The new Luminox Field Automatic 1800 Series finally offers you a pair of military watches that combine their proprietary LLT self-illuminating technology and the amazing presence of a mechanical automatic movement. Just as their quartz-powered siblings, the mechanically animated models are offered in two case sizes that range from modest 43 mm to gargantuan 48 millimeters in diameter.
The new line of watches consists of two new members: a three-hand Luminox Field Day Date A.1801 Three-Hand model, which is powered by a Swiss Made ETA 2878 automatic caliber, and a Luminox Field A.1867 Chronograph watch, which is animated by an even more noble ETA Valjoux 7750 natural-born chronograph movement: something that you don’t see so often today in a watch with a recommended price of just $2300 USD.
Both watches are an update to the existing line of Luminox Field 1800 series of watches currently powered by Swiss quartz movements. Although being infinitely more accurate and reliable, the quartz is also a lot more boring and characterless, so the introduction of mechanical versions was simply a matter of time.
The Field Automatic watches come in similarly shaped cases, but are a tad larger than their quartz counterparts with the three-hand version measuring 43 mm and the chronograph coming in a huge 48 mm case. The quartz models are available in 42 mm and 47 mm diameters respectively.
Both cases feature transparent case backs with sapphire crystals (a rare treat in this price range) that offer unobstructed view at the automatic movements. Well, to be frank, there is nothing particular to look at (both movements come with only basic decoration, like perlage,) but some people may find particular pleasure in just looking at the engraved oscillating weight and slowly turning gear trains.
As you can see on the photos, both versions come with either a black or a silver dial with black textured dial centers and huge Arabic numerals painted on them.
Since Luminox watches traditionally come with their own self-glowing tubes filled with tritium, the numerals are printed with normal paint and do not glow in the dark.
However, the twelve LLT tubes placed closer to the outer part of the dial (eleven green and an orange at 12 o’clock,) as well as a pair of green tubes in the hour and minute hands supply the dial with more than enough illumination and provide superb readability.
In fact, the watches are perfectly legible even in twilight, when most Superluminova and other luminescent substances that have to be “charged” with ultraviolet, tend to suck it up.
As far as pricing is concerned, I still think that, at $880 USD for the three-hander and $2300 for the chronograph version, the collection is mildly overpriced. On the other hand, there is a good chance that both watches will be offered with good discounts that will make them more competitive with military-styled watches from competing brands like, say, Hamilton and the likes.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Luminox BlackOut SEAL diving watch
Luminox Field Automatic A.1801 Three-Hand and A.1867 Chronograph military watches specification
Price: $880 (A.1801) / $2300 (A.1867)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2878 Automatic Day-Date (A.1801 Three-Hand) or Caliber ETA Valjoux 7750 (A.1867 Chronograph), Swiss Made
Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, day, date (A.1801 Three-Hand) PLUS chronograph (A.1867 Chronograph)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, Black PVD-coated
Bezel material: Stainless steel, Black PVD-coated
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.0 mm (ref. A.1801) or 48.0 mm (ref. A.1867)
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Silver, Black
Water resistance: 100 meters
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire