Popular among the special ops community all over the world (and perhaps millions of enthusiasts looking for another nice and not particularly expensive military-styled watch with a “Swiss Made” inscription on the dial,) Luminox is mostly associated with a combination of a high-grade quartz movement packed into a scratch-resistant, shock-proof case crafted from carbon-reinforced polymer. The 2011 Luminox Deep Dive (ref. 1503), however, not only is presented with a self-winding movement made by ETA S.A., but also features a rather unusual, oversized case fashioned from “reinforced” steel.
Although not stated explicitly in the official press release that accompanied the global launch of the new collection, the movement in question is probably the same Swiss Made ETA 2878 automatic caliber that also powers their Luminox Field Automatic Three-Hand (ref. A.1801) that was released just days ago. If it’s indeed so, I am sure that this rock-solid and bulletproof-reliable movement will please you a lot more than a similarly styled three-hander powered by a quartz model (although you’ll have to cough up a bit more dollars in order to get one.)
Of course, the movement is not the main attraction here: what Luminox tries to lure you with is an unusual shape of the aforementioned case. Yes, rated for whole 500 meters (1650 ft.) of water resistance, the new Luminox Deep Dive is coming in a bulky case made of black PVD-treated reinforced steel.
Deliberately bulky and measuring impressive 45 millimeters in diameter, the case may prove to thick for some, but at least it won’t look stupidly large on an average thanks for its “lugless” design: even if your wrist is relatively narrow, it will still fit nicely.
To ensure the maximum level of safety for the diver, the Deep Dive LLT is equipped with an automatic helium escape valve and a special patent-pending Bezel Locking System that also protects the setting crown from damage.
As usual for the brand, the superb nighttime legibility is ensured not with something as traditional as a Superluminova luminescent compound, but with their own signature LLT (Luminox Light Technology) system that consists of many (17 in this particular case) micro-tubes filled with self-glowing tritium gas.
While the ten hour markers glow in green, the three tubes at 12 o’clock, as well as the pair of tubes on the extra-wide minute hand and the “0” mark on the rotating bezel glow electric blue. A study in legibility, that. Being absolutely honest, I am not fond of the way the blue sectors on the dial dominate the view with their eye-piercing glow screaming too loud over the matte black surfaces of the dial and the rest of the case, but, well, that’s probably one of those instance of “love it or hate it” design: you either pass one cringing at the sudden outburst of colors or rich out for your wallet in order to get one of these little monsters on your wrist as fast as theoretically possible.
Being a serious diving tool, the new Luminox Deep Dive is shipped on a black polyurethane strap that features a wetsuit extension system, yet I wonder how many of these gadgets will ever see anything more intimidating than a standard-issue pool.
See also: Luminox BlackOut SEAL diving tool
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Luminox Deep Dive LLT (ref. 1503) specification
Price: 1989 CHF (MSRP, exluding taxes)
Movement: Automatic, ETA, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Reinforced steel
Size: 45.00 mm
Dial: Black with electric blue accents
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Black polyurethane strap with wetsuit extension system
Crystal: Sapphire, 3.00 mm thick
Back: Solid, engraved