illuminated watches

Best illuminated watches

Are you a night owl in need of a digital and/or analog watch that illuminates in the wee hours? Do you simply love the way a luminous watch looks when it glows around your wrist?

Whether you want a diving watch or traditional sports watch, there are hundreds of luminescent watches out there with light-up watch hands and dials. Some use a brief bit of light exposure for unparalleled power. Other watches use gas tubes for an extended light mode that just keeps going and going…and going.

However, all illuminated watches are not created equal. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best low-cost, high-quality luminous timepieces in the marketplace right now. Come towards the bright light and enjoy our in-depth list of the 6 Best Luminous Watches Right Now In 2021.

The 6 Best Luminous Watches For Sale In 2021

6) Casio Pro Trek PRG600-YB-3CR Night Watch

Casio Men's PRO TREK Stainless Steel Quartz Watch with Cloth Strap, Green, 30.5 (Model: PRG-600YB-3CR)
  • Double LED light. For the face and backlight: full auto LED light, Solar powered Low-temperature resistant (-10C/14F) The auto hand home position correction Digital compass
  • selectable illumination duration, afterglow
  • Quartz Movement; Altimeter Measuring range: –700 to 10,000 meters
  • Case Diameter: 52mm. Digital compass measuring range is 0 to 359 degree
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft): in general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not diving; Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month

For those who love Casio’s wide selection of illuminated digital watches, the analog/digital hybrid display of the Casio Pro Trek PRG600-YB-3CR Watch might be a tad strange at first. However, this stellar watch model is well worth wrapping your head around. Featuring an accurate analog quartz movement and scratch-resistant mineral crystal dial window, this utilitarian watch is on the level of some of Casio’s toughest timepieces. And because it’s a Tough Solar watch, you’ll be able to power it for hours with a tiny bit of light from either artificial or natural light sources.

Specs

Display Window Material: Mineral Crystal

Display Type: Analog/Digital

Clasp Style: Buckle

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 52 mm

Case Thickness: 13.5 mm

Strap Material: Fabric

Strap Length: 9.25 inches

Strap Width: 30.5 mm

Strap Color: Green

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Quartz

Water Resistance: 100 meters

Pros

  • The inclusion of an ABC function gives you an accurate altimeter, barometer, and compass to work with.
  • Casio’s Tough Solar technology lives up to its name in many ways.
  • The Japanese quartz movement keeps time without much lag or drift.

Cons

  • The tiny LCD negative display is pretty hard to read.
  • The overall illumination is strong, but not on the level of watches later on the countdown.

5) Orient Automatic Pepsi Sports Dive Watch

Orient Automatic Sports Diver's 200m Sapphire Pepsi Blue Dial Steel Watch RA-AC0K03L
  • Features: Sapphire Crystal,Water-Resistant,Date Indicator, Case Material: Stainless Steel, Watch Shape: Round, With Papers: Yes
  • Water Resistance: 200 m (20 ATM), Band Material: Stainless Steel, Style: Diver,Sport, Dial Color: Blue
  • Movement: Mechanical (Automatic), Bezel Color: Blue,Silver,Red, Case Color: Silver, Department: Men
  • With Original Box/Packaging: Yes, Year Manufactured: 2010-Now, Band Color: Silver, Display: Analog
  • Reference Number: RA-AC0K03L10B, Model: RA-AC0K03L10B, Type: Wristwatch, Brand: Orient

If you’ve never owned a Seiko LumiBrite watch, your jaw is going to drop when the Orient Automatic Pepsi Sports Diver Watch hits its stride. Featuring a classic luxury watch aesthetic and several layers of lume all over the hands and hour markers, this rugged watch made of stainless steel material stays lit up in the darkness for up to eight hours at a time. The real selling point for us, though, is the fantastic hand-winding automatic movement that feels like it’s worth exponentially more than its average retail value of $200 to $250.

Specs

Display Window Material: Sapphire Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Push-Button Fold-Over Clasp with Safety

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 43 mm

Case Thickness: 13 mm

Strap Material: Metal

Strap Color: Silver

Dial Color: Blue

Movement: Hand-Winding Automatic

Water Resistance: 200 meters

Pros

  • The luminescence is top shelf, no doubts about it.
  • This feels like a significant upgrade from the Trident.
  • You rarely get a quality hand-wound movement like this for less than $500, let alone $300.

Cons

  • The automatic movement runs about five seconds fast daily.
  • The stock watch band is passable, but there are better replacements out there.

4) Seiko Prospex Monster Stainless Steel Luminous Watch

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Seiko Prospex Monster Stainless Steel Blue Dial
  • Seiko 4R36, 24-jewel Automatic
  • Engraved Screw-in Back
  • Domed Hardlex Mineral
  • Stainless Steel Bracelet. Push-Button Deployant Clasp

Yet another luminous watch that employs Seiko’s LumiBrite paint technology, the Seiko Prospex Monster Luminous Stainless Steel Watch redefines the boundaries of affordable dive watches. This isn’t some half-hearted recreational swimming watch. This is a professional gem that’s built to last in every respect. From its stainless steel bracelet to its domed Hardlex crystal dial window, everything about this diver’s watch is in place for a deep dive into the ocean blue. That’s what 200 meters of water resistance and an airtight screw-down crown will get ya.

Specs

Display Window Material: Domed Hardlex Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Tang Buckle

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 42 mm

Case Thickness: 12 mm

Strap Material: Silicone

Strap Color: Silver

Dial Color: Blue

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Automatic

Water Resistance: 200 meters

Pros

  • The blue dial has plenty of depth to it and will pop around your wrist.
  • 200 meters of water resistance makes this a perfect watch for both your workday and ocean play.
  • The scratch-resistant domed Hardlex crystal dial window is easy to peer through and stays that way.

Cons

  • We prefer the old green light over the more subtle light blue illumination.
  • The clasp has a low-quality feel.

3) Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision Watch

Victorinox Men's 241665 Swiss Army Night Vision Dark Grey Dial Black Ice PVD Steel Watch
  • Night Vision black ice, dark grey dial, bracelet black ice
  • Stainless steel with triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Swiss-quartz Movement
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Water resistant to 50m (165ft: in general, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but not diving or snorkeling

With three lighting modes easily toggled with the help of a button on the left side of the case, the Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision Watch is as user-friendly as luminous watches come. Just one push of the button activates a light blue LED light for six seconds. Two pushes get you a powerful flashlight, and three activates a blinking SOS mode when you need to grab others’ attention. And for those that are tough on their watches, the titanium watch case and anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial window both have your back.

Specs

Display Window Material: Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Double-Locking Fold-Over Clasp

Case Material: Titanium

Case Diameter: 42 mm

Case Thickness: 13.25 mm

Strap Material: Rubber

Strap Length: Men’s Standard

Strap Width: 21 mm

Strap Color: Black

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Swiss Quartz

Water Resistance: 50 meters

Pros

  • This watch is a piece of cake to read both in daylight and low light.
  • The white light LED flashlight is potent and super useful.
  • The titanium watch casing is the real durability deal.

Cons

  • The rubber strap works well given time, but it’s unforgiving out of the box.
  • The text in the date window is exceedingly small.

2) Luminox 3001 Navy Seal Series Analog Quartz Watch

Luminox 3001 Navy Seal Series Analog Quartz Watch
  • Precise Swiss-Quartz movement
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Case diameter: 41 mm
  • Stainless-steel case; Blue dial; Day-date-month-and-moon-phase functions
  • Water resistant to 330 feet (100 M): suitable for snorkeling, as well as swimming, but not diving

Self-powered illumination systems don’t get any better than the one used for the Luminox 3001 Navy Seal Series Analog Quartz Watch. Specifically designed to meet the demands of one of the hardest jobs in the world, the tritium gas tube tech inside this analog Swiss model lasts for decades. And with multiple band options including blue and black leather straps, you can rock this rocksteady luminous watch with your flair. Luminox watches are lasting lights, and this is one of the brightest of the bunch.

Specs

Display Window Material: Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Buckle

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 43 mm

Case Thickness: 10 mm

Strap Material: Leather

Strap Length: Men’s Standard

Strap Width: 20 mm

Strap Color: Blue

Dial Color: Blue

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Swiss Quartz

Water Resistance: 100 meters

Pros

  • You can’t beat tritium tubes for overall illumination longevity.
  • Both the leather and rubber strap options are comfortable and nearly impossible to warp.
  • The stainless steel case is built to take anything and everything that’s thrown at it. That’s why it’s a beloved accessory for thousands of Navy Seals.

Cons

  • Those with larger wrists might find it to be somewhat small.
  • The overall aesthetic is somewhat clunky.

1) Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Navihawk Quartz Men’s Watch

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Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Navihawk A-T Quartz Men's Watch, Stainless Steel with Polyurethane strap, Pilot watch, Black (Model: JY8035-04E)
  • Light-powered watch with orange accents featuring multi-function chronographs, luminous markers, and digital information displays
  • 48 millimeter stainless steel case with Anti-Reflective Mineral Crystal
  • Japanese quartz movement with analog display. Charge level display function. Even if daylight saving time is set for each city in WT-S mode (ON or OF (off)), if AU is set in RX-S mode, priority is given to the daylight saving time setting in RX-S mode, with ON automatically switched to OF or OF automatically switched to ON
  • Polyurethane band with fold-over-buckle-with-hidden-double-push-button closure. Turn the crown to align the mode hand
  • Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft): In general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving

With the help of Citizen’s patented Eco-Drive technology, the Citizen Promaster Navihawk Men’s Quartz Watch keeps a charge with the help of nearly any light source it encounters. Such top-tier solar technology is special enough, but it’s even more impressive considering the insane selection of features that it powers. This Citizen stalwart comes complete with a universal coordinated time display, a reception stand-by scale, a frequency scale, a digital information display, and much more. And thanks to its anti-reflective mineral crystal lens, glare won’t be an issue. The cherries on top are the bright, luminous hands and markers along with the precision of the atomic timekeeping mechanism. This is the best luminous watch outside the luxury oeuvre, hands down.

Specs

Display Window Material: Mineral Crystal

Display Type: Analog

Clasp Style: Buckle Fold-Over Buckle with Hidden Double Push Button

Case Material: Stainless Steel

Case Diameter: 48 mm

Case Thickness: 13 mm

Strap Material: Polyurethane

Strap Length: 10.5 inches

Strap Width: 23 mm

Strap Color: Black

Dial Color: Black

Bezel Material: Stainless Steel

Movement: Japanese Quartz

Water Resistance: 200 meters

Pros

  • The complexity and curiosity of the dial design are really fun to look at and play with.
  • The variety of added features give this specialized watch a ton of depth.
  • Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is at the apex of the solar-powered watch world.

Cons

  • The polyurethane watch straps wear out rather quickly.
  • We’d prefer a sapphire crystal dial window over a mineral crystal one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other than a stainless steel case, what features should I look for in the best luminous watches?

It’s all about the luminous watch materials and the added watch features. The best luminous watches should, at a minimum, be solidly water-resistant and shock-resistant. In addition, you should only concern yourself with the brightest lume watches that offer unparalleled resonance and brilliance when you need it most.

Other watch features out of the best luminous watches include a quality automatic movement, Japanese quartz, or Swiss quartz movement, a stainless steel bezel, a comfortable band such as a nylon strap, a scratch-resistant crystal lens, luminous hands and luminous markers, night vision features, a strong LED light, and a sturdy construction emblematic of extremely durable sports watch offerings.

What are tritium gas tubes and how do they help watch illumination?

Other luminous watches may promise long-lasting lume, but often pale in comparison to the longevity of those timepieces which employ tritium gas tube technology. The coating inside tritium gas tubes produces a cold light that lights up a luminescent watch impressively in low light. The cool thing about the luminous features of a tritium watch is that the level of radioactivity is exceedingly low, posing no health risks for the watch wearer. And while luminous paint may make watches glow with a higher initial potency, tritium tubes last for nearly 25 years a pop.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t settle for a watch dial with an inferior dial illumination mode that just doesn’t hack it. You deserve the best luminous watch for your hard-earned money. The countdown above features a high-quality array of quartz and automatic watches that shine bright and with might throughout the night. And you don’t have to pay luxury watch prices to enjoy their spoils, with all of the options above retailing for less than four figures on average.

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