Usually associated with ‘tactical’ timepieces that come in durable and feather-light polyurethane bodies, from time to time the watchmaking specialist introduces similarly specced timekeepers packed in dressier, stainless steel bodies. Though clearly designed with us, civilians, in mind, the new Luminox Mariner Series 6250 family of quartz-powered diving watches still features an almost unrivalled nighttime legibility thanks to the use of T25-type micro-tubes filled with mildly radioactive tritium gas.
The micro-tubes in question are quite small, but are bright enough to be easily seen even in murky waters. Another benefit of the technology is that, unlike Superluminova, LumiBrite and other chemical luminous compounds, the tubes do not need any extra charging: they simply glow out of the box and do so for dozens of years.
By the way, the Swiss made quartz movement that makes the watch tick is powered by a lithium battery that has a projected life span of 10 years, although you will possibly have to service the watch more often than once in a decade, since the gaskets that ensure the Mariner Series 6250‘s water resistance rating of 200 meters will need to be changed every four of five years.
While the model with a stainless steel solid link bracelet seems to be more practical, it still has a somewhat toy-like appearance (mainly thanks to the grid-style pattern that decorates its middle links mimicking the same pattern on the matt black dial) despite the impressive massiveness of its 43 mm body, something that I would like to avoid when buying a military-style watch from a brand like Luminox.
The best choice in this case seems to be the version with black padded leather straps, especially the one with contrasting red stitching and a red ring on the unidirectional ratcheting bezel with an inevitable diving scale and a single luminous dot at “00” minutes.
There is, for that matter, also an automatic-powered Series 6500 version of the watch. Looking even dressier thanks to its black enamel dial and the lack of Arabic numerals, it will probably be more expensive, too expensive for a tool watch, which it is.
At approximately 14 millimeters thick, the watch perfectly balances the deliberate massiveness of a military-styled diver with a rugged elegance of a “fine” Swiss watch: even on a normal wrist it won’t look stupidly large. From a more practical perspective, it probably won’t cause you any discomfort due to its sizing regardless of what type of dress you usually prefer.
At this time, the Swiss-based brand plans to retail it for $850, which is a bit too expensive for my taste (and for a quartz-powered timekeeper,) but I have a feeling that fairly soon it will appear in numerous online stores with at least 40 percent off the sticker price making it a fairly interesting proposition given the rare tritium tubes and all.
See also: Saint-Honore Worldcode Diving Quartz
Luminox Mariner Series 6250 specification
Price: $850 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, lithium battery, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 10 years
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 14.00 mm
Dial: Black, grid pattern (ref. 6252)
Hour markers: Luminous, T25 tritium tubes
Hands: Nickel, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black padded leather strap with black or contrasting red stitching / Stainless steel solid link bracelet with security clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid, screw-in