There Is Only One Luminous Application Supplier To The Swiss Watch Industry – Do You Know Who?

Steve Mansfield
Steve Mansfield

LUMINOVA SNGLRTY OHI 12 WATCHWe have spoken about luminosity and luminous materials in one of our previous blog posts. That was more of a fundamental journey through the history of luminous materials, how they developed, and its application to watches through history.  Luminous applications have come a long way since dangerous radioactive applications were the only options. There have been significant improvements since the 1960s. The most important development was the discovery of photo-luminescent materials.  The real advances have come in the last decade or so for watch enthusiasts, where these materials’ efficiency has improved dramatically. This means luminous materials are now brighter and longer-lasting than ever before.

Luminova On The Cutting Edge

One of the companies that are at the forefront of these advances is the manufacturer of Swiss Super LumiNova® Luminova AG.  Based in Switzerland, they are driving developments in all photo-luminescent materials. These materials are essential for watch owners as well as watch creators like Daniel and me. We know because of all the questions we receive about SNGLRTY, we receive the most questions on the luminous application. 

Given the number of questions, we decided to go to the source and speak to the man who runs the company who supplies luminous applications for the whole Swiss watch industry.  Swiss Super LumiNova® is now synonymous with luminous applications for watches is manufactured exclusively by Luminova AG. 

Finding the Source

After a few phone calls by Daniel and we had secured a discussion with Albert Zeller, the Chief Executive Officer of Luminova AG.  If he could not answer our questions on luminous materials, then, most likely, it is not worth asking.

This is the first installment of our conversation that aims to demystify the magic of SuperLuminova.  The material that makes our watches glow in the dark. It brings an additional dimension of visual depth and creativity to the watch face. So here we go.

Steve: Albert, we would love to know where you are based and tell us a little bit about Luminova AG. 

Switzerland Mountains
Swiss Mountains – Where Luminova AG is Based

Albert Zeller: We are based in Teufen, Switzerland, just at the beginning of the alps in the Appenzell area. We are situated in the foothills, and when we look out the window, we can see up to the mountains. That is Switzerland and also how many people imagine it. 

Supplier To The Swiss Watch Industry

Steve: That’s great; I am looking forward to visiting you the next time I am in Switzerland. Tell us a little bit about your company.

Albert: We have the pleasure to supply our Swiss Super LumiNova® products to the entire Swiss watch industry. It starts with Swatch and goes all the way up to the watchmakers in Geneva. From our customer list, you can imagine that the quality demands for our Super LumiNova are very high.

Steve: Let’s get into it then, Swiss Super LumiNova®; tell us what exactly is it?


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It is Not From Tibet

Albert: It is not a magical powder that is found somewhere in Tibet. In fact, it is a ceramic powder, an aluminate, to be exact.  The aluminate is polluted, or doped is the technical term, on purpose with rare-earth ions.

periodic table of elements with rare earth metals europium and dysprosium highlighted
The Location of Europium and Dysprosium in the Periodic Table of Elements

The specific rare-earth ions we use are Dysprosium and Europium principally. These two elements can be found right at the bottom of the periodic table, where you never pay attention. As it is an aluminate, it is a very hard material. It is a ceramic,

Periodic Table of the elements
The details of Europium and Dysprosium

principally the same material used to make sapphire crystals; therefore, it has a Mohs hardness of nine. Just for comparison, diamond is ten, and steels are between six and seven. So you can abrade steel with Super LumiNova if you handle it the wrong way.

One Gram Does A Lot Of Watches

Only a tiny amount of Luminova is necessary to luminize a watch. This means with one gram of Super Luminova, you can luminize between 100 and 300 watches. It is essential to ensure the material is applied correctly. A huge amount of damage can be done to the watch if the Super Luminova is not applied correctly. To ensure that this does not happen, we keep a keen focus on our partners’ application process.

Environmentally Friendly

It is non-toxic, it is not radioactive, and it is environmentally friendly. The only danger it poses is if you start eating it, you will most likely damage your teeth, which is not a good thing, but we do not recommend eating it.

Steve:  Thank you very much for joining us.

Next Time

Want to know all the details on how Luminova works?  Don’t hang around and keep reading!  Did you know that every Swiss SuperLuminva has 2 colors that define it? If you want to know more, keep reading your way through episode 2.

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We look forward to you joining us the next time

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Make Sure You Are Up To Date With Everything In The World Of SNGLRTY.  Watch News, Education, and Building A New Wat TO See Time

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