Although the partnership between Luminox and famous wilderness survival expert Bear Grylls is relatively young, only starting in 2020, the pairing has already been prolific with six co-branded models in the initial lineup. Luminox expands this lineup further for its first major release of 2021, creating a new model aimed at the globetrotting outdoor adventurer. The new Luminox Bear Grylls Air combines the brand’s chunky, aggressive design philosophy with classic pilot and GMT watch cues, while paying tribute to the renowned adventurer with a handful of bespoke nods.
The 45mm stainless steel case of the Luminox Bear Grylls Air follows the bulky, masculine pattern used in other members of the Bear Grylls line, with pronounced squared-off crown guards balanced by a 9 o’clock case side flange and a flared semi-attached lug treatment. With the use of stainless steel, this shape takes on a different character, featuring a mix of polishing, vertical brushing, and horizontal brushing that, in initial images, make the case feel brighter and more dynamic. The tall rotating bezel is made from the brand’s Carbonox forged carbon material, with an aggressively toothed edge that calls to mind heavy-duty off-road truck tires. Inside this hefty bezel, the world time insert is a bit unorthodox. Rather than the usual array of large cities and airports from each of the 24 time zones, Luminox claims the Bear Grylls Air uses the “cities home to the premiere special forces around the world.” Like previous models in the line, the screw-down crown is rubberized in orange to aid grip and add a touch of color, and this orange accent is echoed in the engraved caseback. Bear Grylls’ personal motto “Never Give Up” is emblazoned across the caseback in vibrant orange, flanked by a reproduction of his own signature. Water resistance for this rugged case is a solid 200 meters.
Luminox blends pilot and GMT watch influences together with its own rugged tactical aesthetic for the dial of the Bear Grylls Air. The wide sloping outer minutes rehaut and the simple pointed baton hands both feature the brand’s signature tritium gas tube lume, providing continuous illumination for up to 25 years. The mix of bold printed Arabic numerals and smaller triangular indices gives the design a utilitarian pilot flavor, while the 24 hour GMT ring adds a touch of shine to the mix. Like the case, the dial offers punches of bright safety orange in the arrow-tipped GMT hand, the 12 o’clock index, the Bear Grylls logo at 6 o’clock, and the “Never Give Up” dial text. Overall, the look is intricate but not cluttered to the point of illegibility.
The Luminox Bear Grylls Air is powered by the Ronda 515 HF 6 Swiss quartz GMT movement. Durable and accurate, the 515 HF 6 keeps the extreme survivalist spirit of the Bear Grylls Air while maintaining affordability. Luminox finishes the watch with the choice of either a Milanese mesh bracelet or a rugged Cordura strap in slate gray. The Milanese bracelet adds a slightly flashier edge to the design, but the Cordura option offers a durable and fitting pairing for the watch, overall.
With rugged functionality and an aggressive tactical design, the Luminox Bear Grylls Air should be a fitting companion for the globetrotting adventurer in need of a serious outdoor tool. The Luminox Bear Grylls Air is available now through authorized dealers at a starting MSRP of $695. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.