Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Your Wrist, whose bold 80+ year mission is to help you carry grocery bags and wear watches like the Luminox XCOR 5261 Chronograph. This unique automatic chronograph from a watchmaker most known for brightly luminous and rugged timepieces, is an homage to spaceflight and looks pretty darn cool.
XCOR is a private spaceflight research facility in Midland, Texas. Their mission is to commercialize spaceflight and they’ve already flown their super-cute XCOR Lynx rocket plane. The company has been in a quiet period recently after pivoting to focus on rocket engines but they’ve teamed with Luminox to make us all junior spacemen.
The watch is a standard day-date chronograph with recessed pushers and a blue and orange color scheme. The seconds hand has a little Lynx space plane at one end and the face is made of carbon fiber. Luminox is famous for their tiny luminescent tritium tubes that glow without being “charged” by visible light. This means you can see the hands and sub-dials in pitch dark no matter how many times you’ve already gone around the moon and back.
The watch also has a nicely shaped band that seems to meld right into the massive titanium case. The watch runs a Valjoux 7750 movement – a workhorse mechanical movement that is found in hundreds of watches from multiple brands – and it is water resistant to 200 meters.
Primarily because of the movement the watch costs $3,000. This means you’re getting a solid, always visible chronograph for about the same price as competing models although, to be completely transparent, you can get pieces with the same movement for about $1,000. What you’re truly paying for here is the tritium tubes in the face, the bulky and extremely rugged case, and a cool story.
Is all of that enough to drop $3,000 on a watch? Luminox makes watches that last. That means this piece should serve you in good stead for a few decades and, if you like the odd spaceflight design, it will complement your moon boots/Saville Row suit. That said, it is a hard pill to swallow.
I personally like the clever design and the spaceflight pedigree. While this is no Omega Speedmaster – the first watch on the moon, if you’ll remember – it’s definitely an interesting departure for Luminox. The company makes multiple styles and types of watches, from cheaper SCUBA quartz models to more ambitious models like this one. As a one-off piece for the brand it’s a cool idea and a clever implementation although I suspect you’ll agree the price is a little high.
As we move into the era of commercial spaceflight, however, I think it behooves us all to remember that pretty soon things like a Valjoux 7750 movement will truly go the way of the dodo. Celebrating mechanical watchmaking while imagining commercial orbital flights is a fun but of mental gymnastics and it’s nice that Luminox is bringing their all to celebrate slipping the surly bonds of Earth with a nice watch strapped to your wrist.