I have been looking forward to once again sharing my thoughts about Lum-Tec watches. I have seen just about everything Lum-Tec has to offer in person and I am truly never disappointed overall. Lum-Tec provides more than just one style of watch while everything regardless of style packs a ton of great lume. As I have stated so many times over the years, it is 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. Since location is what I would consider local for many of our readers, the proximity can absolutely lessons any feeling of anxiety if there is ever a warranty repair issue of some sort. Keep in mind, Lum-Tec offers standard battery replacements and timing adjustment free of charge for the life of a watch purchased from them. Overall, the level of customer service that I have read/heard about over the years just adds to the value of any watch selected from the brand. The subject of this review, the RR5 Automatic, provides quite a bit of a modern appearance with just the right amount of the vintage. You can read more about Lum-Tec watches in general at: http://www.lum-tec.com/ The RR5 Automatic retails at $795 USD and comes with the following basic specifications:
Case Diameter: 43mm
Case: 316L stainless steel bead blasted finish with titanium carbide PVD hard coating
Crystal: Sapphire with clear anti reflective coating
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Straps: leather and rubber
Movement: Miyota Automatic
Warranty: One year limited
Service: Free lifetime timing adjustment service
I’m just going to start out by saying that I have never been a huge fan of coated cases. On so many occasions a PVD coating just quite frankly doesn’t hold up well at least based on some of my past experiences. However, this version of the RR Series has an absolutely beautiful bead blasted 316L stainless steel case with a Titanium Carbide PVD hard coating. The extreme hardness of this coating, if applied properly, can provide excellent abrasion resistance compared to other PVD coatings. While I’m not going to put the finish to the test, I will be happy to discuss with any reader how the finishing seems to hold up over time under normal wear conditions. Moving on to the specifications, the case measures 43mm and a robust 47mm including the crown. The lug tip to lug tip measures 52mm and the watch is a surprisingly 11mm thin. While the case is fairly typical for round watches, the lugs provide some modern flair as they are machined in a way to provide quite an angular appearance rather than a run of the mill rounded machining present on many watches. With a weight of a 90 grams, combined with the other watch specifications, the RR5 provides a lot of wrist presence and will command quite a bit of attention. Also, at 90 grams, the RR5 doesn’t feel cumbersome on the wrist at all. Another great feature of almost any Lum-Tec watch is an oversized crown. The RR5 has an 8mm signed screw down crown is positioned on the 3 o’clock side of the case which is finished with the same great PVD finishing like the rest of the watch case. The crown is gear shaped and extremely easy to grasp and engage. There is no play or wiggle once the crown is engaged. As a bonus, the RR5 doesn’t have just a standard screw down crown. Lum-Tec utilizes a fantastic double diamond sealing system with high tech Viton gasket, which will maximize the water resistance of the watch in this instance 100 meters. As I have mentioned before, Viton provides a rubber compound that is known for providing excellent resistance to extreme heat, chemicals, acids and other fluids. Now I believe all or almost all Lum-Tec watches use the same gasketing system so I really can not report as to why there is a 100 meter water resistance difference in relation to other watch models. Maybe the crystal isn’t as thick as some other models? Regardless, I do not believe it really matters much with the RR5 as this model isn’t something I would consider taking in the water as it is more of a sports watch or casual dress watch.
Next, the RR5 is fitted with a large 38mm in diameter sapphire crystal with an interior anti-reflective coating. Beneath the crystal is a gorgeous glossy brown dial. In the past, I have heard many watch guys express a dislike for brown dial watches. I’m not sure I was ever provided with a great reason as to why brown dials were not appreciated, but I can say in this instance Lum-Tec has produced what I consider a sexy brown dial watch. The combination of the glossy brown with the vintage colored markers and the PVD case is quite frankly striking. The dial is extremely clean and uncluttered, perfectly sized font type, with the typical branding placement painted above and below center dial. The same great MDV lume technology is found on the RR5 as any other Lum-Tec model. In case you haven’t read about MDV technology before, MDV stands for Maximum Darkness Visibility. The technology consists of an “8 layer application of ultra bright glowing Super-Luminova photo-luminescent material.” I have to admit I had some concerns about the longevity of the vintage lume, however, the lume is extremely intense on initial charge with boatloads of afterglow for hours.
I absolutely love what Lum-Tec does with their PVD watch case backs. I have seen countless PVD coated watches that coat the case back as well. What’s the first thing that is going to happen when the case back has to be removed? Well, in many instances the PVD coating is going to get scratched up. No worries with the RR5 because the case back has no coating and is a bare brushed stainless steel finish. Beneath the screw down case back with 24mm sapphire display crystal is an extremely reliable and quite appealing Miyota 9015 automatic movement. This particular movement has been averaging somewhere between +5 to +8 seconds per day thus far. Keep in mind if the timing ever gets to a point where servicing is required, shipping to Lum-Tec for a free timing adjustment is the proper course of action.
Finishing off the RR5 is a well-made thick brown leather strap that measures nearly 4mm at the thickest point near the lug. The brown leather corresponds perfectly with the brown dial and vintage aspects of the watch. The strap measures 22mm at the lug and tapers to 20mm at the tail and buckle. This model also comes with a molded rubber strap with Lum-Tec branding on the sides and a separate buckle. Since this is not a dive watch, 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. As with all the Lum-Tec rubber straps I have ran across, it does accumulate lint and dust quite easily, so be prepared to wiped it down frequently. I have taken issue with a certain aspect of the leather straps provided by Lum-Tec many times in the past and there is no difference in this particular case. 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 the climate. I prefer a decent amount of strap tail extending through the floating keeper which the 4th hole provides, however, slotted in the 4th hole the strap is slightly too snug. Slotting in the 3rd hole way too loose and borders on having a flopping around floating keeper. One great touch I want to mention are the quick change pins on the leather strap. Any coated watch should have this option in order to prevent unnecessary under the lug scratches from strap changes. The strap is finished off with a PVD buckle, which corresponds perfectly with the PVD case finish.
I highly recommend checking Lum-Tec watches if you haven’t before today and the RR5 would be a solid first choice. The RR5 is packed with quality specifications from the Titanium Carbide case finishing, sapphire crystal to the highly reliable Miyota 9015 automatic movement. On top of all the quality specifications the RR5 is a Limited Edition with only 100 units produced. I believe the RR5 is an extremely versatile watch that will function well in a wide range of settings from the executive boardroom to a night out on the town. Don’t forget the free lifetime timing adjustments. 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.
I note your praise of Lumtec watches. However my experience is somewhat different. In 2014 I purchased a Lum-Tec Combat B12 for my wife – an active 72 year old.
For the first 3 months it gained 5 minutes a week and I returned it to Lum-Tec for adjustment.
The watch came back and the problem was still not fixed. I returned it to Lum-Tec suggesting that there might be a problem with the movement and they returned into me saying that the movement had been replaced.
Once back in Australia the watch continued to gain approx 3-4 minutes a week and I decided to let the matter rest.
Now the sweep hand has come off and I am about to return it once again to the US for service. This is a ‘combat’ watch used by an elderly person! It costs me $45 each time I post it back to the US.