Luminox Watches History

Having created industry leading timepieces like the Navy SEAL watch, US watch company Luminox has gone from strength to strength, specialising in sports watches and diver’s watches with a unique twist. The brand’s proprietary LLT , Luminous Light Technology lasts up to 25 years and utilizes tiny micro gas light tubes to create ultimate visibility in complete darkness. Sported on the wrist of Hollywood actor, George Clooney, Luminox watches have starred in the Oceans Eleven movies and now the brand offers a specialised watch collection dedicated to British former SAS serviceman, survival instructor, and honorary lieutenant-colonel, Bear Grylls. Luminox watches are characterised by their durable and reliable case constructions, along with their impressive luminosity. They also feature unique borosilicate glass capsules on the hands and hour markers, sometimes on the bezels too, which add an attractive glow to their designs.

The story of Luminox watches started back in 1989 when watch industry veteran, Barry Cohen collaborated with his friend, Richard Timbo to explore a new Swiss self powered illumination system. The company would take its name from the Latin words for light, Lumi, and dark, Nox. In 1992 Luminox founders and Nick North, the officer for the US Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEALs) team collaborated to create an exclusive watch for the SEALs. The two organisations have worked together ever since, creating Luminox Navy SEAL watches that can assist with night time missions. The Navy SEALS watch became globally recognised in 1994 when it became utilized by US Coast Guards, the NYPD and the Singapore Air Force.

Between the years 1997 and 2004 the Luminox Navy SEAL watch made its debut in Hollywood in Ridley Scott’s GI Jane followed by Oceans Eleven with the upgraded 390 model. In 2001 Luminox created an all steel and titanium case option for the series as well as features such as a lithium battery, a sapphire glass front and an anti reflective coating to assist with timekeeping whether under natural or artificial light. In 2006 the owners of Swiss watch manufacturer, Mondaine acquired half of the Luminox company shares, followed by Luminox’s release of the Navy SEAL Colormark 3051 Series just a year later. A specialised carbon compound was used for this model, capable of withstanding both hot and cold climates. Luminox also expanded its presence in over 50 companies worldwide.

In 2009 and 2010 Luminox developed the Deep Dive Automatic Series with an astounding 500 meter water resistant case. Three years later the company ventured into the space and aeronautics industry with the SXC GMT Space Series, an evolution of the Navy SEAL watch. In 2016 Luminox became the official incensing partner of Navy SEALs, cementing the relationship between the military service and the watchmaker. As an extension to the SEAL 3500 series, Luminox developed a new case, naming the models the Leatherback Sea Turtle Series.

Luminox’s self illuminating light technology, however, remains a unique selling point for the entire catalogue of Luminox watches still to this day. The watches are priced mid range, appealing to collectors of affordable wristwatches as well as those in need of a durable, robust and reliable wristwatch for withstanding the rigours of everyday life and demanding job roles.