Phoibos Eagle Ray
The Phoibos Eagle Ray is the latest model from the young Chinese company, and as I state in the video review, a good step in the right direction. If you were to look at the Phoibos website, you will see most of their watches have been somewhat homages (some more than others), and the Eagle Ray is a departure from that. This model has a lot more of its own identity and is still a very affordable watch at $359. That $359 gets you a lot of watch, as you will see in the full spec list below, but to summarize, Miyota 9015 automatic, sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel, applied markers and two straps. Yep, a lot of bang for your buck as the old saying goes. But, I have always stated, just because on paper it looks to be a fantastic value, that is not always the case. Is the Eagle Ray a great deal at $359 or did they cut a lot of corners?
Phoibos Eagle Ray Specifications:
- REF.: PY017B
- Dial: Domed Dial -Glossy Blue to Black
- Caliber No.: MIYOTA 9015
- Case:316L Stainless steel
- Case size: 41mmX 47mm thickness 13.2mm
- Lug Width: 20mm
- Bezel:120-click unidirectional ceramic bezel
- Glass: Double Domed Sapphire crystal with 3 layers anti-reflective undercoating
- Band: Genuine leather strap
- Tropic rubber strap also included
- Water resistance: 300M(1000ft)
- Crown: Screw-Down crown
- Lume:15 layers Super-LumiNova BGW9 on hands, indices, and bezel marking
- Warranty: 2 year
Price $359 USD
When I talk about corners being cut, let me be clear, no matter what a $359 is usually not going to be able to compete with most $700 or $800 (or higher) watches. You will always find some things that are not as premium or as well done but then again, you are talking sub $400. I will say though, from what I have seen with this Phoibos Eagle Ray, the company is getting close to Obris Morgan Status. What I mean by that is, it looks and feels much more expensive than it is. It sometimes amazes me just how good of a microbrand watch you can get for under $500 these days. The industry has come a long way for sure.
Back again is the prominent Octopus logo on the dial, which I discussed in the Phoibos Reef Master Review. From the comments that followed both here and on Youtube, I was in the minority for not liking the Octopus. Seems that is one of the things many people like and hey, who am I to argue? We all have different tastes. For me, I still do not love it, but this dial has so much else going on, I can overlook it. I love the applied markers and the fume style dial is a nice touch. If this example is not your favorite though, they do have a black dial with old radium style paint and also a gradient blue to black dial, much like the James Cameron Rolex DSSD. My favorite aspect of the dial? The date at the 6 o’clock position.
Looking around the Phoibos Eagle Ray I can say I am very satisfied with the finishing and detail. The satin brushing is well done and smooth the subtle polish chamfers are always a nice touch. To take it a step even further, Phoibos added another finish to the Eagle Ray, a bead blasted bezel and crown. This looks really great and makes the watch stand out just a little bit more. For those wondering how the saw-tooth style bezel and crown feel on the hands, fret not, they are not sharp in the least, and both are very comfortable to rotate and use.
Like many microbrand dive watches these days, the Eagle Ray is rated to 300m of Water Resistance, more than myself and most of us will ever need. At this price, are they really tested to these depths? I would assume probably not, but hopefully, with the crown screwed in and proper care taken, they could survive the depths of your pool or the country lake. I know, it is a dive watch, and unfortunately, I am a desk diver and have never taken a watch out on the dive, but I do question how well any of these watches would hold up being used as intended. Most watch enthusiasts will never test them though, so I guess that is a moot point.
The Eagle Ray is very comfortable on the wrist for me as I am very fond of the dimensions, but the leather strap will need a lot of breaking in before I could give it a score of anything more than a C. While it is attractive with its sharkskin looking appearance, it is very stiff and also speaks a lot at the lugs. I much prefer the tropic rubber strap that is included and of course any 20mm strap you have already will fit it as well. One thing some brands still do not get is that you do not need to include multiple straps with your watches for it to be an outstanding deal. One awesome strap is better than two just okay straps.
Phoibos Eagle Ray Lume
With all the Phoibos Eagle Ray offers for the price, I have really done a lot of nitpicking here in this review. In reality, there is nothing really bad about this watch at all and I do find it to be the most attractive watch Phoibos has released to date. The crown and bezel function very well and the Miyota 9015 has long been a favorite base movement of mine. The lume is great as well, though for some reason, even though I do not care of the octopus on the dial, I was hoping it would have been lumed. This would have added no function to the watch at all and be nothing more than a gimmick, but I still think it would be nice to see. Other than the squeaky stiff leather strap, this is really a nice example of an affordable diver from Phoibos and I can see why the brand has been growing in popularity so fast.