LUM-TEC 300M-1 Dive Watch Review

LUM-TEC 300M-1 Dive Watch Review
Lume on the Lum-Tec 300m
Lume on the Lum-Tec 300m

It seems appropriate to start a review of a Lum-Tec with a picture of their namesake. Eight layers of luminous pigment, in blue and green; makes for a spectacular display at night, or even walking inside to a dark room. This is the LUM-TEC 300M-1, introduced in 2013 and available in 40 or 45mm versions, in either brushed stainless or PVD treatment.

This particular watch is the 40mm version, sent at my request. Lum-Tec mainly makes larger watches, so I was excited to check out a size that is more to my liking. This design in particular I like, as the dial and bezel are reminiscent of my now-sold IWC 3568.

The LUM-TEC 300M-1 is 40mm, 41mm at the bezel, and 48.5 lug to lug. Compact and solid, measuring 14.8mm thick with a 5.8mm crown and 22mm lugs. The bracelet is 22 by 4.5mm, non-tapering, with solid end links, one micro adjustment, double-button push release and on-wrist ratcheting extension. The LUM-TEC 300M-1 has a sapphire crystal with double sided anti-reflective coatings. The 60-click bezel has a sapphire insert with backside lume, a nice combination of luminosity and scratch resistance. Weight is 96g for the watch, 120g on the rubber strap and 215g on the bracelet.

Lum-Tec 300M-1
Lum-Tec 300M-1

The movement is interesting: It's a SII NH35, which is Seiko's OEM version of the 4R35. SII lists it as an upgrade from the NH25, and it seems to be finished better. Automatic, with handwinding and hacking, it runs at 21,600vph (3Hz) versus the 28,800/4Hz 2824 or Miyota 9015. Twenty four jewels, quickset date, and a power reserve in excess of 40 hours. All of those are  good, but what makes it exceptional here is Lum-Tec's preparation of it: they adjust it to six positions for accuracy and offer free lifetime timing adjustments.

That's phenomenal, and unheard of for a watch in this price range. Clearly, Lum-Tec has enormous confidence in this movement. Personally, I've had 3 SKX-series divers with variations of the 7S26, and they all had very poor accuracy and even worse isochronism. Even the 8L35 in my Marinemaster was worse than most ETA 2824s, so I was pessimistic that the NH35 would perform well. The results have been so good I've spent extra time verifying them. This watch runs a solid 2-3 seconds slow per day, whether worn, on the winder or even on a desk. Superb performance regardless of orientation, wind state or activity. Bravo indeed!

The packaging is very nice, solid wood with an inset metal logo.

Lum-Tec 300M watch box
Lum-Tec 300M watch box

Inside you'll find the watch and an additional rubber strap with machined buckle.

Lum-Tec 300M rubber strap
Lum-Tec 300M rubber strap

The underside of the strap has unusual raised edges and texturing, presumably to let it breathe better on hot days.

Lum-Tec 300M rubber strap
Lum-Tec 300M rubber strap

The bracelet is very nice, I like how the links are rounded a bit.

LUM-TEC 300M-1 bracelet
LUM-TEC 300M-1 bracelet

The bracelet has solid end links, though the machining here is a bit rough.

  • Ulysses31

    Nice little innovative touches but i’m not sold on the finish and the design looks bland overall.

    • bichondaddy

      Ulysses31 Lum Tec does makes some nice watches…even some in the size I like…but this one is just a bit old fashion looking and bland to say the least.  If you’re going to make a dive watch….try to be just a tiny bit creative,,,,please???  Almost every single watch company out there makes something that looks like this watch.
      Yawn…save your money…buy something that doesn’t look like every other watch you have.  And yes…I know guys who have 20 plus watches in their collections….and they all look just like this one.  A black dial and bezel dive watch.  As for me…I don’t have a single watch that looks like this…and I am darn proud of it!!!

      • Ulysses31

        bichondaddy Ulysses31 Yeah, they do some nice pieces i’d much rather have.  It’s a bit of a shame considering the obvious thought that has gone in to other aspects of the watch.

  • gerikson

    Great review!
    I like the design of the case and bracelet (especially the details like the 2 different spring bar holes) but i’m not sold on the dial design.

  • SKing

    Great review.  Question, what do you mean by Lum Tec taking the movement and “adjusting it to six positions for accuracy.”  Can you describe what that process entails?  I was under the impression that movement accuracy could not be improved once the movement was properly assembled.

  • qudths

    looks like a sinn ezm3 and an iwc aquatimer matec and had a very well lumed child.  i like it!

  • mch2469

    The video review of a LumTec diver and no lume shots ?.. not quite a review then

  • Ryan B

    A solid buy for the money, it could maybe be about 200.00 cheaper but currently it still fits in an acceptable range. The biggest seller for me is it’s in two different sizes to satisfy both crowds, something not enough watch makers provide now days.

  • Chronoman

    Lum-Tec watches have their own character, which is good for a brand. I like their confidence in the accuracy of their watches, Great. What will prevent me from [urchasing one (unfortunately) is the font (style) of the lettering. I just cannot like it.

  • ConorMcCorry

    You didn’t show us how the watch looked on the rubber strap!

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  • Russell

    While seeking a new addition to my minor collection, I reached out to this Co awhile back to see if they offer any sort of discount for military, or Disabled Vets (IM a 90% Disabled Marine Corps Vet w Traumatic Brain Injury, Cervical Spine Damage, PTSD, and much more- all sustained from a massive IED Blast in Iraq years ago!) Anyway, I always “ask” just for the heck of it, and in this case I sent them an email on a Friday afternoon. Wouldn’t ya know that on that Sunday, the OWNER of the Co himself called me on my cell phone replying to my query!

    We had a super talk which lead me to buying one of their cool V6 models with his gracious assistance!

    Since then we have became “friends” and I have grown to like this Co more and more every day! They seriously put alot of detailed work into their products and the fit and finish is impeccable! I sure wish I had enough to pick up a few more of their items, and they even have some Limited Edition material well worth taking a look at. Mine came with the sweet leather band, AND the rubber one shown in pics too. Absolutely GORGEOUS packaging box which displays the watch nicely too! As a former Marine I am generally into bells and whistles on my wrist such as alarms, chrono’s and lights (MTM makes my fave in their Vulture line) but this V6 has pretty good material used for its Lume as well (Hence their name!) However, I like just a bit more brightness which is easily charged by using a flashlight on it at night (not giving away my position of course!) or wearing it outside in sun. Its a perfect chick magnet in a suit and has alot of class just on my tiny model I purchased – their high end models sure bring alot more to the table for sure though!

    If you ever wanted personal service from a American Made Watch Co then give this Co a shout and don’t be surprised if the owner himself called or emailed you upon response! Keep up the great work as a Made In The USA Company Chris Wiegand!

    Semper Fidelis,