Tactical Watch

Top 5 Best Luminox Watches Made For Perfect Visibility

Quite a few brands of military watches are created only for an official military issue with their private stock number, showing their military brand. However, there is one particular watch has been chosen as the unofficial choice of Special Ops as well as Special Forces throughout the world for its perfect visibility at a single glance. That is Luminox watches.

Personally, I own one of the Luminox series and so far became one of my favorite so-called tactical watch. The watch lacks many functions at some point, however, it is also tough, rugged and practical watch, not to mention its comfortable and easy to read at night.

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Luminox Recon Nav SPC series – One of the best tactical watches.

What Makes Luminox Watches Famous?

What makes Swiss made Luminox watch relatively unique is their incredible illumination system; the Luminox Light Technology (LLT). Maybe you already knew with the tritium watches or illumination system, but I’m gone refresh your memory.

You see, in a standard watch, even the dimmest glow needs to contact with an outside light source, however, not with the Luminox. Without having to press a button or expose the watch to a light source, the time is consistently visible for up to 25 years or so.

It‘s part of what makes this watches called Essential Gear and this exactly why the Navy SEALs along with other professionals around the world, like Lockheed Martin® – the largest defense contractor in the world have chosen Luminox. Because as a military pilot, you have to be able to rely on a watch that guarantees perfect visibility as quickly as possible.

Have Earned Respect by Many Organizations

Just like most of a military watches, the watches sometimes required to fulfill some specific standard features, if they end up being for use by military members. No wonder Luminox becomes the SEALs standard issue dive watch for night time missions.

The technology of this watch ensures that we can see all the information you need at a glance, at any hour of the day, even in complete darkness.

Nowadays, it is not just U.S. Navy SEALS, who was wearing Luminox watches. Many other prestigious governmental organizations and various Law Enforcement agencies have assumed Luminox as their favored such as:

  • U.S. Navy SEALs
  • U.S. Air Force F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Jet Pilots
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Heliswiss Switzerland
  • Luftrettung Christoph 2 Germany
  • Stadtpolizei Zurich IE Skorpion Switzerland
  • Austrian Military Police.
  • KOPASSUS – Indonesia Special Forces.
  • NATO Tigers 313 QN squadron, Netherlands
  • The Royal Dutch Armed Forces
  • Singapore Air Force

…and many other Law Enforcement Groups, Police and Fire Departments, and other elite forces around the globe.

Luminox Watches Features and Materials

As I said, most of Luminox series features a Luminox Light Technology (LLT) – a self-powered illumination system by using a small micro gas light sources or borosilicate glass inserted on the hands, markers and sometimes in bezel which glow up to 100 times brighter than any other watches with luminescent paint. This remarkable technology could function even in total darkness.

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Luminox LIGHT TECHNOLOGY (LLT) – for perfect visibility in a low light enviroment

Luminox Light Technology

Luminox Micro Gas Tube

Luminox technology

LLT in Hour, Minute hand.

Furthermore, the Luminox illumination system doesn’t need re-charging, this means you don’t have to expose it to light source before it is going to glow, and one other thing, this doesn’t use any batteries and this unique Swiss technology ensures the unique capability to read the time: 24 hours a day.

Usually, the glass tubes will glow continually for about 20 years or so and guaranteed for ten years. Even though this unique technology does not rely on an external light source to “charge“ fluorescent paint on the dial or hands to glow, nor do Luminox watches might need the push of a button to light up as do watches with electroluminescence.

They just glow and glow and glow…for like 20-25 years.

That is why, if you ask a watch that should always end up being visible in low light without having to push a button, Luminox watches is an excellent example for that kind of watch.

Some other features and materials on Luminox watches series, including;

Features
Remark
Bezel Locking System

Luminox patent pending bezel locking system performs a double function; it protects the crown against impact and shocks; and, when locked, the uni-directional ratcheting bezel cannot be turned inadvertently.

Automatic Movement

An important feature of serious dive watches, avoiding the possibility of a dead battery.

Helium Valve

In a closed environment deep dives, such as diving bells, dive vessels, etc., a helium mix of air is used for breathing. Helium is much thinner than air and can enter into the watch. The helium valve allows for the release of helium when re-surfacing as the pressure increases.

Water Resistant

Luminox is suitable for diver watch, for instance, Luminox Deep Dive series passed the very strict ISO 6425 Certification which requires various water pressure tests up to 62.5 bar (equivalent to 625m depth) – 25% higher than indicated on the watch.

Material
Case Material

High grade ultra-thick 316L stainless steel will withstand the extreme pressure of deep sea diving. CROWN 316L stainless steel screw-down crown with multi-gaskets ensures optimum water resistance.

Stainless Steel

Luminox uses high-grade 316L stainless steel which has superior strength. 316L steel is also more scratch resistant and will not oxide, rust or change color.

Titanium

A high-tech material used in industries where weight and strength are important such as aerospace and automobile racing. Titanium is as strong as some steels, but 45% lighter and non-allergenic for those with sensitive skin.

Ultra PC Carbon Reinforced

Luminox used a unique carbon compound material mixed with polycarbonate before injection molding that results in a very robust and hard finished watch case. Professionals around the world choose it because of its perfect match of light weight (comfort), strength and durability. For undercover missions the matte finish material in also an important benefit

Crystal

Luminox's crystals are specially hardened, scratch resistant mineral glass, (550 to 650 Vickers) approximately 20% harder than conventional mineral glass crystals. They sapphire crystals are ultra-scratch-resistant with anti-reflective coatings for superior readability at all times.

Sapphire Crystal

The anti-reflective sapphire crystals on Luminox Deep Dive models, for example, are almost 5mm thick to withstand the enormous pressure of 62.5bar, which is 25% higher than the indication of 50bar on the dial – the ISO6425 requirement for dive watch certification.

The Top 5 Best Luminox Watches to Consider

Currently, Luminox has four different line of their models; “Sea,” “Air”, “Land” and “Space” series. We have gathered and selected for the best Luminox watch series for what you need and a couple of “must-have” in their collections, which range in features, durability, and price.

Figure out for yourself, which one fits for you.

Here we go;

Luminox Recon SPC 8830 Series

If you are looking for a watch that visually attractive tactical watch, which offering you a special feature for professional military personnel, albeit you love this watch – Luminox Recon NAV SPC 8830 series.

If you notice, this watch is one of our recommendations for one the best tactical watches.

Luminox-RECON-NAV-8831KM

Luminox Recon NAV SPC 8831.KM Series

The Luminox Recon SPC series is part of  “Land” collection and specifically designed for the professional military which offers a few differences on the current Recon Point Man series. The favorite feature for this watch (fairly) is the walking speed Tachymeter.

Tachymeter is a function to measure walking speeds during outdoor activity (hiking, mountaineering, camping, cycling, etc.), so distance traveled can be determined. Some of us maybe thought it is not useful feature at all.

But imagine, you are out in the field, either alone or with your team mate and want to know how much time and how long it will take you to get a particular location.

Perhaps you – with your years’ experience in the field, you’ll know it is 10 kilometers away, and need to know the approximate time when you will get there – that’s when Tachymeter comes to part.

G-Shock-GW-3000BB-versusLuminox-Recon-NAV-SPC

G-Shock GW-3000BB Versus Luminox Recon Nav SPC

The Recon Nav SPC comes with a 46mm (it’s pretty big watch!) carbon-reinforced poly-carbonate case with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and has the uni-directional dive-style bezel and using a Ronda 515 movement offering you a 24 hour GMT hand and a date display at three o’clock.

With total weight at 72 grams, it also comes with 24mm width strap and removable compass tool on it. The compass holds indication for three standard map scales and a chart for converting between centimeters and inches.

Like most any other Luminox watches, it also features a water resistance depth up to 200 meters and with tritium tubes in yellow and ice blue color for low-light visibility on the hands, markers and bezel position.

luminox-watches-recon-nav-8830-series

Luminox Recon NAV SPC 8830 series – Tactical watch for Navigation Specialist.

At the moment, The Luminox Recon Nav SPC has two different models – MI ( 8832) and KM (8831). The difference between these two models are just the unit of measurement: The MI is for Miles, and KM stand for Kilometers. You can see the detailed between unit conversions on the dial.

PRICE. The Luminox Recon Nav SPC 8830 Series available for around $450 USD, but you can get it for less if you look at the sellers in the Amazon sidebar – some are below $300. See here for discount price on Amazon.
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Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051 Series

Sometimes, people have always been asking, what model would you recommend to a first-time Luminox buyer? I have several Luminox watches already from over the past few years and have enjoyed them all, but my favorite has been my Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051 and a lot of people recommended it.

Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051 Series

Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051 Series

The Luminox Colormark 3051 is part of their “Sea” collection under 3050 series and one of popular watch models for professional divers, elite military forces, and other special forces groups around the world.

There a lot of choices in 3050 series with various color and style, like a white (WO) or solid black case and dial (BO), mixed color between black and blue and black orange.

The Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051 featured a 44mm diameter case with the total weight of 56 grams and made out from carbon-reinforced polycarbonate making it is very rigid, light and durable. The case back is screwed on, with a double gasket security system, unidirectional bezel, and water resistant up to 200 meters.

Inside the watch is quartz movement with a date display at 3 o’clock position respectively and used a hardened mineral crystal that is both reflective and sturdy protects the watch face.

The strap made from a soft rubber material and uses a two buckle on the strap holder to keep the watch securely on the wrist.

the-Best-Luminox Navy Seal 3051 Series

I think my favorite feature about this watch besides its simple design is how easy to read in the dark. This watch has luminous (tritium) features in green color on the 12 hours marker, hour and minute hand, while 1-11 hours and the second hand is in ice blue color.

If you see ‘T25’ on a bottom of the watch dial, it means Tritium. If you are new to tritium watch technology, they are small tubes packed with a slightly radioactive (and safe) gas that glows without requiring to be charged by the light for about 20-25 years. This makes all tritium tube watches an ideal for night or darkness viewing.

In my opinion, it’s clear Luminox Colormark 3051 is a perfect watch if you were starting to look out rugged and practical Luminox watches and you may want to consider this one.

PRICE. Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 3051 Series available around $400 USD, yet if you look closer at Amazon.com – some are below $300!. There a lot of customer reviews on Amazon – including one where the reviewer said that this watch a dependable watch or why some people do not carefully learn the watch’ features before actually buying it – also says quite a bit. See here to read all of the reviews.
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Luminox Colormark 7057. WO Series

If you are seeking for a tactical watch with sleek, light-weight, rugged and designed primarily for women, I think this is perfect watch to consider. Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 7057.WO is part of “Sea” collection under 7050 series.

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Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 7057.WO Series

Luminox lists this watch as unisex watch, so it is not exclusively for ladies. The features and looks pretty much the same as regular Luminox Colormark series, the only different are the dimension and luminous color on the face.

With case diameter and height of 38mm x 11mm with 39grams in total weight, it’s a perfect watch if you don’t want a big diameter case on your wrist.

As I said, Luminox Colormark 7057WO carry out the same specs and features with regular Colormark series. It has hardened mineral crystal, Arabic-numeral hour markers, unidirectional rotating bezel, and night vision tube with Ice blue color on the 12 hours marker and White color on 1-11 hours markers, hours, minute and the second-hand display.

tough-Luminox-Colormark-7057WO

As you can see in a previous post, Luminox Colormark 7057 and 3057 Series would be an excellent match for his and her watches and become perfect gifts for your loved one.

PRICE. Luminox Navy Seal Colormark 7057 Series available around $350 USD. See here for update price on Amazon.
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 Luminox Sea ANU 4221 series

Do you think Navy Seal’s and other special forces group really use this watch? Or it’s just another marketing gimmick? One thing for sure, one of the men who developed and designed a sturdy and dependable watch for Luminox is one of the officers in US Navy Seal, and I saw many Navy Seal member wearing it for daily use.

Luminox-ANU-4221CW-series

Luminox SEA ANU 4221CW series – with Nylon strap

One of their toughest watch and most specifically designed for Navy Seal is Luminox Sea ANU 4221. This model is part of their Sea collection under ANU 4200 series *ANU stand for Authorized for Navy Use. Today, there are two different models to choose, one with a rubber strap and the other with nylon strap option (4221.CW).

Like any other Luminox watches, Luminox Sea ANU 4241 powered up with Luminox Light Technology for best visibility. The movement list as “Swiss made quartz movement.” and the case measures is 45mm in diameter and 13.2mm thick with approx 113 grams in total weight.

Luminox ANU 4221 is manufactured using PVD plated Stainless Steel, and it has a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, screw down case back, unidirectional rotating diver bezel and water resistant up to 200 meters.

PRICE. Luminox ANU 4221 Series available around $550 USD – more expensive than Colormark series, but if you look closer at Amazon.com – some are below $500. This watch has a higher percentage of five-star reviews on Amazon, from professional divers to military veterans, it seems that everyone has left a review on Amazon – check them out here.
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Luminox Deep Dive 1500 Series

If you are a serious professional diver or anyone who appreciates fantastic water-resistant qualities in a watch, you may consider this bad-ass watch on your wrist – Luminox Deep Dive 1500 series.

Luminox Deep Dive 1501

Luminix Deep Dive 1501 Series

The Luminox Deep Dive series a true dive watch that is ISO 6425 rating certified. This rating has frequently to do with water resistance, but also is the required rating that a watch must meet to known as a serious dive watch.

Therefore this watch has a water-resistance of 500 meters (50 ATM), which in my opinion would be a minimum depth for any watch so-called itself ‘Deep Dive.’

Luminox-Deep-Dive-1500-complete-series

Luminox Deep Dive 1500 – Complete series

Formerly, the Luminox Deep Dive series has a various color and style, it comes with black and either yellow, white, orange, or blue accented on the dials. At the moment, they also released a special edition of Deep Dive series; The Scott Cassel Deep Dive Special 1520 Series with black, white and yellow accent both in the dial and the illumination marker.

All Luminox Deep Dive 1500 series are using patent pending called Bezel Locking System to prevents the bezel from changing position. This newly developed Bezel Locking System guarantees that the time the divers set with their turning bezel will stay set, and is easily performed by simply locking the crown protector into position.

Luminox-Special Locking Rotating Bezel

Luminox Deep Dive Series with Special Locking Rotating Bezel

The watch case made from stainless steel and then PVD coated in a black brushed finish. It has a diameter of 44mm and height of 17mm with approx 190 grams in total weight; even so I don’t think that’s including the specialized crown protection, bezel locking system, and joined design of the strap, which does add a little more to the watches’ overall size.

Inside the Luminox Deep Dive series is a Swiss Automatic Movement with hours, minutes, seconds and date function, sapphire crystal with a double anti-reflective coating, automatic helium escape valve (HEV) on the side of the case. They also have a unidirectional rotating bezel, and “night vision “tritium tube for easy reading in deep water.

PRICE. The Luminox Deep Dive Automatic 1500 series is more expensive compared with other series in these list, but still reasonable around $1,000-$1,500 USD (depending on the model). That might seem like a lot of money on a single watch, but when you look at what the watch does and the prices of similar watches, it suddenly becomes very, very understandable. See here for update price on Amazon.com.
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Luminox Atacama Field Chrono 1945 Series

The Luminox Atacama Field series– as the term ‘Field’ suggests – is also part of the Land collection in 1940 series. This model looks both stylish and rugged and suitable either in the field or in the office. Personally, I like the 1945 series with the black/tan contrast – It’s a good looking watch.

Luminox-ATACAMA-Field-Chrono-1945-series

Luminox Acatama Field Chrono 1945 Series

At the moment, the Atacama Field comes with two different series – The Field Chrono model (1940′ series) and Field Day Date models (1920′ series).

The Atacama Field 1945 model comes with 45mmx115mm dimensions with a total weight of 115grams and builds with a solid ion stainless steel brush case, sapphire dial window with the anti-reflective coating.

The watch is powered up by the Quartz movement, and it has a date display at 4 o’clock respectively, and water resistance up to 100m. Tritium tubes for continuous illumination appear in orange color on 12 hours mark and the 1-11 hours in green color.

Luminox-Watches-ATACAMA-field-Chrono-1945-series

Luminox Atacama Field Chrono 1945 Series – The Modern Field Watch

I’ve always been interested in black military watches with tan on black dials and matching tan strap, and this watch is perfect while a natural (light) tan leather calfskin strap together with the entire watch gives us a high contrast look.

However, despite a leather can be an attractive look, personally, I really don’t like a leather strap that much, as most leathers, are not water resistant, and they require more care than other strap and not recommended for regular daily use especially in rugged outdoor use with a harsh condition.

If I were you, I would update it with NATO nylon straps – look awesome!

PRICE. Luminox Atacama Field Chrono 1945 Series available around $500 USD, even so you can get it for less if you look at Amazon.com – some are below $400. This model should be given a closer look, see here for update price on Amazon.

Love and Hate for Luminox Watches

Honestly, although Luminox has an excellent reputation for being one of the best tactical watches, I have a serious love-hate relationship with this watch, while I liked the design appearance, I also have bad experiences with one of my Luminox.

Luminox-3001-original-night-shot

One of the most popular Luminox series – Luminox Navy Seal Original 3001 series.

Especially, in regards to quality and durability of their original rubber straps, the material easily damaged and cracking in some part of the band, and I solved by replacing it with a Zulu Military nylon strap (NATO-style), then again the watch itself is great, and neither has any issues with it.

Overall, in my experience with using/owning a Luminox is really great, and I’m entirely satisfied with every Luminox watches I ever had.

EndNotes

Having said that, Luminox is made to depend on no matter what the situation or location and it has always been recommended equipment. If the watch is sturdy and tough enough for the world’s roughest top-notch elite forces, it will stand up to every other robust outdoor use.

If the military, law enforcement, and professionals divers can rely on them, isn’t that enough of a reason for you to invest in a Luminox watch?

What are your thoughts about Luminox watches? Are you interested in this watch? Well, I do *grin*.

This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated. - 2017.03.24

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