Today’s review is a bit unusual because although it’s 1mm smaller than the newest Panerai, it’s not a wristwatch; rather, it’s the Luminox LWAC-B travel alarm clock. When Luminox USA contacted us recently, we perused their product line and were surprised to learn that they offer travel alarms, but if you think about it for a minute, the permanent glow is perfect for an alarm clock. Let’s start with some specifications:
- Product LWAC-B, PVD aluminum, also available non-PVD as model LWAC.
- Mineral crystal.
- Quartz movement, powered by a 357 watch battery (1-year battery life).
- 60mm across by about 20mm thick.
- Comes with cylindrical leather case.
- Green vials on hour and minute hand, and minute markers, with orange marker at 12 o’clock.
- Fixed bezel with world time zones.
- 2-year movement warranty, 10 year lume warranty.
Please read on for the review and pictures.
The dominant impression from this clock is simplicity: no extra features, no complications, no unneeded anything. For example, see in the picture how they managed the stand: the case is simply machined so that it rests at a good reading angle. No flip-out needed! The face is very legible day or night, with a bright red hand for the alarm setting and even a second hand if you need it.
I’ve done a fair bit of traveling, and I can testify that simplicity is good when you’re tired and jet lagged. While it would be nice if, for example, the bezel rotated, or the alarm had a snooze button, the utter simplicity of this design makes it almost impossible to miss getting up at the right time.
The back continues the theme. The time setting dial is recessed slightly, and the alarm dial is raised and textured, meaning even by touch alone they can be differentiated. A simple slide switch for the alarm, and a battery cover for the 357 complete the picture.
The included leather case is coherent as well. A flap with a snap holds the alarm inside, and it’s sized minimally for low-bulk packing.
The alarm is nice and loud, starting out with one beep per second and
increasing to twice that if not silenced. Loud enough for tired
travellers, for sure. Similarly, the very bright glow of the tubes is wonderful at night, effortlessly readable at a glance and a perfect use of the technology.
I have a couple of minor nits, though: the 357 battery, while lasting a full year, is harder to find abroad than the AAA. You might want to pack an extra if you have a long trip. Secondly, the street price of $160 seems a bit high for an alarm clock; I realize the tritium tubes are probably quite expensive, but it’s hard to justify the extra over the competition.
Our thanks to Max Robertson of Luminox USA for the review loaner. More Luminox reviews on the way!
By Paul Hubbard