brands are scratching their heads over this challenge. But every few years, a model appears on the market that incorporates a full-lume strategy, where the dial isn't the only part that glows in the dark. Various methods can be employed to make a luminous case.


For instance, the brand Trockr hyrdo-dipped their steel Air-Defender Lume in up to eight luminescent layers, Panerai used luminous Super-LumiNova X1 stitching to outline the silhouette of their titanium Luminor Marina Fibratech PAM01117, while Bell & Ross coated their BR-X5 Green Lum in a luminescent composite made of LM3D fiberglass.


IWC have gone their own way: they've enlisted the help of engineers at RC Tritec to create a material that blends ceramic powders with Super-LumiNova. This Swiss Super-LumiNova manufacturer has already worked on last year's glowing Lumicast dial on IWC's Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces.


The new development has been given the racy name Ceralume. The watchmakers at IWC claim that Ceralume has proven it can emit light for more than 24 hours in dark chamber tests. By the way, this blend wasn't as easy to create as it might sound.


The engineers had to employ a dedicated ball milling process to achieve a mix of raw materials with a homogeneous consistency. They also had to adapt the sintering process, and keep the new light-emitting properties in mind when grinding the sintered ceramic body.


The model chosen to receive a Ceralume case is the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Ceralume. Everything on it glows! The watch is fitted with a luminous white dial. Apart from that, the watch has a glow-in-the-dark strap — they've also enriched the rubber with Super-LumiNova pigments.


Despite the fact that the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Ceralume has already been spotted on Lewis Hamilton's wrist during F1's Monaco Grand Prix weekend, the watch hasn't been made available for purchase yet.


The company says that once their new Ceralume is patented, it will provide a foundation for future watchmaking experiments. It'll be interesting to see whether we'll be treated to more full-lume flares in the future, or whether this piece is fated to remain a one-off.