In this series we look at watches accessible to those in the real world; those with mortgages to pay, cars to fill with exorbitant petrol, and council tax to contribute to local governments where rates head North while services head steadily South.
This week we look at American owned Swiss made Luminox. Founded in 1989, the Luminox Navy SEAL watch is the timepiece that made Luminox famous. The Assistant RDT&E Officer for the Navy SEALs, Nick North, was asked to seek a more dependable watch for night missions and found the solution at a trade show where he discovered Luminox. He worked with Luminox founder Barry Cohen to develop a watch specifically for them and the Navy SEAL watch was born.
After Luminox provided the watches to the SEALs, Luminox began marketing the watch across the country and the world. Luminox was then approached by US Air Force pilots flying the F-117 Nighthawk fighter jet.
The unique Luminox Light Technology ensures at-a-glance visibility – and even though you may not notice it in daylight, it is providing a constant glow 24/7, no matter what the conditions are, for up to 25 years. Most other watches use luminescent paint that has to be charged by a light source and fades very quickly, or a “push to light” system, where you push a button for battery-driven illumination.
Today there’s a wide range of Luminox watches, for marine, air and land use, but uniformly, they are water resistant to at least 100 metres, and up to 500 metres for the deep dive watches. What I love about them is the fact that you don’t need to take them off to walk through airport scanners. Shoes, yes, belt, yes, wallet, yes, but not your Luminox.
Luminox Navy SEALs A3151
This Luminox Gents Navy Seal Strap Watch A.3151 comes with a black rubber strap, stainless steel case and black dial. It features a date feature, 200 metre water resistance and luminous hands. Just £375.00
Luminox Navy SEALs A3157
A similar spec to the A.3151 but with a white face. Also £375.00
Luminox OD Military A.3041
The Luminox 3041 OD Military watch with a green and black face. This model features a 44mm carbon reinforced polymer case with a hardened mineral crystal. The watch has a Swiss quartz movement and two nylon dive straps, one in green and one in black. The watch is a dive model which is water resistant to 200 metres. £285.00
Scott Cassell Deep Dive Special A 5125
This is a beauty from the Scott Cassell collection. Scott Cassell is a former Special Ops combat medic and counter terrorism combat dive intructor, now a documentary maker, who holds the world record for the longest distance travelled by a diver – 52 miles in 9.5 hours. The Deep Dive Special Scott Cassell No. 1525, stainless steel 44mm case, sapphire crystal with antireflective coating, protected and screwed-in crown, with patent pending bezel locking system, screwed caseback, automatic helium release valve, unidirectional rotating bezel, 500 metre water resistant tested, ISO 6425 certified, automatic movement, strap extender for use over wetsuit, Luminox self-powered illumination, Swiss Made. The watch is packaged in a waterproof gear box that can be used to store items safely on a dive boat. Obviously this watch is more pricey but with careful surfing you could pick one up for around £1,200.
Luminox Red Cross Japan Tsunami Aid Limited Edition watch
I’m currently in a daily battle with my girlfriend for ownership of this most excellent Luminox limited edition watch, which she will wear the nano second I lay it down. Only 2011 of them were made so they are not easy to come by. The watch is created in the colours of the national flag of Japan, and was created to aid the Japan Red Cross, whose logo appears at 6 o’clock.