Watches can serve multiple purposes. For example, they can be used for telling time, but they can also be used as a fashion statement or a sturdy tool during more demanding activities.
Watches come in many different styles, colors, and materials. Some people prefer to wear a watch that matches their outfit, while others prefer to wear a watch that can take a beating. No matter what your preference is, there is definitely a watch out there for you.
When it comes to choosing a watch, it is important to take into account what you will be using it for. For instance, if you are looking for a watch to wear while working out, hiking or mountain biking, you will want something that is durable and can withstand sweat and dirt.
The sector of timepieces that are first and foremost built to last is constantly growing and these watches are becoming more and more affordable – despite incredible ruggedness standards. While it’s possible to get a dirt-cheap watch that looks like a tank, it’s no secret that the best value sits in the mid-price sector. And here there are not many better options than Luminox and Victorinox.
These two brands have been around for a long time and have built up a strong reputation in the industry as ones that are pretty much unbreakable. Since there are many similarities between the two, which one should you choose?
In today’s Luminox vs Victorinox comparison, we will focus on comparing one of the leaders in the tool watch industry. By analyzing aspects such as style, durability, movements and finally pricing, we will try to establish which brand provides better value for money.
So, is it Luminox or Victorinox – who is better? Without further delay, let’s go.
Luminox vs Victorinox: Background & History
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Luminox is an American watch brand that was founded in 1989. The brand is best known for its use of tritium-illuminated dials, which allow the watches to be easily read in low-light conditions.
Luminox was founded by watch industry veteran Barry Cohen. He started Luminox with the goal of creating a brand that would be known for its durability and reliability.
Luminox’s most popular model is the Navy SEALs watch, which was designed in collaboration with the U.S. Navy SEALs. The watch is water-resistant to 200 meters and has a tritium-illuminated dial, making it ideal for use in low-light conditions.
Luminox has also partnered with other organizations, such as the National Geographic Society, to create special edition watches. In 2015, the brand released a special edition watch to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Society’s Magazine.
Luminox has also been a known partner of Bear Grylls, the popular British adventurer and television personality. In 2016, Luminox released a special edition watch designed in collaboration with Grylls.
Luminox is currently headquartered in San Rafael, California. The brand sells its watches through a network of authorized dealers and retailers around the world.
Victorinox is a Swiss watch company whose roots date back to 1884. The company originally made knives, but they began to manufacture watches in 1989. Victorinox is best known for its Swiss Army Watches, which are durable and accurate. These watches are popular with both men and women, and they come in a variety of styles.
Victorinox has a long history of creating high-quality products. The company was founded by Karl Elsener, and they have been based in Ibach, Switzerland since 1884. Victorinox produces a wide range of knives, as well as other tools and accessories. In 1889, they became the official supplier of knives to the Swiss Army.
When the Swiss Armed Forces were in need of more knives, they turned to two companies that had been producing them all along: Victorinox and Wenger (funnily enough, another knives-turned-watches company). The split distribution meant half of their product was made in Schwyz (a German-speaking area) while another quarter came from Bern which spoke mainly French.
When both companies started marketing their products with slightly different slogans, it became difficult for them to keep track of which brand had what. Victorinox’s knives were branded as “Original Swiss Army Knives” while Wenger marketed its product under the “Genuine Swiss Army Knives” slogan.
Swiss Army watches were first manufactured in the United States in 1989. When compared to other Swiss watch brands, that’s a relatively short lifespan, which makes Victorinox timepieces’ undeniable success all the more impressive. Aside from watches and its flagship product, Swiss Army knives, the company also sells household and professional knives, travel accessories, and even fragrances.
You can read about the brand in more detail in our Victorinox brand review.
Victorinox vs Luminox: Style
Luminox watches are designed with a focus on functionality and durability. For example, the brand’s most popular model, the Navy SEALs watch, is water-resistant to 200-300 meters depending on the exact model and has a tritium-illuminated dial, making it ideal for use in low-light conditions.
The vast majority of Luminox watches present tough, masculine designs. However, the brand does offer a few models with more subdued aesthetics, such as the Luminox Atacama Field Day Date 1801, for those who prefer a less rugged look.
Victorinox is too designed with both function and style in mind. These watches are popular with both men and women, and they come in a variety of styles. While rugged, sporty-themed watch models seem to be dominating the Luminox collection, Victorinox offers a wider choice of styles. Whether you’re looking for a tough-to-beat dressy watch or a sports watch, Victorinox has a timepiece that will suit your needs.
|DRAW: It’s extremely tough to judge watch styles since everyone has distinct preferences – and there’s no way to account for it. Both companies offer great looks, with Victorinox the brand that offers a slightly more varied approach.|
Luminox vs Victorinox: Materials & Durability
Both Luminox and Victorinox are prime examples of tool watches, hence they specialize in making durable timepieces that can withstand regular wear and tear – and more. They are pretty much designed for use in extreme conditions.
Now let’s look at specific elements contributing to the excellent score on this front.
Luminox and Victorinox use two types of watch crystals in their watches – mineral and sapphire.
Both materials are highly reliable and scratch-resistant. However, sapphire is by far the hardest material used in watches, the go-to type amongst all the top sharks of the industry such as Rolex or Omega. Sapphire scores 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it near-unbreakable.
Timepieces with mineral glass oscillate in the lower price sector, while those utilizing sapphire are always more expensive. More often than not, you’ll have to pay upwards of $400 for a sapphire crystal watch from Victorinox or Luminox. On top of offering excellent ruggedness, sapphire crystal models come with an anti-reflective coating which greatly improves legibility.
The durability standard of the straps will depend on your own preferences as both brands offer many types of materials. For example, you can go for a classic leather band, robust NATO strap, or a stainless steel bracelet. All of these have their own level of ruggedness.
Looking at the brands’ catalogs, the vast majority of Luminox and Victorinox watches come with steel bracelets. They are strong, comfortable, and look great.
What’s more, both brands use high-quality steel (e.g., 316L stainless steel) in their bracelet manufacturing process, making the final product rust-resistant and highly durable.
As for the leather bands, Luminox uses genuine cowhide leather while Victorinox relies on synthetic (but still high-quality) materials.
One material that sets Luminox apart from Victorinox is Carbonox. It’s a special type of carbon-reinforced polymer that’s 50% lighter than steel but just as strong. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a durable and comfortable strap that won’t weigh their wrist down.
When it comes to the cases, both brands seem to focus on different materials. For example, Luminox often opts for carbon-reinforced polymers (the aforementioned Carbonox) or titanium while Victorinox relies on stainless steel variants such as 316L.
The case is the part of the watch that’s most exposed to external factors, meaning it has to be tough enough to withstand regular wear and tear as well as bumps and scrapes.
Both Luminox and Victorinox use high-quality materials in their watch cases which makes them highly durable. However, those made by Luminox are often lighter and more comfortable to wear thanks to the usage of special polymers and titanium.
What’s more, both brands only produce timepieces with screwed-in casebacks and crowns. This is extremely important as it aids in protection against water-related damage, sheltering the delicate inner workings from dust and debris.
All Luminox and Victorinox watches are water-resistant. The vast majority of their timepieces can withstand depths of up to 100m (10 ATM/330ft).
However, both brands offer some models that are suitable for professional divers with water resistance ratings of 200m (20ATM/660ft) and even more. The most capable dive watches from both brands come with a rating of 500m (50ATM/1640ft) (Luminox Deep Dive 1523 and Victorinox Dive Master 241354).
To achieve such high water resistance levels, both Luminox and Victorinox use special gaskets in the construction of their watches. These create a tight seal that prevents water from seeping in and damaging the delicate inner workings.
|DRAW: There’s really not much between the brands in terms of durability standards – both watchmakers pass the test with flying colors, as you’d expect from Swiss-made tool watches.|
Victorinox vs Luminox: Movements
Even though just one of the brands resides in Switzerland (Victorinox), both use exclusively Swiss-made movements.
For many, it’s one of the biggest incentives when buying a Luminox or Victorinox watch. These movements are known for their accuracy, reliability, and longevity.
With that said, in both brands’ cases, battery-powered (quartz) watches make up more than 90% of the total production. Just a few watch models on each side are mechanical which many, especially those appreciative of the bigger complexity and higher level of craftsmanship that goes into making them, find quite disappointing.
However, if you’re after unbeatable accuracy that will last for years, there’s no better option than a Swiss quartz watch – and both brands offer a plethora of those. On average, a Luminox or Victorinox watch is unlikely to lose or gain more than 15 seconds/month.
|DRAW: Both brands do very good on the movement front, offering reliable Swiss-made calibers. However, there’s little, perhaps too little a choice of mechanical models.|
Luminox vs Victorinox: Affordability
Both Luminox and Victorinox are perfect examples of mid-budget watchmakers. Which one is the more affordable, though?
Looking at the brands’ official online stores for pricing, the difference isn’t particularly huge. At the time of writing, the cheapest Luminox model, Leatherback Sea Turtle, can be purchased for $345. On the other hand, Victorinox’s most affordable model, Swiss Army Heritage, will set you back $300.
In most cases, however, both Luminox’s and Victorinox’s watch models operate in the $400-$700 price basket.
|VICTORINOX: Cheapest Victorinox models are available at lower price margins than Luminox’s, hence the Swiss brand has a small edge in this field. However, the average pricing of both brands is really similar.|
Luminox vs Victorinox: Warranty
When it comes to the warranty length, Victorinox has a clear upper hand.
All Luminox watches, as long as purchased from an authorized seller or the brand’s official website, come with a 2-year warranty.
Victorinox, on the other hand, offers a 3-year improvement on Luminox – which is massive, to be fair. The brand decided to increase the guarantee length from three to five years in January 2019. This also applies to watches bought from authorized sellers or Vicrtorinox’s official store.
What’s worth noting, the warranties cover all manufacturing defects and, of course, exclude wear and tear related to the use.
|VICTORINOX: With a 5-year limited warranty, a 3-year improvement on Luminox, Victorinox is a runaway winner here.|
Which Is Better: Luminox or Victorinox? Conclusion
Summing up, if you’re looking for a near-unbreakable timepiece, both brands are definitely worth your attention. When it comes to the choice between Luminox vs Victorinox, it all depends on your needs and preferences.
In terms of style, Luminox’s watches are, in general, more tool-like and rugged. Victorinox, on the other hand, offers a wider range of elegant and sophisticated designs that will suit any formal outfit – at the same time ensuring that they are still more than capable of taking a beating.
When it comes to the movements, both brands rely mainly on quartz mechanisms. If you prefer battery-powered watches for their superb accuracy and long-lasting batteries, Luminox and Victorinox are your top picks.
As for the prices, there’s not much to separate the two. In most cases, you can find a great Luminox or Victorinox watch without breaking the bank.
Finally, if the warranty is one of your key deciding factors – go with Victorinox. The brand offers a 5-year warranty on their watches while Luminox can only provide you with a 2-year guarantee.
The bottom line is that both Luminox and Victorinox are great choices if you’re looking for a quality, affordable watch. It all comes down to your personal preferences in terms of style and functionality.