While I imagine many, if not all, of our readers are familiar with Lum-Tec watches, theyâ€™re a brand weâ€™ve never quite had the chance to do a hands-on review with in the past. Â That is, until social media lived up to its name, helped build that connection, and here we are today, with a review of the Lum-Tec RR3.
This review was a bit of a mystery going into it. Â Once we had the social connection established, and worked out the shipping details, we were told that a watch was on the way. Â So, I was a bit like a kid with an unexpected present (well, more so than usual when a watch comes in), as I was not quite sure what was inside the box. Â Opening it up, of course, revealed the vintage-inspired beauty of theÂ Lum-Tec RR3.
Now, I do not know for sure, but I am presuming (and assuming) that the RR in the name stands for railroad. Â In that, if not directly inspired by watches of the era, the styling of theÂ Lum-Tec RR3 definitely makesÂ itself feel like it calls those days home. Â To start with, the dial is a shiny black enamel (and we know that Iâ€™m a fan of enamel dials). Â Over the top of that, we have a great font for the numerals, which are then doneÂ in a vintage-colored luminous paint. Â This, of course, is to make the watch look older than it is, but it also generates a nice black-and-tan palette.
The cutout for the date window on theÂ Lum-Tec RR3 is subtle, and Iâ€™m glad to see the date wheel color-matched. Â That said, itâ€™s matte finish stands in stark contrast to the glossy enamel ofÂ the dial. Â Some may like that, I would wonder what itÂ wouldÂ take to get a glossy date wheel. Â Spinning over the top of all of that is a sword-style handset that is quite handsome, and well-proportioned to the dial and each other.
This is all powered by the ever-reliable Miyota 9015, which you can see through the sapphire window inÂ the caseback (which also matches the sapphire crystal up front). Â Flipping the watch over also reveals the quick-change spring bars onÂ the included strap, which I am glad to see showing up more and more. Â The leather strap itself is quite comfortable, with a matte finish and contrast stitching that picks up the hues from the dial.
Set as it is againstÂ the full polish case of theÂ Lum-Tec RR3, the strap mightÂ feel muted, but I like that balance it gives to the shininess of the case. Â Of course, it is much less a dressier watch for it, but I think that makes it moreÂ flexible for the day-to-day. Â And, with those quick change spring bars, it would be a simple matter to put a higher-gloss black (or even brown) strap on there and youâ€™re on your way.
For my time with theÂ Lum-Tec RR3, I wore it primarily to the office, and it fit well there. Â Reading the time was a snap, and the slimmer case slipped under a cuff without a problem. Â NighttimeÂ visibility was decent, though nothing quite as brilliant as what you see in photos of their other watches. Â In this case, Iâ€™ll point the finger at the vintage-hued lume, as well as the thinner application that the vintage style demanded. Â Not anything toÂ detract from the watch, by any means. Â The lume does it’s job, and does it well, just donâ€™t expect a blindingÂ light show from it.
When you learn that theÂ Lum-Tec RR3, with its enamel dial, is a limited edition of just 100 pieces, you might think youâ€™re in for some sticker shock. Â And yeah, at $775, itâ€™s higher-priced than you might expect givenÂ the movement. Frankly, I feel its right where it needs to be, as youâ€™re getting a well thought out look from Ohio-based Lum-Tec. In other words, consider me a fan. Â What Iâ€™m wondering, dear reader, is what your favorite watches from the Lum-Tec catalog are. Â Be sure to sound off below, drop us a line, or chat us up over in our Slack room. Â Who knows, you may be able to direct us to a future review from the brand! Â lum-tec.com
- Brand & Model: Lum-Tec RR3
- Price: $775
- Whoâ€™s it for? Â You want that glow that Lum-Tec is known for, but not in a mil-spec format
- Would I wear it? Indeed. Â The lug-to-lug is a smidge bigger than Iâ€™d prefer, but the watch is still quite nice
- What Iâ€™d change: Â Following in on the above, see about shrinking that case size a bit
- The best thing about it: Â â€œVintageâ€ lume and numerals on an enamel dial
Tech Specs from Lum-Tec
- 43mm width excluding crown
- 22mm lug width
- 11mm thick
- 52mm lug tip to lug tip
- 316L stainless steel polished finish case
- Enamel dial
- High tech VitonÂ® gasket
- Precision screw down crown with double diamond sealing system
- Sapphire crystal with clear anti reflective coating
- Threaded stainless steel caseback
- 100 meters/330 ft. water resistance
- Leather strap with matching buckle
- Extra spring bars included for fitting other straps
- Precision tuned 28,800 BPH Miyota 9015 Japan automatic movement with hand winding and hack feature
- Thick sapphire crystal
- One year limited warranty
- Limited numbered series of 100 pieces worldwide
- Free lifetime timing adjustment service