Over the years, Rolex and other manufacturers have used various luminous materials on the dials, the hands and the luminous dots on the bezel. You can assign the luminous masses to the years of manufacture of the watches.

The “radium” and “tritium” luminous material used in the early days ages very strongly and relatively quickly, i.e. it yellows and crumbles somewhat.However, this is what gives an old Rolex watch its desirable charm and unmistakable “vintage look”.

The luminous material used in the early years was radioactive and had one advantage over the newer luminous materials used: it did not require a light source to charge itself.
The disadvantage, however, was that this did not last for long and the luminous material was
lost its power.
The newer luminous materials, such as Super Luminova, always require a light source to recharge, but last forever.
You can easily recognize the luminous material used on the dial at 6 o’clock.
We have compiled the complete range for you here.

Embossed “SWISS” at 6 o’clock.
The luminous material “radium” is radioactive and was used until around 1960.

Embossed “SWISS-T<25” at 6 o’clock.
“Tritium” is radioactive and was used from around 1960 to around 1998.
The radiation was lower than with the luminous material used until 1960.
Radiation lower than 925 MBq.

Embossed “T SWISS T” at 6 o’clock.
“Tritium” is radioactive and was used from around 1960 to around 1998.
The radiation had to be reduced by law.
Radiation lower than 277MBq.

the embossing “SWISS” at 6 o’clock.
“Luminova” is no longer radioactive and was used from approx. 1998 to approx. 2000.
Unfortunately, it is not 100% confirmed whether Rolex really used Luminova or Superluminova
was used.

Embossed “SWISS MADE” at 6 o’clock.
Superluminova is not radioactive and has been used since around 2000 to the present day.