I am always excited to share my thoughts about Lum-Tec watches. Over the years I have had the opportunity to handle numerous models from their various series. Lum-Tec offers sport, pilot and dive watches with classic and modern designs. Also, I find it very refreshing when a company that I write about is located in the United States, such as Lum-Tec, which is located in Northeast Ohio. If there is ever an issue such as replacing a battery or having an automatic movement tuned up, I know I appreciate that the company is fairly close, and most likely, I will not be waiting around extended period of time for the watch to be returned. Some may say, well what makes timing adjustments and battery replacements so special from Lum-Tec? Well to answer that question, the timing adjustments and battery replacements are free. Who else provides that level of customer service? So yes, I appreciate the level of customer service Lum-Tec has to offer, but the company producing really cool watches such as the new Combat B24 Carbon-Titanium is even more important. The Combat B24 Carbon-Titanium retails for a highly competitive $925 USD and comes with the following basic specifications:
- Carbon composite case with a titanium core and case back
- 200 meters/660 ft. water resistance
- LUM-TEC MDV Technology®
- Top grade leather strap included
- Molded rubber strap included
- Automatic Movement
- 1 Year Limited Warranty and Free lifetime timing adjustments
The Combat B24 Carbon really isn’t all about the carbon composite case. The model has the same great style as all Combat series watches offered from Lum-Tec as well. However, I will start this portion of the review discussing the carbon composite case. A search around the web will reveal various other companies producing forged carbon/carbon composite cased watches. The one big difference is the overall appearance between most and what Lum-Tec has produced. In other instances, the carbon cases have a layered almost marble like appearance due to larger pieces of carbon being utilized. Initially, Lum-Tec started with samples with the same layered marble like appearance, but the samples created some concern over carbon separation. Lum-Tec opted for shredded carbon (smaller pieces), with the end product having an almost stone or granite type appearance rather than marble. Now I want to be clear that in no way did Lum-Tec indicate that the other option was inferior or that the other companies producing those type of carbon cases are inferior, only that their samples made them uncomfortable so the decision was made to use shredded carbon instead. While I do not dislike the marble appearance offered by some companies, I prefer the look provided by the use of shredded carbon.
Moving on to the specifications reveals a rather modest mid-sized case diameter of 43mm and just under 47mm horizontally when factoring in the crown. The lug tip to lug tip measures 51mm and the watch weighs a feather like 74 grams. So, based on these specifications, the watch will provide the necessary wrist presence while feeling almost non-existent on the wrist. An oversized 8mm signed screw down crown is positioned on the 3 o’clock side of the case. The crown is gear shaped, making it extremely easy to grasp and engage. There is no play or wiggle once the crown is engaged. Besides the large LT branding on the crown face, the feature I appreciate most is the gunmetal PVD finish of the crown, which looks fantastic against the forged carbon case. The double diamond sealing system with high tech Viton gasket is also found on the Combat B24 Carbon resulting in a professional dive watch rating of 200 meters of water resistance. For those wondering about Viton, the rubber compound is known for outstanding resistance to extreme heat, chemicals, acids and other fluids.
Next, the Combat B24 Carbon is fitted with a large 37mm sapphire crystal with an interior anti-reflective coating. Beneath the crystal is a large black matte dial with a Nav B type layout. What makes the Nav B layout different than a standard dial? Rather than typical hour markers 1, 2, 3, 4 and so forth, the dial is marked in minutes 5 – 55. The dial is extremely clean and uncluttered with the typical branding placement painted above and below center dial. As usual, the same MDV lume technology is found on the Combat B-24 Carbon as any other Lum-Tec model. What is MDV technology? For those that may not be aware, MDV (Maximum Darkness Visibility) technology is an “8 layer application of ultra bright glowing Super-Luminova photo-luminescent material.” In layman terms the dial markers and numerals are slathered with Super-Luminova material. The lume is extremely intense on initial charge with an incredibly significant afterglow for hours. An average charge just before bedtime will still provide adequate glow when getting up for work the next morning. There may be a few companies out there that provide excellent lume, however, what Lum-Tec offers is equal to if not better than any other.
Another interesting feature of any forged carbon/carbon composite case is the core. While I am not an engineer or chemist, apparently forged carbon cannot be threaded thus the need for a core to house the movement. Some companies producing carbon cases use a stainless steel core while others opt for a titanium core. Lum-Tec chose a titanium core over stainless steel for the Combat B24 Carbon. The biggest advantages that I can see using the titanium core would be hypoallergenic properties, as well as, keeping the overall watch weight at a minimum producing that feather like feel on the wrist. So, how does all this work? The first question that popped into my mind was: “What keeps the core from just sliding out?” Essentially, based on information relayed to me, the forged carbon case is molded around the core providing an extremely tight fit. Just for those chemists out there, apparently the forged carbon has the same melting point as brass based on the information I received from Lum-Tec. Overall I have to admit I prefer the titanium option due to the super light weight of the watch on the wrist.
So what is housed in the core of the Combat B24 Carbon? Well, beneath the titanium screw down case back with sapphire display crystal is an extremely reliable and quite appealing Miyota 9015 driving this particular watch model. I’ve heard some say the 9015 is Miyota’s competition against the ETA 2824 or the ETA 2892. Regardless, the movement has an appealing appearance with striping and perlage not found on base grade ETA movements. Every Miyota 9015 movement that I have possessed has also kept excellent time and in some instances competing with the top grade ETA counterparts. This particular 9015 movement has been averaging somewhere between +2 to +5 seconds per day thus far. I would greatly enjoy seeing some sort of lume gimmick from Lum-Tec on the rotor at some point just to increase the overall flair.
Finishing off the Combat B24 Carbon is a fantastic 5mm thick leather strap. The strap measures 22mm at the lug and has no taper through to the tail and buckle. This model also comes with a molded rubber strap with Lum-Tec branding on the sides and a separate buckle. I prefer the leather strap with this particular model but the rubber strap is very nice, soft and supple and will provide an equally comfortable feel on the wrist. The rubber straps do accumulate lint and dust quite easily, so it has to be wiped down quite frequently. As far as the leather strap is concerned, I would like to see longer strap options made available for those nearing an 8-inch wrist. On my 7-¾ inch wrist, I am typically slotting in the 3rd or 4th sizing hole depending on temperature. In the 3rd sizing hole the strap tail barely fits under the floating keeping making it almost useless.
I highly recommend checking out a forged carbon cased watch. If you are like me and not completely sold on the layered marble appearance of other carbon watches, then the B24 model offered by Lum-Tec may be what you are looking for in a forged carbon cased watch. Besides the great looking stone/granite appearance of the B24, all of the other great features found on any Lum-Tec watch is present with quality straps, finishing, intense lume, water resistance and a quality Miyota 9015 automatic movement. On top of all the great features, Lum-Tec offers free lifetime timing adjustments. Can it get any better? I would like to thank Lum-Tec for working with WatchReport.com on this review. I would like to thank you for reading my review and suggest viewing my brief YouTube video presentation on this model as well.