Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

IWC Unveils Ceralume, The First Fully Luminous Ceramic Watch (Spotted at Monaco GP on Lewis!)

A concept watch that shines bright from head to toe...

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

The use of luminescent materials on watches is far from new… Soon after the discovery of radium and its properties (and dangers…) by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898, watch dials – markers, numerals and hands – have been coated with radium and then different substances (tritium, Super-LumiNova) to produce light in the dark. Fully luminous watch dials are a far more recent trend, and fully luminous watch cases are still a rarity that we only covered twice in this magazine – with Bell & Ross and Tockr. IWC, which has already shown its appeal for lume, now unveils Ceralume, a proprietary luminous ceramic technology and the first fully luminous ceramic watch… But don’t get crazy too soon, it is still a concept and isn’t commercialized.

While the idea of a fully luminous watch case isn’t new, the difference with IWC is that the brand’s engineering division XPL has developed an unprecedented luminous ceramic compound – Bell & Ross uses a composite material closer to resin and Tockr uses a luminescent hydro-dipped process (closer to a coating). Continuing its innovative path in the field of ceramics, including multiple striking colours, IWC now unveils a new ceramic compound that is made homogeneously mixing ceramic powders with high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments. A multi-year development, Ceralume has managed according to the brand to emit “a bright blueish light for more than 24 hours” in dark chamber tests.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

IWC’s Ceralume combines high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments (made by Swiss technology company RC Tritec) with the ceramic raw materials. Like other SLN applications, Ceralume absorbs light, stores it temporarily and then emits the absorbed energy as visible light. And the cycle can be repeated an infinite number of times. For the creation of Ceralume, IWC started from a conventional white ceramic compound (made by using zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides) and created the case to be used on a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41. Of course, that wasn’t enough and this concept watch also features a white luminescent dial and a white luminescent rubber strap. The dial’s brass base is sprayed with a Super-LumiNova solution and, using injection moulding process, the white rubber strap is enriched with Super-LumiNova pigments.

We’ll surely try to get our hands on this concept watch soon, to get more details about the technology behind this luminous ceramic, but also see how it looks on the wrist. For now, all we know is that it is a concept not meant to be commercialized at the moment. For more details, please visit

IWC Ceralume spotted at Monaco GP on the wrist of Lewis

This is far from the first time that Lewis Hamilton is spotted wearing special editions or unique pieces – remember the Full-Black IWC Big Pilot For ‘Black Lives Matter’ or the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Lake Tahoe… It happens that this weekend, during the 2024 Monaco GP, Lewis Hamilton was wearing this concept watch and has been spotted on multiple occasions with it on the wrist. And if the result is certainly polarizing, or maybe over the top for some, it surely looks quite cool too.

8 responses

  1. Not “first fully luminous” because the pushers are not luminous 🤭

  2. And, pray tell, what is the purpose of a “fully” luminous watch, other than jewelerizing and bringing attention? It won’t make reading the time any easier. In today’s world, all it’s doing is putting out a welcome mat for thieves, as if they aren’t already looking for an easy score.

  3. Did Bell & Ross not produce a luminous cased watch last year ?

  4. @animalonealt – the Bell & Ross is mentioned twice in the article (first and second paragraphs). But the B&R was a composite material named LM3D, not ceramic.

  5. I’m guessing that it is too fragile to be offered commercially.

  6. Shame they focus on gimmicks rather than, say, a thinner chronograph movement. Zenith for the win. 🙂

Leave a Reply