May 30, 2010
by Ariel Adams
The upmarket-ification of “America’s son” watchmaker LUM-TEC may continue in full force. Some of you have expressed sadness that the brand is producing many timepieces outside of their original pricing a few years ago. It is true that the mean price for LUM-TEC watches is going up. It also true that LUM-TEC quality and watch features are also increasing. Most any “young” watch maker can’t really do everything they want the first time around. Through subsequent successes LUM-TEC has been able to afford more quality components and fancy movements and materials for their watches. The result are timepieces that are closer to the dreams of the owners. In time I believe that LUM-TEC will offer a full range of watches from very reasonably priced entry level models to high-end durable watches that are “up to any task” and still look great in the process.
One example of a potential future watch for LUM-TEC is this pictured Combat F1 concept watch. It reminds me of an updated Marathon GSAR watch – if there would be such an update. The technical looking case looks like a pilot watch on steroids with a stylized, but easy to read no-nonsense dial. The case would be 44mm wide in steel with a sandblasted finish. The thick bezel would turn, and according to LUM-TEC would also turn an inner bezel, though I am not totally sure what that means at this point. The tough looking bezel matches the style of the crown. Technical looking chronograph pushers emphasize the functional character of the watch. This is continued in the many sharp angles in the design.
The dial will have mostly full Roman numeral dials with larger chronograph subdials, and a smaller subsidiary seconds subdial. You’ll notice that needed hint of red on the dial as well! LUM-TEC does a great job of making functional dials that also feel really fun (but won’t ever accused of being a mere whimsical watch). They are kinda of like how you feel about the design of a Jeep Wrangler. I like the contrast between the serious looking lugs and the NATO strap that the watch has.
Movement would be none other than a Swiss Valjoux 7750 automatic powering the Combat F1 one. The dial doesn’t have room for the day of the week indicator, but does include the date nicely integrated within the 3 o’clock hour marker. LUM-TEC being proud of all this would have a sapphire caseback window with a personalized LUM-TEC automatic rotor – hey, maybe even some movement decoration as well. Dial of course would also be enhanced with LUM-TEC’s own MDV luminant for a clear and easy to read dial in low-light conditions. Once again, LUM-TEC asserts that a good deal of US watch lovers are interested in the “tool watch” above all else. If this watch becomes a reality, I suspect the price would be in the $1,500 range at least.See LUM-TEC watches on eBay here. [phpbay]lum-tec, num, “”, “”[/phpbay]