August 4, 2022
While many brands enjoy making military-inspired timepieces, Luminox is one of the few watch companies that has a genuine military affiliation within the modern era. Founded in 1989, Luminox has been working directly with the U.S. Navy SEALs since the very earliest days of the brand to create purpose-built watches that suit the demanding needs of active military personnel, while simultaneously honoring their work ethic, skills, and core values. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Navy SEALs, Luminox has released the latest edition of the “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Chronograph, which takes the famous mantra of the Navy SEAL teams and presents it in an all-black format to serve as a constant reminder to its owners that the quickest and most efficient way to complete a task is to be methodical, calculated, and careful when doing it.
The case of the new Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Edition measures 45mm in diameter and is crafted from CARBONOX, which is Luminox’s durable carbon composite material that is six times lighter than steel, 3 times lighter than titanium, and both anti-allergenic and anti-magnetic. Sitting on top of the case is a hardened mineral glass crystal (550-650 Vickers), which is surrounded by a unidirectional rotating bezel that features a three-dimensional elapsed time scale and a luminous marking at the zero marker. Protected by large crown guards is a signed crown with a double security gasket that works with the solid 316L stainless steel screw-on caseback adorned with the Navy SEALs’ logo to help provide the watch with 200 meters of water resistance.
The dial of the new Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Edition follows the watch’s largely all-black profile with the exception of a few small, bright red accents. The matte-black surface features slightly recessed rings for its chronograph registers, which have gloss black markings for an all-black, tone-on-tone appearance. The Luminox logo sits at the 12 o’clock location, while a date window with a white-on-black calendar disc sits opposite it at the 6 o’clock position on the dial. Running along the periphery of the dial are small red markings to indicate the five-minute markers, while the “Swiss Made” signature and the “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” wording also appear in red letters along the same arc of this minutes track.
Just like all Luminox watches, the Navy SEAL Chronograph “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Edition features the brand’s signature Luminox Light Technology, which consists of tritium gas-filled tubes set into the hands and hour markers of the dial, which will glow continuously for up to 25 years, regardless of whether or not they receive any light exposure. Rather than being set into the dial surface itself, the tubes are set horizontally into the three-dimensional chapter ring that frames its perimeter, with the tube for the 12 o’clock marker set vertically and made to glow orange, rather than the green color emitted by its siblings. Similarly, while the hour hand and trio of hands for the sub-dials all receive green-glowing tritium tubes, the extra large tube for the minute hand glows orange, as does the luminous marking on the external rotating bezel, which is done to help users track elapsed time while in dark environments.
While Luminox watches are enjoyed by many collectors and enthusiasts for their robust designs and glowing tritium gas tubes, they are first and foremost designed to be functional timekeeping tools. Although the brand does make a few mechanical watches, most of its offerings are powered by Swiss quartz movements, and that is exactly the case with the Navy SEAL Chronograph “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Edition. While they are undeniably less interesting than their mechanical counterparts from a horological perspective, quartz chronographs are more accurate, more durable, easier to maintain, and all around more practical for a timepiece that may see active use in situations where reliability is of the utmost importance. Just like the choice in movement, the strap for the Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Edition places an emphasis on practicality, and it is made from black textured rubber with a double tang buckle for added durability.
Luminox’s history as a company is inseparable from the United States Navy SEALs, and the longstanding partnership has informed much of the design language that can be seen throughout the brand’s various watches. While this particular model may not resonate with those who do not have a personal connection to the Navy SEALs, other collectors may be drawn to it simply because of what the Navy’s elite tactical team means to the Luminox brand and its history. With an official retail price of $595 USD, the Luminox Navy SEAL Chronograph “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” Edition is almost guaranteed to not be a permanent fixture within the brand’s catalog for the long run; however, it also isn’t going to be a limited edition where you will need to scramble to secure an example or be forced to turn to the secondary market. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.