Overview: I spend as much time as possible in the outdoors - hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting and I am notoriously hard on gear. For a while I've wanted a quality watch that would hold up to the elements and the abuse. One that was both durable and practical. I've been a long-time fan of the Luminox products and my recent hunting trip to Montana felt like the perfect excuse to splurge a little and pull the trigger on one - the BG Survival Master Series.
Luminox was born in 1989, driven by a commitment to offer cutting-edge luminescence and readability in its line of high-performance sports watches.
In 1992 the Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC) for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E), West Coast, Nick North, together with the Luminox founder, Barry Cohen, worked to develop a watch specifically for the Navy SEALs and the famed Navy SEAL watch was born.
Luminox's reputation for building watches to not only withstand but perform in extreme conditions makes it the perfect watch for outdoor pursuits of all types. This year they partnered with Bear Grylls to roll out the Luminox X Bear Grylls limited collection made specifically for outdoor adventurers.
The website describes the Survival Master Series as a rugged Swiss-made timepiece crafted to perform in extreme situations through multi-functional design and state of the art materials.
It retails for $975
What I like: Here are a few things I really like.
First, the durability. I've already given this watch a pretty steady work out. From backcountry hunting in Montana, to river outings chasing trout to Michigan deer season it has been banged around and seen its share of rain, snow, sleet, temps pushing single digits and plenty of water submersion all with no issues.
Second is the feel. The watch feels substantial but not cumbersome. The band is extremely comfortable and durable and the face is just the right size, not small but not overly big. Oftentimes I forget I'm wearing it, it's that comfortable - and that is saying something because I am not typically a fan of jewelry of any type on my hands or wrists especially when hunting or fishing.
Third is the proprietary Luminox Light Technology which means that the face is always visible even in complete darkness. Perfect for those early morning hunts, late hikes back in the dark or middle-of-the-night "emergencies".
Last, I just like how it looks. It's a blend of "tactical" and "outdoors" without being too over-the-top with either. Rugged enough to wear on any outdoor adventure but nice enough to wear to the office or out to dinner. It also has the ability to change out the bands for different uses, looks and feels (https://luminox.com/collections/all-straps).
What I don’t like:
First, at almost $1,000 this watch is pushing the boundaries of expensive. Then again I firmly believe you get what you pay for, and this product is Swiss made, Navy Seal proven, and not only looks and feels substantial but is actually field-proven to BE substantial with a Sapphire crystal, Carbonox bezel and case and stainless steel case back.
Second, this set up comes with an on-strap compass which I found somewhat silly. It does not seem very usable, looks a little tacky and kind of gets in the way. It's removable and I saw no use for it, so I took it off.
Perfect for: I'll be the first to admit that, for me, this watch was as much a "want"as a "need". I have always been a huge fan of the Luminox products - from that very first Navy Seal watch. The 3741 Master Series is basically indestructible, completely water-proof (up to 300 meters) and provides instant at-a-glance visibility, even in complete darkness, through the proprietary Luminox Light Technology. Besides that, I like the looks. This timepiece is a perfect companion for any outdoor adventure from hunting to hiking to fishing and water sports and completely at home on the shooting range, in the mountains or out on the town.
Stars: 5 out of 5