Luminox’s partnership with Bear Grylls continues to manifest in more watches. An entire collection called Survival has been built around this legend, and comprise of a series for Air, Land and Sea. This latest Survival Air caught our eye, especially the Milanese style bracelet, and we took it for a four week test drive. Here is what we found.
Bear and Luminox began their partnership in 2020 and has subsequently launched the Luminox X Bear Grylls Survival Series of tough, outdoor adventure-oriented watches. So far, we’ve seen a “LAND” chronograph, a “SEA” dive watch, and a compass-equipped “MASTER” model. This year, Luminox & Bear complete the series with the new AIR Collection, with a world-timer and GMT functionality.
Hands-on Review: new Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Air 3762
Retail price is set at SGD 1,265, currently on sale at SGD 1,012 on the Luminox Singapore website. The Codura strap version retails for SGD 1,095, also on sale now at SGD 876. Prices are with GST.
The Bear Grylls Air Collection is a World Timer over the usual Luminox accoutrements. The Luminox blurb says that the watch is designed in collaboration with Bear, who has “reviewed and approved” it. This new Air Survival 3762 feature a world time quartz movement (GMT) showing all 24 different time zones, indicated by cities home to the premiere special forces around the world.
We have featured Bear Grylls collaborations with Luminox before. Here are the articles of interest:
Luminox Chronograph Bear Grylls Survival 3740 Master Series the LAND chronograph
Luminox Bear Grylls Survival SEA Rule of 3 the SEA diver watch
And the latest to the collection. the Survival Air 3762.
The case, dial, hands and bracelet
The case is the standard Luminox case, in stainless steel. The shape has a rugged, angular look, with a mix of creases and curves which if this was the automobile industry, would be described as power bulge. But we are not describing a motor vehicle, so suffice to say the detailing invokes a feel of strength, solidness and perhaps power and durability. So we guess it captures the adventurous spirit of Bear Grylls.
The bezel is in CARBONOX™+, a Luminox trade marked material made with carbon long bar compound, in which carbon fibers count for 40% of the compound. Due to its higher composition of carbon fibers, CARBONOX+™ has tensile strength that is twice as high as with CARBONOX™, while water absorption is three times lower. It also provide the distinctive matte gray color. The bezel is bi-directional turning with an aluminum ring inlay, and shows the 24 timezones for cities where the world’s Special Forces are located. A nice touch and quite unusual for a World Timer. But is a nod to Bear’s Special Forces service with the British Army’s Special Air Service (SAS).
The dial is design is very busy, but nicely laid out. The design calls for splashes of orange over a black background with white markings. Orange is Bear’s personal colour and is used in various places, including the orange rubber ring over the screw down crown. The outer ring is sloped and marks the minutes, an inner ring showing 24 hours for the second or GMT timezone indication, and the inner dial marked with the cardinal 12, 3, 6, 9 numerals in Arabic. An additional circle in military 24 hour markings completes the inside. The crowded dial finds space for the Luminox logo, the Bear Grylls logo, and space to include his motto, “NEVER GIVE UP”.
The hands are typical Luminox bar shaped hands with pointed tips. The minute and hour hand are white with a black inner sock at the pivot side, and carry light tube modules. The second hand is white with a black counter weight, and a black arrow with an orange tip carries the fourth hand to indicate the second timezone.
As a Luminox watch, a bright and legible lume is a given. Here, the Luminox Light Technology (LLT) is used in two colours of orange and green. And true to form it glows brightly in the dark on its own without the need to expose it to light previously. We have covered the technology in detail in this article on Lume. The tubes can be seen in the dial detail above, embedded partially in the dial, and partly sticking out for the green hour indices. The hands and the 12 o’clock marker is in orange. The 12, 3, 6, 9 hour markers are in green SuperLuminova.
Of interest to this particular watch is that it is presented with an option for a Cordura strap or a Milanese mesh bracelet. The bracelet comprises of obliquely angled links which form a chain mail like strap. The links are suitably small, and become very pliable and flexible in one direction, enabling it to sit comfortably, conforming to the contours of the wrist, while resisting sideways motion, so it remains stable. And we admit it, we love the looks. However, a small nit is that the links may trap wrist hairs. And yes, we experienced this, even though as Asians, we have relatively hairless wrists.
The entire watch exudes a strong character, almost like its invincible, and quite suitable to portray the survival aspects of Bear Grylls.
The case back is relief engraved with the logos of Bear Grylls and Luminox, with a central cartouche with the logo “NEVER GIVE UP” with orange infilled paint showing up prominently. The back is stainless steel and screw down for a water resistance rating of 200m
The movement is not visible, as that would necessitate a removal of the case back. But it is a standard quartz movement with date and a second timezone. We do not expect any decorative theatrics on the movement, and suffice that it works reliably and with good accuracy. The movement is a Ronda 515 HF 6 with a battery life specified at 50 months.
The watch carries the Bear Grylls DNA of survival, toughness, and the spirit of never giving up. But we suspect, most buyers will be using it in an urban environment, and while the idea of a super strong watch provides a nice psychological support, what matters more is perhaps the world time and second timezone functionality. And the reliability of the watch in keeping good accurate time. This it does well. For the use in the urban jungle, fighting commuters on the train, or for travel, it is a good choice.
The 45mm case size wears surprisingly well for such a large specification, and is quite comfortable, thanks to the very flexible and pliable Milanese style chain mail bracelet. Though, as mentioned, those with hairy wrists might want to try it out first.
The Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Air was photographed in our studio as we had the watch on a long(ish) term loan. Hasselblad H3D-39 with HC 4/120 Makro and HC 2.8/80 with H28 extension tube. Profoto strobe.