American success stories can be few and far between in the watch industry. However, among a rare breed, 25 year old brand Luminox has certainly made a name for itself. Having established a brand which holds low-light and nighttime legibility to be paramount, Luminox has been committed to creating high-performance sports watches for the likes of Navy Seals, divers and pilots. In an exclusive agreement to create Lockheed Martin timepieces, the F-35 Lightning II is a perfect example of the brand’s dedication to create such forward-thinking wrist-wear.
The 44mm stainless steel brushed case houses the Swiss-made Ronda 5050.B Chronograph quartz movement. The dial features a textured black pattern which reflects the light quite well, while the hands and indicators provide a bright orange contrast which gives the F-35 Lightning II a sporty look all around. The bi-directional, non-ratcheting slide-rule bezel meets the standard pilot’s watch prerequisites to quickly calculate distances, flight times and fuel consumption. When used with the chronograph, the tachymeter can indicate speeds in kilometers, miles and nautical miles per hour. The chronograph features an accuracy of up to 1/10th of a second via a two toned, semi-circle display at 6 o’clock.
The watch’s date window, chronograph totalizer (at 9 o’clock) and seconds sub-dial (at 3 o’clock) provide a very functional yet busy dial. At times it can even seem too busy. However, once you get past this very active dial, the orange and black genuine leather band makes for a very comfortable and enjoyable wearing experience. The sapphire anti reflective crystal and assured 660ft water resistance ensure this timepiece is durable and dependable.
Of course what makes this watch ideal for high-performance situations is Luminox’s cutting-edge light technology within the hands and hour indicators. By placing tritium, an isotope of hydrogen, inside the indicators, the glowing watch face becomes easily legible at night. What makes this a truly stealthy timepiece is that these small gas tubes can last up to 25 years in complete darkness. It’s no question this timepiece is not only an exceptionally affordable pilot’s watch (selling at a clean $1,000), but also one ideal for those who ever need quick legibility during extended darkness. Whether it’s during a covert pilot’s mission or to check the time in the middle of the night, the Luminox F-35 is a safe bet. For more information about the Luminox F-35 Lightning II and other Luminox pieces visit here.