No other watch I’ve worn on my wrist this year has garnered the amount of questions I have received more than the Lum-Tec Combat B24 Carbon. The subtle carbon composite case doesn’t grab your eyes from across the room. It’s low-key leather or molded rubber strap keep it hidden under your cuff. Yet dozens of gentlemen I have sat next to at the bar have asked me about the watch on my wrist. Perhaps it’s the glowing green lume coming from the face still shining from earlier in the day. Or, the carbon case that looks more like stamped stone. The style is understated, different, unique, and that’s why I love it.
Lum-Tec is a small, family owned and operated company out of Northeast, Ohio. You know how much I love tossing around that Made in USA statement around here. Although several of their watches use a Miyota Japanese movement, all of them are designed and hand-assembled in Ohio. If you reside in the USA, that means getting your watch battery replaced, automatic movement tuned or anything else that may happen during your travels is quick and easy. Did I mention all of their watches come with free lifetime timing adjustments? For our international friends, don’t worry they have plenty of service centers located around the world to help keep your Lum-Tec watch in check.
The first thing I noticed unboxing the watch is how lightweight it is. Not typically something that exudes quality in the world of timepieces. However, an increasing number of watch manufacturers are launching carbon case watches making weight a non-issue. Unless of course you run into that snobby fellow that will always judge you regardless. Lum-Tec’s carbon composite design is much different from other carbon case watches I’ve seen on the market. Most carry a marble-like finish. Almost glossy as if etched from a single piece of tablet. The B24 carbon looks as if layers of carbon fragments were slammed together like concrete.
Adjusting the time and date via the 8mm screw-lock crown is simple, one click for date, two for time. The watch is water resistant down to 200 meters/660 feet, using a double diamond sealing system around the crown and high-tech Viton gasket protecting the case. Viton material gaskets are well-known for their resistance to chemicals, pressure and extreme heat. This is a big plus for explorers, avid travelers and divers.
I’ve been on the road quite a bit this Fall, though you couldn’t tell from the 37mm sapphire crystal front of the B24. It shows no signs of wear. An interior anti-reflective coating makes it easy to read day and night. Complimenting the carbon case is a matte finish black dial using a Nav-B style layout with minute markings in favor of hours and large lume-tipped arrow hands. Painted red on the dial are callouts for Lum-Tec’s MDV Technology and Combat B model label.
Peeking into the window of the threaded sapphire caseback reveals the 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 Japanese automatic movement. The 9015 keeps the second hand gently sweeping across the dial just short of fluid. I’ve not noticed any drop in accuracy of time during my test period. Several mornings I noticed the watch was still keeping time after being down 7-8 hours.
Taking a closer look at the markings surrounding the caseback, you’ll notice G107/250. This model and many others from the company are made in small batches. This watch is one of only 250 in this series. If this model or another on their website tickle your fancy, act fast before they are out of stock.
After swapping the leather and rubber straps back and forth over the past few months, I most definitely prefer the leather which is unlike my usual. The north/south stainless steel PVD gunmetal-finish bullets and buckle match the case and crown perfectly. It’s obvious a lot of thought went into pairing this strap with the B24. I can’t say the same for the included molded rubber strap.
I typically favor watch cases around 42-44mm in width. The B24 measured right in the middle at 43mm excluding the crown. The 22mm lug width and 12.5mm thickness of the case make it sit just right in the center of my nearly 8-inch wrist.
Lum-Tec uses MDV Technology (Maximum Darkness Visibility) to provide a powerful green glow across the dial and hands that lasts for hours after a charge. The intensity and lasting afterglow is on par with, if not better than other watches I’ve worn. The above image was taken after the watch had been in the dark for hours. I waited for the glow to completely dissolve then zapped the watch with a lamp for 30 seconds.
I’ve been shouting a lot of praise for the Combat B24, but I can’t say the same of the molded rubber strap. Now keep in mind, this is my personal preference. Molded straps don’t tend to fit my wrist very well. They aren’t comfortable and don’t allow the watch to sit in the center of my wrist. I’d love to see Lum-Tec supply a NATO style strap with the B24 in place of, or as an option to the rubber strap. With that being said, I do realize if you plan on diving with this watch you won’t be favoring the leather strap.
The watch comes in a handsome wood box with all of the usual documents you get with a fine timepiece. Certificate of Authenticity, User Manual and International Warranty Card. Every Lum-Tec watch comes with a 1 Year Limited Warranty and Free Lifetime Timing Adjustments. The Combat B24 Carbon retails for $925 US and is currently in stock.
Should you add this to your collection?
I am fortunate that I was able to spend ample time with this watch over the past few months. It has been with me exploring Death Valley, shooting the streets of Downtown Las Vegas, biking in Flagstaff, Arizona and more than my fair share of nights at the brewery. This is the watch I grab when I am not looking to stand out. Perfect for working in the field, or traveling discreetly. The lightweight design never gets in the way and I’m never late to the party. This isn’t your typical divers watch, in fact, noting about the B24 is typical. That is why I think you need to consider adding it to your collection.
You can learn more about the entire Lum-Tec collection of watches on their website by clicking here.