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Company: Lum-Tec

website: http://www.lum-tec.com

About Lum-Tec:

We are a family run, USA based company devoted to bringing you the best quality watches on the market. Our parent company Wiegand Custom Watch, LLC. has built watches for thousands of customers around the world as well as designed, improved, and built watches for many other well known brands. The LÜM-TEC brand is the showcase brand for Wiegand Custom Watch, LLC, demonstrating what we are capable of producing. LÜM-TEC watches are made with only the best available materials and components and are all hand crafted by our team of professional watchmakers.

Chris Wiegand – President, takes extreme pride in every watch we produce. He is always available to answer questions, and help the customers out with anything he can. He can be emailed directly at chris@lum-tec.com.
We take pride in our service. With service points around the globe, you can be assured that for any repair you will have an unheard of fast turnaround time, so you can get your watch back on your wrist fast and enjoy it.

LÜM-TEC® takes watch manufacturing and design to a personal level. We freely communicate with our customers through email, phone, and on web forums daily about design input, suggestions, and any way to constantly improve our business and final product. Our customers make LÜM-TEC what we are. Without you, we would be just another watch company.

Maximum Darkness Visibility.

Every LÜM-TEC watch features our exclusive MDV Technology™.

This is a special 8 layer application of ultra bright glowing Super-Luminova photo-luminescent material.

MDV hands and dials are extremely visible in all light conditions.

Experience the ultimate wristwatch.

“Our watches are designed with feedback from watch collectors around the world”

Our company brings features and quality normally not thought possible without spending thousands of dollars. We are in the business of making custom and limited edition watches, creating unique designs and pioneering new luminous application technologies to apply to wristwatches.

 

MODEL COMBAT B-18 Bronze

43mm width excluding crown
22mm lug width
13mm thick
Weight on leather strap 107gr/3.8 oz.
Solid CuSn8 bronze case
300 meters/990 ft. water resistance
LUM-TEC MDV Technology®
Ultra precision tuned 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 Japan automatic movement with hand winding and hack feature
Calendar
Thick sapphire crystal
Double side clear anti-reflective coating
Threaded 316L Stainless steel caseback with sapphire
Screw-lock bronze crown with double diamond sealing system
4 straps included:
Black heavy NATO with bronzed rings
OD green heavy NATO with bronzed rings
White heavy NATO with bronzed rings
Aviator style riveted custom leather strap with bronzed rivets and buckle
1 year limited warranty
Limited numbered series of 250
Free lifetime timing adjustments

 

Let’s get started shall we???

 

I am going to handle this review in a very different manner so please be prepared to take a ride in a different direction. This watch is a living, ticking little machine that is constantly changing.This metamorphosis begins from the moment you strap it on your wrist. I am not just talking about when it is wound up and starts to tick. I am talking about the outer shell of this watch that is quite remarkable. A science experiment that is strapped to your wrist. The moment you feel the beautiful, cold bronze of the B-18 against your skin, it begins to adapt to you. Soaking in your DNA. Morphing under your very nose. Let me explain patina scientifically first.

Patina is a layer that forms on the surface of bronze and is produced by oxidation. Patina is like a superhero that one of it’s jobs is to protect against corrosion and weathering. Where other metals would cave in against the evil and clever Commander Corrosion and his league of Wicked Weatherings, the powerful Patina uses his powers to form a force field around the bronze.

The coating of patina is made up of chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonated, sulfates/sulfides. Their powers are combined due to exposure to the elements such as simple O2, acid rain, car exhaust in the form of carbon dioxide. 

Now that I have the science behind this, I can explain to you how this is even related to this review. When I received the B-18 it began it’s transformation immediately. I allowed the B-18 to go on a journey alone, a journey that was full of solitude. Compared to the likes of when Bruce Wayne went away to train and reflect before returning to Gotham as Batman. I let the B-18 age, grow into what you will witness in the review pictures below.

This is what makes the B-18 so special. Bronze is ever changing. But the thing is you can always return it to it’s original state by exposing it to simple household organic chemicals. I really want to focus on what it can become, rather than it returning to it’s original state. Bronze is always changing as I already established, and that metamorphosis is a beautiful thing in many ways. Use for example how many of us buy custom leather straps to give our watches new shoes and a new look. It changes the whole look of the watch and breaths new life into a watch that might have been collecting dust in the watch box. That is what it is like to have a watch case made of bronze. It’s constant and is always breathing new life into the watch. The more you wear it, the more it adds detail, and the more it beautifies. I wanted to show you what the B-18 looks like when it evolves.

The Packaging:

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The B-18 comes in a white Lum-Tec outter cardboard box. The white box is labeled with the Lum-Tec name and inside is a nice blonde wooden box. The box is nicely so smooth to the touch like it spent a spa treatment under a fine grit sandpaper for hours. On the lid there is a small metal Lum-Tec sign. The lid to the box is hinged, and opening it to get to the B-18 watch, the papers, warranty card. On either side of the watch is two hidden departments that are designed to hold extra straps. I absolutely LOVE this small, but really cool detail.

The Case:

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Yes, the B-18 is all about the case, the dial is awesome too don’t get me wrong, but the case is what makes the B-18 go from special to really special. There is no design detail spared when I examine the B-18’s case. I will dissect the B-18 from the top down. First up is the bezel. The style is considered a coin edged bezel. The first watch I fell in love with had a coin edged bezel. A design detail that I can’t help but to love. The B-18’s bezel fits tight against the case evenly and without any gaps. The bezel is fixed which means it doesn’t rotate/spin.

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The crown is a screw down crown. Design points to Lum-Tec for this inclusion. The crown is easy to screw and unscrew, spinning smooth with each turn. When you fully unscrew it the first stop is manual winding. There is something so cathartic about manually winding your watch. The next stop on the crown when you pull it out one click, this allows you to set the date by rotating the crown. Again, the action is very smooth and the date wheel responds flawlessly. The final pull on the crown allows you to set the time. Smooth like butter.

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The lugs are curved and not overly long. They are just the right thickness. The spacing between them is 22mm. The lugs are solid with holes on the inside of each lug for the strap pins to connect.

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The exhibition case back allows you to view the movement inside which is the Ultra precision tuned 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 Japan automatic movement with hand winding and hack feature. The Miyota 9015 is a great alternative to an ETA movement. I have timed the B-18 and I was at -/+ 1-2 seconds per day. This was timed throughout a few months. The nice thing about the Miyota 9015 is that it is easy to repair and won’t cost a lot to repair either. Some have complained that the 9015 rotor is loud when it spins. I have never experienced an automatic movement that I haven’t heard the rotor spin. This includes watches that ranged from $50,000 to a few hundred dollars. I think hear the rotor spin is part of the appeal of an automatic movement. Just like a sports car engine revving up. Am I right? Who would want to step on the pedal of a fine Italian sports car and hear nothing? Show of hands? Crickets chirping, just as I thought.

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The stainless steel outer ring is high polished and it has information about the watch such as serial number, water resistance, etc. The rotor is engraved with Miyota, 24 jewels and Japan.

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The Dial:

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The dial on the B-18 is a beautiful representation of a pilot style dial. The colors on the dial even have that vintage shade to them. The Lum-Tec name printed on the dial under the 12 o’clock is printed in a bronze color. The same color is used for the printed Combat B above the 6 o’clock marker is printed in. The chapter ring is a light shade of brown that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The chapter ring contains white numbers that represent the seconds & minutes that are printed in white. The hour markers are printed in an off white color that appears to be cream. This color choice is perfect because it gives off that vintage plane instrument panel of yesteryear feel. All set against a matte black dial working together in perfect harmony.

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The B-18 was a plane that was used during the 1930’s-40’s. The B-18 was the first aircraft that sank the German U-boat in 1942. The history behind the B-18 adds to the coolness factor of this watch. The 12, 3, 6, and 9 hour markers on the dial are larger than the rest of the hour markers. All numbers are accounted for on this dial, the date wheel at the 4 o’clock hour marker is round and it looks so good. The date is printed in white set on a black wheel. Very balanced.

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The hands on the B-18 are exactly what you would expect on a vintage themed aviation watch. The shape matches the hands on the gauges that were on the B-18 panels. The hands are nice and wide which is something I really in terms of overall design of a watch dial. It really bothers me when a watch has hands that are way too thin for the dial. So aggravating and disappointing. But Lum-Tec doesn’t disappoint me on this watch. The hands are cream and black. Perfection to say the least. The long seconds hand is T shaped and is also cream and black. It reaches just to the inner edge of the chapter ring.

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The lume on the B-18 is absolutely gorgeous. It is MDV tech. This is a special 8 layer application of ultra bright glowing Super-Luminova photo-luminescent material. It is special developed Lum-Tec technology. It glows so bright that it can be used at night as a mini flashlight in a dark/pitch black environment. I am not exaggerating in the least bit. It is really that bright. I can honestly say that out of all the watches that I have experienced it is the brightest lume hands down. The lume does eventually fade as the night goes on but it retains a glow that lasts through the night, 8 hours my last timed measurement. It’s enough of a glow to read the time without problems in the middle of the night when I have woken up with tired, half asleep eyes. I would not expect anything less from Lum-Tec. The names says it all. Right?

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The Straps:

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The B-18 comes with a few different strap options. My favorite of them is the heavy duty black nylon NATO style strap with keepers that match the case without flaw. The strap is very comfortable and I wore this watch for over a month straight without taking it off once. Showered, working out, sleeping, work, everything I experienced the B-18 experienced. I never once felt any discomfort. Very commendable. The B-18 has a white and a green Nato style strap as well. There is also a tan pilots style leather strap that has a bronze color buckle and rivets. The tang style buckle is engraved with Lum-Tec. The leather is nice and smooth. What I like about it is the thickness. It feels quality when you run your fingers across the sides of the smooth strap. The strap is stamped Lum-Tec and Genuine Leather on the under sides. I really love the options of straps with the B-18. You can effectually change the look of the watch depending on which one you choose. This along with the ever changing bronze case, you kind of have a new watch all the time. It definitely won’t grow tired.

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Conclusion:

The B-18 is one of the most balanced pilot watches out there that I have had the pleasure of spending time with. The design and construction exudes quality and durability. At the $1095.00 price point it is a good value for sure. You get unrivaled lume, a killer bronze case, a reliable movement and strap options galore. This watch can surely handle whatever you put it through. It its very rugged. It has that tool watch design and feel. This is the second Lum-Tec watch that I have reviewed and they are well worth the price. There isn’t anything in terms of design that is compromised. Lum-Tec fully tests all of it’s watches and it comes with a certificate stating that it has passed their highest level of quality control, strict stability testing and water resistant requirements. Not that I advise you to do this, but I put the B-18 through a series of tests and it passed with flying colors. I did drop tests, extreme temperature tests, etc. After each test I checked the accuracy and it never changed.

I can not express enough how confident I am to recommend a Lum-Tec watch to any of my friends or anyone looking for an affordable, rugged and reliable watch. There is nothing that I would change on the B-18. When a watch is this well thought out and planned, there isn’t any reason to change a thing. I absolutely respect what Lum-Tec is doing with their watches. Their lume alone speaks volumes of the rigor that goes behind the design and planning of each model.

Chris and Bes are a pleasure to deal with. Both are always super professional and eager to help with any question or concern that you may have. It is really something special to have a great company like Lum-Tec in my “backyard” I will make it to their storefront one of these days soon and I will be doing a special feature on my blog.

I want to personally thank Chris and Bes. It was an honor and my privilege to conduct this review. I am forever grateful. THANK YOU.

 

THANK YOU TO MY READERS, YOU MAKE WHAT I DO SO WORTH IT. EACH ONE OF YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO MY BLOG AND I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO DO THIS WITHOUT YOU.

 

Wrist Shots: 7 1/2 inch wrist for reference:

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Additional Pics. A lot. ENJOY.

The pictures labeled with Lum-Tec are from their website, I am including these so that you can see what the watch looks like right out of the box before patina forms. All other photos are mine and were taken by me and you can see the progression and stages of the patina as it changes with more exposure and wear.

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