If you were to ask elite armed forces units such as the U.S Navy Seals and F117-Nighthawk Stealth pilots about their watch of choice, they would say “Luminox”. The renowned Swiss watch brand, which is famous for making watches that can withstand the most extreme weather conditions, is thus an obvious choice for the equally renowned Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR). Luminox watches are now part of the essential gear for all 93 ICE-SAR teams. The outfit was founded in 1928 and has a force of over 4,000 volunteers, who passionately drive accident prevention and search and rescue programmes in Iceland. All these volunteers are search and rescue experts because they have to undergo an 18-month training course before they can go on their first mission. In addition to ice, heavy rains and strong winds, ICE-SAR also has to deal with limited daylight visibility, since Iceland remains in partial or total darkness during several months in winter.
This is where Luminox watches come into their own. Their unique self powered illumination system – providing a constant glow for up to 25 years – becomes an essential element for ICE-SAR teams to conduct their missions. Other than darkness, the ICE-SAR teams also face volcanic eruptions, avalanches, shipwrecks, mega-storms and more.
Now, Luminox is introducing the new Arctic 1200 Series stainless steel models in the ICE-SAR line, complete with fresh details and new colours. All the watches are powered by a Ronda quartz movement, with a lithium battery and, due to the case’s screw-down case back and crown, they are water resistant to 200 metres. The hands are inspired by the carabiners the teams use, while the red graphic around the date window is the ICE-SAR logo. The dial – on which there is a map of the world, with the coordinates of the ICE-SAR headquarters in Reykjavik in the middle – is protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and framed by a bi-directional turning bezel.
The bezel can be used to navigate using the Arctic 1200 Series timepiece, as a sun compass. In the northern hemisphere, you point the hour hand at the sun and imagine an angle formed by the hour hand and a line drawn from the 12 o’clock position to the centre of the watch. Bisect that angle and that is true south. Put the turning bezels on that point and you now know the cardinal directions. In the southern hemisphere, you point the 12 o’clock position at the sun, imagine the angle between the hour and the line from the 12 to the centre of the watch. Bisect that angle and that is true north.
To celebrate this unique joining of forces, each ICE-SAR Arctic 1200 Series watch comes with a special booklet with details about the partnership.