The watch that marks a fantastic collaboration. The features and build that you want in extreme weather conditions, without sacrificing the looks or comfort.
Buying a watch is easy. Finding a watch that fits your needs and takes the challenging weather conditions isn’t mission impossible, but you do need to keep in mind some critical rules when selecting.
As with everything else, not all watches are created equal, and some are better than others. It’s just the way it is.
Who is Luminox?
Founded in the late ’80s, Luminox Watch Company is a U.S company that designs watches for different military groups with exclusive designs and even custom insignias.
The US Coast Guard, United States Navy Seals, US Air Force, and other EMS teams and other special forces are only a few to name.
The brand has expanded into more than 30 countries, and the purchase of more than 50% of the company by the Swiss brand Mondaine meant a turning point. It’s how Luminox managed to increase access to the European and Asian markets.
Taking cues from the SR-71 Blackbird or the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Luminox watches stand as an equivalent of force and reliability, no matter the conditions.
What is the Luminox Ice-Sar Arctic 1000 series?
One of the things that make Luminox stand out from other watch brands is the collaboration with heroes.
The Icelandic Association for Research and Rescue (ICE-SAR) started as a group of volunteers ready to operate and rescue in severe weather conditions. To this day, ICE-SAR includes more than 90 teams and an incredible number of 8,000 volunteers. They are all running accident prevention, but also Search and Rescue programs in Iceland to fight back when Mother Nature is unstoppable.
As Luminox watches are developed for handling the last places, the collaboration with ICE-SAR didn’t surprise anyone. The ICE-SAR Arctic 1000 series celebrates the 90th anniversary of ICE-SAR. The series includes five models, and one of them is a limited edition.
The watches within the Arctic 1000 series are created to tackle the many hazards of the most performance civilian volunteer SAR groups. The timepieces feature scratch-resistant sapphire crystals and come with Swiss Made quartz movement. They all come with Luminox Lighting Technology (LLT) for extreme night vision for 24 hours a day, up to 25 years thanks to the tritium gas tubes. They also present 200-meter water resistance.
Let’s go over the detailed look!
The four circle-section elements (the logo of ICE-SAR) was the primary source of inspiration for the shape of the bezel of the watches. The hands are similar to the carabiners that Icelandic volunteers are using for every mission.
The hard-sandblasted dial reminds of the lava fields that you can find on more than 30% of Iceland. The dial doesn’t go far from the traditional Luminex dials, with specially beveled case profile, built-in angular bezel and pointed lugs that remind you of some ice tools.
The built of the watches is impressive as they’re all made with Luminox’s convincing carbon-reinforced polymer case (aka Carbonox at the moment), which is 40% carbon in bar form. The watch has a subtly textured exterior which is similar to a forged carbon case, but it’s a lot cheaper.
The case is three times lighter than titanium, but the scratch-resistance is stronger than another traditional alloy. It’s not thermo conductive (it means that it’s immune to the possible adverse effect of “touching”/holding something cold or hot). It’s why all the watches within the series are fantastic options for the severe conditions. They’re all made with rescue teams needs in mind, as they also have to rely on their gear 24/7.
Far from being small, the watch is surprisingly lightweight, which explains the comfortable wear. The black genuine rubber signature strap features white stitching and CARBONOX signature buckle.
It’s a long strap so that any of the ICE-SAR members can wear the watch outside the ski jacket/shell. Even when wearing it like so, the clock is still easy to read and to use thanks to the high-contrast markings and the wide dial.
The signature elements of Luminox don’t disappear. The watch comes with Swiss Ronda 515 quartz movement with a date which ensures accuracy, the sapphire crystal that takes the scratches, or the screwed-on stainless steel case back that recommends it for the use in challenging conditions. The oversized crown is grippy, and it’s backed by two O-rings, sustaining the 200-meter water resistant, 20ATM/600ft. Each watch was individually tested.
Let’s not forget to mention once again the 14 gaseous light tubes that provide easy reading 24/7, for 25 years or so. When you’re in Iceland, you want to be able to read the watch no matter how cold or dark it gets, and the Night Vision Tubes are there for the rescue.
Is there something we like less?
If you’re looking for the new functions of new era watches, this one isn’t for you. It’s a rather large watch that is going to take the challenging and dangerous environments, providing you the support you need.
Some also argue that its versatility is somewhat limited, but it depends a lot on your needs and skills.
What’s our final take?
Luminox isn’t the only watch brand that specializes in making the hyper-rugged looking watches that feature tritium illumination.
However, the new series, including this one, comes with a bit more aggressive and oversized case that outdoor enthusiasts go for. It’s not going to empty your pocket, despite its rugged build and significant resistance.
Hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor activities are the place where this watch makes it a reliable option. Anyone working in the Fire Department should at least take a look at it.
Easy to use and to read, the watch is one of a kind, and you should never skip it. Even if you think it’s a bit too large for your wrist.