Customer Reviews: Luminox Men's 3402 F-117 Nighthawk Watch
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on July 8, 2006
I've had this watch for almost 7 years now. It keeps good time, and the date, rotating bezel and adjust screw work nicely (still). I bought it expressly for visibility at night and the luminous hands (all 3) and 'dots' are great. Only criticism: the black finish wears surprisingly fast: a little on the watch but a lot on the band, particularly in contact with sweat. Which is too bad, as the black finish is very distinctive when new. I would buy it again, anyway.
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on May 10, 2012
I will compare the H3 Tactical Blue Shadow I to the Luminox F-117 Nighthawk 3402, which is quite similar on paper and their retail pricing.

Both watches are dive-capable: they both have the necessary water resistance (>= 200m), screw-down case back and crown, unidirectional rotating timing bezel, luminous markings on the hands, dial hour markers, and the "pip" on the bezel. They also both sport a diver's band extension. A plus is that the crown screws down for more than one turn, which I prefer. Some screw-down crowns can be difficult to convincingly engage without fear of cross-threading (e.g. low-end Invictas). These watches are both above this quality threshold. The bezel rotates well, with little play.

They both have a black dial, white hands, hour markers, and minute markers; solid black stainless steel cases and band links; double safety fold/lock stamped clasp; 43 mm case width (without crown, which adds a couple mm) and 12-13 mm thickness; both have 16 Tritium tubes, one each for hour, minute, and second hands, one for the bezel pip, and 12 for the hour markers. I consider this count of tubes a big step up from those that do not mark the bezel, or the second hand, or all the hours. And on both, the pip is mounted behind a circular sapphire window. They both have a flat sapphire crystal, a quartz movement (batteries appear to be typical), and a date display. Let me emphasize the utility of having all 16 tubes - many watches with otherwise great lume, or Tritium tubes, do not adequately mark the pip, or the 12 hour position, or the second hand for example. I find these all to be very useful for dark use.

I like both watches, and I plan to keep both. They both get 4 1/2 / 5 *. And now, the differences.

The Blue Shadow has 300m water resistance, vs 200m for the Nighthawk.


The Blue Shadow is so-called because it has a dark cobalt, bright blue bezel face. It looks dark face-on, but its color shines viewed at an angle. It has silver, superficial second markers, numbered 10 min intervals, hash marks on the 5 min intervals, and a triangle around the pip. I say "superficial" because they appear printed or painted on, with no depth. However, this is a very effective marking pattern, easy to read. It's a standard bezel width. The Nighthawk has a wider bezel, which reduces the size of the crystal/dial (28 mm vs 32 for the Blue Shadow). The Nighthawk bezel has no second markings, only hour marking 1-11, which are slightly carved into the steel, and centered in a shallow scallop in the bezel: this is visually distinctive and protects the markings from wear. The presence of hour marking, as opposed to minute markings is unusual in a dive watch. Perhaps aviators prefer this for multi-hour timing intervals. The pip has no markings, which reduces its visibility. Finally, the Nighthawk bezel is 60 click, while the Blue Shadow is 120 click. The "grip" i.e. the ability to grasp and turn the bezel, is a bit better on the Nighthawk.


The Blue Shadow is visually uncluttered: there are no digits to mark hours. The hours are marked with bold white wedges, with a visually distinctive triangle at 12. The minute marking are also nice and clearly seen. Too bad the hour markings are not Superluminova! That would add a solid punch for either of these watches. This is most likely a result of the reasonable pricing. The Nighthawk as I mentioned is smaller, it has digits for all hours, and smaller 24 hour indications, so it is more cluttered. Again, no luminous markings on the dial.


While in general the Tritium tubes are quite visible when the eye is dark adapted (and in fact cast enough light so that the dial will illuminate objects nearby when the surroundings are very dark), they are not easily seen when the viewer transitions from bright light to dark. It takes like half a minute for the eye to adapt enough to clearly read the time. This is why, for me, the ultimate is a combination of Tritium tubes and photolume. My Reactor Gamma has this, but unfortunately it does not mark all hours, or have a tube for the pip.

The Blue Shadow has Blue hour tubes, Green hand and pip tubes, and Orange 12. For my moderately red-green colorblind eyes, the 12 marker stands apart much better than the more typical Green vs Orange tubes, as are used on the Nighthawk. The Nighthawk wins on the visibility and glow intensity of its markers though. The tubes are mounted higher in the slots than for the Blue Shadow, and the Green is a bit brighter than the Blue; also, the tube on the bezel pip is a bit larger and visibly brighter than for the Blue Shadow. Based on this, I would think using Green tubes on the hours, and Blue to mark 12, would be a superior choice. Interestingly enough, the hour and minute hands appear to be identical on the two watches. The second hand on the Blue Shadow is Orange/Red, which reduces its visibility for my eyes. Other improvements I would see are a more visually apparent marking for the 12 hour: could be oriented differently, could be a pair of tubes; either would stand out much better.


The Blue Shadow is fixed width. I don't know the terminology to characterize the link patterns, but it has rectangles of equal length, equal width, half-length offset throughout, in a 3-2 overlap. The Nighthawk is a bit more visually appealing, like tortoise interlocked scales, tapering a few mm to the clasp. It may account for the difference in weight, 5.6 ounce vs 5.8 for the Blue Shadow. I have not beaten on these watches yet, but I did notice that the Nighthawk black coating was easily scratched when I adjusted the band for my 7 1/4 inch wrist. I have read about this in other reviews.

BOTTOM LINE is you can't go wrong with either, but I'd keep in mind the lume brightness, bezel markings, and durability in making a choice. Enjoy!
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on January 23, 2013
Like my other Luminox watches this is easy to use and read in lowlight conditions. If you're looking for a sensible watch for flying this is it. This watch is rugged and provides the functions an aviator needs. I'm not a fan of the aviator watches with flight computers built in because I don't want to come inside the cockpit to utilize some minuscule slide rule instead of flying the aircraft. As a helicopter pilot I strongly recommend this watch to fellow aviators.

Follow on: After slightly over a month of wear I have yet to see any signs or fade or wear on the watch or band. It still looks like I just removed it from the box. My daily routine involves vigorous activity providing adequate opportunity for the watch to receive damage.
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on August 6, 2012
One look at the F117 Nighthawk n I wanted one. My Navy Seal Blue Dial Original has been phenomenal. Over a decade n still perfect( read review). This F117 is a gorgeous watch that can take a beating from hell. My band HAS NOT worn off to silver like others. It does have some scratches but is still all black. Has been in fresh n salt water, motorcycle riding, airplanes, very cold weather n in over 100 degree heat. The crystal does not scratch n time is perfect. The screw down back n the screw in crown were two important selling points. The original Navy Seal has gone 13 years perfect and this watch is even better. What more could you want? Luminox watches are amazing for the price. Rich
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on September 20, 2007
I've had this watch for a few years now. It is a great watch, I've never needed to replace the battery and the glow in the dark markers are still very bright. My only complaint is the finish. I suppose I can't really complain, any type of coating would probably wear off over time. It's really bad on the band and clasp. My last watch was a Luminox Navy Seals Watch (Very similar) with the stainless finish but I sold it and bought this one because I liked the black finish better. In hindsight I would stick with the stainless finish since it can't wear off. If it were a special occasion only watch, or if it was a $50 watch that I could replace every year or so it would be ok. But for a watch this price I need it to last a bit longer.

I don't have any complaints with the quality at all, I realize that no coating will last forever. Just consider that when you make your decision. I personally will be sticking to stainless finishes from now on.
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on June 2, 2009
Bought watch new in 2002. Quit working in 2007. Battery was replaced but movement eventually stops working after a few hours. Date indicator moves ahead 3 days after midnight. The Luminox Titanium watch I bought before that one still works ok though. The watch has never been underwater or used to chop wood etc. The only action it saw was me wearing it while riding my motorcycle.
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on March 24, 2012
My model is designated as the "3400", which may be the predecessor to the 3402. I have had this watch for about 13 years. Changed the battery once. The tritium dials are as bright as they were when the watch was new. Yes, the black coating has worn in places on the band - not on the watch itself. Time has remained accurate within 20 seconds +/- over the years. Not sure what else one could want from a watch at this price. Very satisfied overall.
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on April 6, 2010
I bought this watch last month after looking at the competition for almost a year. Very impressed when I first got it - had no problems adjusting the band (and removing 1 link on each side.) It keeps accurate time and the tritium is quite bright at night. However, I have been wearing this watch in an office environment for only two weeks and already the black on the band is coming off to the point the clasp is now silver in some places. Very disappointing for a $500 watch and not at all the quality I was expecting from Luminox. I don't want to think what this band will look like after six months of use. The firearms manufacturers have figured out how to put a finish on a black handgun that lasts for years of hard service - I don't know why the watch manufacturers can't do the same thing. I would not recommend this watch.

March 2012 Update - had to send this watch back in for service after 22 month of use. Hour hand got out of synch with the minute hand and was about 30 minutes off (minutes would read top of the hour - hour hand would reflect the 30 minute mark.) Just barely got it back to the repair shop under the two year warranty. Just not the quality I was expecting considering this Luminox replaced a 20+ year old Seiko that I bought used for $150 in 1994. Never had a bit of problems with that Seiko until it just quit working one day in 2010.
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on May 14, 2008
Excellent product. Best sport watch I have ever owned. Takes bumps and submersion in salt water very well
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on November 6, 2014
I purchased this watch more than a year ago and I absolutely love it. To date, no scratches have penetrated the black band. Keeps time well, is not heavy on the risk and the night look is fantastic. Great watch!
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