Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Watchface illuminator

To make the dial glow
  [vote for,

Nocturnal timekeeping can be of vital importance sometimes. Those of us unfortunate enough not to own a radioactive watch make do either with a bright backlight, or phosphorescent pigments which require a certain amount of light to 'charge them up'. Backlights are wonderful, but are often bright enough (mine is anyway) that they can be rather detrimental to one's night vision, and are also highly visible to anyone trying to hunt one down compared to small gently glowing strips on the watchface and hands.

In the winter I tend to wear long sleeves which cover the watch most of the time. This does not allow for proper 'charging' of the glowing pigment, which means that it doesn't tend to glow when I need it to. I therefore propose a small lid is installed over the watchface with an LED (of the flat type) installed under it. This will allow the watch to be charged up as and when needed without damaging low-light vision or giving away a position. It will also serve to protect the watch from scratches, and may also incorporate something useful on the top such as a compass. The lid should have a cut-out switch in the catch to avoid the light being turned on with the lid open, though an override might be useful when a torch is needed.

edit: //calm down on th 'sp.: xxx' annos until I've woken up.// will remain for posterity since I ironically only found one other mistake.

TomP, Dec 03 2012

Luminescent crustacean powder for nocturnal timekeeping http://www.lifesci....um/answers.html#q31
[AusCan531, Dec 03 2012]


       sp.: the
ytk, Dec 03 2012

       Fair enough, however it would be easy to retrofit an illuminating lid over an existing watchface, while I wouldn't want to start poking around with the electronics in there.
TomP, Dec 03 2012

       A UV LED would probably work best.   


       By the way, if you have ppersistant problems with people trying to hunt you down, you might want to make some changes to your lifestyle, or move to a more liberal jurisdiction.
8th of 7, Dec 03 2012

       Japanese soldiers used a luminescent powder made from dried crustaceans (ostracods). A little bit rubbed onto a damp palm provided enough light to read watches, compasses and maps but wasn't so bright as to give away one's position to the enemy. The author in the interesting [link]ed blurb says they were still effective after 60 years.
AusCan531, Dec 03 2012

       An overly bright back light can be dimmed by the addition of an old sunglass lens and tape.
cudgel, Dec 03 2012

       That's what I do with the federally-mandated aggravatingly bright hi-beam indicators in my vehicles (ironically, not a feature on my deuce; had to scratch-build one myself when I converted the headlights).
Alterother, Dec 04 2012


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