Altes Instrument Revue

Old Radium – history and origin


Find out more about the most widely used luminescent pigment in the Swiss watch industry.

Until the 1960s, luminous paints based on radium were used to restore old aircraft instruments. The radioactive radiation destroyed the paint and produced brown stains on the luminous dots, resulting in the desired vintage look. 

Due to the high health risk of radium, RC Tritec initially invented a fluorescent paint based on the significantly less radioactive tritium as a substitute. 

Today, only Super-LumiNova®, which is completely free of radioactivity, is used for fluorescent colours. For the vintage look that is in demand for restorations, for example, we have developed a pigment in the body colour that exactly simulates the destruction of the paint caused by radium in the past with brown colouring. 

Super-LumiNova guarantees maximum afterglow and do not present any health risk.