Luminox recently introduced a new family of Bear Grylls Mountain Collection watches with some important design changes that include a new case, strap, and dial design language. Media personality and survivalist Bear Grylls has been a Luminox brand ambassador for a while and these new timepieces represent just some of the many Luminox timepieces with his name and organization’s logo on it. Of the four new Bear Grylls Survival Moutain watches, three are standard collection models and one (the pictured watch) is a limited edition version with some fun design tweaks.
While this limited edition Bear Grylls Survival Mountain model sports a white face, the other three version dials are black and orange, black and beige, and black and green. They also don’t have the retro-style bullbar wire crystal protection of the limited edition (a part designed to be removable, if preferred). The Luminox Mountain watches all have 43mm wide black-colored Carbonox (a proprietary carbon blend) cases that are also 13mm thick with 200 meters of water resistance. Over the dial is an AR-coated sapphire crystal. The watch’s crown and caseback are in steel. Around the bezel is a bi-directional rotating navigation bezel.
Illuminating the dial are Swiss Made tritium gas tubes, which self-illuminate for 25 years. An additional tube is placed at the 60-minute marker on the rotating bezel. I didn’t have a chance to do my own darkness shot of the watch face, but the view of the dial is clear (you can easily see what the dial would look like in the dark by the position of the gas tubes), even though gas tubes are not per se very bright. Inside the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Mountain watches are a Swiss Made Ronda 515 quartz movement, which offers the time with date.
The stated purpose of this limited-edition version of the Bear Grylls Survival Mountain watch is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Grylls’ ascent to the top of Mount Everest. The colors and details of the watch are meant to evoke this fact, and overall the dial is changed a bit from the non-limited edition versions. For one thing, the Bear Grylls Foundation sash logo replaces the standard Arabic number 10 o’clock hour indicator. There is also the “8848m” statement at the top of the watch, which is the height of Mount Everest. Unlike the other Bear Grylls Survival Mountain watches, this limited edition also has a red versus orange rubber segment over the otherwise steel crown as well as an engraved caseback that depicts Mount Everest on it. The rubber strap color is deep blue versus black. The colors are interesting, inspired by the Nepalese flag, and overall make for a fun look.
Part of Luminox’s goal with these new 43mm wide case styles was to make them more comfortable for smaller wrists. To that end, you can see how the strap attachment system is different, and the straps now attach and immediately angle downwards. I certainly agree that this new case is a good mixture of bold side and dynamic wearing comfort.
The new dials are handsome and overall I like them very much. One issue I have (a minor one admittedly) is the seemingly non-functional and frankly distracting set of markers on the angled edge of the flange ring on the outer dial. This same ring is where the hour markers are placed, but then there are these midway markers between the tritium gas tubes which really only make it more challenging to read the minutes. These markers could be used as half-hour points, but given their proximity to and non-alignment with minute markers, these just feel distracting. At the same time, I understand that not having something in this space would leave too much white space, so I understand from a design perspective that Luminox wanted to put something in that area. What I recommend is that Luminox use this space for extra minute markers. Given the thicker size of the hour markers, the dial doesn’t even have all the minute markers printed on it, which can be confusing when you want to quickly read the time down to the precise minute. I have full faith that Luminox will refine these issues in the future, and even with them, the dials of the Bear Grylls Survival Mountain watches are pretty cool. My favorite part is the new two-color printed hour marker design. The hands aren’t too bad either.
Matching the black Carbonox case is a black Carbonox buckle on the close-fitting 22mm wide blue rubber strap. The watch itself is relatively lightweight being just 70 grams. I do like how the case is an attempt to evolve the core Luminox look with some more refined wearing proportions. It will be interesting to see what people say for themselves as more enthusiasts get the Bear Grylls Survival Mountain watches on their wrists. The price premium for this limited edition (of 800 pieces) version in honor of Bear Grylls climbing Mount Everest is $50 over the non-limited edition models, which isn’t too bad. The retail price for this reference XB.3737 Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Mountain Collection 43mm Limited Edition watch is $595 USD. Learn more at the Luminox watches website here.