We here at WWR like to focus on a wide variety of watches, and we certainly enjoy when we get to showcase something that is built in our neck of the woods. One brand we have not focused on as much, for whatever reason, is Ohio-based Lum-Tec. They just recently announced their new-for-2016 models, and there was one in particular that caught my eye – the Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT.
The Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT is very much going for that old-school military watch look. If it was not evident from the name of the model, a quick look at the design details points out the facts. First off, you have a handset (aside from the GMT hand) that comes from pilot watches, while the raised, lumed numerals are the same font as you would find on divers such as those from Panerai. Finally, you have the included straps, which are both NATO (or G10) style, which again hearkens to a military watch.
Reading through that last paragraph, it would almost seem as if the Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT was a nightmare sort of a franken-watch, with styles borrowed from differing types of watches. To my eye, it works. It does walk a fine line, though (if they had included an onion crown to match the coin-edge bezel, it would have been a cue too many). I think in large part this is due to the gunmetal PVD finish applied to the 43mm case, along with the black dial and “old radium” tone lume. It settles the design down a bit, and just mutes things enough to make it workable.
Then again, I am a sucker for a GMT complication, which of course the Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT has. This comes courtesy of a Swiss Ronda R515.24 quartz movement, and is indicated by the skeletonized hand that spins around the inner track. This is a different style than we would normally see, which would have the GMT hand extending far across the dial. Here, the second time zone takes a, well, secondary place on the dial. This gives the added benefit of placement of the 24-hour scale being well within the main handset tracks. Combined with the darker grey used for the GMT scale, it would make it possible to overlook the GMT complication if you were not actively needing it at the time.
While I would not call the Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT my perfect GMT watch by any means, I think there is an interesting mix here. It offers something for the military watch fans to grab on to (so long as you don’t mind the mixed styles), and it looks to be a solid every-day watch (though I might suggest a simple two-piece leather strap gets added in as well). While delivery of the Lum Tec Combat B33 GMT is not anticipated to occur until July 2016, you can jump in on a pre-order right now, which brings the price down to $420.75 after a 15% discount (that means the MSRP is $495). With only 200 examples being made of the Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT, I’ve a feeling Lum-Tec should not have any issue getting these into the hands of interested customers. lum-tec.com
- Brand & Model: Lum-Tec Combat B33 GMT
- Price: $420.75 on pre-order
- Who we think it might be for: You like military-style watches, and are looking for the reliability of a quartz for every-day usage
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: While I like this watch, this is not one I would likely purchase
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The texture on the crown is jarring compared to the coin-edge bezel; perhaps go with a smoother crown?
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Interestingly enough, the combination of the various military watch design cues
Tech Specs from Lum-Tec
- Complete assembly in Ohio.
- 43mm width excluding crown
- 22mm lug width
- 13mm thick
- 316L stainless steel. Bead blasted finish
- Gunmetal PVD titanium Carbide hard coating
- High-tech Viton® gaskets
- MDV® Luminous technology. Old radium tone.
- Precision screw down crown with double diamond sealing system
- Curved sapphire crystal with clear anti-reflective coating
- GMT hand allows you to independently set a second time zone
- Threaded stainless steel caseback
- 200 meters/656 ft. water resistance
- 2 straps included: black nylon and old world style brown leather with matching hardware
- Extra spring bars included for fitting other straps
- All Swiss made R515.24 Quartz movement
- Two year limited warranty
- Limited numbered series of 200
- Free lifetime battery replacement service.
- Free lifetime pressure testing and seal lubrication/cleaning.