By Isaac Despain
The Luminox ‘secret sauce’ has always been making large, rugged, watches with tritium markers. This one, the 44mm Luminox Pacific Diver Chronograph, is no exception. It has all the features that you would expect from Luminox, like 200 meters of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and a Ronda quartz movement.
Despite having three additional functions on the dial, the hands are broad and easy to see against the backdrop of the busy dial. Otherwise, reading the time would be like playing “Where’s Waldo?”.
Looking at the bezel, the forward action is great if you like a loud tactile ‘clack’ that can scare the neighbor’s cat. However, it does have a bit of back-play. The chronograph pushers are tactile and make this watch a fidgeter’s dream come true.
This Luminox feels like a quality product on the wrist and all of the features are a pleasure to use.
What could Luminox have done better?
The markings on the bezel are a real point of contention for me. When you set the bezel anywhere on the lower half of the watch, the “05” reads like a “50”. I also feel like the pip should have more contrast with the rest of the bezel as it takes me a second longer to find it. Perhaps adding a dash of red or white would have solved the problem. And unfortunately, the bezel on my example does not line up well with the dial.
Typically, this is no big deal if you are paying less than $400, but when you’re forking out $795-plus I would hope for better.
How does it wear? Awesome, actually! I have small wrists and this watch sits flat and comfortably all day. A lot of that is due to the well-designed lugs that are compact and hug the case.
Due to the fact that this watch wears a lot smaller than it is, wearing it in public doesn’t make me feel like I’m compensating for my little man syndrome. Although the specs might suggest otherwise, I am happy to report that the Pacific Diver Chrono does not wear like a “wristburger”!
We have ignored the star of the show. The real magic happens when the lights go out and the tritium ampules fluoresce. I love setting this watch on my night stand and being able to see what time it is when I get up for the fifth time at night. It’s a game changer.
So what’s the verdict? The Luminox Pacific Diver Chronograph is perfect for you if you are someone who likes the functional look of a big watch, a busy dial, and tactile feature interfaces.
If you can forgive the minor issues with the bezel, this watch will reward you with a taste of that sweet Luminox ‘secret sauce’. If you are the kind of person who wouldn’t touch a 44mm watch with a ten-foot pole, try one on before you make any assumptions. As for me, I found myself slapping this watch on the wrist and showing it off a lot more than I expected to. I really like it for what it is.
On the rubber strap, the Luminox Pacific Diver Chronograph is priced at $795 and is $895 on the steel bracelet.
+ 44mm wears great, even on smaller wrists
+ Tactile action with the bezel and chrono pushers
+ Tritium rocks! Until it doesn’t…
+ Good assembly
+ Cut to fit rubber strap
+ Ronda quartz movement
+ 20 ATM
+ Sapphire Crystal
– Slight bezel misalignment and play
– “05” that reads like “50” on the bezel
– Tritium pip is too small
– Bezel pip does not have enough contrast
Isaac Despain is a watch designer and Head of Design at Fine Timepiece Solutions USA.