July 26, 2013
by Paul Hubbard
The coin-edged bezel works very well – easy to grab, right amount of friction, and I prefer 60-click. A bit of play, but never it slips and has excellent visibility. The millimeter or two of overhang makes for an easy grab and twist.
The dial is a design I’ve not seen before – the outer portion is raised a good 3 or 4mm above the rest, and the second and minute hands actually run just inside it.
In the photo above, you can see how the hour markers are on both levels, and the minute markers are only on the raised portion.
Lum-Tec tends to use more vertical relief in their dials. The multilayer MDV raises the markers, and it also makes the dial more three-dimensional to look at. It seems a tiny bit busy at first, but after a few hours it’s very easy to read at a glance, both day and night. I wish the hands weren’t flat black, though, as that seems a needless reduction in legibility.
On the wrist, the LUM-TEC 300M-1 is very comfortable. The red-tipped seconds hand is a subtle bit of color, and the darker logo and depth rating are effectively invisible. On the bracelet, it’s 215g, a substantial watch that feels very solid.
The clasp is slim, but with straight sides and 14.8mm of height, fitting it under a shirt cuff can be difficult. A bit thinner and they’d have a big increase in versatility.
That clasp I raved about.
In a month of wearing it, I often swap the dressier bracelet for an inexpensive canvas strap from Timefactors, which reduces the weight to 110g and makes for a good summer watch.
At $875, the 300M is a more expensive than some of the boutique competition. I think the movement, improved finishing and dial more than explain why, not to mention the bezel and the dual-side anti-reflective crystal. You can certainly find the NH35 in less expensive watches, but brace yourself before you search for watches adjusted in six positions. The icing on the proverbial cake is the free lifetime timing adjustments; that is something I’ve never seen before and applaud.
Yes, I like the LUM-TEC 300M-1 quite a lot. I also like that it comes in two sizes, and can be had in PVD if you like black. Additionally, there’s a new model coming out with orange or blue lume too if you want something more colorful. The Lum-Tec 300M-1 reminds me of the Omega Planet Ocean, which also has multiple sizes and colors. lum-tec.com
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Outdoorsy type who actually dives before going to work
>Worst characteristic of watch: A bit thick for its 300m rating
>Best characteristic of watch: Superb timekeeping for the price