The 2013 Luminox Tony Kanaan Valjoux (Ref. A.1188) limited-edition chronograph offers a strong blend of an unusual, aggressive-looking body combined with a bullet-proof automatic movement and offered at a fairly competitive price.
As extremely attractive as it is, the Luminox Tony Kanaan series has a feature that may be deemed as a major flaw by a purist: all of its members are powered by fairly inexpensive quartz movements.
Although for a sane person the choice of quartz calibers usually means that the watch is extremely accurate (at least, when compared to a mechanical caliber) and a lot cheaper to maintain, there is a great number of people that believe that a true Swiss Made watch must be powered by a high-grade mechanical (either hand-wound or automatic) caliber.
Well, the Luminox Tony Kanaan Valjoux was built to satisfy the tastes of the latter group of people. Twice as expensive as the version with quartz engine, the automatic watch features the tried and true ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement. Coming without any significant modification, the engine offers the usual set of functions that include a 12-hour chronograph, and a small seconds indicator at 9 hours, which is balanced by an expanded calendar display at 3 o’clock.
Since the A.1188 pays homage to a successful race car driver who currently wears colors of the KV Racing Technology team, the watch has a number of green and yellow accents on its dial and leather strap. It also features a single Arabic numeral at 11 o’clock (this is Tony Kanaan’s current racing number), which is, too, visually counterweighed by the driver’s own TK logo at 4 hours.
Still, the styling of the dial and the choice of the movement aside, the main attractive factor here is the unusual body. While most timekeepers made under the Luminox trademark are, well, not design icons, this particular collection looks very interesting with its trapezoidal cushion body. The case of the timekeeper is nicely combined with a pair of ergonomically shaped chronograph push-pieces and even the oversized setting crown looks great.
As usual for the brand, the watch is equipped with a set of 14 Night Vision Tubes filled with radioactive tritium gas. Completely harmless for a human being, the gas is active enough to emit a bright glow for as long as 25 years: a handy feature if you plan to live in a nuclear shelter without electricity or any other source of artificial lighting.
Luminox will offer no more than 311 numbered pieces.
Photos: Luminox / Wikipedia (Sarah Stierch)
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Luminox Tony Kanaan Valjoux Chronograph (Ref. A.1188) specification
Movement: Automatic, ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day of the week, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel, black PVD
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 14.00 mm
Lug width: 26.00 mm
Dial: Vertical “wood” ornament
Hour markers: Luminous (Night Vision Tubes, tritium)
Hands: Luminous (Night Vision Tubes, tritium)
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Dark grey leather strap with contrasting green and yellow stitching and a steel black PVD buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective