The new Essential Gear series of watches from Luminox consists of three version of the same model, each designed for its own domain. The Luminox Essential Gear Sea was created for the combat divers, L.E.G.Land (we’ll talk of it later) caters to the needs of land-based spec. ops. teams, and the Luminox Eessential Gear Air SAR (ref. 3059.SAR) is designed with pilots (and sky-divers) in mind.
Like just about all Search And Rescue stuff (starting with lifeboats and tents and going all the way up to amphibious helicopters and cruisers,) this watch features an extremely high-contrast black and orange color scheme. Used both for its bezel with the usual 60-minute diving scale and the dial that features the brand’s signature tritium micro-tubes with an expected lifespan of at least a couple of decades (I think, the movement and the stock strap will be long gone and replaced when the tubes filled with the radioactive gas will finally give up on you.)
The screaming color scheme makes the dial especially easy to read and looks cool, if that’s what you are looking for from a military-styled watch.
The traditional “1-12” set of big and bold Arabic numerals is accompanied with a less common “13-23” set that lets you read current time in military format.
The LLT tritium tubes here are also orange (for the hour markers) and blue (for the hour, minute and even the central seconds hand).
Its rugged case is made of a hardened carbon-reinforced polymer plastic and its unidirectional rotating bezel features a single LLT tube that indicates the 12 o’clock position.
Like the rest of the pack, the watch is water resistant up to 200 meters so you can easily use it as a diving watch. I mean, you never know where you will land the next time.
Many watches in this price range come equipped with Japanese quartz calibers from Miyota, however this ref. 3059.SAR is surprisingly powered by a Swiss made quartz movement that guarantees high reliability and efficiency. Of course, don’t expect anything fancy behind the solid case back that, too, seems to be crafted from the same carbon-reinforced plastic as the rest of the case: history tells us that, even if marketed as “Swiss Made”, the quartz calibers ticking inside relatively inexpensive timekeepers are usually of the same “throw-away” variety as other similarly price watches with a lot humbler “Japan Mov’t” stamped on their backs.
Well, I would gladly exchange the standard black rubber band for a textile NATO strap of the same color or, perhaps, a nice olive-colored Cordura strap, however, as far as I understand, this one has to be bought separately from a third-party retailer thus increasing the grand total by at least 1/10th if you are lucky enough to live in a country with low import taxes.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Luminox Essential Gear Air Search And Rescue (SAR, ref. 3059.SAR) specification
Price range: $295 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Power reserve: Approx. four years
Case material: Carbon-reinforced polymer
Bezel material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 14.00 mm
Hands: Black, luminous (tritium microtubes)
Hour markers: Luminous (tritium microtubes)
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black rubber on metal pin buckle with Luminox crest
Crystal: Mineral, scratch-resistant
Back: Solid, screw-in