Tritium is not a brand, but a material. Tritium watches are capable of producing natural light on its own, independent of batteries (known as tritium illumination). This, of course, saves on your battery life and illuminates the watch in low light conditions. Tritium is tough; it doesn’t change or alter when exposed to different elements, which also makes it incredibly durable.
Tritium is a reliable light source for watches and usually used within the markers and hands of a watch. If you want a watch that doesn’t require batteries for illumination or one that saves on battery, then look into tritium watches.
Below are a few of our favorite watches that possess tritium illumination. They are usually encased in glass tubes, and some might even argue that they do a better job at illumination than regular backlighting.
View The Best Tritium Watches Below
1. Fossil Grant Sport Stainless Steel Watch
Fossil is a great brand if you want quality and functionality. The rose gold watch with the dark navy leather band paired together just exudes elegance. It runs on a quartz movement with a mineral crystal display.
The watch band can be interchanged with any of Fossil’s compatible straps. It also has a chronograph design. The inclusion of stainless steel makes it a very tough watch indeed. Illuminated by tritium, this watch can be read easily in dark conditions.
+ Quartz movement
+ Interchangeable straps
+ Tritium watch
+ Chronograph design
+ Stainless steel material
Why We Like It – As a men’s watch, the diameter is perfect for most wrists. Not to mention the features it comes with and the elegant design.
2. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Watch
Tommy Hilfiger is a trendy brand that specializes in more than just a good watch. This quartz watch with an analog display comes with a genuine leather strap and has a sporty yet graceful design. It features Tommy’s signature colors and logo along with a mineral dial window to protect the watch face.
It’s water-resistant up to 50m. This might not look like a lot, but this means it can remain on your wrist when you go about your daily activities. Being a tritium watch, you’ll be able to read the time in dark or light conditions.
+ Mineral dial window
+ Elegant design
+ Tritium illumination
+ Genuine leather strap
Why We Like It – We love how the watch features Tommy Hilfiger’s signature colors and tritium technology for that glow you need in low light conditions.
3. Casio Classic Luminous Hands Watch
When a watch features luminous hands, the chances are that it uses tritium technology. This simple Casio watch has hands that glow, thanks to the tritium material. The resin band is more flexible than other materials and is sweat-resistant as well, making this an excellent sports watch. One thing to take note of, however, is that this watch doesn’t possess any water resistance. This means that you will need to remember to slip it off and on again after washing your hands.
+ Stainless steel
+ Resin band
+ Luminous hands (tritium)
+ Mineral dial window
Why We Like It – The simple design is flexible and sits comfortably on your wrist with the resin band. This makes it the ideal watch for most activities, except those which are water-related.
4. Orient ‘Mako XL’ Japanese Automatic Diving Watch
Japanese watches are known to be reliable and affordable options. Tritium watches don’t increase the price of watches by much, if any, at all. You wouldn’t expect an affordable luxury watch to be self-wound, but this automatic watch is. Thanks to tritium technology, this watch features a luminous dial, which will not impact your battery life at all. It also features a unidirectional bezel and water resistance of up to 200 meters. The surface of the watch is brighter than ever in low light conditions, giving other watches a run for their money.
+ Tritium technology
+ Unidirectional bezel
+ Automatic movement
+ Mineral crystal face
Why We Like It – We love how this more affordable timepiece lives up to the standards of other luxury brands. The stainless steel watch is durable and can be read easily at any time of the day.
5. Invicta Pro Diver Quartz Watch
Invicta dive watches have amazing quality. Made of stainless steel with a dark blue watch face, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or how far you are in the water; you can get a clear reading of time. Also, with quartz movement, you know your time will be the most accurate. The tritium technology is a huge advantage for illumination, and the water resistance provided by the Invicta dive watch is good enough for most marine activities.
+ Tritium technology
+ Accurate movement
+ Stainless steel
+ Timeless design
Why We Like It – The Invicta dive watch is perfect for those who love marine activities. It can withstand the conditions in which even military men perform.
6. Invicta Pro Diver Analog Display Watch
We loved the Invicta Pro Diver watch so much that we had to bring in their analog display watch as well. This one comes with chronograph features, as well as the traditional green or blue watch face. It also has a stainless steel directional bezel, similar to the previous model.
The watch face is protected by flame fusion crystal and comes with a polyurethane strap for comfort. You can go as deep as 100 m and still be able to tell the time, thanks to the tritium watch. It will glow in any lighting condition to make the time easy for you to read.
+ Impeccable style
+ Flame fusion crystal
+ Water-resistant to 100m
+ Stainless steel
+ Tritium watch
Why We Like It – A dive watch is made to be tough. Many military-grade watches happen to be tritium watches that are durable and visible in the dark.
7. Stuhrling Original Watch
Functionality doesn’t have to come at the expense of aesthetics. The Stuhrling Original Watch has an edgy watch face, coupled with a flexible and comfortable genuine leather strap. The best tritium watch needs to be easy to read at any time of the day. In order to ensure this, the Stuhrling watch adopts tritium technology to illuminate the hands. There are also two date windows, so you never lose track of yourself.
+ Tritium technology
+ Genuine leather strap
+ Two date windows
+ Edgy design
+ Accurate movement
Why We Like It – The hands of the Stuhrling watch will light up during dark and low light conditions to make sure the time is easily readable 24/7.
8. Citizen BM8475-26E Eco-Drive Strap Watch
We really love the contrast of the red markers and black watch face. The best thing about this Citizen watch is its Eco-Drive technology. Eco-drive tech allows the watch to convert light into energy.
This means that this particular tritium watch does not need any batteries to run at all. Constructed with stainless steel, and protected with a mineral crystal watch face, the Citizen Eco-Drive strap watch is durable, tough, and can draw power from any light source.
+ Never run out of battery (Eco-Drive)
+ Mineral crystal
+ Stainless steel
Why We Like It – The best thing about this Citizen watch is definitely the Eco-Drive technology. It draws power from natural light during the day and artificial light at night.
9. LIGE Luminous Watch
If you are looking for a very affordable, stylish, yet functional and accurate watch, this watch from LIGE is the perfect one for you. It comes in a wide assortment of different colors, so there is a good chance you’ll find one that’s pleasing to the eye.
It’s minimally waterproof and comes with a 60-day guarantee. Made of stainless steel with a bracelet band, you will understand what comfort is with the Lige watch. It’s a beautifully designed watch with impeccable workmanship.
+ Beautiful design
+ Affordable price
+ Tritium tech
+ Different colors available
Why We Like It – Many people can think that an affordable watch may be of lesser quality. In order to assure you that that’s not the case, LIGE watches come with a 60-day guarantee.
10. Timex Expedition Field Watch
The best tritium watch doesn’t need to have all the fancy bells and whistles. Many tritium watches are actually quite simple in design. The indiglo light-up watch dial is accompanied by tritium technology in the watch hands to make sure you get sufficient glow in any lighting condition.
This simple watch comes in many designs, and they are all water-resistant up to 50m. The mineral crystal dial window will protect your tritium watch and make sure it lasts for a long time, all for a very affordable price.
+ Tritium and Indiglo
+ Mineral crystal dial window
+ Quartz watch for accurate time
+ Long battery life
Why We Like It – The Timex Expedition Field Watch was tested to make sure it can withstand the elements while performing its most basic functions all at an affordable price.
Tritium Watches Buyer’s Guide
Tritium is a new and popular tech that can power your watch. It’s seen mostly in military watches. It uses tritium gas tubes that encase the tritium gas. Whether you have a dive watch, a military watch, a chronograph, or an automatic, the chemical reaction of tritium will cause the watch to glow. This is the perfect solution for those who spend lots of time outside. Other than this unique tritium feature, what else should tritium watches offer?
Since you’re purchasing watches with a unique trait, tritium watches do not come cheap. It doesn’t matter if you opt for an automatic watch or a military one, one thing rings true all the way through – and that is you get what you pay for. This isn’t always the case, but for watches, this philosophy couldn’t be truer.
Tritium watches aren’t the cheapest, so you know you will be getting a certain standard with watches at this price point. The best timepiece for the price depends on your unique needs. To help identify those, you can read on to find out about what other features a tritium watch comes with, such as sapphire crystal protection (which definitely costs more), and mineral glass.
Waterproof capabilities, basic functions (such as a stopwatch), and a date and time window are important things to consider as well.
Most of the watches with tritium will resemble military watches, but you can definitely find some with classic analog displays and with a dressier appearance. The next thing to ask yourself when purchasing a watch is what type you want. If a military design is too rugged for you, you can look for ones that have a sportier look or a more classic one with a leather band.
When are you going to wear the watch most? Is it something for work or a night out? Where you want to wear it will also tie into the overall look of the best watch.
As said, most tritium watches have a rugged military design and aren’t made with something as fragile as glass. Most of the watches in this category are made of stainless steel or aluminum with tough watch bands of the same material – or leather.
The material of the watch will also contribute to the appearance. When thinking about the watch type and the overall look, you need to consider the material as well. The toughest material is titanium, and it’s very lightweight. However, it does drive up the price tag quite a bit, which is why a lot of people opt for stainless steel, which is resistant to rust and oxidation, as well as being very durable.
Then you have ceramic, which is more of a luxury material since it can shatter more easily. They are extremely resistant to heat. Nylon, rubber, silicone, and other sporty materials are very durable as well and can feel very comfortable against your skin.
Then you have the gold options (white gold, rose gold, etc.) that are found in a lot of luxury watches. These materials are used more for statement pieces and are usually accompanied by a sapphire crystal watch face rather than mineral glass for more reliable protection.
Watch Dial Protection
Speaking of watch dial protection, it brings us to our next section. A lot of the lower end or more affordable options are made of some sort of glass or even plastic. This may not provide as much protection for your watch dial as sapphire crystal – the strongest material as of now. It protects the fragility of your watch face. Just in case you ever do let your watch slip off your wrist or out of your hands, sapphire crystal is a very strong and scratch-resistant material and can handle abrasions without damaging your watch.
The next one may just be a personal preference, but we believe a waterproof watch is the best. This is because we can never know when we will be caught in a rainstorm, and we definitely don’t want that to be the end of our expensive watch.
It also depends on your lifestyle, as well. The best watch will suit your lifestyle and fit you like a glove. If you only just plan on wearing the watch for special occasions, then having a water-resistant one may not be as important. However, if you plan on racing through the backwoods and attempting different outdoor activities while never taking it off, then this feature is essential.
No matter if it’s analog, automatic or mechanical, a watch’s job is to tell the time and tell it accurately. Quartz has long been proven to be the most accurate type of movement. It utilizes crystals and the steady and precise vibrations they give off to provide the user with accurate time.
They need to be powered by a battery, but they are also debatably the most accurate and affordable option in most watches. You know it’s a quartz watch when your second hand makes the familiar ticking motion (and sound) we associate with most watches.
Then we have mechanical movement. This movement requires intricate designs and a whole lot of skills and knowledge on the watchmaker’s part. You can tell it’s a mechanical movement watch when the second-hand doesn’t make the usual ticking movements, and it just sweeps across the watch face.
Finally, we have an automatic movement. Automatic movement requires the kinetic energy from the wearer to power the watch. They require winding, and a lot of luxury watches operate on automatic movement.
Lastly, we have the display of the watch. There are analog and digital displays, and they are both great for timekeeping. Digital watches show you the exact time upon a quick glance, while it may take a few more seconds to tell the time on an analog display.
How Long do Tritium Watches Last?
With the gas, the tubes, and the foreign way its implemented, not many people are familiar with just how long these watches last. Tritium watches are the best illumination system that is free of battery power. On average, tritium watches can last for 12.32 years (very precise).
Which Watches Glow in the Dark the Best?
If you are here with us, we know you are looking for a backlight or glow in the dark tech. It’s very normal to wonder which is the best out of all the options you’re presented with. Indiglo, Lume, radium, tritium, Luminova, Chromalight – these are just some of the backlight technologies we have.
A lot of Luminox watches are among consumers’ favorites when it comes to lighting up your watch. Tritium doesn’t reply on battery and gets our vote, but all of the options mentioned above are amazing and known to function reliably.
Are Tritium Watches Dangerous?
Some people are skeptical of the relatively new tritium tech, which brings us to the question, “is it safe?” If you have a tritium watch or want to purchase one, rest assured that it’s completely safe. Since it’s just a type of hydrogen, it doesn’t emit dangerous emissions. The gas is radioactive, but it’s safely contained in glass tubes in the watch. However, if you do manage to break the integrity of the watch, the tritium gas will disperse quickly and pose you no harm.
Tritium has actually been around for longer than you think and is a much safer alternative to its predecessor, radium. Tritium isn’t found in very higher-end luxury watches, as they currently use Luminova tech, which doesn’t involve the use of gases.
Tritium watches first came out in the 1960s, even though not many people are aware of this form of illumination. It is a very safe method for illumination and is free battery power. It’s easier for users to check the time on tritium watches because it is always glowing, and tritium can last up to 50 years!
It will not penetrate the skin, and most of the tritium gas used in watches is contained in glass tubes. It will disperse quickly when damaged and won’t penetrate the skin. Tritium is a good option for those who need 24/7 illumination.
In terms of movement, winding is more widely needed with mechanical watches. As for an automatic movement timepiece, winding is less necessary as the watch can function on the energy of the wearer just from regular wear. Mechanical and automatic watches are quite similar in their inner workings and designs.
Did You Know?
Tritium isn’t only used with watches; it’s also seen in nuclear weapons. Before you panic, there are significant amounts needed to create any sort of damage, so with the little amount in your timepiece, you are perfectly safe. It also has a hand in environmental and biological studies, as well as nuclear fusion.