I like the Phoibos GREAT WHITE PY007A. Especially on leather. Frequently, when we write reviews, we’ll write some boilerplate about how some company sent us their impressive watch, and the all-too-often-repeated, “let’s have a look.” Forget it. I like this watch, and I’ll tell you why.
The green sunray dial is excellent. The ceramic bezel insert is great. The bezel click feel is solid with only a little back-play. Bezel feel is similar to the Legend, but the bezel itself is nicer. The crownguards are an homage to the 6 digit sub, although not spot on accurate – the top surface slopes down to the crest of the curve too much. This was unneccesary, they could have made the crown guards slope less. It doesn’t look bad, not nearly as awkward as the Invicta 8926OB crownguards, whose crown also sits low. The Legend gets the crownguard shape much better, and ignores that the crown sits low for the Seiko NH35 stem height. The Phoibos uses the Miyota 9015 movement, which is the more accurate between the 82xx and the 9015. They also make a version of this watch using the 82xx movement. That’s not all wrong: It’s a workhorse movement, and does just fine. Remember, the 82s7 gets used in the Seven Friday – it’s not a bad movement.
Phoibos ask $279 USD for this watch. For the money, there’s a lot to like. It’s no $50-on-sale Invicta value, but it’s a darn good watch. The Phoibos lume is far superior. I am not disappointed. Do I wish the crownguards were slightly different? Yes. Do I notice the hour hand? (I always prefer an hour hand that extends straight from the pinion. This, like many sub-type watches, scales wider as it reaches the mercedes ball.) Yes. The minute hand is excellent, with a sharp peak in the middle that catches the light. The indices on the dial are somewhat nipple-like rather than the flat metal surrounds on other watches. The cyclops is less than 2.5x magnification.
This just doesn’t matter. They pulled it together. In the class of good-beater-watches that wear well and look the part, the Spinnaker SP-5033 is a lot more rough. This is a lot more refined. The Legend has better crownguards from the side (from the top, Phoibos is better), indices and magnification (ignoring the vampire teeth at 12 on the Legend). Phoibos crownguards are fine if you look at them straight on (90% of the time, you do.) The bezel is excellent. The green is brilliant. I’m happy with what Phoibos have done here. The lume is the ever-welcome luminova C1 blue luminescent material. It glows brightly in the dark. The crown is signed, the clasp is signed, and it all comes together nicely.
So what, you ask, could possibly be wrong? Well, the bracelet is a little pedestrian, which is probably to be expected at this price point. The end links are molded rather than machined, which is fine. The clasp is the usual fold over variety that looks like something more appropriate for a Seiko. The sides are polished, the links are brushed. It’s not inappropriate, but it’s not setting the world on fire, either. The magnification could be a little bigger on the crystal cyclops. The font on the date wheel is pretty plain. None of these are deal breakers. I’m enjoying the heck out of this watch.
If I’m reaching for a watch in the morning, I’m reaching for Phoibos. It’s comfortable. It’s displaced the Spinnaker SP-5033 as my grab-n-go watch. I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to combine these different design elements together. Classically, the nipple dial indices and the ceramic bezel insert should be on watches made years apart. The collection of design choices work for it – ceramic bezel insert, nipple indices, what have you. I don’t care, it’s a pleasure to wear. I’ve easily paid double for watches with a Miyota 9015 in them, and this one is every bit as much fun to wear. Pairing it with the Clockwork Synergy Straps bomber jacket leather strap makes it perfect.
- Brand & Model: Phoibos Great White PY007A 300M Automatic
- Price: pricing starts at $279 ($169 for the PY006A powered by the Miyota 82xx)
- Who we think it might be for: You like a submariner homage, in green, with blue lume. You like a 9015 movement. I know I do.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Yes. This is right up my alley.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: slightly change the crown guards to more faithfully follow the original.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Green. Ceramic. Blue lume.
Tech Specs from Phoibos
- Case size: 40mm (47mm lug-to-lug)
- Case material: 316L stainless steel
- Crystal: flat, sapphire, with cyclops, AR coating underneath
- Strap: stainless steel bracelet with foldover clasp, push-button release
- Movement: Miyota 9015
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