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IWC Schaffhausen

Close up of promo image for IWC Ceralume® new material

INTRODUCING: CERALUME®

INTRODUCING: CERALUME®

Ceralume®, a luminescent ceramic, is the latest material innovation from IWC Schaffhausen. In a highly engineered and patent-pending manufacturing process, ceramic powders are homogenously mixed with Super-LumiNova® pigments. Acting like a battery for storing light energy, this luminous material makes the ceramic cases glow blueish in the dark for more than 24 hours. Using Ceralume®, IWC Schaffhausen has manufactured its first fully luminous ceramic concept watch.

HOW CERALUME® LUMINOUS CERAMIC IS MADE

HOW CERALUME® LUMINOUS CERAMIC IS MADE


Conventional white ceramic is made by mixing zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides. These powders are shaped to a so-called green body, machined close to the final geometry and sintered at high temperatures in a kiln. For the white ceramic to glow in the dark, Super-LumiNova® pigments must be added to the ceramic powders. A key challenge in the development of Ceralume® was to achieve a perfectly homogenous mix of raw materials despite their different particle sizes and to avoid particle accumulations. IWC Schaffhausen’s engineers reverted to a dedicated ball milling process, which had to be customized to the raw materials used. In addition, the parameters of the sintering process and the grinding of the sintered ceramic body also had to be adapted to the luminous ceramic.

 

Two IWC watches with Ceralume® new material

With our first luminous ceramic cases, we underscore our role as a pioneer and innovator in ceramic watches. 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, which is tailored to the unique combination of ceramic powders and Super-LumiNova® pigments.

Dr. Lorenz Brunner, Department Manager Research & Innovation IWC Schaffhausen.

 

 

 

SUPER-LUMINOVA® PIGMENTS ADD THE GLOW EFFECT

SUPER-LUMINOVA® PIGMENTS ADD THE GLOW EFFECT®

The fascinating glow effect is achieved by adding high-grade Super-LumiNova® pigments to the ceramic raw materials. Engineered by Swiss technology company RC Tritec, Super-LumiNova® is a high-tech ceramic compound that behaves like a light storage battery. The material absorbs light energy from sunlight or artificial light, stores it temporarily and then emits the absorbed energy as visible light. This cycle can be repeated an infinite number of times without ever causing the material to age or diminishing its light storage capacity.

 

 

 

IWC’S FIRST FULLY LUMINOUS CERAMIC CONCEPT WATCH

IWC’S FIRST FULLY LUMINOUS CERAMIC CONCEPT WATCH

Using the new Ceralume® technology,  IWC Schaffhausen has manufactured a fully luminous ceramic concept watch for the first time. In addition to the Ceralume® case, the concept watch in a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 design features a white luminescent dial and a white luminescent rubber strap. Both the dial and the strap are enriched with Super-LumiNova® pigments. The dial brass base is sprayed with a Super-LumiNova® solution before the printing is added on top of the luminescent layer. Manufactured in an injection moulding process, the white rubber strap is likewise enriched with Super-LumiNova® pigments.

 

Developed by IWC Schaffhausen, the patent-pending Ceralume® technology will be at the foundation of future developments and releases.
 

IWC Schaffhausen