The Luminox Steel Colormark Chronograph: Rugged, Elegant…and Actually Affordable


Back when we launched the site more than two years ago, we did a piece on the Luminox Colormark 3050 series; Luminox has always been one of our favorite watch brands, and the Colormark series has been one of its most successful and visible lines. Little did we know that two years later, that article would receive the same number of daily hits as when it first launched–proving that we’re not the only Luminox fans out there, and that there’s clearly an audience that’s hungry for more content related to this popular Swiss-made brand. When we reached out to the fine folks at Luminox telling them that our audience wanted more, they quickly responded by sending us their latest timepiece–the Steel Colormark Chronograph.

How did we like it? Let’s just say that Luminox is going to have a heck of a time peeling it off my wrist…

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Luminox was founded back in 1989 and quickly built its reputation by supplying watches to the military–more specifically, the Navy Seals. What made Luminox watches popular with the military and law enforcement–its proprietary illumination system that graces every watch the company makes–is the very thing that made it such a hit with consumers; after all, what could be cooler than a watch with glowing gas tubes at every hour marker and each hand, that never needs charging and lasts for 25 years? That being said, Luminox is no one-trick-pony–and as cool as the luminescence is, it wouldn’t mean much without quality and design behind it…and every Luminox watch is imbued with both. Now, on to the Steel Colormark Chronograph…

Let’s get this out of the way right now: this watch is absolutely gorgeous. For our review, we asked Luminox to send us the BlackOut edition of the Colormark Chrono, and I have to say that we couldn’t have chosen better. This 44mm stainless steel beauty is true to its name with its blacked-out band, case, face and bezel. For those concerned about the ¬†practicality of a “blacked-out” watch face, fear not; the clever engineers at Luminox made sure the watch could still be used for its main purpose–telling time–by texturing the face so the numerals would stand out, and making sure that during the day, the gas tubes marking the hours and hands would have a nice white contrast. The watch features a screw-down crown (a nice perk for those who’ll dive with the watch), double-clasp steel link band, hardened mineral crystal, water resistance to 200 meters, and a one-way rotating bezel (again, great for divers; this way, if the bezel get’s accidentally knocked, it can only tell you that there’s less air than you actually have–not more).

As you can see from the many photos I’ve included, this watch has an incredibly rugged look–and in this case, looks are not deceiving; from the second you take the watch out if its lovely case (well done, Luminox), you’ll be struck by just how substantial this watch is. That’s not to say that the Steel Colormark Chrono is too big or heavy–it’s not; in fact, its heft and presence serve as reassurance that no matter how pretty it is to look at, should your day take a more adventurous turn, this is not a watch that needs to be coddled. And this brings me to my favorite thing about this watch: its versatility.

It’s very hard to find that “one” of anything that serves you in all situations; but if someone asked me the “If you could only wear one watch…” question, the BlackOut Steel Colormark Chronograph would be on my shortlist. Why? For starters, it looks ridiculously cool (sorry…but in the world of timepieces, looks do matter); and because it’s a Luminox, you can also add “extremely well built” to the list, as well as “reliable” thanks to its Swiss movement. The fact that this watch also has the stainless band also works in its favor–it means that you can wear it with a suit as easily as you would with a pair of shorts or jeans. Its water resistance also means that I can leave my beautiful watch on, should I take a spontaneous trip to the beach–after all, it is a diving watch. Of course, this model is one of many versatile timepieces that Luminox makes, and I suggest you head over to to get an idea of just how many beautiful watches are in their collection; you’d be hard-pressed to find another brand that offers this kind of quality at such a reasonable price. And speaking of price…

I‘ve shown this watch to many people over the week that I’ve had it, and each time I do, I always ask the same question: “How much do you think this watch costs?” Out of the 15 or so people I’ve asked, the average price that came up was between $1500 and $2000. Why is this significant? Because the watch retails for only $800. It’s hard enough to find a Swiss-made watch that’s reasonably priced, let alone a chronograph as beautiful and well made as this one. So if you’re looking for that one timepiece that may never leave your wrist, you owe it to yourself to take a long hard look at the Luminox brand…and in particular, the Steel Colormark Chronograph–trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

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