The Eagle Ray is the most expensive Phoibos yet. With good reason though; it’s their first original design – they usually opt for homages to famous diving watches – and it also has a movement upgrade to a Miyota 9015.
I think they’ve done a good job on the design front, but is it good enough to justify the higher price tag of $519 / £400? Let’s check it out.
- Dimensions: 41mm diameter x 13.2mm height x 47mm lug to lug
- Weight: 92g
- Water resistance rating: 30ATM / 300m
- Movement: Miyota 9015
- Accuracy: -8.5 sec/day
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: RRP $519 / £400; available for $359 / £275
- Buy here: http://phoiboswatch.com/products/phoibos-eagle-ray-py017b-300m-automatic-dive-watch.html
The case is a neat size, which is perfectly executed. It has shapely lines drawn along the sides and very neat edges – its makeup of finishing is of brushed sides and top, with polished shoulders.
The shark fin edging on both the bezel and the crown is not only functional in terms of it exemplifies grip, but it also adds a unique design which I really like.
The bezel insert is an eye-catching reflective ceramic, the markings are engraved within neatly. The action is beautifully smooth, and it’s so good to use thanks to that unusual but impressive shark fin grip.
Likewise with the screw-in crown; the grip is truly excellent to manipulate as well as in a visual perspective. It has a bulbous end to it with a typhoon type of logo engraved on the end – that’s not particularly relevant but it looks pretty good.
The screw-in caseback has the Phoibos octopus logo engraved within the centre, with various specifics surrounding it.
The main feature of the dial is the radial gradient emanating from the centre: a deep blue fading to a dark blue. It works effectively at drawing the eye to the centre of the dial.
The bold syringe shape hands have a polished border, allowing them to be legible and eye-catching when the light hits them.
The applied hour markers also have a polished border to match, so the dial as a whole is appealing.
The lume is strong – it’s quick to charge just from daylight and glows brightly.
Out of all the date positions, I really like 6 as it keeps the dial symmetrical. The date wheel is black which merges into the outer dial colour with minimal fuss. The window also has neat bevelling around the outer edge, which demonstrates good attention to detail.
The logo is printed in the centre of the top half, perhaps it’s a little too large? I feel that making it a tad smaller would make the entire dial a little classier. Other printing includes the water rating and automatic in the bottom half, and finally a minute track around the outside – all in white which is clean and crisp against the dark dial.
I found the strap to be really squeaky, to begin with – but it has broken in with time (although it has been a fair amount of time!).
I’m not sure on the top textured pattern, a kind of cross-hatch finish which is an acquired taste. I’m not entirely sure it goes too well with the diving theme.
It is thick, supple, and good quality, however. It’s also supposedly waterproof – but I never fully trust that statement regarding leather straps.
The tang buckle is fairly plain and standard, which is a disappointment. It has the Phoibos logo lightly engraved on the top bar (again, not the best for a watch costing £400). The brushed finish will be able to repel hairline scratches easily enough.
The movement powering the Phoibos Eagle Ray is the highly regarded Miyota 9015; a direct affordable competitor to the Swiss Made automatics such as the ETA 2824 and Sellita SW200. It’s not amazing to look at – but you can’t see it here anyway – but it does match the specs well: a high beat rate of 28.8k bph (8 ticks a second), 42 hours power reserve, 24 jewels, hacking seconds, as well as hand and automatic winding capabilities.
The movement is coming in at +8.5 seconds / day, which is perfectly acceptable for my liking.
I’ve been very impressed by Phoibos’ first foray into original designed timepieces. The RRP of $519 / £400 is a bit too steep for my liking, but the fact that it’s available for $359 / £275 is much more reasonable.
Of course, with pretty much every watch there are negatives: the squeaky leather strap doesn’t quite go, and the buckle is a disappointment. Perhaps the logo is too big. But these are the only things.
Key elements I really like are: firstly the movement, as at the lower price, the alternatives are all housing the lesser specced Seiko NH35. Visually, though, they’ve done a great job. I love the shark fin style grip on the bezel and crown – very unique in looks, but also extremely functional. The crisp, reflective ceramic bezel insert is a plus, and the gradient dial is eye-catching.
It’s a decent, solid effort from Phoibos that is sure to impress.