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I also pre ordered the black dial version of this watch in June of 2019 originally. Communication was non existent. I also did not receive and extra rubber strap. I would have appreciated that inclusion. I actually cancelled my order then re-ordered.
I was really close to not buying the watch and now after a year was it worth the wait? The 4th day I had the watch the end link at 6 came loose and I could not get the spring bar to go back into place. Then as I was turning the bezel it froze. I shot an email to Lum-Tec and I still have not received a response months later. I was able with a spring bar tool to get the spring bar back in place and then a lot of hot water on the bezel and a lot of turning and it finally broke free. I have since not had any issues.
Personally I think the Chinese manufacturer is copying a Japanese process that is used to harden the steel. I don't think they know how to work with it fully yet. In some ways this watch seems like a prototype. The finishing is really nice until you get to the part where the lugs and the case meet and the crown guards with lines in the steel?? The poor fit of the end links. There is a weird effect where the brushing looks cloudy or dirty in certain areas. It is not a deal breaker but if I paid full price I am not sure how I would feel.
All that being said there are a lot of things I like and a couple that I just don't understand. Overall no watch is worth waiting a year-seriously Lum Tec!! However, it is a nice watch and if they could improve the finishing in the areas I mentioned this would be an exponentially different value proposition. I am still glad I pre-ordered and I am glad I did order the watch.
The dial is supposed to be black and this is an area where I am still not sure if I like it or hate it. It is a metallic ringed dial that goes from a very dark brown to a light metallic brown in the center. All of the photos showed only black and no lightening effect. If they were going to do this I would have liked a black to gunmetal or cold grey silver not brownish metallic?? Also with a shiny dial they did not use raised lumed indicies. Adding that the C3 X1 SL is a yellowish tint it does not provide as much contrast as if they would have simply used a flat black dial???? The generic hand set is also rather ugly a choice. And yes the crown is too small to grip?
Okay it would seem I hate this watch? There are some things I am not super happy about I must admit. I probably would have gotten the blue dial or black and orange instead of brownish metallic. I don't like brown.....but I digress. The watch has a different color to the metal due to the tempering process. I like the color better than regular stainless steel and it does seem to resist scratches to a small degree. The lume on this watch is superior to anything I own and I have a few rather impressive watches in that department as it is a fetish of mine on dive watches. Not only is the lume brighter but it lasts longer. I had the previous version and I was not impressed by the Lume. This model I am.
The Lume is seriously impressive. I also really like the double anti reflective coating on the sapphire crystal. The seconds hand has the lume dot pulled back away from the markers so you can actually see it. The large numbers and markers are very clear and even with my terrible eyes I can see the time and read the numbers without my glasses. I like the fact the dial is unique and although the hand set may be generic it is extremely legible and has enough lume to see very clearly. The fit and finish on the dial and hands is perfect.
The case and bezel are unique in the design. I like the saw tooth bezel design. I like the ceramic bezel insert and again this is the most legible in the dark lumed bezel I have used. I really don't like lumed bezels as I think they are a gimmick and do not add any functionality and actually decrease it. I like a lume dot. pip,triangle or whatever. I find over time the bezel becomes a blur and I can't tell where the 12 o clock position is. With this bezel the big lume circle at 12 is easily distinguishable from the rest of the bezel markings meaning that you can use it for timing at night. I do wish it had a few numbers but overall very well executed. The bezel is easy to grip although it can be a bit sharp and if too much downward force is applied to the bezel is hard to turn and can freeze.
I love the case back as it is unlike any case back I have ever seen and is deeply engraved and has the LT logo. The bracelet is very nice except for the end links and has one of the nicest solid metal clasps with divers extension I have had. It is like the previous generation but much smaller and more manageable. The only problem is there are no micro adjustments.
The movement has so far been excellent. I can tell it has been adjusted and regulated. Much better than the NH35 or the Miyota 9015 is the Sellita SW200 which is adjusted in 6 positions.
I also really like the fact these are assembled in the USA and are designed here as well. I feel there is a difference in the finished product regardless of the origin of the parts. My next post will be some photos.
Thanks for the review. I almost got tired of waiting myself, but I'm glad I stayed the course. The watch does have some things that can be nitpicked. One big issue for me is the crown size in relation to the rest of the watch. Although it isn't quite as bad as my Zelos Chroma (tiny crown), I'm not crazy about the feel and operation of it. Overall the movement is spot on, the lume is amazing and I have no regrets. Looking forward to your photos.
Thankfully I have these to use for the crown on my Zelos. It's almost impossible to grip to pull the crown out. Elshan gave me a really great deal on the watch. He has also worked on making future crowns with sizes that are easy to operate.