Watch Review: LUM-TEC M20 Tungsten Carbide - Watch Freeks


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Old 06-16-2011, 04:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name of Reviewer: Michael W. (UKWolfeman)
Name of person who took pictures in review:
UKWolfeman
Watch Name / Model Being Reviewed / Brand: LUM-TEC M20


Wiegand Custom Watch, LLC.
7245B Industrial Park Blvd
Mentor, OH 44060

Email: info@lum-tec.com
Email: Wis913@yahoo.com
Yahoo IM: wis913
Phone: 440-951-1296


Facebook: http: http://www.facebook.com/lumtecllc
LUM-TEC Web Address: http: http://www.lum-tec.com/


HISTORY (from LUM-TEC site):
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 LUM-TEC brand is the showcase brand for Wiegand Custom Watch, LLC, demonstrating what we are capable of producing. LUM-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.

LUM-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 LUM-TEC what we are. Without you, we would be just another watch company.

Model: M20

Listed Price: $1295

Product Description and Specs:
M20 Tungsten Carbide.LUM-TEC MDV technology®. Swiss made 17 jewel ETA 6498-1 handwind movement with blued screws, Geneva stripes, polished gears, rhodium plating, and extremely precise timing regulation. Real carbon fiber dial. Sapphire case back.

44mm width excluding crown.
24mm lug width.
Solid scratch and heat resistant Tungsten (wolfram) Carbide case.
Micro polished finish.
Sapphire crystal with double side Anti-reflective coating.
Screw lock crown with double diamond sealing system.
Threaded case back.
100 meters/330 ft. water resistance.
LUM-TEC MDV technology®.
3 straps included:
Shell cordovan leather strap. 24/22 size.
Custom molded anti static rubber strap. 24/22 size.
Tungsten carbide bracelet. 24/22 size.
Extra spring bars included for fitting other straps.
Limited numbered series of 150.
All Swiss made movements.
One year limited warranty.
Free lifetime timing adjustments

Watch Weight: Approximately 312 grams on the bracelet. Bracelet alone is approximately 164 grams

Movement: ETA 6498-1

First Impression: Incredible presentation, incredible watch and accessories were the first thoughts that came to mind when first opening and looking over what was included. Also noticed how reflective the surface of the watch was and realized that picture taking would have lots of reflection of the watches surroundings when taken.

The Packaging and Watch Box: The M20 arrived USPS Signature Confirmation within 2 days of shipping. Great efforts at protection were obviously made by LUM-TEC as the package was boxed inside of a USPS Mailing Box. Inside the inner brown cardboard carton was a white LUM-TEC box which contained an extremely nice wooden case each with the LUM-TEC name embossed upon them. The wooden display case was nicely padded for even more protection. The wooden display case contained the M20 itself along with warranty card, manual and certificate as well as the accessories. There are two hidden compartments one for the additional strap and the other for the bracelet on either side of the center of the case where the M20 was resting.













Case: The case and bracelet are made of Tungsten Carbide. For those unfamiliar with Tungsten Carbide, wikipedia describes Tungsten Carbide as an inorganic chemical compound containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. Colloquially, tungsten carbide is often simply called carbide. In its most basic form, it is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in industrial machinery, tools, abrasives, as well as jewelry. Tungsten carbide is approximately three times stiffer than steel, with a Young's modulus of approximately 550 GPa,[2] and is much denser than steel or titanium. It is comparable with corundum (α-Al2O3 or sapphire) in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as silicon carbide, cubic boron nitride and diamond amongst others, in the form of powder, wheels, and compounds.

Additional Case Measurements:
Thickness approximately 13mm
Lug to Lug approximately 52mm
9 to 3 including crown approximately 50mm

Some information Direct from LUM-TEC about the case construction: In order to make these watches 100 meters water resistant, we had to break the standard of case design thinking and make something entirely different internally. The main thing that is different with the tungsten carbide material is it is extremely hard and cannot be threaded like steel. A standard case construction would not be feasible for the 10ATM water resistance using this material. Also the steel crown tube would shrink faster than the tungsten case, possibly allowing water in through the stem area if inserted directly into the tungsten case.

The case is extremely complex actually made of 7 pieces (8 for models with sapphire case backs). The original case design took 9 different molds and over 16 months to develop. The movement and dial are encased inside a sealed stainless steel inner liner which connects all external case components allowing the full 10ATM water resistance (100 meters/330 feet). The thick tungsten carbide case body fully wraps around the sealed liner giving the watch its heavy and scratch resistant body.

The case is a complex assembly consisting of the following components:

1) Tungsten carbide (TC) case body.
2) Tungsten carbide bezel (press fit around the stainless steel inner liner).
3) Stainless steel inner liner (press fit inside the TC case body).
4) Stainless steel case back (threaded to the stainless steel inner liner).
5) Stainless steel crown tube (press fit into the stainless steel inner liner and through the TC case body).
6) Stainless steel crown (threaded onto the crown tube, locking against the TC case body).
7) Front Sapphire crystal (press fit into the stainless steel inner liner).
8) Rear Sapphire crystal if applicable (press fit into the stainless steel case back).

To assemble the cases, The stainless steel inner liner is chilled in dry ice to shrink it and the outer TC case is heated in order to press fit the components together. A flexible bonding agent is used to compensate for fast temperature changes such as immersion in icy water. This process is very tricky as everything has to perfectly line up on the first shot. The result is a very solid case much like a standard stainless steel case with case back threads and a pressed in sapphire for easy assembling and access of the movement and dial.

Case - crown side: Great profile of the almost 13mm thick case and the signed 10+mm screw down crown. The crown has2 positions. Position 1 is the winding position while position 2 allows for time setting. LUM-TEC uses diamond shaped gaskets. According to LUM-TECthe diamond gasketsseal tighter with pressure while standard o-ring seals can allow pressure to pass through the seal as it seals less under pressure. I do not have a lot of knowledge in this area but this does seem very rationale and well thought out in regards to maintaining the greatest possible seal.The large crown is stunning and a very nice quality for this section of thepiece. I also find the screw down crown on a mechanical piece extremely nice as many other mechanical use the push/pull crown type.



Case - non crown side: Nothing extraordinary of note but does show the very nice Micro-Polished finish that Tungsten Carbide can provide.




Bezel, Dial, Hands: The fixed bezel lends to the appearance of a much larger dial opening and just makes the M20 appear somewhat larger on the wrist than the 44mm size. The most striking features about this part of the M20 is the incredible carbon fiber dial that sits below the sapphire crystal.Dial layout is classic in style with the 12, 3, and 9 hour indicators being prominent on the dial while the other hours are in a smaller font. All hour indicators on the dialare lumed. Small second has rests at the 6, LUM-TEC name rest below the 12 and Tungsten Carbide indication just below center on the dial. The small second hand is lumed only the second scale is not lumed. The use of large hands on this dial was a must and I believe the M20 comes through in this area as well. The minute and hour hands are significant in size and are 3/4 lumed. I also like how LUM-TEC decided to place the hour numbers on the dial except at the 6 which is a bit different than what you see many times with many similar dial configurations which would only have the 12, 3 and 9 marked with numbers.








Case Back: Screw down case back.The opening is large and allows for significant viewing of the ETA 6498-1 movement underneath. The ETA 6498-1 movement is highly decorated with blued screws, rubies, Geneva stripes, polished gears and rhodium plating. The case back provides quite a bit of spec info on the piece including model, series number, water resistance info, and of course the company name. I believe that a company that is highly known for their lume has spent quite a bit of effort to allow for maximum presentation of the watch movement which in my opinion was a must for the M20.



Straps and Bracelet /Clasp or Buckle:

Strap Measurements:
Leather - 5mm tapering to approximately 3mm
Rubber - 3mm at widest point
Bracelet links approximately 2.75mm


The accessories that arrived with the M20 are outstanding and of high quality. The watch arrived on the very soft rubber strap. The rubber strap has larger opening near the lugs on the back of the strap for easy release. I am not a rubber strap or dual deployant bracelet guy so my choice was immediate placement on the the leather strap. Leather and rubber strap have signed LUM-TEC buckles and the bracelet is also signed at the deployant area.

The leather strap required a bit of break-in and then was extremely comfortable on the wrist. The leather strap uses the quick pin release system for easy changing. An awesome looking bracelet is supplied by LUM-TEC on this model. I did attempt to put the bracelet on the M20 without success.The bracelet holes on the case/lugs are slightly offset so that it can be mounted with some tension as the bracelet weighs approximately 164 grams.

I would suggest unless you have significant experience installing bracelets with offset holes to utilize your trusted jeweler. I would also suggest not using curved spring bars as per my discussions with LUM-TEC curved spring bars will not provide a snug fit resulting in loose end links against the case. The bracelet also does not come with half links so for some a proper fit may be problematic.









LUME: I would describe the lume on the M20 as excellent. As you can see from the lume shot below the lume is extremely bright. This was a result of a 30 second blast from a Surefire flashlight. While the pic was taken near 8pm the lume lasted well into the night as I could still see everything clearly at 3:30am due to the afterglow. I will attempt to pay attention for longer periods of time and report back at a later date as to the exact duration at least for this piece. If I can I will attempt an afterglow shot as well. My lume shots fail in comparison to many but I believe the shot below will get the point across quite nicely about how substantial the lume is on the M20.

Specifics from LUM-TEC on their lume:

MDV (Maximum Darkness Visibility) Technology

This is a special 8 layer application of ultra bright glowing superluminova photo luminescent material. MDV hands and dials are extremely visible in all light conditions. Lum-Tec uses a custom lume pigment made for them by RC Tritec. This process provides the brightest lume, and glows for over 24 hours or longer. This lume application can glow brighter than standard Tritec C3 with a longer afterglow. The lume is equal in color, grain size, brightness, and application ease to standard C3 used by many watch manufacturers.



Summary: The LUM-TEC M20 is a fantastic mechanical time piece that provides quite a bit of love to the buyer. The buyer will be getting a case that is extremely hard and scratch resistant and provides a fantastic finish, fit and feel and is not extremely heavy on the wrist without the bracelet. The specs on the M20 for a mechanical are well on par with any other in its class available that I am aware of at this time if you include everything you receive with your purchase. Not all watch companies that may produce something similar provide a buyer with all the extras as well as lifetimetiming adjustments. The one year warranty is on par with what many other companies provide.

The LUM-TEC M20 came with fantastic presentation/packaging (wooden display case),sapphire crystals front and back, ETA 6498-1 mechanical movement, screw down crown, diamond gaskets, 2 straps and 1 bracelet provided. The black carbon fiber dial pops and layout of the dial in my opinion is extremely clean and uncluttered.The amount of lume used on the dial and hands is fantastic and provides superior lumination and long afterglow. I was also happy to see a mechanical piece with a screw down crown as so many I have seen and owned in the past all came with a push/pull style crown. The screw down crown and diamond gaskets allow for much greater water resistence than I have seen in may mechanical pieces as well at 100 meters. The only drawbacks if it should be considered a drawback that I can find with the M20 is the difficulty with bracelet installation and no half links. This factors could pose problems with those of us with odd sized wrists. I would recommend that LUM-TEC consider shippingmodels that come with bracelets on the bracelet, then when received, a determination can be made about the bracelet or opt for one of the included straps. Also it would be great to see half links as an option.

I would like to thank Chris, owner of LUM-TEC, for arranging the review of the M20 with Watch Freeks.

Last edited by UKWolfeman; 06-07-2013 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Awesome review. That is a great looking watch also. Very nice info.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great review! Lum Tec is fast becoming a "must have" brand for the watch collector...

Obviously great quality and care in the construction and design of this one...:c
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Top review.:c:c:c:c:c Looks like a wonderful watch!
Thanks
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great review Mike. Kinda sucks you couldnt get the bracelet on, but guess its one of those tricky ones. I am not a tungesten guy myself, because I dont like shiny watches, but it looks like you get alot in that package.
Thanks
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is the trick to getting the bracelet on. You put in one side of the spring bar. On the other side you need a flat blade screw driver and what you do is basically bend the spring bar into place. When I figured out the trick it was pretty easy. You don't have to worry about marring the watch with the screw driver as it's Tungsten. Also if you do have them a curve spring bar works well on these.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thomas Carey wrote:
Quote:
Here is the trick to getting the bracelet on. You put in one side of the spring bar. On the other side you need a flat blade screw driver and what you do is basically bend the spring bar into place. When I figured out the trick it was pretty easy. You don't have to worry about marring the watch with the screw driver as it's Tungsten. Also if you do have them a curve spring bar works well on these.
Yep just be careful to not put too much pressure against the pins or they will snap.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Smoking HOT watch, looks just BEAUTIFUL. Congratulations and Thanks for the great pics and review.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks great Mike,and great review bud....Dig it on the strap myself!
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thx guys for the kind words on the review. Stay tuned for more great reviews.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I love my M23. Well worth the money I paid for it. I had the bracelet mounted at the factory b/c I heard that they were a pain in the butt to install.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Watchguru58 wrote:
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I love my M23. Well worth the money I paid for it. I had the bracelet mounted at the factory b/c I heard that they were a pain in the butt to install.
I agree. Suggest having them put the bracelet on prior to shipping. Using the screwdriver works but I broke 2 sets of spring bars learning the trick. I actually prefer this piece on the leather strap.

I should have mentioned previously that Lum-Tec did supply several sets of spring bars.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Great looking watch and great pics. Good review, thanks.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I love Lume-Tec
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I really like this piece. Might be a little too big for me now. I'm not sure if I missed it, but are they going to offer a different dial as apposed to the CF? Nice write-up Mike.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Awesome review and great watch.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info and effort getting it out to us freeks.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well done. Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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nice watch.. I'm really enjoying the Lum-Tec watches.. I can see one of their models in my collection.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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1stiski wrote:
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nice watch.. I'm really enjoying the Lum-Tec watches.. I can see one of their models in my collection.
That changed quick... M23 on the way.


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