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Luminox SR-71 BLACKBIRD 9088
Authored by: Monica  

This is a Swiss-made Luminox watch. What makes these watches unique is their illumination system. All Luminox watches contain tiny, gas-filled glass tubes installed in the hands and markers. The gas inside is tritium which glows much brighter than luminescent paint. This also means that the Luminox illumination system does not require recharging (meaning you don’t have to expose it to light before it will glow), and does not use batteries. The glass tubes are said to glow continuously for about 25 years, and are guaranteed for 10. So if you need a watch which must always be visible in low light without having to press a button, Luminox is a good bet.

This one is a limited edition model 9088. It falls within the Blackbird 9000 series — really nice, tough, military-looking watches named after the aircraft flown by the US Air Force famous for its speed, range, and altitude. It could do New York to London in about 2 hours at speeds over Mach 3. To withstand the friction generated heat at this speed, most of the airframe was made of titanium composite. It is all stainless steel with a black PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating which gives it a very cool, stealthy look. That changes when you look inside the dial face. The chronograph subdials are silver and they are set against a carbon fibre pattern that gives it personality. The case diameter is 44mm, but it’s the 16mm thickness that gives it weight and prominence. The watch does feel weighty on the wrist, though the bracelet is very well designed for comfort.

The watch is powered by a Valjoux automatic movement, which you can see through this transparent case back. The outline of the Blackbird printed on the glass, which is a nice touch. It’s a scratch resistant sapphire crystal and it has anti-reflective coating, there is no glare. The one on the 3 o’clock position sets the time and day/date. The day/date window is nice and big. And then you have the push buttons for the chronograph.

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