Pheon? Pheon? What’s the deal here, Kansa – last time you wrote about this watch, you were calling it the Broad Arrow collection. And you now, you’re write, but there’s also a certain Swiss brand that feels very protective of the “broad arrow” name, so Hager wisely decided to change the name up. So, yes, we got to spend some time with the 38mm variant of the Hager Pheon GMT.
Now, if you read that prior article, you know that I’m seeing (and I think others, based on some Instagram conversations) are seeing this watch as an amalgamation of Panerai and Omega design cues. Think homage watch, but in the vein of what Doc Vail is doing over at NTH. Is this the watch for everyone? No, probably not. But given my deep-seated affection for Panerai-style sandwich dials, it is for me.
When you throw in the fact that the Hager Pheon GMT is available in a 38mm case (which is what we reviewed here) as well as a 42mm, well, sirs, you have my interest. In this design, the 38mm felt perfect. Dial was quite legible, it was comfortable on the wrist, and the bracelet thickness played well with the proportions of the case. The one fly in this ointment was the extension clasp. On a bigger watch (and thicker bracelet) I’m sure it plays well – but here, it looks and feels like a brick is on the bottom of your wrist. I think a simpler flip lock, or even butterfly clasp, would better preserve the lines.
Sure, it’s a quibble, but that’s the biggest miss for me in the design of the watch. I rather like the mixup going here, as it looks like something that I – if I had the patience, steady hands, and parts bins – could sort of mashup together on my own. Except here, you’ve got the convenience of an established brand running it through their lines (and QC) to arrive with a watch you can put on your wrist.
For everyday wear, the 38mm size of the Hager Pheon GMT is perfect. Sure, it feels weird to not have a bezel (or even an internal printed 24-hour scale) on a GMT watch, but you can sort of approximate what’s what on the 24-hour scale. While this may feel like a little of a departure for what we’ve seen from the professionally-oriented Hager, I have to applaud this dip in the the “enthusiast forum” school of design. Then again, the $1,165 price tag shows that this is more than just some parts-bin special. It won’t be for everyone, sure, but it marked off a lot of the right boxes for me. hagerwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Hager Pheon 38mm
- Price: $1,165
- Who?s it for? You like small independent brands (and Panerai and Omega)
- Would I wear it? Sure thing, I would
- What I?d change: First, that buckle needs addressing on the 38mm. Secondly, some sort of 24 hour scale (chapter ring?) would be appreciated
- The best thing about it: The under-the-radar-look
Tech Specs from Hager
- 38mm: Case Thickness: 12mm; Case Height: 45.5mm
- AISI 316L polished steel
- Scratch resistant domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating (AR)
- Dial: Gradient /Fum?/blue sunburst dial
- Movement: Swiss Made Automatic GMT movement with 42 hour power reserve
- Bracelet: 20mm tapers to 18mm
- WR: 200m (660 feet)