Buying Guide

Best Luminous Watches

Written by: Dave NartinMarch 19, 2020Updated: March 20, 2020

We love the elegant, classy look of an analog watch. They offer a level of sophistication that’s hard to match in a digital watch. However, one of the downsides of many analog watches is that they’re hard to read at night or in dark environments. Luminous watches solve this problem by offering a backlight or glow in the dark numbers to help you check the time even in the darkest environments. Watches that light up at night are particularly helpful for those who like to camp or spend a lot of time outdoors, because you’ll still be able to check the time even if the sun starts to set. Some of the best luminescent watches can serve as a flashlight as well. 

Many brands have luminous watches available. When shopping, you’ll find both luxury and high-end versions of these products. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when choosing luminescent watches. These include: 

Brightness

When you’re investing in a watch specifically for its luminous properties, it’s very important that it’s bright enough for you to see in any situation. The watch should be very easy to read, and the luminosity should not diminish over time. 

Design 

Ideally, your watch should be a classic piece that you can wear with any outfit. Look for a watch that has a versatile design that suits your style sensibilities. 

Durability 

You’ll want to make sure your watch can handle the wear and tear of everyday life. The best luminous watches are scratch resistant and waterproof. 

Comfort

Since you’ll be wearing your watch daily, it’s very important that it is comfortable. The band should be adjustable and made of a fabric that won’t irritate your skin. The watch should also be lightweight enough that it won’t weigh you down. 

Now that you know what to look for in a luminous watch, here are some of our picks for the best illuminated watches on the market.

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Timex - Expedition Scout 40

Timex - Expedition Scout 40

Why it's better?

  • Indiglo backlight has a long battery life and makes the watch face very easy to read.
  • It has a durable design that is scratch resistant and water resistant.
  • It has a beautiful design that is available in a wide range of color combinations.
  • The nylon strap is adjustable and very comfortable.
Rank
Image
Type
Name
Raiting
Shops
1
Victorinox - Swiss Army Night Vision
Analog
4.5/5
2
Ball - Gents Engineer Hydrocarbon
Analog
5/5
3
Timex - Expedition Scout 40
Analog
5/5
4
Mkingus - Luminous Business Quartz
Analog
3.5/5
5
Casio - Resin Band
Analog
4/5
6
Timex Expedition Field
Quartz
4/5
7
Skagen - Anita Casual
Analog
4.5/5

Men’s Luminous Watches

Victorinox – Swiss Army Night VisionVictorinox - Swiss Army Night Vision

Pros:

  • Excellent array of LED light functions.
  • Very clear design that’s easy to read.
  • Highly durable and water resistant up to 50 meters.

Cons:

  • It has a very large face, which can feel bulky if you have a small wrist.
  • Excellent array of LED light functions.
  • Very clear design that’s easy to read.
  • Highly durable and water resistant up to 50 meters.
  • It has a very large face, which can feel bulky if you have a small wrist.

This watch from Victorinox is designed to be ‘as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife’, and what really makes it stand out is the number of different light functions it offers. A blue LED light brightens the entire watch face and makes it very easy to read. There is also a light on the top of the face where it meets the bracelet. This extended white light can serve as a flashlight if you are in a dark area. This light can also blink in a strobe or SOS pattern. At the bottom of the watch face is a red LED light. This light blinks once every 10 seconds to help you find your watch. If the battery starts running low, this red light will blink three times every 10 seconds, notifying you to change the battery. The hands, indexes, and numbers are also completely luminescent, making this one of the most versatile glowing watches out there. 

This watch also has a number of features beyond the LED lights. It has military time and date features for more accurate timekeeping. The case is made with durable stainless steel that has been PVD treated for a very elegant look. You can choose between stainless steel, leather, or rubber bands, depending on your taste. The face is made with triple-coated sapphire crystal that is scratch resistant and anti-reflective. The watch is also water resistant.

Parameters

MaterialStainless Steel, Sapphire Crystal
Size42 millimeter Case Diameter, 21 millimeter Band Width
Weight10.58 ounces

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Men's Luminous Watches

It’s all in the name – this watch really does provide the ‘night vision’ you need to tell time in the dark. It has a whopping six different lighting functions that you can easily adjust with the push of a button. It also has a very large face that’s easy to read and makes a bold style statement. The athletic design is very durable and can handle the elements, plus it comes with a number of different strap and color options to suit your style.

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Ball – Gents Engineer HydrocarbonBall - Gents Engineer Hydrocarbon

Pros:

  • Lock prevents external damage to the crown of the watch
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters
  • Bright, long-lasting illumination uses tritium
  • Secure lock prevents damage to the crown
  • Beautiful time zone chart on the back of the face

Cons:

  • Because of the complexity of this watch’s design, there are several steps required to adjust the time.
  • Lock prevents external damage to the crown of the watch
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters
  • Bright, long-lasting illumination uses tritium
  • Secure lock prevents damage to the crown
  • Beautiful time zone chart on the back of the face
  • Because of the complexity of this watch’s design, there are several steps required to adjust the time.

This model from Ball is a luxury watch with a bold personality. The durable design is made with stainless steel and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal face. It is water resistant up to 100 meters, which is twice as much as many other models. The luminosity in this watch comes from tritium, a safe radioactive substance that provides a reliably bright light and doesn’t diminish over time. It glows brightly in the dark, with stunning blue and green numerals and yellow notches, and is truly one of the brightest lume watches you’ll find. 

Most models from Bell, including this one, feature a lock on the crown that ensures it is fully screwed down. This is an excellent feature that prevents long-term damage to the watch. There is also a chart engraved on the back of the watch to help you switch time zones while traveling. Not only is this chart very handy, but it also adds to the elegant design of the watch. The face itself has an elegant design that’s very easy to read and goes well with any outfit.

Parameters

MaterialStainless Steel Band, Sapphire Crystal Face
Size42 millimeter Case Diameter

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Men's Luminous Watches

While this watch is a big investment, it’s hard to beat the incredible quality of this model from Ball. The design screams ‘luxury’, and while it will certainly turn heads, it’s also durable enough to withstand a considerable amount of time outdoors. The luminosity is very bright, and the face is scratch-resistant and has incredible waterproofing. Every aspect of the design is stunning, from the numerals to the band design to the engraving.

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Timex – Expedition Scout 40Timex - Expedition Scout 40

Pros:

  • Bright Indiglo backlight makes for great visibility.
  • Classic design that looks great with any outfit.
  • Water resistant up to 50 feet and scratch-resistant for durability.
  • Huge range of color combinations to choose from.

Cons:

  • The band is not as durable as the watch face itself. It can wrinkle after extensive use.
  • Bright Indiglo backlight makes for great visibility.
  • Classic design that looks great with any outfit.
  • Water resistant up to 50 feet and scratch-resistant for durability.
  • Huge range of color combinations to choose from.
  • The band is not as durable as the watch face itself. It can wrinkle after extensive use.

This stunning watch from Timex has a rugged, versatile design that looks just as great with hiking gear as it does with a business casual look. However, it offers more than just a beautiful design – it also offers incredible functionality. It has a bright Indiglo backlight with luminous hands, and a battery that is built to last for 10 years. The face is made with mineral glass that is scratch resistant and easy to clean, surrounded by durable stainless steel for more protection. The face is also very clear and easy to read, with large Arabic numerals and an attractive analog design. It is available with nylon or leather straps to suit your preference, which are adjustable to fit your wrist comfortably. Unlike many other watches, this model does not have a loud disruptive ticking sound.

Parameters

MaterialStainless Steel With Mineral Glass, Nylon or Leather Band
Size40 mm Case Diameter, 20 mm Band Thickness
Weight2.08 ounces

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Men's Luminous Watches

We love this watch because it combines elegant design and incredible durability. It has an incredibly bright and reliable backlight, illuminating a gorgeous watch face. Because it is water-resistant, it is a watch that you can wear throughout the day without taking off, even in the shower or when swimming. The Expedition Scout is a classic piece that you can rely on, even on the most exciting outdoor adventures.

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Mkingus – Luminous Business QuartzMkingus - Luminous Business Quartz

Pros:

  • Unique, modern design that’s very different from other luminous watches.
  • Lightweight design that sits comfortably on the wrist.
  • Comes with useful stopwatch feature.

Cons:

  • Luminous features require consistent exposure to light in order to glow.
  • Not as waterproof as other models.
  • Unique, modern design that’s very different from other luminous watches.
  • Lightweight design that sits comfortably on the wrist.
  • Comes with useful stopwatch feature.
  • Luminous features require consistent exposure to light in order to glow.
  • Not as waterproof as other models.

This watch from Mkingus has a very unique design, with blue accents on a dark black face. The luminous hands and notches glow blue and have a very understated design, which is perfect for anyone that wants to switch up their style. To charge the luminous features, the watch needs to be exposed to the sun for a significant period of time. The luminous features will then absorb the light. 

This watch has a very comfortable and stretchy leather band, which is accented with blue stitching. It’s also very lightweight, so you’ll barely notice it while wearing it throughout the day. It is water resistant up to 30 meters. While this isn’t as water resistant as many other models, it will still keep the watch safe and functional in the shower. There are three dials on the side that you can use to set stopwatch timers.

Parameters

MaterialLeather Band

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Men's Luminous Watches

The unique design of this watch is very aesthetically pleasing. We love the combination of blue and black – it’s very edgy and is the perfect way to turn heads. However, since the colors are neutral, they pair well with many different outfits. This watch is also very lightweight and comfortable. Many chunkier watches can get heavy and irritating, particularly if you have small wrists, so this product is a nice alternative.

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Women’s Luminous Watches

Analog
4/5
Casio - Resin Band
Casio – Resin BandCasio - Resin Band

Pros:

  • Very lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters and easy to clean.
  • Detailed face with date and military time.

Cons:

  • Date and military time markers are very small.
  • Bold colors may not go with every outfit.
  • Very lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters and easy to clean.
  • Detailed face with date and military time.
  • Date and military time markers are very small.
  • Bold colors may not go with every outfit.

This watch has a fun and quirky look that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The design is inspired by classic dive watches, but with a lighthearted and sporty update with bright luminous hands.  It has an excellent water resistance of 100 meters, and the band is made of lightweight but durable resin. These materials make the watch very easy to keep clean. The face itself has a stainless steel case as well as a mineral dial window This model is available in pink or in a white and blue color way. The face is very easy to read, and is available with either numerals or markers depending on your preference. It also has an hour window next to the three o’clock marker and small military time markers as well. There is also a stopwatch feature for efficient timekeeping.

Parameters

MaterialResin Band, Stainless Steel and Mineral Face
Size39 millimeter Case Diameter, 30 millimeter Band Width

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Women's Luminous Watches

This charming watch is more than just a pretty face – it also provides real value with plenty of useful features. Its lightweight design and extreme water resistance means it is a watch you can wear all day long without worrying about damage. Because the band is made from resin and not fabric, it doesn’t absorb anything and is very easy to keep clean. This has made it very popular among people who work in the medical field. It comes in two bright, cheery colors that are certain to turn heads and make people smile. It’s a great combination of feminine style and real functionality. If you’re looking for a glow in the dark watch that still feels girly, this is our pick.

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Timex – Expedition Field Mini WatchTimex Expedition Field

Pros:

  • Attractive design that works in both formal and informal scenarios
  • A comfortable strap that’s easy to adjust
  • Easy to read analog dial
  • Indiglo backlight for low-light conditions
  • It is very accurate

Cons:

  • The face is a bit cluttered because of the logo
  • It’s not fit for showering with it
  • Attractive design that works in both formal and informal scenarios
  • A comfortable strap that’s easy to adjust
  • Easy to read analog dial
  • Indiglo backlight for low-light conditions
  • It is very accurate
  • The face is a bit cluttered because of the logo
  • It’s not fit for showering with it

Mostly designed for outdoor enthusiasts, the Timex Expedition Field Mini is a watch that can withstand a harsh environment. While it is quite small (26mm case diameter) and slim, the watch features a solid build due to the brass case, scratch-resistant mineral lens, and leather strap.

The analog dial is quite easy to read and features both 12 and 24h formats, which can be useful for both outdoor enthusiasts and medical personnel. Moreover, the watch also comes with Indiglo night light, which lets you see the dial even in low-light conditions. 

Lastly, the design is a nice blend between practical and elegant, which makes it a great fit for both the office and the outdoors. It’s also a great fit for people who don’t like big watches or have small wrists.

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Women's Luminous Watches

The best watch for nurses must be durable, easy to read, and comfortable and the Timex Expedition checks all these boxes! In addition, the watch is accurate and has a nice backlight, which can be extremely useful under a wide array of circumstances.

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Analog
4.5/5
Skagen - Anita Casual
Skagen – Anita CasualSkagen - Anita Casual

Pros:

  • Elegant, understated design that’s very aesthetically pleasing.
  • Very lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • Doesn’t scratch easily.
  • Comes in a wide range of colors.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have advanced light or stopwatch functions
  • Elegant, understated design that’s very aesthetically pleasing.
  • Very lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • Doesn’t scratch easily.
  • Comes in a wide range of colors.
  • Doesn’t have advanced light or stopwatch functions

This beautiful minimalist watch has a lightweight design that’s ideal for all-day wear. It has a stretchy band made of stainless steel mesh that sits comfortably on the wrist. It has an adjustable sliding clasp for a more comfortable fit. The elegant face comes with either watches or roman numerals, and is available in a wide range of color combinations. There are both silver and gold options available, depending on your preference. It is water resistant up to 30 feet, so it is suitable for showers and light swimming. Although it is lightweight, it is very durable, with a mineral face that doesn’t scratch.

Parameters

MaterialStainless Steel Bezel and Band, Mineral Face
Size30 mm Case Diameter, 12 mm Band Width
Weight0.84 ounces

Why We Chose This As One Of The Best Women's Luminous Watches

This stunning watch makes any outfit a little more elegant. While it has a very sophisticated look, it’s still durable enough to wear all day long, no matter where you go. The adjustable band makes for a very comfortable fit, and since it’s incredibly lightweight, it’s great for small wrists. The excellent range of color combinations means you can really personalize your look. We also love how durable and scratch-resistant it is – something you don’t often see from watches that are this lightweight.

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Dave Nartin
Dave interested in watchmaking and clockmaking started with his grandfather, who was a horologist. From a young age, he was fascinated with the mechanical intricacies of a beautiful machine. Nowadays, he spends his time understanding more modern watches, and reviewing them. So you know what to buy, and what to stay away from.