Swiss watch brand Luminox has recently announced a long-term partnership with Bear Grylls and introduced a first series of timepieces he helped design. WatchTime was able to talk to the former British former SAS serviceman, survival instructor and adventurer who became widely known for his television series “Man vs. Wild” (2006–2011).
WT: Has there ever been a moment in your career where a wristwatch became a much more crucial piece of equipment than just an indicator of the time?
BG: In so many ways. To find north, to pace my distance in a jungle and with this range of our watches you can even use the Luminox technology light to navigate in the dark.
WT: What is the most important thing you’re looking for in a wristwatch?
BG: As a team we need something ultra reliable that will weather the storms and knocks with me and will give me more than just the time.
WT: Can you tell us more about your involvement in designing the new Luminox collection?
BG: All our Bear Grylls Luminox watches are built for a beating, and stacked with innovations — I love that. We design, we trial, we beat them up, we improve, and then we go again. It’s been an amazing process to be part of with the Luminox team. And ultimately, I can trust these watches to be up to the adventures that we as an adventure crew put them through.
WT: Which ideas, details, etc. are based on your experience as an adventurer and survivalist?
BG: It’s simple things like how a watch can also be used as a navigation tool, using the hour hand or using the sun to find north which in turn has often helped me get ,out of a sticky situation when lost. The light has also saved me so many times, as it is insanely bright.
WT: The watches come with a walking speed scale, compass, paracord survival strap etc.; which model are you taking into the wild, and why?
BG: I love this lightweight Luminox by Scott Cassell. In the wild, knowing what time you set off and how long you’ve been going for is vital.
WT: Watch aficionados traditionally keep an eye on what’s on your wrist (and you appear to have quite a collection), what started your interest in wristwatches, and how did you get your first watch?
BG: I have worn Luminox for as long as I can remember; certainly it was the watch I trusted when I was in the military. They have been the watches used by Navy SEALS for over two decades now. It is why our new range of Bear Grylls watches with Luminox was such a logical step. I trust them when it matters. The one I always wear is the Luminox Master 3749 series.