March 26, 2021
by Ariel Adams
As part of the “Bear Grylls Survival Series,” this new reference XB.3762 (aka 3762) Luminox watch is the latest product in the ongoing relationship between Swiss watchmaker Luminox and adventure/survival personality Bear Grylls. aBlogtoWatch debuted the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Air Series GMT watch here, and previously I reviewed the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival MASTER Series 3749 watch (that was part of the debut Bear Grylls-themed timepieces from Luminox), as well. The Survival Air GMT is a pretty nice watch that I believe Mr. Grylls would actually wear. It has a fun “action hero” design, but it also has features that would allow for it to adequately serve as a serious timepiece during a wilderness survival scenario. More important is that the watch has a genuinely friendly feel to it and serves as a capable daily wear — while reminding the wearer of the “never give up” motto of Mr. Grylls (and plenty of others before and after him).
One of the things watch collectors have jumped on regarding some of the Luminox Bear Grylls watches is that they contain Swiss Made quartz versus automatic mechanical movements. I don’t think this is a fair complaint. Indeed, these are among the more expensive quartz-based sports watches out there — but by no means dramatically so. The watch components quality is very good, making this product leaps and bounds better-quality than most “celebrity souvenir” watches. It’s entirely “watch enthusiast-grade,” even if it isn’t strictly designed for traditional watch collectors. Luminox, as a brand, tilts a bit more mainstream, even though it seems to have more than a few products with seasoned watch collectors in mind.
Bear Grylls himself is a watch lover, and back when he was filming his Man Vs. Wild show, I used to write about some of the watches he chose to wear. His timepieces choices were never basic, but they were always practical, ranging from timepieces made by Casio to Breitling. Most of Bear’s personal survival watches (and he always wore a watch) had quartz-based multi-function movements. I believe Bear likes the added durability, reliability, and accuracy of quartz watches, given his needs. It is true that one could easily weigh the pros and cons of quartz versus mechanical watches in a survival situation, but I think most people who actually want to make sure they are properly keeping time (these days) would opt for a quartz watch. So, I think it makes a lot of sense that Luminox and Bear Grylls continue to feature such movements in the Survival series timepiece products.
The movement inside the Survival Air Series is the Swiss Made Ronda 515 HF 6, which features the time, date, and GMT hand. It has 50 months of battery life and offers years of reliability to wearers. The watch dial is the most interesting part of the Survival Air GMT because of all the intricate details, as well as its ability to nevertheless be functional. Style and function battle a bit for dominance on the dial, but I think Luminox found a decently healthy mixture of the two. The hands are prominent, easy to see, and the proper length. While there are extra elements and colors on the dial, the overall poise of the watch is that of an instrument and not a toy (though it does sort of beg to be taken outside and played with, or at least worn while playing).
The dial has a sloped flange ring that helps give it more of a sense of depth. The dial is actually rather deep on account of the four hands on the center column — in addition to the tritium gas tubes. Luminox chose not to put a gas tube into the GMT hand, which is a decision I think I sort of understand. That allows the GMT hand to be much thinner — and probably more stylish in its orange arrow style. The lack of luminant on the seconds hand is a slightly bigger issue, but not that big of a deal.
Over the dial is a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal, and around the bezel is a bi-directional rotating bezel. This is less common than uni-directional bezels, but it makes sense given the presence of the reference city names on the bezel. These cities represent each of the 24 time zones and are printed on an aluminum bezel insert. According to Luminox, the reference city names are a mix of the traditional ones used on GMT scales and some that have been replaced with cites that are “home to the premiere special forces around the world.”
The bezel has a nice rotating action, which has the bezel locking in place at each of the 24 positions. The bezel itself is made of carbon, which Luminox calls “Carbonox” as used in its products. I’ve reviewed entirely Carbonox-cased Luminox watches, but none so far that mix a steel case with a Carbonox bezel. The black color in combination with the black dial makes this large watch feel even larger, while the carbon material makes the watch just a bit lighter than it otherwise would be if the bezel were in steel.
The watch bezel is 46mm-wide, but with the crown, the widest point of the watch is close to 50mm-wide. It also has a roughly 55mm lug-to-lug distance and is 13mm-thick. The stainless steel case is very nicely polished with a combination of brushed and polished surfaces, while it has a water resistance of 200 meters. Bear Grylls’ signature orange color is applied in various spots on the front and rear of the watch, as well as on the crown sleeve.
Luminox offers the Bear Grylls Survival Air GMT Series 3762 watch on either this Milanese-style steel bracelet or a fabric Cordura strap. Both are nice choices, but I think a real enthusiast could probably find something a bit showier. I’d like to see an orange fabric strap with black stitching attached to a timepiece like this. The watch uses 24mm-wide straps/bracelets, and I look forward to seeing how people “dress” this watch up a bit when it comes to aftermarket straps.
The steel Milanese-style bracelet is actually pretty decent in quality and does have a handsome look, even though it comes across as a bit generic given that it is a style you can find on a lot of other watches. This particular bracelet has a welcome thickness to the woven metal part and closes with a locking fold-over deployant clasp. Traditional links are used to help wearers size the bracelet, accordingly.
Those with beefier wrists, a penchant for adventure, and a playful attitude are the best sorts of wearers for a watch like this. Surely it helps to be a Bear Grylls fan, namely because you’ll likely think of the man each time you look at the watch. Because it’s a GMT-style timepiece, travelers are probably going to enjoy that functionality more than most. That said, you could easily just set the GMT hand to operate in sync with the local time, which effectively makes it a handy AM/PM indicator. So, if you like the look of the Survival Air 3762 (which is part of the larger 3760 series), but don’t need the GMT functionality, I don’t think you’ll be bothered by it.
The final positive thing to say about the XB.3762 watch is that it genuinely feels like something Bear Grylls would wear. I’m not sure if this fact is obvious to mainstream consumers, on account of how often personalities like Bear Grylls license use of their name and likeness for a variety of marketing purposes. With Luminox, at least, Bear worked on something he would actually take with him and rely on if the situation called for it. He has more than enough Luminox watches with his name on it to choose from now, so call me curious to know when he’d pick up the Survival Air GMT versus the Survival Master Series or the Survival Sea Series.
Price-wise, the Survival Air Series GMT 3762 watch is in the middle of the Luminox Bear Grylls watches, which makes sense given that the entry-level models indicate just the time (and date), the Air Series has a GMT complication, and the Master Series has a chronograph. Price for the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Air Series GMT 3761 watch (on the strap) is $695, while the Air Series GMT 3762 (on the Milanese steel bracelet) has a retail price of $795 USD.
>Model: Bear Grylls Survival Air Series GMT 3762 (XB.3762)
>Price: $795 USD
>Size: 46mm-wide, 13mm-thick, and 55mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As a well-rounded sports watch to wear while traveling in places where donning an expensive timepiece could be a security risk, but you don’t want to wear something boring.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Large-watch lover who wants a quartz-based tool watch for various outdoors or activity purposes… and ideally someone who has a fondness for Bear Grylls of course.
>Best characteristic of watch: Fun looks, stylish design, comfortable to wear and live with. Offers a tool watch experience with the appeal of a toy (for adults). Well-made case and components.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Case width is larger than many would like (while others adore this size), limiting potential fans. Expensive, given the typically lower-price of quartz-based watches (though the watch has other virtues). No luminant on seconds hand or GMT hand.