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IWC’s First Luminous Ceramic Watch Unveiled

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Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen has made waves with the unveiling of their first fully luminous ceramic watch, featuring their proprietary Ceralume technology. This innovation marks a significant milestone for IWC, as the watch emits a bright blue-ish light in the dark for over 24 hours. The launch of this new model also celebrates the introduction of the patent-pending Ceralume technology, a groundbreaking development in the world of horology.

The Ceralume technology, engineered by the expert craftsmen at IWC Schaffhausen, involves mixing ceramic powders with high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments. These luminous materials store light energy, enabling the watch to glow intensely in low-light conditions. The result is a stunning timepiece that not only serves as a functional accessory but also creates a mesmerizing visual effect, reminiscent of a firefly’s glow, but in a sleek, cool blue hue.

On May 27th, IWC Schaffhausen showcased this innovative watch on their Instagram, with a post featuring Lewis Hamilton wearing the ceramic watch at the Monaco Grand Prix. This sneak peek hints at the potential availability of the timepiece in the near future, generating excitement among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

Ceramic Watch

The development process of this Custom Product involved meticulous engineering to ensure the luminous properties of the watch. The design team added Super-LumiNova pigments, developed by Swiss technology company RC Tritec, to the ceramic raw materials. These pigments can absorb and store light energy, emitting it as visible light in dark environments. This cycle can be repeated indefinitely without compromising the material’s integrity or light storage capacity.

Creating this luminous ceramic watch posed several challenges for IWC Schaffhausen. One major hurdle was achieving a homogenous mix of raw materials, which come in different particle sizes. To overcome this, the design engineers used a ball milling process, customized to the specific raw materials used. Additionally, the sintering process and the grinding of the sintered ceramic body were tailored to preserve the luminous properties of the watch.

IWC Schaffhausen selected their Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 series for this groundbreaking transformation. The experimental division, XPL, carried out the development, incorporating Super-LumiNova pigments into the watch’s dial and rubber strap. The dial’s brass base was sprayed with a Super-LumiNova solution before the printing was added, while the white rubber strap received the pigments through an injection molding process.

The watchmaker has filed a patent for their Ceralume technology, solidifying their place at the forefront of innovation in the watch industry. Although the first luminous ceramic watch is yet to be made available for purchase, the anticipation is building, and it is poised to be a coveted Custom Product for collectors and enthusiasts alike. The glowing blue light and sophisticated design are sure to make this timepiece a standout addition to any collection.

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