Timing and precision are obviously important for all watch brands. While many will speak about these, few will provide good practical examples, let alone explain how crucial timing and precision are in actual real-life situations.
For us, Luminox is one of the few. Many watch enthusiasts will undoubtedly be familiar with this brand that has long been associated with the US Navy SEALs (the acronym for Sea Air and Land), America’s famed special operations military unit.
In fact, the association spans more than two decades as Luminox first supplied the US Navy Seals with watches in 1993. The rest, as they say, is history.
The style of that first watch supplied to the US Navy SEALS, the model 3001, was subsequently produced and marketed commercially by Luminox (now under the Original Navy SEAL 3000 Series).
What is noteworthy is that its case back bears the engraving of the US Navy SEAL logo – the US Warfare Insignia which is better known as the “SEAL Trident” or the “Budweiser” because of its resemblance to the Anheuser-Busch logo (which is better known for its beer brands Budweiser, Stella-Artois and Beck’s).
When Crystal Time, the distributor of Luminox watches in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, gave a preview of the 2015 Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova collection in September 2015 in Langkawi, Malaysia, they had ex-Navy SEAL John McGuire on hand as the brand’s spokesperson.
Langkawi is part of Malaysia and is an archipelago made up of 99 islands located on the country’s west coast. The Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova is a new collection that will be officially launched in November 2015.
McGuire was a former US Navy SEAL (first class petty officer) and sniper who had served for 10 years. Now what better way to introduce a watch built for the extremes by a former military man and best of all, a former US Navy SEAL?
“Timing is extremely important in military operations. For example, you have to be at the right location at the scheduled time for your helicopter pick-up or you will miss it. This is especially true for snipers after their missions,” explains McGuire, adding that synchronized timing is just as important during missions.
We must also add, based on our experience, that Luminox is probably the first brand for us that made a conscious attempt to explain and demonstrate how time on different wristwatches, whether quartz or mechanical, can be perfectly synchronized such that all members of a group can share one standard time precisely. It was interesting to note that not many knew beforehand how to perform this action.
Moreover, signalling to your comrades or commencing a military activity at the wrong time may potentially lead to a mission failure. “All it takes is one person in your team to screw up,” states McGuire matter-of-factly.
The Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova is an extension of the core Colormark family. For example, there is the Navy SEAL Colormark 3050 Series and its younger sibling is the Original Navy Seal 3000 Series.
The Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova is available in five colours: white, orange, red, green and yellow. The watches are powered by Swiss Ronda 5030.D quartz movements and each comes with a rubber strap. A matching Zulu strap, what the brand calls the webbing strap, is included as a bonus.
The new features of the Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova pertain to the hour indexes on the dial and what is termed the 20-minute diving countdown markings on the rotating bezel.
The first 20-minute markings on the rotating bezel are in colour and it will be similar to the colour reference on the dial of the respective model. This is the 20-minute countdown.
Rather than Arabic numerals from 1 to 12 (with the exception of 3 because that is where the date display window is), these are now replaced by eight SuperLuminova-coated circles on the dial for the 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 hour indexes. Bar indexes, also in SuperLuminova, are at the six and nine o’clock hour indexes and a SuperLuminova-coated triangular reference is at 12 o’clock.
Previous and current Colormark watches like those in the Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series and the Original Navy SEAL 3000 Series have Arabic numeral hour indexes that are not coated with SuperLuminova. This is therefore the first time SuperLuminova is used on the dials of the Luminox Colormark family of watches.
The use of the characteristic micro borosilicate gas tubes which the brand terms the Luminox Light Technology (LLT), remains. A total of 12 of these are found at the periphery of the dial and are also hour markers that are especially useful for telling time in total darkness. A third micro gas tube is found on the rotatable bezel and at the 60th minute (or 12 o’clock) reference.
These micro gas tubes contain the radioluminescent material known as tritium and they will glow continuously for up to 25 years without the need for any “charging” as they are independent of any light source.
On the other hand, SuperLuminova is a photo-luminescent material where energy obtained to illuminate itself in darkness is from electromagnetic radiation. In other words, SuperLuminova has to be “charged” by an external light source.
If the external light source is strong, the SuperLuminova’s brightness will likewise be strong because of what is absorbed but do note that the light emitted will be at a lower frequency than the original source.
Moreover, the luminescence of SuperLuminova will fade after a few hours (unlike the micro gas tubes with tritium). The diminishing luminescence is known as “decay”.
For us, the use of the word “Nova” is meaningful as a nova can be described as a star that has suddenly become thousands of times brighter due to an explosion but its brightness will gradually return to its original intensity.
Now recall that the Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova features SuperLuminova-coated circles as hour indexes. How the nova comes full circle (pun intended) sounds very much like how SuperLuminova works. That is why for us, the circular design is extremely apt. We must also add that it is a bright idea (pun definitely intended).
The idea for the new design of Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova was the result of the collaboration between Crystal Time and Luminox.
With the addition of the SuperLuminova-coated hour markers, luminescence on the Navy SEAL Colormark Nova watches is intensified in darkness, especially when the SuperLuminova is well-charged. Even after full “decay” of the SuperLuminova, one can still read the time in total darkness because of the micro gas tubes.
“We wanted to pay tribute to Luminox’s core identity as the brand that ‘owns the night’. Therefore, the Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova is infused with an extra edge of luminosity with SuperLuminova on the circular indices of the dial whilst retaining the core LLT [Luminox Light Technology] to celebrate the ‘light’ within the Luminox brand identity,” explains Pamela Tan, senior brand manager, Crystal Time.
This is without a doubt, a wonderful two-in-one “bright idea” product. These colourful Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova watches are up to the mark as robust and reliable timekeeping instruments for the masses.
The Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova will be officially launched in November 2015 and before the watches hit the stores, we would like to offer Luminox and Crystal Time a strong and loud shout of encouragement with the typical US Navy battle cry Instructor McGuire taught us to exclaim with commitment: Hooyah!