Watch Review: Lum-tec 300M-1 and 300M-2 XL Dive Watch - Watch Freeks


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Old 01-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reviewer: Don aka Tattoo Chef┬*
Donated for review.

Watch Being Reviewed:┬*Lum-tec 300m-2XL 45MM PVD

Company Website:┬*http://www.lum-tec.com/

About/History:From Website:
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.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lumtecllc?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LUMTECwatches
Email:┬*info@lum-tec.com
Phone:
1-877-2-LUM-TEC

Specifications:
45mm width excluding crown.
24mm lug width.
54.5mm Lug tip to Lug tip length.
Weight on rubber strap: 4.8oz / 135g.
Weight on steel bracelet: 8.5oz / 241g.
316L stainless steel.Titanium Carbide PVD hard coating
Uni-directional 60-click rotating luminous bezel with sapphire insert.
Alternating brushed and high polished finish.
21,600 BPH Sii NH35 Japan automatic movement with hacking and handwinding features.
Sapphire crystal with clear double side anti-reflective coating.
Threaded solid stainless steel caseback.
LUM-TEC MDV Technology®. (2-tone)
Screw lock crown with double diamond sealing system.
300 Meters / 990 ft. water resistance.
2 straps included: Stainless steel bracelet with special ratcheting diver's extension and molded rubber.
One year limited warranty.
Free lifetime timing adjustments.
Price $925

Stock Photo:






Video Review:


[flash=425,344]http://www.youtube.com/v/TwUzbPmSnkQ&hl=en&fs=1[/flash]

┬*

First Impressions:
When I first took the watch out of the box, I noticed the large markers and the glossy sapphire bezel. While its specs would indicate a substantial sized watch, I felt the PVD toned down the size a bit. I also had to check out the new rubber strap immediately, and I am glad to say it is a big improvement over the strap that came with the 500m diver.

Packaging:
This is to my knowledge is an ┬*upgraded presentation box from Lum-tec. As usual it comes in the white outer board box, and inside a new creme colored wood box with a branded metal Lum-tec plate. Inside it comes with all the warranty cards, manual, and Lum-tec business cards.

Lum-tec wood boxes always include two side compartments, which in this case houses the rubber strap and extra lug spring bars.

Packaging here gets an A+.










Dial:
Dial is beautiful , and what a dive watch should be. Large, legible, yet still good looking.
As far as I know the dial is an original design by Lum=tec and quite attractive. Instead of 12,3,6,9 like most do , it has the 12 numeral but then 3 large upside down V markers, which is a nice aesthetic. The dial itself is a matte black and so are the outlines of the hands, except for the second hand, which is white with a red tip and lume circle. The chapter ring if you will, sits above the dial, basically between the dial and crystal. At certain angles it does look like the upper chapter ring and dial markers do not line up, but its really an optical allusion, as they do line up perfectly. My only issue with the dial is the red Lum-tec and 300m. The red color is just very muted, and even in direct sunlight, is hard to see, like it almost is not there. I think a brighter color could have been used to make it pop a little more and give this all pvd watch some more color.








Case, Bezel and Crystal:
The case some what reminds me of the Squale 50 Atmos, in its angles and the way it curves down, and also how the actual case itself is not very thick, but the overall thickness comes mostly from the case back and the bezel.
On the wrist it has a pretty nice profile, which you will see in wrist pics down below.







The LT signed crown sits a little low on the case in between the crown guards, but because of the thick case back it is not a problem when on the wrist. The crown is super solid, unscrews out smoothly and has basically no wobble to it.






The bezel has some issues in my opinion, which I document and show in the above video.
The bezel insert itself is a lumed elasped time sapphire bezel, and it does have a great look to it. The bezel is easy to grip off the case , but turns very easily. I can actually turn it with one finger. It is not as loose as the Lum-tec 500m was , but it is still not as tight as it should be in my opinion. Also the bezel has movement to it, which I show in the video as well. It is something I have never really seen before. This is actually the second 300m I┬* was sent, as the first one I sent back because of the same thing, thinking it was a defect. Unfortunately it seems to be how the bezel was designed.
It almost sees like it is just not on track, but does not seem like it will come off either. I tested the watch under water, and no issues, so it does not seem like it will be a problem of any kind.
Ill be honest, little disapointed in the bezel action, especially at this price.




The crystal is an sapphire crystal with dual clear AR coatings. The crystal does sit slightly above the bezel, as you can see in this pic.



This is a good shot , showing that the case including the inside of the lugs is very evenly coated in the PVD.




Case back:
The case back is an engraved stainless case back. I feel its a pretty thick case back for a watch that is only 300m water resistant. I'm not sure it really needs a case back this thick, but maybe it was just part of their design. The engraving is pretty much the same as the Lum-tec 500m, with the sand blasted center with he LT logo.








Bracelet :
Here is the 24mm bracelet. Bracelet is constructed well and uses friction pins to hold together. The bracelet does resemble the Omega Planet Ocean Bracelet. The clasp is the ratcheting extension clasp now used by many different companies and always a welcome choice. I have always said, I feel all dive watches that have a bracelet should use this clasp. One thing is the end links are very long on this bracelet, which does make the lug to lug length a little longer on this watch.









So this is where the bracelet has some issues. It seems that the bracelet was assembled first then pvd coated. This to me is an issue, because as you can see in the pics below, the inside of the links have the rainbow effect as I call it, and then a thin strip of stainless showing. This is between all the links. At this price point of $925 I would expect all the links to be coated individually. I have seen pvd bracelets from watches costing hundreds less that the links were all completely coated.






Rubber Strap:
This is the new anti static molded rubber strap from Lum-tec. This is a huge improvement over their much thinner straps that came with the 500m diver. It is soft and pliable, but not too pliable like silicone is, 5mm thick and has a very signed Lum-tec pvd buckle. The strap is 24mm at lugs and tapers to 22mm at buckle.







Here you can see that the strap looks very well on the watch itself. The lug space has 2 seperate holes, the first hole being for the bracelet end links, and the second hole being for the strap which allows the strap to sit close to the case as to not have a huge gap.




Wrist shot on my 7 1/2" wrist:













Movement:┬*
The movement is the Seiko NH 35. Mike shows and describes the movement in his review below.
While this is an inexpensive movement it does hack and can be manually wound and my example had been keeping spot on time in a 72 hour period, maybe being +1 second which is excellent.

Lume:
As you can see in the pictures below, the lume is amazing. No other word to describe it. The hands, markers, the 5 minute marks on the chapter ring and bezel are all lumed. And this I believe is the first time Lum-tec used the dual lume colors, the green and the blue. It is super bright and long lasting, and might be the best looking lume I have ever seen on any watch.







Summary:
So , how do I summarize this?
Pros: It is a design that does take cues from other brands, but still feels original. The dial is beautiful and easy to read, and you find yourself looking at it often. It comes with both a bracelet with ratcheting extension and a wonderful rubber strap. Presentation is that of a more expensive watch, and of course again the lume is nothing short of spectacular. Assembled and tested here in the USA.

Cons: The movement. While the movement has been keeping great time, it is pricey when this movement can be had in watches costing hundreds less. The bezel. The bezel action is just not what I expect on a watch such as this. And of course the bracelet and not being coated in between the links.

Overall thoughts. I would say this is a great looking dive watch, there is no doubt about it. When you look the pics, if you like dive watches, you are like "Damn! look at that watch". I personally would suggest wearing it on the rubber, as the bracelet really is a finger print magnet, and I think it wears more comfortable on the rubber. As said, the movement has been keeping excellent time, and Lum-tec has said they have less repairs on watches with this movement than any other autos they use. With that said, I would have liked seeing the Miyota 9015 in this for the price. I do understand that it is assembled and tested here in the US, they design their own watches, an expensive lume process, so I know there are much more costs involved than just the movement. Overall it is a great looking dive watch, that does not look like everything else out there, is very comfortable, and has a nice low profile, which can be worn under dress shirts. In the end , a nice example from Lum-tec.

Thank you for reading.









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Old 01-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Reviewer: Mike aka UKWolfeman

Watch Being Reviewed: 300M-1 40MM Stainless

Donated for Review

Stock Photo (from Lum Tec):



Specifications:
40mm width excluding crown
22mm lug width
48.5mm Lug tip to Lug tip length
Weight on rubber strap: 4.1oz / 117g
Weight on steel bracelet: 7.5oz / 214g
316L stainless steel
Uni-directional 60-click rotating luminous bezel with sapphire insert
Alternating brushed and high polished finish
21,600 BPH Sii NH35 Japan automatic movement with hacking and handwinding features
Sapphire crystal with clear double side anti-reflective coating.
Threaded solid stainless steel caseback
LUM-TEC MDV Technology® (2-tone)
Screw lock crown with double diamond sealing system
300 Meters / 990 ft. water resistance
2 straps included: Stainless steel bracelet with special ratcheting diver's extension and molded rubber
One year limited warranty
Free lifetime timing adjustments
Price: $875

Packaging: The watch was double box packed and bubble wrapped. Very well protected. After opening the packaging I was very pleased to see that Lum Tec is using their very nice wooden jewelry case over the past leather ones utilized. Presentation overall superior without being excessive.







First Impressions: Very impressed with overall presentation and the look of the diver was spectacular. The subtle use of high polish in the finishing immediately caught my eye. The style of the bracelet also caught my eye almost immediately.

Case (crown side): I am really impressed with the case overall as the design has a retro/vintage type appearance similar to that of some popular vintage divers on the market. This view allows for a good look at the brushed finish of the case along with the high polished edges of the lugs. The case measures slightly over 40mm and right around 43mm including the crown.

The almost 6mm signed screw down crown rest between dual crown guards. The gear shaped crown engages smoothly with zero play or wiggle and is extremely easy to grasp. The high polish crown is signed with the Lum Tec logo. I really appreciate the high polish finish to provide some extra contrast with the alternating finishing of the case.





Case (non crown): This side of the case provides another good view of the retroesque style case, the brushed and high polished finishing, as well as, the very generous lug to lug distance. The lug to lug measurement is just under 49mm. The case thickness measures just under 15mm. The one aspect that I would like to see modified which I see with numerous watches would be drilled spring bar lug holes for easier strap changes to prevent potential scratching to the underside of the lugs.



Bezel, Dial, Hands: The 300m has a 60 click unidirectional rotating bezel installed. There is no play in the bezel and each click is quite precise. Grasping the bezel for rotation is also rather easy as the bezel edges extend ever so slightly beyond the case edges. The 15 sec/min bezel insert is Sapphire and lumed nicely at the minute markers. I appreciate the use of sapphire for more than just the durability it provides. The glossy nature of the sapphire bezel coordinates well with the subtleness of the polished areas of the case and bezel edges giving the diver a somewhat dressy appearance.

The 300m is fitted with a flat sapphire crystal. The sapphire crystal is slightly raised above the bezel. I always worry about chipping but so far never been an issue with any of the watches passing through my hands. The dial opening measures approximately 30mm. Beneath the sapphire crystal is a black dial with lume markers applied at each hour marker. I really like the use of a single number on the dial at the 12. The company name and logos are painted on the dial in red above and below center dial.

A black date window with white numerals of appropriate size is positioned between the 4 and 5 position on the dial. I like the use of the black date window as it fades into the dial creating a more seamless appearance. Surrounding the dial is a feature I really like which is a raised chapter ring with a horizontal surface rather than the more typical angled or sloped version seen on many watches. This variation provides a greater appearance of depth to the dial. The chapter ring also has lume markers at the hour markers creating a greater luminous appearance on the dial. This design feature may just be easier for extra lume application.

The 300m is fitted with sword style diver hands. The hour and minute hands are painted black and are filled with more than adequate amounts of lume. The second hand is painted both black and white with a red tip and lume dot near the tip.











Case Back: The case back is typical screw down variety for a diver. The Lum Tec logo is etched in the center of the case back and various specification information surrounds the outer edges of the case back such as movement type, water resistance, crystal/bezel type and the model. Nothing overly special of note just standard and what should be expected for this aspect of the 300m



Bracelet: One of the very first things I noticed about the 300m was the bracelet. The bracelet has some similarities in appearance to what is seen on Omega models. The bracelet for this model is 22/22mm non-tapering which I greatly appreciate. I tire of tapering bracelets so i was very relieved it wasn't an issue on the 300m.

The links of the bracelet measure around 3.5mm in thickness. The other aspect of the bracelet that will draw your attention immediately is the clasp. Lum Tec opted for a dual push release ratcheting style diver clasp on the 300m which is so much easier to gain that perfect fit than some other clasp options. The clasp also contains two usable micro adjustments adding even further to the ease of sizing. The clasp has the Lum Tec name and logo engraved on the clasp as well.

The ratcheting operates smoothly. The only upgrade I could envision would be using single head screws to connect the links rather than the friction pins utilized. I was still extremely impressed overall and very drawn to the bracelet.













Rubber Strap: The new rubber strap is also a welcomed addition as it seems far superior in every aspect to the previous rubber straps used by Lum Tec. See Don's review photo for some perspective of how the 300m appears on the rubber strap.



Wrist shots on my 7 1/2 - 3/4 wrist and Comparison photos: In my opinion even though the 300m is a great diver with very good specifications, the case size and┬*how it wears is where it stands out and roars and also the key aspect of the 40mm review. My initial assumptions were that the 40mm model was going to provide great wrist presence.

Even though the case measures in at 40mm the appearance on the wrist just seems more significant. I'm fairly certain it is the combination of lug to lug, case height and the case to end link integration that give the 300m the larger appearance and make it feel more significant than a regular 40mm dive watch. My personal sweet spot typically falls 42-44mm and the 300m is perfect in every way in regards to size at least that is my perception.

Below are some wrist photos as well as some photos with some 42mm sized timepieces for some perspective.









Longer Lug to Lug similar to the Glycine......





Movement: The 300m contains an Sii NH35 automatic movement. While I admit I would love to see a Miyota 9015 that the NH movement has been quite accurate since arrival. I have not made any adjustments at this time. This particular NH also has the additional hacking and date features that the previous Lum Tec diver offering and movement did not supply which are nice features upgrades that many prefer.



The NH35 is hand regulated in 6 positions, tested on a rotating machine then re-tested and adjusted again if necessary. Lum Tec will adjust the movement for life of the watch free of charge if required. Explains why the movement has been working rather flawlessly since arrival.

Lume: The lume is the well known LUM-TEC MDV Technology®. (2-tone) on the dial and hands. According to Lum Tec this is a special 8 layer application of ultra bright glowing Super-Luminova photo-luminescent material. 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.

The two tone application is a nice touch and something different outside of tubes. Blue and green is a great color combination. The lume lasts all night and into the morning hours. It is probably just my terrible eyesight but as the blue lume fades (after many hours) I'm not as able to distinguish betwwen the the blue and green lume. I'm pretty sure that is just the characteristic of blue lume as it tends to be darker and not as bright as other colors over extended periods. Overall just fantastic lume as with all Lum Tec models.



Summary: The 300m is a great 2nd diver release from Lum Tec with great features such as case design, sapphire bezel and crystal, screw down crown, great lume and a solid automatic movement. With the price of ETA movements increasing as well as availability issues outside of the NH movements from Seiko really the only other alternative would be the new Miyota movements keeping this diver below $1000. I would hope in the near future to see a new diver from Lum Tec offering either an ETA or Miyota 9015 automatic movement still however as I can see great success with those movement upgrades.

Again the case design is going to satisfy those that prefer the 40mm case size but I also strongly feel Lum Tec hit a home run with the design because the size will most certainly also satisfy those that prefer the 42-43mm case size. Most 40mm divers I have experienced have around a 42-43mm case measurement including the crown just like the 300m. However most 40-43mm divers in this price range do not have a fantastic bracelet with a ratcheting dive clasp. I would like to commend Lum Tec on a job well done.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reviews, gentlemen.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A big thank you for reviewing these nice watch !

Really nice matte black dial and hands.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Amazing. I love the lume on this model. This might end up being my first Lum-Tec.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice Watch :t:%:b
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Holy Crap - it is a Watch Snob Jack sighting!!!! How have you been big man?
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had the opportunity to see both of these watches at our Atlanta Winter WUS GTG this past weekend and let me tell you they really are something!

The SS 40mm edition is right up my ally and is a size that can worn comfortably all day. The black PVD 2XL is a tank with a tremendous amount of wrist presence!

Nice watches both.....
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good reviews guys and great pics Mike! Love the watch but not the price tag.Great design and looks well made.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Don just re-read your part of the review. I am surprised with the difference in the bezel movement between the two watches as mine is extremely firm. I'm curious if it is similar with all 45mm or if some of the 40mm versions are also have a bit more play.

BTW really enjoyed your final photos as well.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reviews guys!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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GREAT REVIEWS THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU!
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Great review guys. I love the watch. Great dial, great finish and super-great lume. I want one now !!!! :lol
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Fantastic reviews guys!

Great photos Don! You too Mike, well done!
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great review sirs....but way over priced in my view
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Helluva good job on the reviews Don and Mike!
Excellent detail and pics by BOTH of you.
Keep banging out quality reviews fellas.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm a fan of Lum-Tec and they have a few models that I'm interested in, however, this is not one of them. It does not seem to have that classic Lum-Tec look and feel that I like. But that is what makes watch collecting exciting. Not every watch speaks to every collector. Like I said, Lum-tec has plenty of other models that do speak to me.

Nice reveiw. Thanks for the time and effort you guys put in on this and all the reviews.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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First of all, great reviews guys... Incredible attention to detail, with well thought out and concise commentary.

I cant decide where I stand with Lum-Tec. On the one hand they have uniquely designed watches, that more often than not appeal to my personal tastes. In addition the technology they have developed for lume is impressive. I appreciate the costs that go into development of the lume and cases, however a part of me just can't get past paying Lum-Tec prices for an NH35 movement.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Very well done reviews and pictures. Out of the 2 i like the smaller stainless version. Less issues and i'm not a PVD person. I have the NH35 movement in a DB watch i own. I have no issues with it but i didnt pay 9 bills for that watch. I love the lume on all the models Lum-Tec has.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: Waynesville, Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA
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Posts: 10,247
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Loved both'a your reviews. You guys do a great job. Fantastic lume on those timepieces, but like some have said, way overpriced for what they are (as are most'a Lum-Tec's pieces, IMO). I'll pass.
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