Luno Wear was established in 2014 by friends Boman Farrer and Ryan Krantz. Boman’s great grandfather was a watchmaker as well as his son, Calvin and so Lunowear claims that over 100 years of watchmaking history has been put into the design of their watches.
“100 years of watchmaking history meets innovation”
Luno Wear currently offer several models that are all under $100. Let’s take a close look at their men’s collection. They currently offer three models – ‘The Shoots’, ‘The Pine’ and ‘The Orca’.
Wood: Ebony and pine (Pine), bamboo (Shoots), ebony (Orca)
Movement: Miyota 2035 Japanese Quartz
Band: Leather buckle
Case Diameter: 45 mm | 1.77” (Shoots, Orca), 45.5 mm | 1.79” (Pine)
Band Width: 25 mm | .98” (Shoots, Orca), 20 mm | .79” (Pine)
Weight: 27 g | 0.95 oz
The Pine watch consists of a pine wood dial encased by an ebony bezel and case that has been treated with a water resistant finish. The pine white contrasts vividly against the black hour and minute markings. The second, hour and minute hands follow a similar design and are all black. It is therefore possible to quickly get a reading of the time due to the high contrast.
The pine watch comes across as a classically inspired design and looks to be pretty unique amongst the other wood watches out there. I can appreciate the simple and elegant design – this watch simply tells the time and does it well by using a distinct color design.
The band has been stained to give it a nice earthy brown color and there are two lines of stitching running down either side. Like other leather bands, it will take a couple of days to break in so don’t worry if it’s a bit stiff at first. There’s a great smooth look to the band, and the inside has a smooth finish as well.
The biggest issue with this piece is the quality. I’ve read multiple reviews of wearers reporting the crystal cracking or the band tearing with semi to regular wear. They sell band replacements on their website so it’s clear they’ve anticipated this problem.
With that said, I do believe there is value for money and it’s worth getting it for under $50 from Amazon.
Pros: + Vivid contast on dial elements + Clear dial hour numbers + Solid looking band + Vertical stitching + Pine dial
Cons: – Questionable band and crystal quality
Verdict: This is a great looking timepiece with a good use of color contrast and a classic looking dial. The white pine pops against the dark ebony. The band also has a nice stained color with solid stitching.
Whereas the Pine watch uses actual pine, the orca seems to use a generic variety of wood or plastic as the watch face. It does look similar to the ebony case but on close inspection I can tell it is slightly different. Unfortunately, the Luno logo is black which doesn’t sit well with the already dark design. In dark lit environments you’ll struggle to see the logo and it’ll look uncomfortably out of place.
The hands are white and relatively thick which easily pop against the dark colors. It’s easy to get a general time gauge but don’t expect to get a specific time as there is no dial markings.
The Orca watch is presumably named after the orca whale which is notoriously known for its black and white pigment. I think Lunowear have taken this concept too literally, and the watch overuses black color to the point where it just becomes a bit unpractical for a timepiece. You may even struggle to see the grain of the ebony as the dark water resistant finish overpowers the natural colors.
The band follows a generic design and has several horizontal lines of white stitching that match the hands. The inside layer is fairly coarse and doesn’t have the smooth finish of the Pine watch.
Lunowear have missed the mark with this offering and you’re better of with sticking to the Pine watch if you had to choose one or the other.
Pros: + White hands stand out
Cons: – Overpowering dark water resistant finish – Bad choice of color design – Generic leather band – Questionable band quality
Verdict: The Orca watch is not a pretty watch. The dark finish overpowers the design and hides the natural grain of the ebony. A generic looking band doesn’t bode well for a company that touts that ‘over 100 years’ of watchmaking has been put into their designs.
‘The Shoots’ watch disappointingly follows a tried and true design that you can see in so many bamboo models. There is nothing new to see here except the red stitching which adds a tad of individuality to an otherwise uninspired design.
Similar to the Orca watch, the band is also very thin and I’ve read several reviews regarding it snapping. Fans of minimalist design will probably like this watch and it’s not a bad design by any measure – it just simply is one that I’ve seen in so many other watches.
It’s worth purchasing but I would not pay anymore then $50 for it (original MSRP is $80).
Pros: + Minimalist watch
Cons: – Lack of quality craftsmanship – Generic design
Verdict: A simple and straightforward watch. It’s an OK entry by Luno Wear with a general appeal.
The Real Deal?
The beginnings of Luno Wear are shrouded in controversy. Initially starting as a Kickstarter campaign, they raised enough money to reach their goal but the entire project was closed due to accusations of false advertising. Apparently, models of the existing watches could be found on online marketplaces such as Alibaba before they were even released.
The project was scrapped and then put up on Indiegogo where it raised more than enough money. Even though the owners have stated the authenticity of their designs, this story does make me question the authenticity of their watches. After all, if the watches have been designed based on a unique heritage of 100 years in horology, why do they look so generic? This is especially true of the shoots watch.
There has also been many complaints regarding the quality of these time keepers. Many users have reported cracked dials and broken bands after merely weeks of use.
However; based on the fact that they advertised these watches as being inspired by generations of watchmakers it’s a huge disappointment to be offered something that is sub-par. With this is mind, I would recommend considering purchasing these pieces if they are under $50 (which Amazon currently retails them for). The Pine watch is clearly the best offer here and that’s my recommendation out of these three offerings.