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REVIEW: The LÜM-TEC M51>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Published on 10-14-2011 11:08 AM

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Review of the LÜM-TEC M51
By: John B. Holbrook, II

As I mentioned in my article on my recent trip to LÜM-TEC's headquarters, I picked up my third LÜM-TEC - the M51, which is part of LÜM-TEC's M Auto series of watches:


The M51 is my first black PVD (Physical vapor deposition) coated watch. All-black watches have been en vogue for what...five years now? Admittedly, I'm not exactly on the cutting edge of style and it can take me a while to come around to these sorts of changes. When they first started hitting the market, I can't say I was a huge fan of all-black watches, and thought the style would be a flash-in-the-pan which would quickly pass. However, the all-black style seems to be more than a passing trend - nearly every watch manufacturer out there now offers an all-black watch model using some gee-whiz process to coat it with some nigh indestructible black material. In the case of the M51, The PVD process is used to coat the 316L stainless steel watch with a thin, black titanium carbide coating. The end result is a watch with greatly enhanced scratch resistance, and an uber-cool stealthy/tactical black look. The three-piece case of the M51 is 44mm in diameter, with 24mm wide lugs, and has a water resistance rating of 100 meters/330 ft. thanks to the double diamond sealing system, and screw-down crown. Despite my early objections to the all-black watch style, I find myself very drawn to the M51.


Like many LÜM-TEC offerings, the M51 comes with not only a metal bracelet, but a leather strap and a rubber strap. The metal bracelet features solid center and end links, adjustable links held in place with friction pins, and the bracelet is also PVD coated with titanium carbide to be a perfect match to the case. The metal bracelet also features a nice two-button clasp with a flip-up safety latch.


It's certainly a nice enough bracelet that many will use almost exclusively, but in my personal opinion strap options are more fun with this style of a watch. LÜM-TEC was kind enough to allow me to have another non-stand option with this watch - a black strap with red stitching which looks fantastic with my custom red second hand:



As you can see, the signed clasp on the red stitched strap is also PVD coated for an excellent and durable match to the case. During this Summer when the weather turns warmer, I think I'll get quite a bit of use out of the as-always well done rubber strap which is also included with the M51, and like wise has a case matching PVD buckle:


The dial of the M51 has a very traditional LÜM-TEC design (black dial with white Arabic numerals and markers) which provides high-contrast and maximum visibility when the lights are on. Turn out the lights, and the proprietary LÜM-TEC MDV luminescent coating on the hands and markets provide amazing low-light visibility:


Turning to the backside of the M51, we find the new (introduced in 2009) Miyota 9015 movement. I will admit that, like many mechanical watch enthusiasts, I was skeptical when I saw LÜM-TEC starting to implement the Miyota 9015 into their products. But the M51 is my second watch with this movement, and my first-hand experience with it coupled with hearing about

LÜM-TEC's experience with the movement during my visit to their facilities has alleviated any concerns I may have had with the movement. The Miyota 9015 is a high-beat Japanese automatic movement with 24 jewels, 28,800 vph, (vibrations per hour) a power reserve of over 42 hours, and a unidirectional winding rotor. I've had lots of personal experience with the predecessor Miyota movement, the 8215 automatic movement (used in the Invicta 8926) and there's simply no comparison between the two movments. In addition to the greater jewel count and higher beat speed, the 9015 "hacks" when the winding stem is fully extended (the second hand stops) - a feature most Swiss mechanical movements have and long wanted in a Miyota movement from mechanical watch fans.


The Miyota 9015 is also considerably more well decorated than the Miyota 8215 predecessor and looks very attractive beneath the sapphire crystal observation window in the case back of the M51:


Both examples of the Miyota 9015 I've tested on my watch tester performed exceedingly well, which is a testimony to the new movement as well as the fact that LÜM-TEC accuracy adjusts every mechanical watch they sell before it leave the factory. This particular example was gaining just one (1) second per day!


As a supplement to my written photo review, I've also recorded some high definition video footage of the M51:

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The retail price of the LÜM-TEC M51 is $835.00 and is available with a phantom glass edition as well. Whether you choose some customized options as I did, or one of the standard editions, you'll be extremely well satisfied with the LÜM-TEC M51. You know, I'm beginning to think this all-black watch thing just might catch on....

**Photos & Text Copyright 2011 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

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