Review of the Luminox 2002

Hands on Watch Reviews Luminox Travel Tritium

Face

Continuing our Luminox reviews, today we have the just-discontinued model 2002 GMT watch. Described as an “Executive Traveller Watch,” it combines the utility of tritium illumination with a nice case, bracelet, 24-hour bezel, and separate 24-hour hand. Let’s get started with some specifications:

  • 40mm by 11mm, 125g.
  • Quartz movement, 45-month battery life with end-of-life warning.
  • Stainless steel case and bracelet.
  • Mineral crystal (appears to be internally convex).
  • Hour/minute/second, plus synchronized 24-hour hand separately set and continuously adjustable (works for odd offsets like New Delhi!).
  • Water resistant to 100m (330 ft).
  • Screwdown caseback and non-screwdown crown.
  • Bracelet is 5-link, Oyster-style clasp with fliplock and hidden wetsuit extension, hollow end-link, solid links.

Please continue for the review and pictures.

Face-right

As with the LWAC-B alarm clock, I had never seen this watch until I had occasion to peruse the Luminox online product line. The watches I’ve reviewed before this have been military in style and execution; the 2002 is much more upscale and dressy by comparison. Clearly inspired by the Rolex GMT Master, it allows you to easily track three timezones at once: mine is showing PDT on the main hands, UTC on the 24-hour hand, and Hong Kong on the bezel. Simple, no?

Also available with a red and blue bezel in model number 2004, the 2002 is a very attractive watch in a very understated way. At 40mm by 12mm, it’s smaller and thinner than their other models, and neither large nor small compared to other business watches. The black and grey face is simple and easy to read, with a simple “100 meters” below the center. Overall, it’s perfectly suited to the traveling businessman or anyone who needs a versatile watch with 3-zone functionality. I find it to be the GMT Master for the rest of us.

Back

The case and bracelet are nicely finished and detailed at close inspection. While the bracelet is snap-clasp and has hollow end-links, it’s 5-piece, with tasteful thin-link polish, and well suited to the watch. The case has an excellent shape and finishes with subtle bevels and side polishing complimenting the top brushed finish. The crown guards are effective without being obtrusive, and the low profile combined with bevel allows it to avoid shirt cuff problems with ease.

Bracelet

With 100m of water resistance, I’m not sure if I’d dive with the 2002, but as shown here it does have a hidden wetsuit extension; always a nice touch. Luminox managed the 100m rating without a threaded crown, which makes the watch simpler to use in practice.

Visibility day and night is excellent. The high-contrast dial has tritium vials on the hour, minute, and second hands, with additional vials on the hour markers and a double vial at 12 o’clock. The 24-hour hand and bezel use conventional lume, which means that they are less visible at night; probably OK in practice.

Upper-left

The Swiss quartz movement is conventionally powered with a 45-month battery, and includes low-battery warning like their other watches. One minor negative is that the 24-hour hand is linked to the normal time, so when you adjust the regular hands the 24-hour hand moves as well. Preferred is the system where the 24-hour is separate, so that you can set local time on the main hands, and have the 24-hour keep its place at GMT or whatever. To be fair, however, the Rolex GMT Master II works the same way.

From the profile picture, you can see the easily gripped bezel and curved line of the case, as well as the different finishes and beveled case. It’s not what I expected to see from Luminox, but I’m impressed.

The 2002 is an unusually comfortable watch to wear, and has been getting a lot of wrist time. Because of the curved lugs, light weight, and nice bracelet, it stays in place without fuss and is readable with zero effort. The inner-convex crystal also helps making the dial visible at very low angles. A true tool watch that also looks nice enough to pair with a suit and your next international flight.

Wrist-angle

Unfortunately, Luminox tells us that the 2002 and 2004 have been discontinued. A quick search still finds vendors with remaining stock, but if you want one, don’t wait too long. If you do, there’s always the online second-hand markets.

Street prices on the 2002 and 2004 are between $320 and $360 which represents very good value for a tritium-illuminated watch of this quality and versatility. If you like the GMT Master but would prefer lesser cost or flash value, I highly recommend the Luminox.

Upper-right

Our thanks to Max Robertson of Luminox USA for the review unit. More Luminox reviews coming!

By Paul Hubbard

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