It’s tempting to raise an eyebrow when you hear the words “tool watch”. The term is meant to denote robust, rough-and-ready functionality – yet it’s often used to describe rarefied, luxury timepieces fashioned in precious metals that simply happen to have a rotating bezel. As David Brent might snicker, “Ooh, you’re hard.”
Luminox watches, however, are legitimately hard. Water resistant to 300 metres, they are designed, in the brand’s words, to “accompany you in the most extreme conditions on earth”. Their muscular cases are made from Luminox’s own light, tough “Carbonox” carbon compound, and the dials are designed for action. Take the hands and hour markers, which are always visible thanks to the tiny glass tubes set within. These are filled with tritium gas and lined with phosphorescent powder. As the tritium releases electrons, this emits a constant glow – no UV charging required – which is helpful for night missions. We imagine.
Luminox’s creds are underscored by its wearers. The US Navy Seal, US Air Force F-117 Nighthawk stealth pilots, Special Military Forces Israel, the Austrian Military Police and the Icelandic Association For Search And Rescue – all are official partners. They are joined today by another name synonymous with derring-do, Bear Grylls.
Coaxing Grylls aboard might be smart marketing, but he says it was a natural fit: “I’ve been wearing Luminox since my early adventuring days. It’s great to now be a part of the family.” The Luminox x Bear Grylls range – which will run across all of Luminox’s signature series (Sea, Air and Land) – incorporates chronograph functions, compasses, paracord straps, morse code decoders, rulers and walking speed scales. The casebacks and dials feature Grylls’ motto, “Never Give Up”.
The Luminox XB.3741 in collaboration with Bear Grylls, $1,104 at luminox.com
Our advice? Go full Bear and pick up the XB.3741 ($1,104) compass-equipped model from the Land range. A tool watch if ever there was one.
Available from this month with a second drop in August. From $560 at luminox.com