IF YOU HAVE ever watched Ocean’s Eleven, you will have seen a Luminox watch in action. As sported by Hollywood hunk George Clooney, the Luminox Original Navy SEAL 3901 is just one of the many watches that the American-based watchmaker offer. It’s also not the first time that its watches have appeared in a Hollywood film - that cherry was popped by Viggo Mortensen in 1997’s G.I. Jane.
So, what is it that makes its watches steal the limelight? And where have they come from?
1989: Let there be ‘Lumi’
Back in 1989, Barry Cohen – a watch industry veteran – came across a Swiss self-powered illumination system which he knew would address a gap in the market at the time. Utilising this system, along with the help of his friend Richard Timbo, he set out to create watches that would be visible in low or no-light situations.
The duo later went on to name their brand Luminox, merging the Latin words for light (‘lumi’) and dark (‘nox’). They also named their unique illumination technology ‘LLT’, standing for Luminox Light Technology.
The brand became the official US Navy Seals’ watch provider
“Since early 2018, Luminox have become a very popular choice for our customers – in fact, we often sell more than one unit at a time. They have a fantastic reputation for quality and durability – so much so that the brand became the official US Navy Seals’ watch provider, which is another factor in their surge in popularity. Additionally, the watches have unique borosilicate glass capsules on the hands and hour markers, as well as some bezels, which provides an attractive glow. Although initially an American company, Luminox watches are Swiss-made to ensure quality and maintain their reputation” (Stefano Pietrini, Watches and Crystals)
1992: SEAL of Approval
Barry Cohen and Nick North – the officer in charge of procurement for the US Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEALs) teams – met at a tradeshow in 1992, and worked together to design a watch that would be specifically used by the SEALs. North was originally tasked with sourcing a watch that he and his team could rely on during night missions. After testing a wide variety of brands in the most arduous of conditions, he found that Luminox was the only brand still functioning by the end, and chose them as the SEALs watchmaker as a result. The two organisations have worked together ever since.
1994: Fame at last
Two years after Luminox was chosen to produce watches for the Navy SEALs, Luminox launched the timepiece that would later make the brand famous: the Luminox 3001 Original Navy SEAL series. Following the release of this watch, more and more law enforcement groups began contacting Luminox, such as the US Coast Guard, the NYPD and the Singapore Air Force.
Their reputation as a high-performance sports watch manufacturer was confirmed
1997 – 2004: Hello Hollywood! Kon'nichiwa Japan!
The famed Original Navy SEAL model made its Hollywood debut courtesy of Viggo Mortensen starring in Ridley Scott’s GI Jane back in 1997. Four years later in 2001, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven gave Luminox’s upgraded model – the Original Navy SEAL 3901 – further screen time, courtesy of George Clooney’s wrist during a well-known heist scene.
One year prior to that though, during the fall of 2000, the company released an all steel series and an all titanium series of its watches, which incorporated features typically found in more premium designs; a 10-year lithium battery, sapphire glass crystals and an anti-reflective coating.
Three years later in 2003, Luminox opened the first of its four mono-brand stores in central Tokyo before, one year later, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson brought the Luminox Ultimate Navy SEAL Chronograph 8301 watch back to the big screen in his 2004 thriller-drama Walking Tall.
2006: Going global
Ronnie and Andre Bernheim – owners of Swiss watch manufacturer Mondaine Watch Ltd – decided to utilise their extensive experience of the Swiss watchmaking industry and head across the pond, acquiring half of the Luminox company shares back in 2006. Their experience of global brand building, coupled with their strong distributor relationships, enabled Luminox to reach its next level and become an internationally-recognised watch manufacturer.
Luminox has teamed up with expert counter-terrorism operative and undersea explorer Scott Cassell to launch a number of timepieces
Luminox's relationship with the US Navy SEALS, which began in 1992, has been key to its continued success
2007: SEAL Evolution
One year later, 2007 saw the launch of what would later become Luminox’s best-selling range of watches. The Navy SEAL Colormark 3051 Series were, put simply, an evolved form of the original Navy SEAL watches that gave Luminox its reputation. This upgraded design featured a specialised carbon compound as the case material, capable of withstanding both hot and cold climates. Not only that, but the watches also incorporated a specially hardened scratch-resistant mineral crystal, approximately 20% harder than conventionally-used mineral watch crystals.
Due to the release of these watches, Luminox expanded its presence across more than 50 countries and became recognised as a truly global brand.
2009 & 2010: Luminox takes the plunge
The year 2009 saw Luminox begin targeting consumers outside of the military and law enforcement industry. Their Essential Gear campaign enabled peak sportsmen and outdoorsmen to become a part of the Luminox family, and was implemented in celebration of the watchmaker’s 20th anniversary.
A year later in 2010, Luminox released its 50 bar (500 metre) Deep Dive Automatic Series, aimed to be used by both professional divers and serious diving enthusiasts.
2013: Hitting new heights
After gaining an impressive reputation for watch design in disciplines spanning the sea, air and land, Luminox added a fourth dimension to its collection: space.
Back in 2013, the watchmaker became an exclusive partner of the SXC – the Space Expeditions Corporation. After gathering input from SXC test pilots and astronauts, Luminox announced the release of the SXC GMT Space Series, which featured the same lightweight, yet extremely durable, carbon compound used in the evolved form of their Navy SEAL watches.
The 1523 divers watch – part of the LuminoxDeep Dive Automatic Series
2016: Bernheim bros SEAL the deal
Ten years after first coming on board, the Bernheim brothers reached an agreement with Luminox Founder, Barry Cohen, to buy out his shares of the business. The duo now own the company in its entirety, as well as its associated American distribution company Lumondi, Inc.
During that same year, the company also became an official licensing partner of the Navy SEALs, formalising the agreement put in place back in 1992. As such, two generations of SEALs have now chosen Luminox as their watches of choice, cementing the relationship between the watchmaker and the military service.
2017: New law, new watch, new case
The year 2017 saw the Swiss-Made law come into effect, meaning that Luminox watches were designed to fulfil the new regulations. This saw the release of an upgraded version of the original SEAL watch – the Navy SEAL 3500 series – and the launch of a newly designed case, known as the Leatherback Sea Turtle Series.
2019: Happy Anniversary
Later this year, Luminox will celebrate its 30th anniversary and 27th year of its relationship with the Navy SEALs.
Their self-illuminating Luminox Light Technology remains unique to them alone, and – pardon the pun – their future looks bright.
Plus, with technology constantly on the rise, it’s safe to say that Luminox will continue to grow and utilise technological advances in each of their next series of timepieces. Only time will tell.
For more products and information visit Luminox
A Brief History of Luminox Watches? ›
1989 Luminox (Lumi is latin for light while Nox is Latin for night) was born in 1989, driven by a commitment to offer cutting-edge luminescence and readability in its line of high-performance sports watches.What is so special about Luminox watches? ›
This unique and advanced Swiss technology allows the watches to ensure at-a-glance visibility, meaning the watches provide a constant glow 24/7 for up to 25 years. While other watch brands use a phosphorescent paint on the markers that require an external light source to produce a “luminous effect”, Luminox does not.Do Navy Seals actually wear Luminox watches? ›
Today US Navy Seals are equipped with Luminox Navy Seal watches in some of the toughest environments in the world; they continue to perform day after day in these harsh conditions.Why do Navy Seals wear Luminox watches? ›
Luminox Navy Seal Watches are the most dependable watches for night missions because of their self-powered illumination capabilities. Each watch has been individually tested and proven to be water-resistant for 200 meters.What is the history of the Luminox Navy SEAL watch? ›
Luminox is a US company that was founded in 1989 by Barry Cohen (founder), and his friend Richard Timbo, where the two started to create affordable military dive watches that would be visible in low light, or no light situations. The brand name “Luminox”, is Latin words where light “Lumi”, and dark “Nox”.Is Luminox a high end watch? ›
Luminox is a luxury Swiss watchmaker that's based in California. The company is known for its innovative and unique designs, as well as its use of cutting-edge materials and manufacturing techniques.Are Luminox watches made in China? ›
Their watches are Swiss made and are notable for containing tritium inserts, providing long-term luminescence.How long do Luminox watches last? ›
Luminox watches offer a constant glow for up to 25 years, even in total darkness.What watches do CIA officers wear? ›
After returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, or one of the undeclared expeditionary locations, many officers take a portion of their savings and purchase a watch to discreetly commemorate the accomplishment, often the ubiquitous Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster, no doubt a subtle nod to Bond.What watch do most Marines wear? ›
We have the DW-6600, the 5600, the 6900, and the 9052. These are rugged digital watches designed specifically to take a beating. Several have NSN numbers, and they have been issued in small numbers via unit purchases. However, for the modern military, the G-Shock is the watch of choice.
What is the favorite watch of Navy SEALs? ›
The Luminox Navy SEAL watch is the timepiece that made Luminox famous. In 1992, 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 when he discovered Luminox.What watch did Chris Kyle wear? ›
During his life, Chris Kyle wore a G-Shock. In American Sniper, Bradley Cooper, who played Kyle in the film, wears a Casio G-Shock DW-6600-1V. This model features a stopwatch, 24-hour countdown timer, and an EL backlight. The Casio G-shock watch is very popular among military personnel around the world.What watch is Jack Ryan wearing? ›
In the new Amazon Prime tv series Jack Ryan (2018), actor John Krasinski wears a Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chrono wristwatch. The 42mm Khaki Field Auto Chrono features day/date, chronometer, a 10 bar (100m) water resistance and the exclusive H-21 automatic caliber movement with 60 hours power reserve.What is the meaning of Luminox? ›
1989 Luminox (Lumi is latin for light while Nox is Latin for night) was born in 1989, driven by a commitment to offer cutting-edge luminescence and readability in its line of high-performance sports watches.What watch did German pilots wear? ›
What started as a batch of 1,200 watches made in 1941 has since become one of the most iconic designs in history. Made for the German Luftwaffe, the Beobachtungs-Uhren (B-Uhren), or "Flieger" watch (“pilot” auf Deutsch), were intended only as flight tools.Who wears Luminox? ›
Luminox is the original self-powered luminous watch brand, and is the watch of choice for U.S. Navy SEALs, Lockheed Martin's F-117 NighthawkTM stealth and other jet fighter pilots, elite forces worldwide and professional divers.What watch does Brad Pitt wear? ›
Brad Pitt Watch - Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
The Oscar winner also has the classic stainless steel Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711. The 40mm watch with a graduated blue dial really looks great on his wrist. The current market price (March 2023) is around $150,000.
Since 1995, James Bond has worn OMEGA Seamasters in every film. Over the years, we have also created some very special limited edition timepieces whose special features honour 007 and his legacy of more than half a century of genre-defining movies.What watch is higher than Rolex? ›
Patek Philippe arguably owns the top-tier of high-horology. Once, the most expensive watch ever sold was a Patek Philippe with many complications and sold for over 11 million dollars, second only to a Rolex that was worn by Paul Newman.What movement is in Luminox? ›
6L Quartz Movement To Fit Luminox® Brand Watches Overall Height 6.7mm.
What automatic movement does Luminox use? ›
Luminox uses the Swiss Made Sellita SW220 automatic movement (operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve) in the Sport Timer. Functions include the time along with a day-date calendar system.Who is the CEO of Luminox? ›
Barry Cohen - President - Luminox Watch Co.Can you shower in a Luminox watch? ›
Luminox watches have a water resistance of 100 to 500 meters, as indicated on the back of the case.How much does it cost to replace tritium in a Luminox watch? ›
Replacing the tritium in your watch is a relatively inexpensive way to keep your watch looking and performing its best. Estimated costs of replacing with green tubes start about $150 depending how many tubes you want to replace and the color of the tubes.What watch does the FBI wear? ›
Casio MW600F-1AV - Missy Peregrym - FBI.What watch do US soldiers wear? ›
The MIL-W-46374 and the GG-W-113 are two watches developed for use by (mostly) American military personnel beginning in the 1960s and have become well-known as the timepieces often issued to G.I.s during the Vietnam War.Why do special forces wear Rolex? ›
In the early 1960's a trend started to reveal itself amongst discerning Special Forces soldiers. On trips to Southeast Asia, SF guys began to acquire Rolex watches at the PX's and at jewelers across the Pacific Rim. At the time, there was simply no better way to quickly spend your hard-earned combat pay.What watch do Marine Raiders wear? ›
Just like we earn our right to wear our various badges and unit crests in the military, Sangin Instruments has earned the right to use terms anti-magnetic, shock-resistant, chemical resistant, and DIVER'S WATCH. This is The NEPTUNE; A Marine Raider's take on a gentlemen's combat diver's watch.What is the most badass Marine group? ›
2/5 is the most highly decorated battalion in the Marine Corps, and their motto, "Retreat, Hell!", comes from the French trenches of World War I, when a Marine officer named Lloyd W.What watch Biden wear? ›
President Joe Biden wears Rolex Datejust 41mm 126300
126200. The watch features a blue dial, a smooth bezel, and a jubilee bracelet. Such a nice, clean, modern watch for the President. This picture was taken during his meeting with private sector CEOs in the White House, Washington DC in March 2022.
What are Navy SEALs favorite guns? ›
The M4A1 carbine is the primary weapon used by SEAL operators. A shorter, more compact version of the M16A2 rifle, it was specially designed for U.S. Special Operations Forces.Who is more elite than Navy SEALs? ›
SEAL Team 6, officially known as United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), and Delta Force, officially known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), are the most highly trained elite forces in the US military.Do Navy SEALs get a Rolex? ›
Rolex Submariner watches were the choice and standard issue for NAVY SEALs from their inception in 1962 up until 1983, when they switched over to Casio G-Shock watches. Navy SEAL's specialize more than anything in amphibious operations which include underwater demolition, as well as other aquatic operations.What watch did Denzel Washington wear? ›
Denzel Washington Watch – Montblanc Star Classique
However, his watch is relatively affordable at less than $2,000. In the photo, we see a Montblanc Star Classique. The watch is just simple and classic.
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time ref.
Jeff Bezos is often spotted wearing his Ulysse Nardin Dual Time. A surprising choice for someone who gravitates towards the extraordinary, the Ulysse Nardin Dual Time is seen more by horology enthusiasts as a low-key timepiece despite its fancy price tag.
No, Denzel's Montblanc Star Classique stood out precisely because it is none of those things. It's a simple, classique watch that can be yours for less than $2,000. (A far cry from the $50,000-plus Rolex Lil Uzi Vert wore this week.)What watch does Johnny Depp wear? ›
You won't find Johnny wearing a Rolex very often, but if you do he'll likely be wearing his Rolex Submariner date.What watch did Grace Kelly wear? ›
The Gold Standard
Grace Kelly favored a classic Rolex Lady Datejust, which looks as modern today as it did when it debuted in 1926.
3. Bill Paxton in Titanic. The leader of the Titanic expedition in the film wears a stunning Rolex Submariner in Gold. Like the old Bond movies which highlight this model many times, those who seek adventure better not be late.What Lume does Luminox use? ›
As a result of the Luminox Light Technology, Luminox watches are always readable at a glance, during the day and the night. The Tritium gas which emits the light is a radioactive form of ordinary Hydrogen gas. Tritium gas is sealed inside these small borosilicate glass tubes, and continuously emits light.
Do all Luminox watches have tritium? ›
Luminox uses a proprietary technology: TRITIUM, formerly reserved for the military which make Luminox watches literally stand out. Each Luminox watch features tiny gas lights (borosilicate glass capsules), which are always lit, on the hands, hour markers and when necessary, bezels.What watch did Trump wear? ›
Donald Trump's Patek Philippe Ellipse
The Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse. The small yellow gold watch almost wears more like jewelry in its 32mm case with beaded bracelet. Trump's model in particular has a nice blue dial. It's a classy watch designed around dressing up.
Tom Cruise Watch Collection - Rolex Daytona 'Panda' 116500LN
In September 2022, Cruise was seen d wearing one of the most sought-after Rolex watches, the Daytona 'Panda' 116500LN in stainless steel with a white dial.
It was an 18-karat gold Louis Cartier Tank inscribed with his initials and family arms as well as the couple's wedding date. This is the same watch on his wrist the day he was assassinated in 1963. After his death, the timepiece was returned to Jackie, who later gave it to JFK's former secretary.What is so special about Luminox? ›
This unique and advanced Swiss technology allows the watches to ensure at-a-glance visibility, meaning the watches provide a constant glow 24/7 for up to 25 years. While other watch brands use a phosphorescent paint on the markers that require an external light source to produce a “luminous effect”, Luminox does not.What makes Luminox watches so good? ›
The Unique Luminox Light Technology
Luminox Light Technology makes these watches extremely legible at night – the technology used by Luminox provides 24/7 luminosity, regardless of conditions, for up to 25 years. Most luminous watches use luminous paint that needs to be charged by a light source and fades very quickly.
The Luminox Navy SEAL watch is the timepiece that made Luminox famous. In 1992, 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 when he discovered Luminox.What watch do CIA agents wear? ›
After returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, or one of the undeclared expeditionary locations, many officers take a portion of their savings and purchase a watch to discreetly commemorate the accomplishment, often the ubiquitous Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster, no doubt a subtle nod to Bond.What watches do the Blue Angels wear? ›
From the popular CITIZEN PROMASTER SKY series of authentic pilot watches comes the Blue Angels model, inspired by the U.S. Navy's flight demonstration squadron.What type of watch does James Bond wear? ›
Since 1995, James Bond has worn OMEGA Seamasters in every film. Over the years, we have also created some very special limited edition timepieces whose special features honour 007 and his legacy of more than half a century of genre-defining movies.
What powers a Luminox watch? ›
Luminox watches offer a constant glow for up to 25 years, even in total darkness. Each Luminox watch employs tiny self-powered micro gas light tubes. These micro gas lights (borosilicate glass capsules) are installed in the hands, hour markers o the dial, and where applicable, into the bezels of our watches.What watch does Brad Pitt wear in? ›
Brad Pitt Watch in the Bullet Train Movie is Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition. Released in 2021, the modern edition of a vintage Breitling from 1953 comes with a steel case and a black dial.