Welcome everyone to another watch review here at LuxyWish. In this article, we will talk about why the Luminox watch brand was created, how this small and young watchmaker was able to sign a contract with the US Navy SEALs, and then jump right to reviewing the Luminox Original Navy SEAL EVO 3001. Read on…
Movement: Swiss Made Ronda 515 HH6 quartz movement
Battery Life: Approximately 45 months
Functions: 12- and 24-hour scale, Self-illuminating Swiss tritium gas tubes, Unidirectional rotating bezel, Date display
Case Size: Diameter – 43mm, Lug-to-lug – 46mm, Thickness – 12mm
Case Material: CARBONOX™
Water Resistance: 200 meters/ 660 feet / 20 bars
Crystal: Hardened mineral crystal glass
Price (MSRP): USD 435 (but are usually sold at a pretty decent discount, link below)
1989 – American Duo Starts Luminox
As a relatively young watch brand, Luminox has managed to find its place on the horological map. The maker of technical military watches marked its beginnings in 1989 when its founder Barry Cohen and his friend Richard Timbo, decided to sign an exclusive contract with the Swiss-based company, MB-Microtec. The latter was developing a new and innovative luminous material for the time, named GTLS (Gaseous Tritium Light Source).
GTLS was introduced to the watch industry as a safe and secure way to illuminate watch hands and markers. The previous choice, Radium, a highly radioactive material, was banned from use in watches in the 1960s and was replaced by the less radioactive Tritium.
Being the first to embrace the new luminous material, Luminox quickly created a cement reputation for making watches focused on durability, legibility, and ease of use. This came to the attention of the US Navy SEALs, and later in 1994, Luminox was awarded a contract to deliver 1000 timepieces to the Navy SEALs. The watches were manufactured with the authorization and approval of the US Navy, after taking into consideration the recommendations and needs of the SEALs themselves.
Today, Luminox is trusted by elite forces all over the world, making its watches not just an accessory but a reliable timekeeping tool. The not so humble beginnings of Luminox (having the Navy SEALs emblem on their timepieces) allowed the brand to collaborate with many other elite forces around the world.
Included are the US Coast Guard, Special Military Forces Israel, Singapore Air Force, NYC Police Department, U.S. Secret Service, Austrian Military Police, The Royal Dutch Armed Forces, Barcelona Police Department, Singapore Air Force, U.S. Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT), and many more.
The watch we are reviewing today, the new Luminox Original Navy SEAL Evo 3001 is exactly a homage to the exemplar from the 90s.
Staying true to its homage from the 90s, the new 43mm Luminox Original Navy SEAL Evo 3001 has managed to deliver a vintage-inspired design that I find quite appealing. Details in the dial like the 12-24 hour scale, or the cream-toned radium accents for the hands and markers; all bring to mind those vintage field watches from the 60s. As with most military watches, this one too brings a combo of features from both: field watches and dive watches. Born out of necessity, military watches like our Navy SEAL Evo 3001 here, put functionality first and aesthetics second. Nonetheless, I will happily wear it on a regular basis without worrying about the watch attracting more attention than it should.
Luminosity at its Finest
Modern lume materials, such as Superluminova (1993), are safe, although they have limits. They must, for example, be charged with light. They glow in the dark once charged, but this fades until they need to be exposed to a light source again. Because of their radioactivity, radium and tritium can glow for years, if not decades. The Tritium was housed in a glass tube, which was an invention by MB-Microtec. The glass is coated with a phosphorescent substance before being filled with gaseous tritium. The lume will thereafter endure between 20 and 25 years.
Accurate and Reliable
The precision of a battery-powered quartz movement is preferred over the elegance and autonomy of an automated mechanical movement in most genuine military situations. Luminox does make a few mechanical watches, but its specialty is still quartz technical timepieces.
The new Navy SEAL EVO 3001 is powered by the Swiss Made Ronda 515 HH6 quartz movement. This specific model provides up to 45 months of battery life and you will find the second hand jumping a few seconds when it is time for a new battery. The movement itself has been considered a “workhorse”, due to its reliability and consistency. Although not special nor expensive, the calibre 515 HH6 is quite a wise and suitable choice, given the watch it is incorporated into.
Type: Swiss-Made Ronda Quartz Caliber 515 HH6
Battery Life: Approx. 45 months
Accuracy: -10/ + 20 sec/month
Operating temperature: 0 to 50° C
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Resistance to Magnetic Fields: 18.8 Oe
Shock Resistance: NIHS 91-10
Case Construct and Water Resistance
Rated as 200 meters water-resistant and with increased durability against drops and shocks, the Luminox Navy Seal 3001 performs quite well in the environment it is supposed to be worn. The watch comes with a screw-down crown and caseback, creating this way an airtight case that allows immersions to ocean depths. Its design extracts the best features of a dive and a field watch, by also staying true to its original example from the 90s.
Made in compliance with the US Navy Seals’ requirements in regards to durability, the watch comes with a hardened mineral crystal glass and its broad side flanks on the case are perfectly designed to absorb shocks.
To add to its functionality, the watch comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel, allowing SEALs to track elapsed time underwater and perform the necessary calculations. And thanks to the exceptional lume, legibility is not a concern.
What Is CARBONOX?
The case of the watch is built using CARBONOX™. The latter is the brand’s proprietary carbon powder material, exclusively used by Luminox. It not only gives the watch a prominent and unique matte-black aesthetic but also makes it lighter.
Indeed, Carbonox is 3 times lighter than titanium and 6 times lighter than steel. It is durable and rigid and has a very strong chemical resistance. As if it wasn’t enough, the brand’s proprietary carbon powder is hypoallergenic and has a high resistance against magnetic fields. Comfort and scratch resistance counts to the wearer’s benefits. Luminox has a long relationship with CARBONOX, having used it for watch casings and several bracelets since 2006.
Battery Life: 45 months
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Price (MSRP): $435 USD
Accuracy: -10/ + 20 sec/month
Case Diameter: 43mm
When to wear it?
Although the watch comes with a relatively large case diameter (43mm), with the current trends, hard that it will fall into the category of those “insanely large watches”. All the contrary. Thanks to its flat steel back, lightweight construct, and relatively narrow dial-to-case diameter ratio – I would say that these models wear small. Among Luminox’s smaller watches, the Navy Seal Evo 3001 comes as a badass durable watch that can be proudly worn on a daily basis. However, it can exceed its true potential outdoors, where it is designed to be worn. Follow this link to explore our selections for some of the most badass survival watches (Zombie Apocalypse Theme).
Is it worth buying?
The new Luminox Navy Seal 3001 is a military-styled watch that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Given that it is well-built, has a reliable Swiss quartz movement, comes with 200-meter water resistant rating, and is fitted with strong lume material, I would recommend it if you find its badass design interesting.
When compared to the usual suspects in this price range, Luminox manages to satisfy or even establish new standards in terms of functionality and reliability for their watches. Similar to Luminox watches, other brands such as Marathon or Casio’s G-Shocks, are aimed at those who live on the edge of survival. What makes Luminox better is its ability to offer a good product at lower costs than its competitor Marathon. G-Shocks from Casio, on the other hand, are loaded with sensors and features that still manage to bring a more convenient approach to the wearer. Looking for something else? Take a look at what we think are some of the all-time favorite Casio watches.
Editor’s Final Thoughts
Luminox has built a cement reputation for endurance, robustness, and visibility in all light conditions. With a price tag of USD 435, (but are usually sold at a pretty decent discount) I would say that the new Luminox Original Navy SEALs Evo 3001 is well-priced. It is straightforward, practical, and does precisely what it is supposed to do: keep track of time accurately.