I like good stuff. It’s pretty much as simple as that. If someone is willing to design a product that can take a beating and keep on ticking (see what I did there?), I’m going to take an interest in in it. Beyond that I use my stuff, every day. Function and form have to be two parts equal for me, as everything has its purpose in my stable.

Keeping time is a priority.

When I was a kid time didn’t really make a difference to me, just as long as I was home before it was dark out. I liked watches when I was young, but I never could be bothered with wearing one for long; that is unless it was the sweet Casio digital watch that had a calculator built into it. I was one slick badass when those math tests came up. But now, I’m what some people refer to as an “adult”—although I like to think of it as not that different than when I was 12, except I have a job, can channel my inner lumber jack through my facial hair, and thanks to my wife, I have no interest in listening to what girls have to say. That’s in a roundabout way of saying, I need to keep up with time.

There of plenty of ways of keeping time, even as I started to describe above, but I have personal and professional criteria that I must adhere to.

  • Self-lit
  • Date
  • Economically reasonable
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Brick Shit-House
  • Reliable
  • Cool as hell

Now, those goals don’t really seem all that difficult to attain, but they’re surprisingly hard to find together with that one small phrase: economically reasonable. Now you may look at me and say a $300 watch is not reasonable. Why on earth would you spend $300 on a watch? Well I can look at the next person and try and wrap my head around why they spent $4,000 on a Rolex or an Omega.

Sure my $50 Timex can get the job done, but I don’t particularly like it. Digital watches are easy to read, but they lack class—and consume more energy than a traditional action does. Plus, digital watches require the depression of the Indiglo button or similar to be lit, which is a hindrance when you perpetually wear oil and grime soaked gloves to protect your hands. And then there is need for reliability; a carbon/polymer case with a thick sapphire face is really the only way to go. The Luminox features 15 individual gas tubes filled with Tritium, and through the process of radioactive decay, the dudes glow and glow brightly. They provide long-term luminescence, as opposed to phosphorescent markers used in other watches (Indiglo), which must be charged by a light source.The tritium in a gaseous tritium light source undergoes beta decay, releasing electrons which cause the phosphor layer to fluoresce. During manufacture, a length of borosilicate glass tube which has had the inside surface coated with a phosphor-containing compound is filled with the radioactive tritium. The tube is then fused with a carbon dioxide laser at the desired length. Borosilicate glass is used for its strength and resistance to breakage. In the tube, the tritium gives off a steady stream of electrons due to beta decay. These particles excite the phosphor, causing it to emit a low, steady glow. Tritium has a half-life of 12.3 years, so the brightness of the tritium light source will decline to half its initial brightness in that time frame. The casings are then subject to waterproof ratings that exceed 200 meters (656 feet) of water, and thousands of hours of corrosion-resistance salt water spray.

The cases themselves are made from a carbon/polymer compound that ensures hardness and rigidity without sacrificing brittleness. And finally, the face is sapphire glass that nears diamond in levels of scratch resistance and hardness. Despite the fact that it is not a self-winding watch, which would increase its value monetarily and for the very common situation of “I just got lost in the middle of the Pacific after my plane crash landed in the ocean and my only friend is a Volleyball named Wilson, because I have gone crazy.” So yes, the battery will eventually die: I just so happened to put a new Duracell Lithium battery in, which should be good for another 5-6 years, and the Tritium is good for 15-20 years before the tubes need to be replaced.

All of this innovation and technology packed into a pretty reasonable ~$300 price tag. Is it perfect? No, science can’t overcome things like the tritium half-life and the limitation of batteries (yet). But it is a perfect example of how much more you get, for not that much more money. Luminox has created a product, and a legacy of innovation since 1989 that you just can’t beat. Their watches are built for people that abuse things without remorse, and need them to continue to function. There is a reason why the military has selected them as one of their providers of quality kit for the most powerful coalition of militaries on the planet.

Do yourself a favor and go to your nearest badass exchange, and pick yourself up a Luminox watch. You won’t look back.