The Blacklist arrives in a large dual lid watch box, that reminds you of a few other brands, but it is not just a normal clamshell box, and is a nice presentation. No instruction manual is included, rather you can go to the Blacklist website and download it for each of their models. (Their other model is dubbed the Renegade.)
I imagine one of the reasons this watch is called the Phantom, is because of its lack of lume, and its black painted hands. It is more of a subdued look, with the exception of the racing green chrono and second hands. Part of the design aspect for Blacklist Watches was Justin’s love of supercars, hence the Lamborghini Verde Ithaca green and the use of carbon fiber, something seen in a lot of racing automobiles.
The stainless steel case and bracelet are done in a brushed finish throughout and add to the rugged look of the watch. I feel this was a good way to go, as high polish could have made it look to much like a fashion watch and not the nice wristwatch they were going for. The sporty look is definitely there with the dial, and adding to that is chrome outlined hands and applied solid chrome markers. One thing I appreciate is that the dial is not over branded with a bunch of logos, or a ton of text. For a chronograph, it is an easy to read dial. I have not had the Renegade model in hand, but from looking at photos, it has black skeleton hands that make it hard to read against the carbon fiber dial. The Phantom is much easier to read in my opinion at a glance. While this is easier to read than the other model, it does not have any lume applied to it at all, so seeing the time on the dark on this version will prove difficult without a flashlight. Blacklist giveth and they also taketh away.
When it comes to branding, one area that I wish they did have a logo would be the massive 12mm crown. I am not sure if this was done intentionally or not, or maybe Justin was afraid of placing logos or branding on too much of the watch, but the crown is just begging for something extra. With how large it is, and the knurling on the edges, it is very easy to grasp and use, it just looks a little generic to me is all.
The case back is your standard fare, with the Blacklist name engraved into it , along with other pertinent information, including your limited edition number. The movement is the Ronda 3540.D that includes these functions: 30 minute / 12 hour counter, Date and small second. As far as durability, this movement should be able to hold up well, and I have not had any issues with other Swiss Ronda movements in the past. Of course, another determining factor of how the movement holds up is the assembly of the watch itself and how well it was put together.
The solid stainless steel bracelet is 22mm in width with no taper, and a push button clasp with flip lock safety. The bracelet is pretty standard, along with the clasp, but is solid and well finished. A few things I would change would probably be the lack of half links, as with watch this large and only 3 micro adjustments in the clasp, it would help to get the perfect fit. Another thing would be the use of friction pins for the links, as opposed to screws. With a retail price of $599, I think these things should be included.
On my wrist, while it is large, it is well balanced in weight and feels pretty good. I will say that 48mm is a little past my comfort zone these days as far as size goes, but I did enjoy wearing it, and was able to get a good fit on my 7 ½ inch wrist.
I feel that the Phantom (and Renegade) is a good start for Blacklist, and they are definitely on the right track. They went the Swiss Made route, when these days it is easy to go to China or elsewhere, and they also used some nice materials with the sapphire crystal and carbon fiber dial. There are almost always things that can be improved, but I commend Blacklist for designing a watch from scratch, and not using a catalog case like so many do these days. If you are looking for something large, and a little different that will stand out, you might want to check one out.
Blacklist will also be introducing a smaller, automatic model, possibly next year and have already started designing it in terms of colors and specs, so keep an eye out on their Facebook or Instagram for more info.
You can see more of Blacklist models and their variations HERE. Thank you to Blacklist Watches for providing the Phantom for review. Please leave your comments or suggestions below.
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