Luminox began its partnership with survival specialist and “Man vs. Wild” TV star Bear Grylls 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 completes the series with the new AIR Collection, distinguished by its world-time and GMT functionality.
Like all of the watches in the Luminox X Bear Grylls family, the new model, which is mounted on either a tough Cordura strap or a steel Milanese-style mesh bracelet, has been thoroughly tested and approved by Grylls himself, who also helped design and develop the watch. Inside its 45-mm stainless steel case is a quartz movement with a built-in world-time complication. Outwardly, this travel-friendly function uses an orange-tipped GMT hand to point to a second time zone on a 24-hour ring, along with a bidirectional bezel etched with the names of 24 world cities, one to represent each time zone. Unique to this watch, the cities chosen are, according to Luminox, “home to the premier special forces around the world.” (Grylls served as a combat trooper in Britain’s SAS.) The bezel is made of Luminox’s proprietary Carbonox alloy, with an aluminum inlay for the city ring.
Under the nonreflective sapphire crystal, the black dial hosts stencil-style military hour numerals, sword hands, a date window at 4:30, and Grylls’ motto, “Never Give Up” in orange along the center line. Also in orange is the rubber ring around the screw-down crown, offering an easy grip for the wearer and helping to ensure the case’s water resistance of 200 meters.
In keeping with the Luminox brand identity, the dial of the AIR model can boast constant visibility in low light and darkness, owing to the use of Luminox Light Technology (LLT), which uses tiny tubes filled with tritium gas that glow brightly for up to 25 years. Unlike Super-LumiNova — the luminous paint used on most other watches, which requires an external light source to activate its glow — tritium is radioluminescent, meaning when the lights go out, the luminous parts of the dial will glow brightly even if the dial has not soaked up ambient light beforehand.
The watch and movement are both Swiss made, the latter courtesy of Ronda and offering a 50-month battery life. On the Cordura strap (Ref. XB.3761), the Luminox X Bear Grylls Survival AIR Series GMT is priced at $695; on the Milanese bracelet (Ref. 3762), it retails for $795.