(3.8 / 5)
In this review I will be taking a closer look at a newly released from from one of my favourite microbrands Phoibos! They make really good watches for the money and is a brand I recommend for anyone seeking to start their automatic watch collection with something fun, unique and affordable.
This is Phoibos first GMT watch, and despite it being very practical and functional for any seasoned traveller, it also looks great and really shines in its own “Phoibos” way.
I present to you, the Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT!
I don’t know if Phoibos has upgraded their boxes, but this box is much better than the one I received my Phoibos Sentinel in! It’s a very cool looking box with a nice interior finish.
You immediately notice how light the watch is, and when it comes to small quartz watches, that’s usually the case. Another unusual feature of this watch is how every shines except the watch case, which is sandblasted. This really puts more emphasis on the dial and the outer bezel ring. A very cool contrast!
The watch fits nicely during the first try, which I find quite rare when it comes to tropical rubber straps. I never read the manuals for any watch i get, so i had fun playing around with the 2 crown, and to my surprise you can adjust the GMT hand individually form the other hands! Useful for timing longer periods of time.
All in all, a great unboxing with zero disappointments!
A closer look
The theme of the dial here is “shiny”!
With a glossy green gradient to black dial, polished applied indices, polished hands, glossy inner bezel ring and silver printed chapter ring, this watch sure does shine well in the light!
The green in the middle of the dial is still very dark, giving this dial a great contrast and easy readability of the time! The applied indices are uniform in shape and shine and the chapter ring prints are crisp and shines uniformly. I feel like this watch has a smaller octopus logo than the other models and it also shines like the chapter ring, which I think looks great! You wouldn’t expect an applied logo this complicated on a watch at this price, but the silver print almost gives you that feeling.
The date window has a nice applied polished metal edge and the date nicely centered in the middle.
The inner bezel
Slightly less impressive than the dial, the inner GMT bezel is made from a black glossy material which has cut-out markers that reveals the BWG9 lume behind it (except the 12 o’clock marker which is printed on the ring). This ensures a crisper look and some nice reflections at the edge of the markers due to the rounded edge.
They chose to use a very “round” font for the bezel, with very few sharp angles, perhaps to save costs. It reminds me of the font they use on Panerai dials, but with less of the spiral “serif” that Panerai is so famous for.
The case, from the exception of the small outer bezel ring, is completely sandblasted which gives the watch more of a tool look. I think this is a good choice, considering how shiny the thest of the watch is, and also helps highlight the polished crowns.
The case is machined well enough but remains rather standard, which is understandable for this price range.
The back case, as is customary with GMT watches, features many of the popular cities and their time difference, so you don’t have to look it up on Google 🙂
The Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT features large polished syringe hands that makes it very easy to tell time at a glance, even in the dark thanks to the impressive BWG9 lume (my favourite).
The second hand is a fun little lollipop hand that matches the applied indices. The GMT hand has the same width as the second shand, so only the broad arrow at the tip catches the attention. This size hiearchy makes it easy to read the time without being distracted.
Also, many GMT watches features a completely red GMT hand, but this one does not, and I kind of like that!
Something that surprised me was that you can change the position of the GMT hand individually from the other hands, so you don’t have to turn the inner bezel to see another timezone. A very cool feature (just turn the lowest crown counter clockwise, in position 2) !
The 2 polished crown features a nice grip, which help unscrew them to set the time or turn the inner bezel. This is important since they are quite small and doesn’t stick out too much from the case. Each crown also features a small Phoibos logo applied on top of the tip.
The crowns moves slightly when unscrewed, but at this price I wasn’t expecting the rock solid crown action that i see on higher end pieces.
Since GMT’s complications are most useful for travelers, Phoibos has chosen to fit this watch with a very appropriate tropical rubber strap. They ensure great comfort in hot and humid conditions, but also in very cold parts of the planet.
The strap itself was very supple from the beginning, was easy to wear in and is very comfortable to wear for everyday use. The strap buckle is a standard generic buckle, with a beat blasted finish to match the case. I wouldn’t expect more than such a buckle at this price range.
On a side note, this watch is great for nato straps as well!
This watch is powered by the Ronda 515 – 24h quartz movement. I usually prefer mechanical movements, but in this case is serves the watch quite well. The watch is cheaper and if you buy this for travelling, precision is important and quartz beats mechanical movements any time of day! Also, they can keep the watch smaller and lighter, which is also important if you are a backpacker traveller!
What could be better
When I received the Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT, the hour hand wasn’t aligned with the hours indices. But i if you set the watch to 20h15 and then turn the clock back to 20h, they align perfectly.
Unfortunately, the seconds hand isn’t perfectly aligned with the printed silver markers on the chapter ring and there is nothing I can do about it. Perhaps this is not the case on other watches, and I was just unlucky. If you decide to buy one, please comment on this review to let others, and Phoibos, know that this is a recurring problem.
I would also have liked to see an integrated case that surrounds the crystal, instead of an attached polished outer bezel ring, but this is more of a subjective critique.
I think the price is very fair
You can get this watch for 200 USD (180 Euros). Even though it is quartz, the dial is well made, the finishes are nicely applied and everything works smoothly!
The Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT keeps the spirit of Phoibos in a very affordable and good looking watch, with functionality in mind. If you are a traveller, or simply want your first GMT watch without spending too much money, this watch is for you. You can get a slightly cheaper GMT watch if you visit Timex, but it doesn’t look this good and doesn’t have applied indices, 300M water resistance or that cool “compressor” look with the inner bezel.
Simply put, you get a lot of fun, style and functionality for the money! And i am not surprised, because this is what Phoibos stands for 🙂
You can buy the watch here, or check out their other watches.