A Closer Look At The New Luminox Master Carbon SEAL Automatic
There are very few items on this planet that boast a seal of approval from the US Navy SEALs. The bar for entry is unbelievably (and understandably) high. Toughness, reliability, and, most importantly, usability are all rightly high on the list of priorities of special forces soldiers when they assess the non-standard issue equipment to bring into the field.
One of those rare pieces of kit that’s up to snuff? Luminox watches.
So when Luminox announced it was, for the first time, marrying its rugged Carbonox material with an automatic movement, it shouldn’t be a surprise it came in the form of a watch like the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic.
Real World Ruggedness
In the case of the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic, Luminox’s long-standing relationship with the US Navy SEALs translates into three new timepieces that are not only tactical in style and design but also in terms of functionality. And while the bezels are stainless steel with IP black plating, the cases of this trio are made using Luminox’s patented Carbonox material.
This carbon powder material is six times lighter than steel but maintains comparable strength. Unsurprisingly, then, it’s a lightweight timepiece (125 grams, to be exact) that can take a knock or two.
Plus, the non-metallic weatherproof case means there’s very little in the way of expansion from temperature swings, and it is shockproof. This means that, in the field, SEALs (and even average human beings like you and I) can look forward to a watch that can stand the test of extreme elements.
Engineering On Display
Seeing as how this is the first time Luminox is bringing its Carbonox materials and an automatic movement together, it only makes sense they show it off, right? Hence, the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic’s movement is displayed via a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback.
According to Luminox, using an automatic movement along with Carbonox presented a small engineering challenge. Due to the weight of the movement and the weight factor from the carbon material, it was not as simple a design equation as with a regular steel case.
As a result, the layers of Carbonox vary in depth depending on the model to help keep balance and maintain the accuracy of the movement, which also features day and date functions.
Reliable and Familiar Tech
Available in three colorways, the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic comes with a blue or black dial and a blue or red, cut-to-fit rubber straps. The Limited Edition model, however, comes with an orange face and a Carbonox link bracelet.
The steel bezel is ion-plated in black, with the bezel markings remaining bare steel for high-contrast legibility. On the face itself, the indices and hands are adorned with the familiar and reliable Luminox Light Technology – i.e., tritium tubes that enable complete visibility in absolute darkness and hold a lifespan of 25 years.
Powered by a Swiss Automatic movement – the SELLITA SW 220-1 – the Master Carbon SEAL is water-resistant down to 200 meters. The case measures 45mm across and is 14mm in height. It’s not the slimmest watch in the world, but its architecture matches its ruggedness.
For the standard Master Carbon SEAL Automatic, the price tag is $1,075. But for the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic Limited Edition, with the orange face and Carbonox bracelet, it is a very tempting $1,175.
All things considered, and no matter which model you choose, the Master Carbon SEAL is exceptionally well-priced for a Swiss Made, military-grade automatic timepiece.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)