A few decades ago, two sales representatives named Richard Timbo and Barry Cohen established a company named The Richard Barry Marketing Group. While establishing the company, they discovered a unique illumination technology that was originally produced by a Swiss manufacturer. The duo figured out that the technology can be applied into a line of Swiss watches. They call this technology Luminox which means light night in Latin.
Sales for Luminox watches were slow at first. Then, the US Navy SEALS asked the company to make specially made watches for their personnel for use in their night missions. Nine months were spent in developing a special watch that could meet the exacting demands of the Navy SEALS.
In 1999, Luminox received word from Edwards Air Force Base that they were impressed with the performance of the watch in the Navy. They then asked Luminox if they can design an illuminated watch specifically for them. The watches were to be used by fighter and bomber pilots who fly their aircraft into the night.
Since then, Luminox received huge orders from the military, specifically the Navy and the Air Force. The company even entered a contract with aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin to acquire a special license that enabled them to produce watches for some of their unique aviation properties.
Luminox watches are quite unique. The watches are powered with very small self-powered micro gas lights. Called borosilate glass capsules, the lights are then installed into the hands, hour markers and bezels of the watches.
A unique feature of Luminox watches that sets them aside from traditional glow-in-the dark watches is that they do not need an external light source for the light to glow. They also dont need to push a button to light a dial.
Since they are to be used in rugged conditions, these watches have to be very tough. In this light, Luminox watches are made to be shockproof and water resistant.
Presently, the company is developing an analog-digital movement that incorporates the benefits of both mechanical and digital watch technologies. Through the contract with Lockheed Martin, Luminox is also developing watches that are specifically designed for pilots of specific jets such as the F117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter, the F22 Raptor and the Venture Star Space Shuttle.