Wednesday, September 23

Review: Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 Series

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Luminox are perhaps best known for their association with the United States Navy SEALs, one of the top special operations forces in the world. This association goes back to 1993, when Luminox developed the first generation Navy SEAL series of watches. 24 years and several revamps later, we have in hand the 3500 series, Luminox’s latest addition to their Sea series. See here for a previous review of the Luminox Carbon SEAL 3800 Series.

 

Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 Series

The full frontal of the masculine build of the Luminox 3502.

Carbon case:

The 45mm turtle-shaped case is constructed from Luminox’s now-standard carbon compound which is at the same time lightweight and sturdy. If one were to draw a comparison to conventional case materials, it would be closest to ceramic in terms of its durability, but without the fear of shattering it on an accidental impact. The shape is naturally in keeping with its rugged, tool watch purposes, and features a prominent crown guard as well as sharp angles on the lugs.

 

Large numerals on the dial and the bezel make for easy viewing, and the red seconds hand is a nice touch.

On the reverse, the insignia of the famed US Navy SEALs is embossed in 3D on the closed caseback. The heart of the 3500 series is a reliable Swiss Ronda Quartz movement that lasts 8 years on a single battery change.

 

The back shows the Navy SEAL insignia.

 

Appearance:

The 3500 series brings something new to the Luminox Sea series in that the bracelet is made of carbon compound as well. This lends the piece some degree of versatility in terms of the wearability of the watch – it looks at home on a polo shirt and jeans day when on the bracelet, and after a quick strap change to the polyurethane rubber strap that comes with it, it’s ready for a quick evening jog around the estate. This series also comes in a variety of colourways such as all-black dial, white dial, blue dial, black dial with yellow numbers, etc. 

 

The carbon bracelet is a new twist by Luminox. It wears very nicely and blends in with the case.

Functionality:

As with all dive watches, the 3500 series come with a rotating bezel. The bezel on this is unidirectional with 60 clicks. While each click is solid and there is little play in between clicks, the sensation one gets when rotating the bezel is a flat, plasticky sort of feeling which diminishes the experience somewhat. Otherwise, this watch is built to 200m water resistance, thanks to the screw on caseback and double-security gasket crown which allows it to fulfil its main purpose as a diver. Also of note is its outstanding legibility under dim conditions, a result of Luminox Light Technology. The tritium gas tubes used are self-powering and reportedly last 25 years without losing its illumination. Read here for more about luminosity and the history of lume in watches.

 

There is no shortage of lume power from the tritium gas tubes on the Luminox 3500, and the different colours aid even more in the legibility.

 

Daily Wearability:

On the wrist, the Luminox performs just as you expect a Navy SEAL-approved watch would: inconspicuous and lightweight when it’s not needed, and noticeably chunky when you actually do look. The carbon compound bracelet gets a nod of approval from us for being quite intuitive and easy to use compared to some other bracelets out there on the market. It is also more comfortable than it seems. Luminox also realise that bracelets might not be for everyone, and do provide a stock polyurethane strap that comes with all their regular range of watches. This strap will hold up to anything: run a marathon or dive into the depths of the sea and this strap will emerge on the other side smiling, for it is just that comfortable and hardy. The author can personally vouch for the former as he wore a Luminox Navy SEAL piece during the recent Army Half Marathon without any discomfort or inconvenience throughout all 21km.

 

Perhaps consider bringing this piece in to your next In-Camp Training, or for those yet to enlist, Basic Military Training?

Concluding thoughts:

The Luminox 3500 series keeps what has made their watches ever so popular and highly wearable over the decades, while incorporating some nifty new updates to the case material and bracelet/strap options. This is a true tool watch for the outdoor enthusiast or diving enthusiast.

 

Channeling the inner Navy SEAL in all of us!

Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 Series Technical Specifications:

Case:

  •         Material: Carbon compound
  •         Size: 45mm
  •         Height: 14.00mm
  •         Bezel: 60 click unidirectional
  •         Water resistance: 200m
  •         Crystal: Hardened mineral glass
  •         Caseback: screwed on close caseback
  •         Weight: 71g

Knocking it down with Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 makes the experience better…or does it?

Price:

Luminox Navy SEAL 3501 : RRP S$695.50 inclusive of GST

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6 Comments

  1. Bill laverty on

    My 18-year-old grandson goes into Sandhirst as an officer cadet would this be a good watch for him?

  2. It is a beautiful simple quartz watch with a carbon case. You can buy one from Breitling for $2,000 or go Luminox for a fraction of the price.

  3. Ryan:

    Thanks for the courtesy of your reply. I accept your evidence. You will understand my skepticism: we live in a time of celebrity endorsement and assertions of use of products by endorsers who quite likely only use those products because they were given them along with a tidy bundle of Hamiltons. Any affection on the part of an endorser for any given product may develop, but we are not unreasonable if we look askance at merchants’ and manufacturers’ ad copy featuring pretty faces and white teeth.

    While not all SEALs would fit that description, we can agree that their using your watch out of choice is a sufficiently solid and credible endorsement. It might serve your commercial purpose if in your emphasis on the SEAL connection you offered a link to whatever materials would buttress the assertion. Perhaps, though, the Defense Department regs would forbid such for reasons of commercial fairness and evenhanded treatment of vendors, actual and prospective.

    In any case, you established the validity of your ad to my satisfaction, and I hope you will understand why your field of potential purchasers might have a “Prove it” attitude.

    Good luck with the new model.

    • Thanks James for taking the time to reply as well and accepting our response. But I guess you know, but please indulge me to note that we are not selling the watch, or any watch. Deployant is a watch community website. Our job is to look at it critically, and express our opinion on the watches which come to us to review. We take our own photographs to show the watches in the best light we feel fitting. The views are our own, and not any form of advertising.

      Thanks again for your comment. We appreciate the feedback.

  4. What is the evidence for tying this watch or its predecessors to the Navy SEALs? If one SEAL accepted one and wore it, and later agreed to confirm that fact, is that the evidence? Did one of the teams accept a batch and wear them on ops? Isn’t it sufficient to say that this is a tough watch that will stand up to whatever you can dish out while keeping accurate time? From multiple sources over time, we’ve all read about what operators say they use: Suuntos, G Shocks, hell even Timexes, who knows what else. Why tout that this is a SEAL watch in the face of contrary evidence that there’s no such thing?

    • Hi James, thank you for your comment.

      The Original Luminox Navy SEAL watch that was first introduced in 1994, was developed together with the officer in charge of procurement for the Navy SEALs, Chief Nick North specifically for the SEALs.

      Since then, the Luminox Navy SEAL watch have been requested by the many elite military and law enforcement units for their use around the world. They are also the official watch for the SEALs as their watch was the only one to pass all the rigorous tests to be A.N.U (Authorised for Navy Use), as shown here on the official Luminox website https://www.luminox.com/brand/the-story.html .

      While the SEALs might be free to use any watch of their liking as you have so kindly pointed out, Luminox are the only brand approved to carry the Navy SEAL logo. If you are interested, you may follow this link to the for a list of military units that request for and use Luminox, a list which includes the Navy SEALs: https://www.luminox.com/brand/trusted-und-requested-by.html

      Best regards,
      Ryan