There is a point in everything you do on a daily basis, where you have a limit. Dare I say, even breathing will, one fine day, become a chore and you'll fade away from this mortal life. But throw in some pain, and those mundane things you do from sunrise to sunset makes you feel closer to that final end. Indeed, the greater the pain, the closer you are to your mortality. Such is the lesson that I gleaned during the introduction session of a course run by Luminox!
Now, if you are unfamiliar with the brand, Luminox is an American watch brand which makes its watches in Switzerland. The main claim to fame here is the use of tritium tubes for its lume. Most watches use Luminova or Super Luminova for their lume material which fades inside of a few hours depending on quality. Tritium tubes though, stay lit for more than 20 years! And because of that, its second major claim to fame is that elite military units like the US Navy SEALs use the watches. The watches are simple and tough as nails, just like the operators using it.
So why would a military focussed watch brand want to torture (or educate, as the organisers call it!) a bunch of journalists? The official line goes like this - 'The Luminox Jungle Survival Course is a programme that helps participants to overcome physical constraints and mental pressure as well. It is aimed to bring the Navy SEAL mantra of ‘The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday’ to participants and help them understand how each day’s challenges can make one stronger.'
Fair enough, except that with a 4.30am wake up call, you can't help but feel that 'yesterday' was too soon in the ending and 'today' was going to be a ball-buster. But having a whine and a moan about such things is counter-productive. I saved all of that angst for one particular person while the rest of my mental and physical capacity was dedicated to getting through the day in injury free. It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, yes?
So arriving at The Canopi, Bintan Island (a glamping resort), each participant was split into five different groups, namely SEAL Team 6, ICE-SAR, Sea Wolves, Undersea Voyager Project and Spartan, with each team consisting of 4 members. The names were selected based on the various spokespersons, organizations or obstacle races that were associated with Luminox. Commanding officer of the course was retired Navy SEAL, Rob Roy, who subsequently enforced the importance of team work, trust and leadership in each team by asking questions about each team mate, reinforcing an unspoken rule that in a Navy SEAL team; your team is your family and
you have to trust your lives with each other.
Every participant was also loaned a Luminox watch to experience the toughness of the timepiece. They learned how to time hack or to synchronize their time down to the seconds and use the rotating bezel of their Luminox watches for count down purposes. At each stage of the mission, a fixed time duration was given to complete the task, simulating an environment of a military mission where time can be a matter of life and death. As a former Navy SEAL, Roy indicated the simplicity of the watch as it meant that it was easy to use on missions and reduced any risk of errors that can jeopardize the mission. Participants were also given physical activities such as push ups and sprints to push their physical limits.
But the course aside, Luminox also wanted to show us their three new collections - Navy SEAL 3580 Chronograph The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday, ICE-SAR 1000 series and Deep Dive Carbonox 1550. We will delve deeper into each watch over the next few weeks as each has a very unique story to it and is a reflection of some important work being done in other parts of the world. In which case, it is indeed ironically amusing that a course on survival acts merely as a reminder of our own fragile mortality.