Luminox SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Watch
Luminox SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Watch
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Product Description
Since developing the first Navy SEAL watch series in 1993, Luminox has been a favorite in the watch community. The company makes durable, stylish watches with their own self-powered illumination system, which will last up to 25 years with no need for exterior power Read More

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static.overdub
380
May 21, 2018
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“Whyyyy Why do you always kick me when I’m.. Highhhh Knock me down til we see eye to Eyeeeeee
Figured her out and though she may not be Ms Right she’ll do right now“ - SR-71
May 21, 2018
Daisy_Cutter
1284
May 19, 2018
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The great irony of Luminox's Navy SEAL line of watches is that most Navy SEALs don't actually wear them (apparently you're much more likely to see G-Shocks on a Navy SEAL mission). https://www.quora.com/What-watches-do-Navy-SEALs-wear
That irony is present with this watch too, in that SR-71 pilots and crew probably could not have used this watch on missions, even if it had been available at the time.
The air friction at the SR-71's immense airspeeds generated intense heat, and the inside of the cockpit windshield would reach 250F. Sometimes the cockpit air-conditioning would fail, and the temperatures would soar well beyond that. Aircrew had to wear silver spacesuits with life support systems to avoid being roasted alive. However, their wristwatches did not have the protection of the spacesuits since they had to be strapped to the outside of the spacesuits in order to be any use.
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The direct predecessor of the SR-71 was the A-12, a single-seat aircraft that was more or less the same thing otherwise. A-12 pilots had a problem - the regular mechanical wristwatches they used literally could not take the heat in the cockpit, and would fail. This was likely due to two things: (i) heat expansion of the metal gears in the watches caused them to exceed their tolerances and jam up, and/or (ii) the heat caused the lubricant in the watches to dry up, gumming up the movement. Virtually all mechanical watches would stop working in these conditions. Even the Omega Speedmaster, which famously went to the moon, was only tested to 200F, and may not have survived an A-12 or SR-71 cockpit. The Valjoux 7750 is a sturdy movement, but at the end of the day it is still a mechanical movement with the limitations inherent to such movements.
The solution came in the form of the Bulova Accutron Astronaut, which relied on an electronically controlled tuning fork oscillator for timekeeping. This new design was precise and insensitive to the temperatures experienced in A-12 cockpits, which made it ideal for that environment. When it was found that this watch worked where others had failed, the CIA apparently procured more for A-12 pilots. Presumably the same watches carried on in service when the A-12 gave way to the SR-71.
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This particular wristwatch also came with a GMT hand, which might have come in useful since A-12 and SR-71 flight crew regularly crossed multiple time zones on missions. The running seconds might also have come in handy as a backup timer to track missiles launched at the SR-71 - all SAMs had a maximum flight time, e.g. 58 seconds for the SA-2, so if you were still alive after that time, you knew your evasion was successful.
The Accutron Astronaut has long been out of production, which is a real shame because history aside, it is a really clean legible design. Given the recent trend of vintage re-issues though, perhaps we might see this come back on the market again, even if the SR-71 has retired for good. One can only hope.
Hodinkee ran an article on this watch and its fascinating history, and it's well worth a read: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/bulovas-accutron-astronaut-the-watch-chosen-by-the-cia-for-pilots-of-the-fastest-plane-ever-made
May 19, 2018
Cloaca
1887
May 21, 2018
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You can edit your posts, however old they are. Click ",,," and then "Edit".
May 21, 2018
Daisy_Cutter
1284
May 21, 2018
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Thanks - I must confess I was already aware of the feature - just too lazy to use it. I'll get round to it when I have a free minute or two.
May 21, 2018
JoeyParson
3
May 18, 2018
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I'm wearing Luminox the last 10 years. I know Luminox is not a brand for everyone, who buys Luminox does not buy a brand name, to me these watches have an excellent balance between design, techincal features, good quality and individuality. I like watches with personality, Luminox is not a marketing brand, it's an independent company who only focus in watches and makes cool stuff. By the way I friend of mine got a SR-71, the color of the dial is amazing depending on the light and the finishing of the black coating looks like velvet. On top of that Valjoux 7750 is an iconic movement, one of the most reliable that have been made by the Swiss industry in the last decades.
May 18, 2018
maxcoach
40
May 18, 2018
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With all due respect.......I have worked for Luminox for the past 17 years and have seen my share of Limited Edition SR-71 pieces come and go......in fact at one point I had to beg ownership to stop releasing "limited edition" SR-71's every year........I think to make the comment that this is weird junk is unfounded
That being said, this is my absolute favorite of all of the SR-71 watches that we have done ........period the end. I could care less about our Lockheed Martin affiliation as it all reeks of Orange County Chopper to me........another turn off, but the design of this watch is what needs to be appreciated.
-The case and bracelet are stainless steel with a hardened/thick PVD coat The heft on your wrist is solid and comfortable....not to big, not too heavy -The midnight green dials pays homage to the radar screens that could not spot this plane in the skies......the green dial goes from midnight black to green depending on the light -I love the way the middle pieces of the bracelet are reflected in the shape of the chrono sub-dials on the watch face. The design flows completely thru the watch -The internal rotating bezel comes in handy, since it cannot be knocked off by an inadvertent door smack, etc. -The see thru case back shows off the engine of the Valjoux 7750, which is extremely well balanced -I also like the ice blue tubes and green tube combination.
We had a distributor in South America go bankrupt (what a suprise), so I was able to buy these pieces back at a discount and offer to MD.
This is a great price on a great watch.
Max R. Director of US Operations
May 18, 2018
Blair_Heavenwood
23
May 18, 2018
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Not to split hairs here, Max, but Soviet, Cuban, and North Vietnamese radar saw the Y-12 and SR-71. What kept it safe was it's altitude and it's speed.
May 18, 2018
maxcoach
40
May 21, 2018
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Blair,
I was waxing on poetically........you are correct sir! ;-)
May 21, 2018
Deean
47
May 18, 2018
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This is a good price for this watch - wish I had the pockets to join the drop. The Valjoux 7750 movement is incredible as well - love the way the rotor feels when it spins. Congrats to whoever grabs one!
May 18, 2018
mgr007
3
May 17, 2018
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this swiss made timepiece comes with the famous automatic valjoux movement. the movement alone consists of 250 parts. all swiss precision.
May 17, 2018
mgr007
3
May 18, 2018
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thanks max coach, yes sr 71 is the record plane crossing as a first with 3000 kmh the atlantic i think. the watch is limited edition 300 units only
May 18, 2018
dkzzzz
74
May 17, 2018
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There is a watch company called Lumi-smthng? Did Swiss ran out of names?
May 17, 2018
maxcoach
40
May 18, 2018
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Luminox was named by it's 2 American founders in the early 80;s. Luminox is latin for Light Night (Lumi Nox)
Thanks!
Max R
May 18, 2018
Mbot
197
May 17, 2018
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Lol - $1400
The dial looks like it was designed by nerds on drugs 😆 it's mono 2-tone, and waaay too busy there
They won't sell many of these. Massdrop is trying its luck on too many items these days, and overpriced items at that.
May 17, 2018
jarcamp
36
May 17, 2018
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But that is subjective... junk to you is cool or interesting to others. At the time of my message three people have jumped on this drop... I'm sure they are happy Massdrop offered this watch.
May 17, 2018
maxcoach
40
May 18, 2018
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Mbot,
Just wanted to let you know that Luminox (lumi & nox) is Latin for Light Night. This name was made up by the 2 American founders.....not the Swiss
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The tritum tubes are originally why we were commissioned with the Navy SEAL's on the West Coast back in the mid-80's
Appreciate your comment on the dial being too busy, which is why I don't normally buy chronograph watches for myself........I prefer a clean dial; however the 7750 movement is a chrono, so we needed to put the sub-dials somewhere......
My daily wear in Luminox is the XS.4221 ANU (Approved for Navy Use). We were providing this watch to BUD's graduates a few years ago...........I really enjoy it. The SEAL's asked that we come up with a different logo for this watch as they were "tired" of all of the attention that they were getting.......so we came up with this Eagle/Anchor logo.......as a former Marine myself, I always appreciate an Eagle & an Anchor
Take care
Max R Director of US Ops
May 18, 2018