When you're new to the fascinating world of watches, the luminous glow, or "Lume", on the dial might be one of the things that capture your attention. Seiko watches in particular are well known for their signature green lume that glows for hours when properly charged. It can be so fascinating to look at that people even like to show them off on Instagram - just search for #seikolume and you’ll be met with thousands of glowing green dials and hands!


Source: @nhorologylab on IG


It's a feature that lends a certain charm to the timepiece and has a practical side too: it enables you to read time in the dark with your mechanical watch. Can you imagine how people read watches at night before the invention of lume? They’d have to put a candle by their wrist to tell what time it is - just a hassle. 

It's natural then, to assume that adding more lume could enhance your watch. And we get it, to be honest. Some people just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff! However, this is a notion that deserves a second thought.


The Beauty and Functionality of Lume

Lume, when used well, can contribute significantly to the aesthetics of a watch, and at the same time, improve its functionality. Consider the case of the Seiko Prospex Diver, a watch renowned for its effective use of LumiBrite on its hands and markers. During daylight hours, the lume subtly complements the watch's overall design. When the lights are low, it shines just enough to provide legibility without overwhelming the eyes. It’s also incredibly useful in low-light conditions underwater, allowing divers to check the time at a glance and know how much time they’ve got left before they need to resurface.


Source: @casioseiko_collector on IG

The key takeaway here is the Prospex Diver’s balanced application of Lume. It's neither overbearing nor inconsequential. Instead, it works in perfect harmony with the rest of the watch, enhancing its features when required, and quietly retreating when not. It's this delicate balance that needs to be considered when the idea of adding more lume comes to mind. Let's delve deeper into why 'more' isn't always 'better' in the realm of lume.


Misconceptions About Adding More Lume

One of the misconceptions that new watch enthusiasts might harbor is the idea that more lume equals more visibility, thus more functionality. This is not entirely accurate. Applying lume isn't like switching on a lamp in a dark room. Instead, it's a meticulous process that requires careful consideration of where and how much to apply. Plastering every element of the dial with lume could lead to a chaotic design that detracts from the watch's overall appeal.

Moreover, applying lume isn’t a simple task; it’s an art that requires skill and a steady hand. Over-enthusiastically diving into a lume application project might result in a blotchy, uneven look that takes away from the finesse of your timepiece.


Potential Drawbacks of Extra Lume

While an abundance of lume might seem exciting, it comes with its own set of challenges. Too much lume can create a crowded, over-lit dial, disturbing the aesthetic harmony of the watch. It could turn your sophisticated timepiece into basically a flashlight, which isn’t the most desirable outcome!


"The Lume Monster," an art piece by u/flxtime

Further, the longevity and quality of aftermarket lume are worth considering. Not all lume is created equal, and a lower-quality application might not provide the lasting, bright glow you anticipate.

Moreover, during a DIY Lume application, there’s a risk of damaging other parts of the watch, particularly if you're new to the modding scene. If you’ve applied additional lume to your dial, make sure to clean off any excess lume dust to prevent them from getting into the movement and possibly interfering with its delicate mechanisms.

It's crucial to weigh these factors before deciding to go ahead with adding more lume to your dial.



We love lume, and this is not us trying to discourage you from doing it for your watch project. Aside from simply picking the parts for your mod, it’s also fun to make additional enhancements that you can personally do, lume application being one of them. You can add it to the indices on your dial, or the markers on your chapter ring or bezel insert. Heck, we’ve even heard of people adding lume to their straps!

If the goal of the watch is to stand out, you can certainly use lume to make that happen. Just be careful as overdoing it might lead to an overwhelming design, potential damage, and might not deliver the glow you're looking for. So before adding more lume to your watch, make sure to do your homework first and research the proper tools and steps needed to do it right.

Happy modding!

Juni 03, 2023 — Jeremiah A

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