Rolex released the Deepsea Sea-Dweller model in 2008 with a stunning 3900m depth rating!

The things Rolex has had to do to get this watch depth rating are quite frankly astounding. So, it is perhaps no surprise that with the release of this watch – Rolex also started using a new patented superluminova called Chromalight.

Rather than the usual green glow we all know and love, Chromalight is a bright blue. This makes the Rolex well and truly unique when it comes to lum, that’s for sure!


What Is Chromalight Really?

Amongst Rolex aficionados, there is a bit of a debate about Chromalight. And it certainly does not become any clearer because Rolex has said next to nothing about it (apart from what is in their brochures).

But here is what I have been able to find online:

  • Chromalight is more than likely just a different color (blue) of Super Luminova (a Japanese developed lum that was brought to Switzerland for use in the watch industry)
  • Chromalight as a name has been trademarked by Rolex (in 2008) but there is no sign of a patent for the material
  • It is debatable whether it lasts any longer than the standard Super Luminova, but many Rolex owners say in low-light (after charging) it can last about 8 hours
  • If it is a type of Super Luminova, it is made from strontium aluminate, a non-radioactive material that stores light and emits it constantly until empty
  • You can charge the lum simply by having it in the daylight or putting it under a bright light (the more UV the better) for say 30 minutes before using it in the dark

This is something you will not find on most of the cheaper Rolex watches.

Chromalight vs Super LumiNova

As I mentioned above, there is no clear definition of Chromalight at this stage. Rolex is silent on the matter.

However, we do know that Chromalight is blue instead of green.

Apparently, if they are both Super Luminova, there can be a difference in brightness between colors.