Luminox ICE-SAR: Pay it Forward and Save Lives


Source: TimeWerke Videos on YouTube

The Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic 1000 Series watch represents not only the beginning of a long-term partnership between the brand and Iceland’s ICE-SAR but the start of an adventure with a modern Luminox watchcase design that is young in looks.

ICE-SAR refers to “Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg” in Icelandic, the national language of Iceland. It is known as the “Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue” in English; hence the acronym ICE-SAR.

In Iceland, extreme weather, avalanches, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are a part of life. Such extremes in weather and the environment make Iceland a popular destination for adventure seekers.

This explains why search and rescue activities are highly important in Iceland for assisting both locals and tourists. In 2017, there were more than 1,000 ICE-SAR activations or “callouts” (Icelandic: “Útkall”, of which 150 were life-threatening situations.

The partnership between Luminox and ICE-SAR began in 2018 and what resulted is the Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic 1000 Series. The ICE-SAR inscription and logo can be clearly seen on the blue textured dial.

The dial is in blue, white and red, colours of which are inspired by the flag of Iceland.

Founded in 1928, ICE-SAR celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2018. This explains the the “90 Years” inscription at 9 o’clock.

The number to call for ICE-SAR emergency assistance is 211 and this three-digit number is found at 12 o’clock.


Source: TimeWerke Videos on YouTube

Do note that the bezel of the Luminox ICE-SAR cannot be rotated as it is a monobloc Carbonox watchcase. What is truly noteworthy is the new-look lug design that makes the watch appear younger and more modern in style.

Another detail to note on the dial is the 24-hour Arabic numeral reference scale in red.

Though limited to 900 pieces, the Luminox ICE-SAR watch is offered worldwide. That is because ICE-SAR isn’t an association with activities solely centred in Iceland.

The International ICE-SAR, founded in 1999, undertakes missions around the world. Its first international mission was the rescue of survivors in the 1999 İzmit earthquake in Turkey. ICE-SAR was also involved in the 2003 Boumerdès earthquake in Algeria and the 2004 earthquake in Morocco.

ICE-SAR depends on volunteers and it has a strength of 4,200 individuals organised into 93 teams. Basic ICE-SAR training is 18 months. The association funds itself through sales of fireworks, the operation of slot machines and the sale of keychains, among other things.

With the Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic 1000 Series, an additional source of funding is now available as part of the watch sales proceeds will go to ICE-SAR.

We view this positively as such funds will be utilised in a manner that will ultimately be for saving lives. For those who like the watch and acquire one, they are, in our opinion, “paying it forward to save lives”.

Natural disasters like earthquakes are not uncommon even in Southeast Asia. The August 2018 earthquakes in Lombok, Indonesia is one such example.

Then there was the Tham Luang cave rescue in Chiang Rai, Thailand that caught the attention of the world. It involved the difficult recovery of 12 young boys from a football team and their assistant coach. They were trapped in the cave for 18 days between June and July 2018. It was reported that 10,000 people were involved in rescue efforts.

Rescue agencies like ICE-SAR and those in involved in the Lombok rescue efforts require experienced personnel and funds for search and rescue missions. Any charitable funding used correctly and wisely will go a long way in saving human lives.

References:
i. Jonas Bendiksen, Meet the Brave Volunteers Saving Lives in Iceland, redbull.com, 27 Feb 2018.
ii. Nick Paumgarten, Life is Rescues, The New Yorker, 2015.

Is the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix losing its appeal?


Source: TimeWerke Videos on YouTube.

The 11th Formula One Singapore Grand Prix was concluded on the night of 16 September 2018 with Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport claiming victory.

The Singapore Grand Prix first began in 2008 and critics have said that the race is losing its steam.

Singapore’s neighbour, Malaysia, had been hosting the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix since 1999. However, the final curtain for the Malaysian Grand Prix, staged in Sepang, came down in 2017.

Declining spectator numbers was the main reason. According to a September 2017 New Straits Times report, attendances at the Sepang Formula One race event and television viewership had been on the decline since 2014, the year the quieter 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid engines were introduced.

In 2016, the Malaysian Grand Prix received 46,944 visitors, slightly higher over the 2015 numbers but well off the 88,450 who turned up in 2013.

If general interest in the Grand Prix is waning, the annual race in Singapore is likewise, at risk.

Motor racing fans and members of the public will determine whether the race is successful as they are the “engine” of that show, says Jacky Ickx, former Formula One race driver, six times winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and winner of the Dakar Rally in 1983.

Born in 1945 in Brussels, this Belgian raced in Formula One for Ferrari in 1968 and from 1970 to 1973. He had also raced for other Formula One teams such as Brabham, McLaren, Williams and Lotus. His Formula One racing career resulted in eight Grand Prix wins and 25 podium finishes.

Is the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix losing its excitement or is it evolving into something else?

This was the question we put to Ickx on Monday, 17 September 2018, a day after the conclusion of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Though he was “disappointed” with the 2018 Singapore night race itself, he still concluded that the Singapore Grand Prix “works”, as one will discover after viewing the video above.

The Formula 1 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix attracted 263,000 fans over three days (14 to 16 September 2018), according to the article “Hamilton cruises to victory as crowd numbers swell” published in The Straits Times on 17 September 2018.

Though this was below the highest attendance of 300,000 recorded during the inaugural night race in 2008, it was the second-highest of the 11 races (from 2008 to 2018).

What’s more, it was reported that the 2018 attendance represented a 3.5% increase over the average of the past 10 years.

What must be noted is that this annual race event is spread over three days with the final race on the third day. Furthermore, the event is complemented by entertainment such as music acts performed by British pop-soul band Simply Red, Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, British singer Dua Lipa and Scottish band Young Fathers, among others.

Michael Roche, managing director of Lushington Entertainment, the company responsible for bringing in the entertainment acts for the Singapore Grand Prix, had explained in the article “10 questions with Singapore GP’s Colin Syn and Michael Roche, as night race looks back on last decade” written by Low Lin Fhoong and published on Today Online that: “It’s the cross fertilisation [of racing and entertainment) that’s worked well.

“In the modern world, things can’t be too singular anymore. You have to give a broader experience. We say we’re [an event] for seven-year-olds to 77-year-olds and that’s what we’ve always done.”

Whatever it is, the Formula One event has thus far spelt financial success. Over the 10 years (2008 to 2017), the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix had attracted 450,000 international visitors to Singapore and generated SGD1.4 billion in incremental tourism receipts, according to Singapore’s then Minister for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran. He is currently (at the time of writing) Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information.

As for the annual cost related to staging the Singapore Grand Prix, it is SGD135 million, down from SGD150 million.

References:
i. Reuters, We don’t want to host F1, even for free: Sepang Circuit CEO, 30 September 2017
ii. Wang Meng Meng, Hamilton cruises to victory as crowd numbers swell, The Straits Times, 17 September 2018.
iii. Low Lin Fhoong, 10 questions with Singapore GP’s Colin Syn and Michael Roche, as night race looks back on last decade, Today Online, 18 September 2018 (todayonline.com)