Luminox Atacama Field: The Ultimate Adventurer’s Companion

Aug 18, 2021
Luminox Atacama Field: The Ultimate Adventurer’s Companion

There is nothing like the thrill of going on an adventure in an unknown land. Of course, safety is the top priority for any adventurous person, but will mere survival skills suffice? Seasoned adventurers know to take the necessary precautions before setting off on a hike. They know what tools to bring with them, rations, and other such essentials, but there is one critical item that is commonly mistaken as unnecessary: the utility wristwatch.

There are several utility watches in the market that cater to adventurers, like the Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT, Casio G-Shock Mud Master, and Victorinox FieldForce Classic. These watches prioritize durability and utility above all else. They are highly accurate, adaptable, and equipped with a wide variety of functions to help the conquering adventurer get through the day. 

In this review, we will be talking about a particular watch collection that deserves to be in the spotlight. This collection is the Luminox Atacama Field series. The Luminox Atacama Field is primarily made for law enforcement purposes. Field watches gained popularity during the First World War due to their durability, compact sizes, and excellent accuracy.  The Luminox Atacama Field watches replicated these qualities, becoming an exceptional choice for both soldiers and law enforcers. Each watch has a distinct design that meshes well with the look of a soldier’s outfit.

That said, what makes the Luminox Atacama Field the perfect companion for adventurers and thrill-seekers? Will it live up to its name or is it just a watered-down version of the original field watch used by soldiers during the First World War. Let’s take a closer look at the Luminox Atacama Field collection, in particular, the latest Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 models, to see just what makes it so extraordinary.

More About the Luminox Atacama Field 

At first glance at the Luminox Atacama Field collection, you may be led to believe that there is nothing special about it. The Luminox Atacama Field Ref. XL.1907.NF, for example, may seem like just a simple casual watch that has nothing to do with the outdoors. In reality, this particular model, as well as other Luminox Atacama Field watches, perfectly replicates the vintage design of field watches used during the First World War. From the off-white dial to the green webbing strap, you might even be led to believe that this is a vintage watch. The 44mm case is a common size for wristwatches, making it an accessible watch for all wrist sizes. Plus, the lug width and height are perfectly proportionate to the case as well as the strap. The 14.3mm thickness of this particular watch may seem a bit bulky, but it is part of the Luminox Atacama Field’s charm. Each Atacama Field watch in the collection is also equipped with a minimalistic texture strap, placing a greater emphasis on comfort and function rather than elegance. Indeed, you can see how the Luminox stayed true to the blueprint of the historical field watches that it sought to emulate with the Luminox Atacama Field.

Since Luminox takes pride in its luminescent technology, all Luminox Atacama Field watches are fitted with tritium tubes. The self-illuminating technology of Luminox may not be grandiose or extravagant, but it still does the job very well. It gives the hands and hour markers of the Luminox Atacama Field vibrant orange and green glows in the dark, providing greater legibility in poor lighting conditions. It is fair to say that the Luminox did not fail to deliver when it comes to luminosity as well as watch functionality. In addition, the use of orange and green luminescent materials, rather than just a single colour, also adds personality and style to the watch. That is why the Luminox Atacama Field is a great watch once you get to know more about it.

Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900

As mentioned before, the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 series were introduced for the sake of replicating the very first vintage watches used by soldiers. These watches are usually light, compact, and offer versatility to cater to a soldier’s needs. Another prominent feature of a field watch is its durability, even on the battlefield. Naturally, Luminox found ways to improve upon the overall specifications of a field watch, incorporating them into their Atacama Field 1900 series. Boasting durability, adaptability, as well as improved legibility, this particular line of Atacama Field 1900 watches blends perfectly with a modern setting—despite them being technically homage watches.

 

Image courtesy of Luminox

With that said, let us take a closer look at the specifications of the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900. 

Specifications

With the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900, we see the product of Luminox’s focus on a minimalistic design that prioritises utility. The features on each watch are as simple as it gets, especially since Luminox was replicating field watches from the 1880s. But one thing is for sure, Luminox has managed to bring in cutting-edge technology despite using a particularly old design scheme. The specifications of a Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 watch are as follows:

Case, Crown, and Case Back

The Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 Ref. XL.1907.NF, Ref. XL.1902, and Ref. XL.1901 all come in 44mm 316L stainless steel cases with a thickness of 14.3mm. These watches fall on the thicker side of the spectrum, weighing about 200 grams. These three Atacama Field watches prove to be very durable with 200-metre water resistance capacities—making each watch perfect for adventures and other outdoor activities.  The Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 has a fixed bezel and an anti-reflective sapphire glass. The robust screwed-in caseback also provides additional protection, keeping water from seeping in and damaging the watch’s movement.

The crown used on the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 is rather sizable. It is a screwed-in crown that is very easy to operate when winding or adjusting the time. The larger size of the crown pays homage to the gigantic crowns that could be found on the first field watches back in the 1880s. That said, Luminox has trimmed the size of the crown down quite a bit since no one wants to have a too-large, chunky crown on their wrists. 

Dial

The Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 has a single dial design, with each model just having variations in colour. Of the three main models, the Atacama Field Automatic 1900 Ref. XL.1907.NF features an off-white dial, while the Ref. XL.1902 and Ref. XL.1901 boasts cool black dials. These watches feature a double-layered dial and use thin tritium tubes as hour markers. This may sound bizarre at first, but Luminox has managed to pull it off, giving Luminox Atacama Field 1900 a clean, professional look. The hour and minute hands are also fitted with tritium tubes that have an orange glow when exposed in the dark. The watch features 24-hour markers, in order to show military time, which is fitting for a field watch. The other rim of the dial is filled with numerals that indicate seconds, while the day-date aperture is located at 3 o’clock. The dial of the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 is what gives it its classic and vintage design, making them perfect for old-school watch enthusiasts.

Movement

The Atacama Field Ref. XL.1907.NF, Ref. XL.1902, and Ref. XL.1901 are all equipped with the SW220-1 automatic calibre movement. The SW220-1 is a self-winding movement that has a frequency of 28,800 VpH and a total of 26 jewels. It also features a 38-hour power reserve, which is more than enough for an active person like an adventurer or a law enforcement officer. This calibre movement is fairly common in the watchmaking industry. It is reliable, accurate, and not too costly—perfect for a field watch like the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900. 

Price

Since Luminox is a luxury watchmaking brand, their watches are sure to be quite expensive. Luminox may be based in the USA, but all of their watches are Swiss-made—which affects the pricing. As luck would have it, the Luminox Atacama Field collection is quite affordable for a luxury watch collection. Ranging from $800 USD up to over $1000 USD, the Atacama Field watches are among the best affordable adventurers’ watches in the market. Plus, the Atacama Field collection is a great choice for a beginner—especially those who are into vintage designs.

Other Notable Luminox Atacama Field Models

Here are four notable models for the Luminox Atacama Field collection:

Luminox Atacama Field Ref. XL.1902

The Luminox Atacama Field Ref. XL.1902 is a 44mm automatic watch that has a 316L stainless steel case. It comes with a cool stainless steel bracelet, giving the watch an air of professionalism. The black double-layered dial with white border lines offers a sleek design that matches the metallic build. The day-date aperture can be found at the 3 o’clock position. It is also equipped with the SW220-1 automatic calibre movement, which, as mentioned before, is a very competent movement. The Luminox Atacama Field Ref. XL.1902 has a retail price of $990 USD. 

Luminox Atacama Field Ref. XL.1907.NF

The Luminox Atacaman Field Ref. XL.1907.NF can be considered the main model of the Atacama Field collection. This watch is the epitome of what Luminox aims to create. As mentioned before, this particular watch perfectly replicates the design of field watches during First World War. It features basic timekeeping functions and is powered by the automatic calibre SW220-1 movement. It has a 44mm 316L stainless steel case with an off-white dial and a sporty green nylon strap.  The retail price for this watch is currently $990 USD, but you can get it for a lower price on the secondhand market. It is a stylish vintage watch that is fitted with modern technology, such as Luminox’s own state-of-the-art luminescent technology.

Luminox Atacama Adventurer Field Ref. XL.1763

The Luminox Atacama Adventurer Field Ref. XL.1763 is part of the sub-collection under the Atacama Field series. Equipped with the Ronda 6004.D quartz movements, these watches are slightly smaller than the Atacama Field Automatic 1900, with their 42mm 316L stainless steel cases. The Ref. XL.1763 has a textured blue dial with a signature double-layered design. The date aperture can be found at the 3 o’clock position. In addition, this watch features a unique small seconds sub-dial located at 6 o’clock. The sub-dial boasts two hands, replicating the look of a compass. The brown leather strap of the watch also adds to its style, making it a viable option for both indoor and outdoor events. The price for this watch starts at $675 USD. 

Luminox Atacama Adventurer Field Ref. XL.1767

Another entry from the Luminox Atacama Adventurer Field line is the Ref. XL.1767. It has a distinct design that boasts a robust outdoor vibe. This watch comes with a 42mm dark green 316L stainless steel case that is paired with a textured khaki green dial. The nylon strap also comes in khaki green, matching the colour scheme of the whole watch. The design of this watch was seemingly inspired by the forest, since it has wood-like features, as can be seen from its hands as well as the hour markers. With that, the Ref. XL.1767 is the ultimate watch to get for outdoor activities due to its stylish, nature-centric design. It has a price of $790 USD—a fair price for such a fashionable and hardy watch.

Origins of the Luminox Atacama Field

The Luminox Atacama Field collection is heavily influenced by vintage field watches. With its intimate ties to law enforcement and the military, Luminox drawing inspiration from field watches that were immensely popular with soldiers in the 1880s is really no surprise. Commonly used in the First World War, field watches helped soldiers make better preparations and reduce mishaps on the battlefield. The Luminox Atacama Field collection inherits the robust practicality and durability of field watches without compromising on the comfort of the wearer. The models in this collection feature 42mm to 44mm 316L stainless steel cases that are paired with either nylon webbing straps, leather straps, or stainless steel bracelets. They come with either a quartz movement or an automatic Swiss movement, depending on the specific model. Since this is a range of field watches, the Luminox Atacama Field is a great choice to accompany you during outdoor activities.

Reasons to Buy a Luminox Atacama Field Watch

The Luminox Atacama Field collection is not a watch for everyone. Some might find it a bit too simple for their tastes, which is a very reasonable take. The Atacama Field collection relies heavily on its vintage design and minimalistic look, and this is not everyone’s cup of tea. That said, this is a watch that set out with a goal: to replicate the field watches of the 1800s and to upgrade them with modern, state-of-the-art technology without compromising on the intended design, and the Luminox Atacama Field has acquitted itself admirably in this respect. With that in mind, here are two important questions to ask yourself when considering buying an Atacama Field watch: 

  • Do you have an affinity for vintage or classic watches? The Luminox Atacama Field collection may not be a legitimate vintage watch, but it does an impressive job at paying tribute to some of the oldest watches in horology. That said, it is an affordable choice for those who plan on getting a vintage watch in the future.
  • Are you looking for the best go-to watch? The Atacama Field watch collection is home to a few stylish and high-performance quartz timepieces. Not only are these watches great for casual wear, but they also make for excellent companions when out on an adventure. Check out the Luminox Atacama Adventurer Field Ref. XL.1761, for example. It is a low-maintenance quartz movement watch that offers maximum comfort and legibility.

Final Thoughts

The Luminox Atacama Field is a great watch collection that can easily appeal to anyone with a particular interest. Its minimalistic design is versatile enough to act as a sports watch, casual wear, or even as a dress watch in some cases. That said, the main strength of the Atacama Field collection is its cool vintage-inspired style and its durability and utility as a true soldier’s watch.

Still itching for more vintage-inspired watches? Check out our review on the Tudor Ranger, it might hit the spot!

All photos courtesy of The Watch Company unless stated otherwise.

Featured image courtesy of Luminox

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