We’ve reviewed several Luminox watches and clocks here at Watch Report, and today we’re happy to review another: the new F-22 Raptor, model 9282. The brand is clearly moving into more upscale models, and this is a nice example of what they can do.
Let’s start with the specs:
•Titanium case, bracelet, and bezel; ion-plated buttons and crown.
•Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
•Ronda 5050 quartz movement with big date, day, 12-hour chronograph, and subseconds.
•60-click titanium bezel with acrylic inset.
•Water resistant to 200m (660ft).
•Tritium lights on the hour and minute hand, hour markers, and bezel pip (with a contrasting orange tube at 12 o’clock).
•Five-link titanium bracelet (non-tapered) with solid links, solid end links, signed fliplock, and 3 micro-adjustments.
•Signed screw-down crown in ion-plated metal.
•Ion-plated chronograph buttons using a neat pivot design.
•Screwn-down caseback with F-22 engraving.
•47.8mm across (including the crown) by 15mm thick; 24mm lugs; 140g with all links in the bracelet.
•List price: $1,200.
Please read on for the full review.
Twelve hundred dollars list is a lot more than the older polycarbonate-bodied Luminox line, and an inspection of the dial shows that they’ve kept their focus on value. Brushed, faceted hands, a beautifully finished and detailed face, and the bluish tinge from the anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal make for a very readable watch under all conditions. I quite like the use of the big-date complication — a good match for a watch whose slogan is “Always visible.” The materials, finish, and details have been consistently upgraded throughout the watch, and are quite impressive. For example, the ion-plated crown screws down more smoothly than any watch I’ve seen to date — high praise indeed.
On the wrist, the 140g watch is almost weightless due to the titanium and the balance between the bracelet and watch. Titanium has a lower heat capacity than steel, so it feels ‘warmer’ when worn, and has a bronze-tinted color that I quite like. In fact, the combination of sapphire and titanium is a personal favorite for my watches. Note, however, that titanium’s unmatched strength-to-weight ratio does not mean surface hardness; in fact titanium scuffs and scratches more easily than stainless steel, so it won’t look new very long. That seems appropriate for a tool watch like this, but it’s something to consider pre-purchase. On the plus side, if you’re nickle sensitive and can’t wear steel, titanium is hypo-allergenic.
The 60-click bezel is 12-sided and also made of titanium. The tritium insert in the pip means it’s useful in the dark, but the smooth finish makes it hard to grip and turn when wet. For timing things in the water, the chronograph works better, as the buttons are easy to press and the result easy to read. Seconds are via the red center seconds hand, tenths via the subdial at six o’clock, and minutes and hours via the two-hand subdial at nine o’clock.
Here you can see the screwdown caseback, airplane engraving, and the pivots for the chronograph buttons. They’re hinged by vertical pins, yielding a definite, firm click, and slightly unusual action. Like the crown, they are ion-plated black for a low-key color accent.
The bracelet is another highlight. Solid end links and solid links with an up-and-down link design; it’s extremely comfortable and very well matched to the watch.
As you’d expect, nighttime visibility is first rate with readability enhanced by max-brightness green tubes around the dial, and an orange tube at 12 o’clock for orientation. Simple and effective. It would be nice if you could read the chronograph, day, or date at night, but that’s probably impossible using tubes.
Overall, this is far and away my favorite watch from Luminox. It’s light, very functional, and it has a nicely detailed design and construction. This is the first model I’ve seen from them with anti-reflective sapphire and big date, and I really like the results. The dial is nicely understated with the F-22 theming and logo only visible at close inspection; at a glance, the curved sections look more automotive and race-inspired than aviation. The day/date are nice to have, too, and are readable without cluttering the dial.