Luminox Watches Review – Tough and Always Visible

Luminox Watches – Rugged Luminescence


Luminox watches - men's modern mariner 6500Unless you’re really a fan of sports model timepieces, it’s possible that you’re unfamiliar with Luminox watches.  This California-based company is relatively young, having been founded in the late 1980s.  Despite their U.S. home base, the company’s products are actually Swiss made and are among the most rugged and durable timepieces on the market.  Luminox watches feature sports models and the unusual ability to have the hands and numerals visible at all times.  They aren’t for everyone, but those who own them swear by them.

Read on for the full Luminox watches review.

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Luminox Watches Build Quality

There’s no getting around it; Luminox watches are tough.  All of their models feature good water resistance; it varies between 100 meters and 500 meters, depending on the model.  Their cases are made from stainless steel, titanium and carbon fiber and they use mineral crystal and rock-hard sapphire crystal to cover the watch face.  Battery life is estimated at 2-10 years, depending on the model.  Luminox watches are very durable timepieces that should last for years, and maybe decades with proper care.

Luminox Watches Movements

All Luminox watches make use of Swiss-made components; their models make use of both automatic mechanical movements and highly accurate quartz electronic movements.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but either way, you’re going to get a high quality wristwatch.


The main innovative feature of Luminox watches is, as the name suggests, the fact that the hour markers and hands on their products are luminescent.  This isn’t the typical phosphorescent paint that other companies use, that has to be exposed to light in order to work.  These “always visible” products use tritium, an isotope of hydrogen, to cause the glow.  They will glow all the time, with or without exposure to light.  Tritium does have a half life of 12 years or so; this means that in time, the watch will not glow as brightly.  Still, the company says the feature will work for 25 years, which is more than enough time for most owners to make adequate use of it.  Some of their models include an indicator for battery life; the second hand will start to move irregularly when it’s time to replace the battery.

Luminox Watches Styling and Features

Luminox watches - men's chronograph beigeIf you like a lot of variety in your timepieces, you’d best look elsewhere.  Luminox watches all look like chronographs; these are all effectively sports watches.  They’re divided into four groups – sea, air, land, and space, and some of their models are inspired by real-world military aircraft.  You’ll find multiple dials, plenty of buttons, the always-on glow, and good, rugged looks.  You’re not going to find flashy colors, diamonds, or gold in their styling, and it won’t surprise you to discover that these are essentially watches for men.  That said, if you fly, sail or engage in other activities that actually require an accurate timepiece with chronograph features, then Luminox watches will be exactly what you’re looking for.

Luminox Watches Care and Maintenance

Most of the models of Luminox watches have high quality, Swiss-made quartz movements.  They estimate battery life at 2-10 years, depending on the model, so if you buy one of those, you’re not going to have to do much to maintain it, other than to replace the battery when it runs down.   Models with automatic movements will need to be regularly worn or stored in a watch winder to keep them running properly and displaying accurate time.  If you regularly use your watch in salt water, you should rinse it with tap water to keep it clean.  You should also have it inspected by a jeweler every few years to make sure the watertight seals are still intact.  Other than that, the usual warnings about keeping your timepiece away from temperature extremes and caustic chemicals apply.

Luminox Watches Warranty

Luminox watches are sold with a two year warranty from the manufacturer against defects in materials and workmanship.  This is probably the most common duration for a warranty, and for most brands, it’s more than adequate.  You may be able to purchase an extended warranty from your retailer; be sure to ask about this when you make your purchase if this is something that interests you.

Luminox Watch Prices

Luminox watches - men's black dial black rubberAs high quality, luxury timepieces go, Luminox watch prices are moderate.  Their least expensive models sell for about $400 or so, and their top of the line models sell for about $2500.  The higher priced models tend to be limited edition models which are produced in quantities of several hundred units, making them somewhat hard to find and collectible.  Otherwise, you can find nice examples of Luminox watches for sale in the high hundreds of dollars, which, given their exceptional build quality, makes them a pretty good deal.   As the company isn’t that old, there isn’t yet a good track record of collector interest in Luminox watches, but we expect that there will be with time, as many of their models are limited editions, and the company seems to have quite a cult following.  We’re not recommending that you buy in hopes of making money, but if you buy and your watch happens to appreciate with time, then you can consider that a nice bonus.

Luminox Watches for Sale

The company prefers to sell Luminox watches through select retailers; these are typically jewelry stores and high end department stores.  You may also occasionally find them for sale through online retailers.  Many Luminox watches are limited production items, so you may have to shop around a bit if you’re looking for something in particular.

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Luminox Watches Summary

If fashion timepieces are your thing, then Luminox watches are clearly not for you. On the other hand, if you value performance, appreciate rugged, durable build quality, and like getting all of that without spending tens of thousands of dollars, then you’ll find Luminox watches to be a good fit for you.  Their product line isn’t particularly diverse, but the company has found a specific niche and made a point of doing what they do particularly well.  They make sports watches.  They make very good ones.  They’ll last forever.  They’re not super expensive.  All in all, that makes Luminox watches a good buy.