Kick around, go anywhere tool watches are my jam! They fit right into my wheel house. Here’s one that seems to be built for that purpose. Even the name seems rugged with a whole bunch of numbers and hyphens, it rolls off the tongue about as well as if you were reading a serial number off a Mossberg shotgun…. more like explodes out of the mouth rather than rolls off the tongue.
Dainty this watch is not. It’s a big, heavy and rather sturdy piece with an average yet proven and reliable movement. It’s 45mm PVD black case sits almost 15mm proud off the wrist. While it does bash itself into stationary obstacles that jump out at you as you walk past, it also shrugs it off like nothing, and then refuses to apologize for the damage it just caused your door frame. The bezel and crystal are sapphire, so cleaning the paint chips it covers itself in from that tight corner in your hallway wall can be done with a scouring pad without leaving damage…
The bezel is 60 clicks unidirectional. This is new to me, all my other divers are 120. Honestly from a functional standpoint I kind of dig the 60. Some of you may tell me this is less accurate, but look at the size of the lumed marker pip! It’s big and I don’t think an extra click or two would make much of a diff. Another thing that pleases me is that it lines up perfectly at 12 o’clock. It irritates me when bezels don’t line up. The double sided AR coating seems to do it’s job nicely. The dial is very legible and the chapter ring clearly marks off 60 seconds. That’s important. I was a firefighter and when you’re taking someone’s pulse or counting their breaths, ease of counting seconds matters. The 3 o’clock crown is decently guarded, feels sturdy and isn’t difficult to grip. I do find that when I unscrew it, it requires a bit of a wiggle / pull to get it to release from the threads, otherwise it wants to tighten again if you try to hand wind. Not a big deal, but this watch is $775 USD… maybe not expensive, but not that affordable either.
The case back is very nicely done, it’s thick and continues to lend itself to the feel of toughness. It comes with 2 straps, a heavy PVD stainless bracelet that has a very cool ratcheting feature to allow for adjustment so you could wear it over your wetsuit, then tighten it up so it fits your wrist as you towel off by the trunk of your car. The bracelet is heavy! It almost doubles the weight of the watch. It also comes with a really thick rubber strap to fill its 24mm lugs. When I say thick, I’m not joking! It’s almost impossible to pry it out from the keepers when you try to take it off. I prefer the rubber though because it’s comfortable and lighter.The lume, well they’re not messing around in that department. It’s spectacular and contrasts nicely between blue and green on the dial and bezel. When it’s fully charged up and you rotate the bezel in the dark it’s almost like watching a tiny rave happening on your wrist!
So I’ve taken this watch hiking and have taken it into a lake. As you’d expect it is a great tough 300meter WR watch! Other than how difficult it is to undo the rubber, I really have no complaints about it. On the other hand I also don’t quite love it. It’s a bit big. It’s a bit heavy. It’s a bit of a one trick pony. Most of my other tool watches are versatile enough aesthetically that I can wear them to work, out for dinner and some even with a shirt and tie. This watch needs to be worn under the ocean or in the back country. Even if it’s on my wrist as I sit around the house it feels a bit conspicuous. Then there’s the price. Don’t get me wrong everything about the watch is nicely done and overbuilt. Even the box it comes in is wooden and is well made.
Here’s the pill I have a hard time swallowing. If I want a 300 meter tool watch with and NH35 (ish) movement, PVD black, sapphire crystal piece to beat up, I could get a Deep Blue NATO diver 300 with an NH36 day date function movement. In fact I do have one, and so could you directly from their website where they sell them for $249, and then if you enter the right discount code you get another 40% off! That’s $149 USD that means you could buy 5 of them for the price of 1 Lum-Tec.
So is the Lum-Tec very good? Yes it certainly is, it also beats the Deep Blue in the lume department, and comes in a nicer box…. but is it five times as good as the NATO? Nope. So it’s gonna have to come down to your personal taste and level of frugality here. I feel like Archie trying to choose between Betty and Veronica. They’re both hot! One’s high class and flashy, the other is a cheap date but you know she’d never let you down. If the price isn’t an issue for you, the Lum-Tec is a well built and very functional watch.