IWC Unveils First Fully Luminous Ceramic Watch

Using an in-house tech called Ceralume, developed by its experimental engineering division “XPL.”

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IWC, through its experimental engineering division XPL, has introduced its new “Ceralume” technology. This proprietary luminous ceramic tech, developed in-house, allows for the production of fully luminous ceramic watch cases for the first time. By mixing ceramic powders with high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments, IWC has achieved a breakthrough that enables its watches to emit a bright bluish light for over 24 hours in dark conditions.

For nearly four decades, IWC Schaffhausen has been at the forefront of ceramic watch engineering. From the launch of the first black zirconium oxide ceramic case wristwatch in 1986 to the introduction of colored ceramic in their TOP GUN models, IWC has consistently set new standards in the industry — with the development of Ceralume marking the latest milestone in this legacy.

“With the first fully luminous ceramic case rings, we underscore our role as a pioneer and innovator in ceramic watches,” said Dr. Lorenz Brunner, Department Manager Research and Innovation at IWC Schaffhausen, adding “The development of Ceralume took several years. The main challenges we faced were producing watch cases with maximum homogeneity and meeting our exacting quality standards. To achieve these goals, we engineered a ground-breaking new manufacturing process – tailored to the unique combination of ceramic powders and Super-LumiNova pigments.”

The Ceralume technology utilizes high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments, a high-tech ceramic compound engineered by Swiss company RC Tritec. This material absorbs light energy and emits it as visible light, a process that can be repeated infinitely without aging or diminishing its capacity. To perfect the luminous ceramic, IWC’s engineers customized a ball milling process to achieve a homogeneous mix of raw materials, despite their different particle sizes. They also adapted the sintering process and grinding of the sintered ceramic body to suit the luminous ceramic.

Using this new material, IWC XPL created the first fully luminous ceramic concept watch, presented as a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, featuring a Ceralume case, white luminescent dial and a white luminescent rubber strap. While the brand has teased at future releases using the new tech, no official release date or price has been shared at the time of writing.

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