Luminox was first founded in 1983 by watch industry veteran Barry Cohen. He immediately saw big opportunities with the brand’s self-powered Luminox Lighting Technology (LLT) which ensures a reliable 24/7 light source for anything from between 10 and 25 years.
In the same year, at a trade show, Navy SEAL Nick North just as quickly saw the potential for Luminox as a dependable watch for night missions, and so the enduring association with the US Armed Forces most revered special forces unit began. Since that time Luminox has offered a huge and regularly refreshed range of options for Air, Land as well as Sea.
Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 Gold, Limited Edition
Adding another offering to the mix before 2019 comes to a close, Luminox has launched a new limited-edition piece, the Navy SEAL 3500 Gold. Like all Luminox watches in the series, this 45mm piece is officially licensed by the Department of the Navy and used by SEALs. Input on its design was also sought from active-duty SEALs. Water-resistant to 200 meters, the 3500 comes in a robust black Carbonox case that is both extremely light and practically scratch-resistant.
Adding subtle gold touches to an otherwise blacked-out model leads to a pretty sleek overall aesthetic, and Luminox has executed the pairing quite well. In particular, the thin lip in the inside of its timing bezel, and the use of gold-colored indices for the first 20 minute indices on the bezel itself are especially thoughtful without being overbearing.
This use of gold does have a bit of a Navy SEALs connection, surprisingly. In the SEALs itself, the special warfare insignia the trident (nicknamed the Budweiser, short for Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training, (BUD/S)), is also gold, so too are rank stripes and buttons on dress uniforms. Though the black and gold is a trend that has been propagating the watch world for a handful of years now, it’s interesting to see a more genuine connection to the color combination here.
Luminox is introducing touches of gold into its Navy SEAL 3500 Series with a special limited edition of just 1,618 units. Is there a reason for just 1,618 units? You guessed it, yes there is. It turns out 1,618 is the whole number equivalent of phi, also known as the Golden Number, the Golden Proportion and the Golden Ratio.
Who knew, but apparently, Luminox uses the golden ratio when developing new models. The watch comes equipped with two straps, one rubber, and one NATO. Gold touches are to be found generously applied to several features on the watch. It’s also on the hands, the crown, and from 05 to 20 on the uni-directional turning bezel. There is also gold on the caseback, and the 24-hour numbers on the dial, as well as the Luminox logo at 12 o’clock.
Luminox has also gone to town on the caseback. It’s engraved in gold, complete with the limited-edition number (XXXX/1618) and the Navy SEAL insignia, revealing the “SEAL Trident,” which as mentioned, is awarded to all those who complete the Basic Underwater Demolition (BUD/S) training.
The Golden Trident itself is packed with enough meaning and hard-won expertise in a variety of combat skills to keep drinking buddies guessing all night. The golden eagle symbolizes the SEALs’ competence in the air. The pistol symbolizes the SEALs’ ability on land. The trident represents the SEALs’ dominance in the sea and the anchor represents the Navy itself.
With all this attention to detail, this watch could well become a coveted collector’s piece for true Navy SEALs, but is of course also available for ordinary urban warriors faced with nothing more challenging than a midnight run to the 7/11. However, as this particular model is so closely linked to the SEALs ethos it’s almost like wearing official SEALs military kit. If you haven’t earned it, so should you have the right to wear it? That’s a question only you can decide.
Powered by Swiss quartz, the Luminox Navy SEAL Gold Limited Edition is now available via the Luminox website and retails for US$545.00.