Unlike a number of recent entries from the American-owned Swiss watch brand, this new Luminox BlackOut EVO F-117 Nighthawk Stealth retails for much more impressive $850.
The price differential, probably, comes courtesy of a PVD-coated 45mm stainless steel case of complex-looking shape, and solid-steel bracelet that, too, features nice machine-brushed texture and is treated with matte black PVD coating. Choosing a scratch-proof sapphire crystal to protect the gadget’s blacked-out dial from the elements probably, too, had an effect on the grand total (if not in terms of cost, then at least from the point of an extra charge for the use of ‘premium’ materials and higher ‘perceive quality’ compared to their cheaper model, -like the strictly utilitarian Sentry collection– that come in black resin cases.)
The other members of the BlackOut family are delivered in polyurethane or carbon reinforced plastic, fitted with simple rubber or plastic wristband, and some of them even have their dials protected by cheaper (and more prone to scratches) hardened mineral glass.
On the other hand, it must be noted that PVD treatment is not as robust as much more expensive DLC coating and is easily scratched or dented if you don’t treat your watch with respect, but, again, using Diamon-Like Carbon coating would probably have made the timekeeper’s MSRP two or even three times higher putting it in the same price niche as a lot better-advertised Swiss and German watchmaking brands. Perhaps, guys at Luminox decided that they are not yet ready to conquer the niche of premium-priced ‘tactical’ timepieces that are extremely rarely bought by professionals working in the field.
As usual, the huge, rugged case measures 45 millimeters in diameter and is quite thick -at least for a watch powered by a quartz mechanism- at 13 millimeters, so, if your wrist is thin (and, more importantly, narrow,) the BlackOut EVO F-117 Nighthawk Stealth may look a trifle awkward on you, especially if you plan to wear the watch with casual dress.
Joining the Luminox BlackOut family, the EVO F-117 Nighthawk Stealth has got its high-contrast black and white layout changed for a lot sexier (but not so legible) black-on-black edition.
While all the three hands (as well as the hour markers) are equipped with the proprietary LLT tritium tubes that keep glowing literally for decades and look highly legible in any lighting condition, the other elements of the “interface” are not that good.
For example, the lack of contrast renders its GMT-capable unidirectional rotating bezel almost completely useless at night (the single luminous dot at 12 hours doesn’t help much.) Ditto the military-style secondary Arabic numerals at its dial: the black mother’s little helpers will be completely invisible even in a brightly lit room.
Well, it is just a nice accessory, not a piece of professional gear, right?
Build Quality: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Luminox BlackOut EVO F-117 Nighthawk Stealth pilot’s watch specification
Price range: From $850 (MSRP)
Movement: Swiss quartz
Power reserve: 10 years
Case material: Black PVD stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: No
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black PVD-coated stainless steel