Have you noticed that your watch isn’t glowing as bright as it used to? Maybe you have found yourself struggling to see your watch in the dark and want to know why?
Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter what the question is that brought you here today, I have the answer for you!
Over time, the glow on your watch starts to fade, making it harder to see in the dark. You struggle to tell the time and wonder if there is a way to restore the brightness to its former glory.
After all, if it was bright once before, surely it can be bright again? But with so much conflicting information out there, you can find yourself unsure where to turn and who to trust.
Well, no more! Today, I am here with the answers that you need. Just keep reading to find out how you can make your watch glow better.
How To Make Your Watch Glow Better
Let’s get straight into it! The easiest way to make the glow on your watch better is to expose your watch to UV rays or sunlight for roughly one or two minutes. That sounds super simple, doesn’t it?
There is some science behind it, but don’t worry. I will explain all of that in today’s article. So let’s get into it and become watch glow experts today!
What Makes Your Watch Glow Brighter?
So what makes your watch glow? Well, that is down to lume, or luminous phosphorescent glowing solution.
During the dark, it is the lume that helps your watch glow, allowing you to check the time no matter what environment you are in.
Let’s move on and take a look at exactly how this works.
How Does Your Watch Glow?
So how does your watch glow? I mentioned earlier that it is lume, a phosphorescence solution, but what is that exactly? Well, it is a particular instance of photoluminescence.
When they are exposed to light, they will produce more light, which is packed full of photons (the energy packets that provide brightness).
What is the science behind it, though? Let’s dig in and find out!
An electron circling an atom in a particular substance will absorb a photon, stimulating it to a higher energy level. The electron will then relax to its ground state, emitting a photon that is perceived as visible light.
Fluorescent materials will emit this absorbed energy quickly, glowing as long as a light source is present to excite them. Once the light source is withdrawn, it will become dark again, the light fading.
And although these sound good, fluorescent materials aren’t suitable for watch dials. Instead, it is better to use the phosphorescent materials mentioned earlier.
These materials are usually luminous paint that is used on watch dials. They will absorb photons from a light source, remitting them as light at a slower rate.
The excited electron’s energy state in phosphorescent materials allows for a re-emission of a photon with a ‘forbidden’ energy transition.
These transitions are rare, which is why the trapped light seeps out far slower than in fluorescent materials. They are safer than fluorescent materials, but it’s worth knowing that the process is slower.
Some watches use a mixture of radioactive elements like radium tritium, which creates rays spontaneously. These rays will help the lume glow consistently, preventing them from fading or becoming dull over time.
Why Does Your Watch Glow Fade?
Now that I have looked at how your watch glows, you might be wondering why the glow fades. Well, watches without a radioactive element need an energy source and a phosphor (a substance that will absorb and re-emit light).
If your watch doesn’t get enough of a light source or there are issues with the phosphor, the glow will start to fade.
How long this takes will depend on your watch and the access to light it has. More often, it happens once your watch is more than a few years old.
If you have a new watch and the glow isn’t as bright as you would like, it’s worth taking it to the manufacturer. There might be an issue with the watch that could be repaired.
How To Stop Your Watch Glow From Fading
I have established what causes your watch to glow and why it stops. Let’s move on to what you can do to prevent your watch from fading.
There are three ways you can do this, and most of them are quite easy. So let’s get into it and see how you can make your watch glow brightly again!
Up first is sunlight. This is the easiest way to stop the glow in your watch from fading. All you need to do is put your watch in direct sunlight for at least one or two minutes.
By doing this, the phosphor in the phosphorescent material will absorb the light from the sun and re-emit the light when it gets dark.
Not only is this the easiest way to prevent the glow from fading, but it is the cheapest method too! All you need to do is wait for a day when there is plenty of sunshine.
UV Light Rays Torch
Next, you can use UV light rays to prevent the glow from fading. This is a good option if you are worried about direct sunlight damaging your watch or its strap.
A UV light rays torch is a torch that emits UV light. Placing the torch on your watch will absorb the UV rays, helping it glow brighter.
For those that don’t know, UV light is Ultraviolet light that can be stored for a longer time in phosphor. So not only will it help the glow in your watch glow brighter, but it will hold the light for a longer time, meaning your watch will glow brightly for longer too!
Finally, you can use a lume treatment to prevent your watch glow from fading. Lume treatment involves coating your watch with a newer lume that will hold the light and keep your watch nice and bright!
A new lume coating is sure to work for your watch, even if the other two methods I have suggested don’t work. Although it is a guaranteed way to improve the brightness of your watch, you need to open your watch to do so, exposing the internal components of your watch.
There is always a chance that this could damage your watch or decrease its lifespan, after all, one wrong move could damage an integral cog!
So make sure you take plenty of care when using a lume treatment to prevent your watch glow from fading!
Lume Safety Information
If you are going to use a lume treatment to brighten your watch’s glow, then I have some safety advice for you. You can perform the treatment yourself, taking care, if you want to.
However, it is not something I recommend. Some watches use a lume material mixed with radioactive elements like tritium and radium to create the glow.
These materials can be harmful, especially if you have never performed a lume treatment before. So it is best to let a professional do the work for you!
Take your watch to a repair store where they can advise on the best way to improve the brightness of your watch. They can even perform the lume treatment for you safely and without damaging the watch.
Radioactive Lume Watches
There are a few types of radioactive lume watches you will want to keep an eye out for. So let me walk you through them now and a brief history of them. Get ready to become a watch expert today!
Tritium watches were popularized in the 1960s, using a mixture of radioactive beta emitters that are smaller than radium. These new watches replaced radium watches in the 1990s, although you can still find the odd radium watch!
Tritium watches are made with GTLS (Gaseous Tritium Light Source) technology. This involves glass tubes being filled with tritium gas that is coated in phosphorus, which gives them a shine.
Thanks to the different coating options, you can achieve different colors too!
The GTLS procedure is safe, as there is low radioactivity in the tritium gas and it is non-toxic too! Because of this, it is a popular choice among consumers and manufacturers.
These watches can stay bright for at least five years too, with many watches staying bright for decades. It’s no wonder they replaced radium!
Radium watches are the most well-known type of radium lume watches. A radioactive element is mixed with lime to make the lume glow without it needing to be charged!
Dealing with radioactive elements, especially radium can be tricky, so be sure to make yourself aware of the history of these watches before you purchase one or try to repair one.
History Of Radium Watches
Radium was combined with radium, glue, and zinc sulfide for the first time by William Hammer to make a brilliant paint.
The ‘undark’ paint, as it was known, features various quantities of radioactive radium and zinc sulfide, which helped to make it super bright, but of course, came with health risks.
It was used mainly by the army, who used it to light dials during the First World War. After this use, it was adopted by the civilian market and a bunch of new products were created!
From clocks to watches, radium-lit displays (with safe amounts of radium) were widely available to buy. Sales hit 10 million by 1970, with 90% of all timepieces now featuring a luminous dial or hands.
Radium paint is also used in light switches, fishing bait, and other devices. With a glow of at least four or five years, it was a popular choice up until the 1990s.
And there you have it, the best ways you can make your watch brighter! Whether you use sunlight, a UV torch, or even a lume treatment, make sure you follow all the safety procedures to keep you and your watch safe.
Don’t forget to take your watch to a repair shop if you are struggling with the treatment, after all, it is better to be safe and let a professional carry out the work.