Because of constant exposure to water, diving watches should by definition be durable.
However, there are durable watches, and then there are d-u-r-a-b-l-e watches. If you’re after the latter but at the same time don’t feel like spending more than half a grand, then you should probably continue reading.
Just over 30 years after its foundation, the brand responsible for arguably the hardest-to-beat tool watches in the industry has released what is perhaps the toughest diving watch yet. The watchmaker in question here is naturally Luminox.
Inspired by the jaw-dropping outdoors of the Pacific Coast, the Pacific Diver line is said to be the ultimate companion for all types of water sports – diving, surfing, paddle-boarding, and more.
In this Luminox Pacific Diver review, we will dive deep (pun intended) into the quality offered by these timepieces to establish whether the flood of 5-star reviews is warranted.
In-depth Review of Luminox Pacific Diver
The Pacific Diver collection consists of six watch models. They all share the same specs and differ only in terms of the design. To give you the most detailed insight into the line, I will review the only model I’ve had the pleasure of wearing – the Pacific Diver 3123.
Other design variations include green and ocean blue dials, as well as models with rubber straps instead of stainless steel bracelets. You can explore all six timepieces on Luminox’s official website or on Amazon.
Since you can only make the first impression once, and the Pacific Diver makes a damn good one, it’s only fair to start with having a closer look at the design.
Without further ado, let’s go.
Despite having all the characteristics of a diving watch, the elegant style offered by the 3122 model makes it an equally adequate fit for occasions outside the ocean as well.
However, it’s probably a bit heavier than most diving timepieces offered by other watchmakers.
With a case measuring 45mm in diameter and fairly massive lugs, the watch might wear just a tad bigger than the specs would suggest. By no way am I discriminating against peeps with tiny wrists – but the Pacific Diver will probably look best on a medium-to-large wrist type. For example, stacking the watch against the 41mm Rolex Submariner, the biggest inspiration in the field of divers, the difference is quite noticeable.
Whilst the case is all stainless steel, the uni-directional bezel, an ever-present feature of diving watches, is made from Luminox’s patented Carbonox material (we will discuss further in the “Durability” section). The bezel features Arab 5-minute markers separated by vertical lines placed every 5 minutes. Both markers are color-coordinated with the case, lugs, and bracelet, adding to the orderly exterior.
The black dial features three silver-tone luminous watch hands, as well as white indices that are also luminescent. Like all Luminox models, the Pacific Diver collection is supplied with the self-powered illumination system, Superluminova. The technology ensures constant glow for up to 26 years in any light condition, making it a true standout amongst all the competitors in the sector.
The only Arab numerals you will find with the Pacific Diver’s dial are positioned at 6 and 12 o’clock. Considering their size, it’s just about the right approach as having all would make the dial a bit too busy and difficult to read. Between the 5-minute markers, there are also vertical lines for every other minute. Located at three o’clock is a date display window, at 6 o’clock the Swiss-made label whilst at noon o’clock the Luminox logo.
The watch comes with a 3-link stainless steel bracelet with a deployment clasp. With a closer look, you will notice all the links are polished with great care which makes the watch an excellent accessory even for formal occasions.
Luminox might not have experience in producing army knives like another familiar brand ending in -inox but it’s just as highly rated in the tool watch sector (read also: Victorinox Watches Review). These watches are first and foremost built to last decades. All the remaining aspects take care of themselves.
When it comes to ruggedness and longevity, there are not many watchmakers that can get close to Luminox. And the Pacific Diver collection proves just that.
All 6 models in the collection are built to U.S. military standards for shock, water, and thermal resistance. In fact, Luminox’s other diving collection, Luminox Navy Seal, is considered the official watch of the U.S. Navy Seals. What are the chances of that changing with the release of the Pacific Diver? Fairly big, I’d say.
Since we’re talking about a diving watch, it’s only fair to start with a look at the water-resistance capabilities. The Pacific Diver WR rating sits at 200m. It’s a diving timepiece coming with a Professional label which means it’s been ISO-certified.
All the ISO certificates are acquired when the watch goes successfully through a test for water resistance at overpressure. In practice, that means the watch is subjected to 25% more depth pressure than the rated depth. In the case of the Pacific Diver, the watch was fully functioning at the pressure of 250m. Such a result makes the watch perfectly suitable for scuba diving, as well as other water sports outwith the saturation diving (for this the WR rating needs to be at least 300m).
Certainly, what’s aiding the protection against any corrosion is the presence of a screw-in caseback and crown. Both are absolute must-haves when it comes to quality diving timepieces.
Moving on to arguably the most damage-prone party of any watch, the dial window, I’m glad to say the Pacific Diver doesn’t disappoint in this aspect either. The glass is made from sapphire crystal, currently, the most impact-resistant material used across all the top-end brands in the watchmaking industry.
The watch’s case and bracelet are made from stainless steel, known to possess the strongest scratch-resistant properties. Characteristically for many Luminox watches, the bezel is made from Carbonox. It’s an innovative carbon compound material patented by Luminox. Known for extreme strength and durability, it was developed by Luminox in 2006 and has been an ever-present part of their story to this day.
Last but not least, we shouldn’t overlook Pacific Diver’s impressive battery life. The watch is said to last at least 4 years without the need for a replacement.
Despite being a US-based company, all Luminox watches are Swiss-made. Gladly, that applies to all movements as well.
Luminox Pacific Diver is a battery-powered (quartz) watch running on the Swiss caliber in the form of Ronda 515. There’s a lot to like about the movement.
First of all, it delivers reliable accuracy results – -10/+20 seconds monthly. Although it’s extremely robust and many users report long years of hassle-free use, in case of any issues, the movement is both repairable and cheap to replace (prices online start from as low as $8).
What’s also nice about this particular caliber is the huge ability to save power. If you’re not wearing the watch, you can pull out the stem and reduce the consumption of the battery by around 70%, further improving the longevity.
Comparing the Pacific Diver line with medium-budget diving timepieces from other brands such as Seiko or Citizen, the collection doesn’t feel (nor wear) any inferior. I will go as far as saying that it provides as good a value for money as there is in the mentioned price basket.
Rounding up this Luminox Pacific Diver review, there are many things that speak for this collection. Starting from the head-turning design that will look great also outside the ocean and finishing with the unbeatable ruggedness and reliable Swiss movement, the chances are you will find it hard not to fall in love with the timepiece. I know I did.