Let’s Dive In: Suiting Up With The New Luminox Pacific Diver
For World Oceans Day, Luminox launches a tough, new diver ready to take on the depths, dangers, and delights of the Pacific.
The world’s oceans have long represented the vast unknown for humankind. The Greeks prayed to Poseidon for protection from storms and mythical beasts. The Bermuda Triangle became the legendary swallower of ships. Even now, our technological prowess has allowed us to go to depths our fragile bodies would not normally allow, and yet a simple fact remains: when you’re in the ocean, you play by the ocean’s rules.
Those venturing into the deep need tools to return safely, and something as simple as a bezel can be the difference between life and death. That’s why we’re spotlighting Luminox for World Oceans Day.
Luminox is trusted by those who routinely find themselves in precarious situations in the midst of an ocean like the Pacific: the Coast Guard, Navy SEALs, the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, Scott Cassell’s Sea Wolves Unlimited and Undersea Voyager Project, US Underwater Demolition Teams, and even lifeguards at Australia’s Bondi Beach.
The Pacific is close to home for Luminox. Quite literally, in that, the company was founded in the small town of San Rafael in coastal California. The Pacific also embodies the tough spirit of the brand creating straight-forward tools for active lives. After all, if you’re taking a dip or taking your chances, you’ll want a watch that’s up to the job.
Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
The new Pacific Diver from Luminox was birthed from both a respect for the ocean and Luminox’s legacy of durable timepieces. The new 3120 Series comes in four models with varying dial, strap, and case material options. For our hands-on review, we took the 3122 and 3121.BO down to the docks for the full experience.
The particular models shown here offer two different takes on the same watch. The 3122 is the quintessential diver. The timeless design language of the genre carries through with high-contrast dial elements for quick legibility, a water-resistant case, and a unidirectional rotating bezel (rendered here in Luminox’s proprietary CARBONOX material). It’s a no-frills watch because the excitement comes from what you can do in it.
The 3121.BO, on the other hand, is a significant departure from the dive watch status quo. The black DLC-coated case is muted and seems to absorb the light that touches it. It’s a distinctive look that’s quite the opposite of flashy and provides the ‘Nox’ portion to Luminox’s yin-yang between light and dark. The luminescent elements pop against the blacked-out watch with carefully measured doses of color in green, orange, and red.
Being a decidedly different dive watch has its advantages and disadvantages, of course. Chief among these is visibility. The 3121.BO’s commitment to black-on-black elements does make the watch harder to read during the day. At night, it’s no issue really as Luminox’s superb luminescence takes, over and the black background simply disappears. During the day, however, you may find yourself angling your wrist a bit to check the time.
The advantage here is the novelty of it. Blacked-out DLC watches have found their niche in the community, and there’s a considerable contingent of customers who enjoy the “tactical” side of design, and who would gladly trade split-second legibility for a watch that’s thoroughly in the stealth-mode camp.
The watches come on either a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap. The bracelet is more or less what you would expect, it’s rugged, it’s comfortable, and it’ll age well even after hard use.
The rubber strap is one of the better ones I’ve experienced. It’s thick but surprisingly malleable and supple – a welcome relief as rubber straps never really break-in and can often feel as though they’re actively resisting the movement of your wrist. Also, the dimpled texture on the exterior is, in my opinion, more visually appealing than its smoother competitors.
A Time And Place For Quartz
The pieces are powered by the Ronda 515, a simple yet reliable quartz movement that can take a beating. While typical watch nerds, we included, typically prefer mechanical movements, quartz does come with some advantages.
For one, the compact movements make the 44mm, 200m water-resistant dive watch more readily wearable, even for the small wristed among us. And the 3mm thickness of the Ronda 515 allows this watch to come in at a height of only 12mm. A Seiko SKX, by comparison, is 13.5mm thick. The movement also reduces the weight of the watch, which is a crucial advantage for watches with a larger diameter and for those worn during the sweltering days of summer.
A Good Choice For Dad
With Father’s Day coming up in the US on June 21st, it’s hard not to think of the no-nonsense men in our lives when reviewing a similarly no-nonsense watch.
The Pacific Diver, particularly in stainless steel on a bracelet, could well constitute a one-watch collection for someone who needs the basics done well. It is, without a doubt, durable and also uses the timeless tool watch design language to move from diving to the dinner table with ease. Plus, as my dad would say, “It won’t cost you an arm and a leg.”
Dads, perhaps more often than is warranted, tend to get a kick out of using everyday things that can handle challenges well beyond everyday: A grill that can cook enough burgers for the whole neighborhood; hiking gear that is prepared for a flash blizzard; a car that can tow a boat; and now a watch that is trusted by the most elite forces on the planet.
The new Luminox Pacific Diver is available starting now via Luminox's website. The collection starts at $545 and tops out at $640 for the full stainless steel 3122 and 3123 editions. You can purchase via this link.
Watchonista would like to send a special “thank you” to the newly-opened and thoroughly-impressive ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina for hosting our Pacific Diver photoshoot.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)