Spectre Phantom II
A famous quote is that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, and if we go by that quote, IWC and Gerald Genta would be very flattered. Yes, the Spectre Phantom II definitely takes its design cues from the IWC Ingenieur, a very popular watch in the IWC lineup. Now, as I have discussed in the past, everyone has their own take on homages, so we will not get into that debate here, but just like Rolex homages and Panerai homages, this is another take on a famous style from a famous brand. The Phantom II is the second version of this series, as I am sure you already surmised, and there are quite a few differences, most notably the size, and the movement. The Phantom II comes in at $680, which is a pretty good price to get into this style of watch.
Spectre Phantom II Specifications:
- 39mm Stainless Steel Case
- 48.5mm Lug to Lug
- 11.5mm Thick
- 168 Grams
- Screw Down Crown
- Sapphire Crystal
- STP1-11 Automatic Movement
- 100 Meters Water Resistant
- Steel Bracelet and Leather Strap
Price as shown $680 USD
Instead of rewriting in my own words the brand’s story, I will direct you to their website for all of that info HERE. As you can see, Spectre Watches hails from Singapore and that is where the watches will ship from. My review unit was shipped DHL Express and arrived in the US in about 4 days. As I mentioned already, this is the second Phantom and with that, some significant changes. The biggest change, in my opinion, is the movement. The original had the Miyota 8200 series, and this time has been upgraded to the Swiss STP1-11 movement, the Swiss Movement produced by Fossil. Any change from the 8200 series is a big improvement, and if you are one that likes to be able to watch your movement work, there is an exhibition case back to do so.
The other difference between the first and second versions would be the size. Normally, when a brand changes the size of a watch, they usually go up in diameter. That is not the case here, as the Spectre Phantom II shrunk from 41mm, down to 39mm. I think 41mm is a perfect size for this style of watch, but I have to say, I did not really notice the 39mm size with this watch, it did not feel small to me, even though I do not wear watches below 40mm at all in my day to day life. This is something that is always going to be subjective of course, but many microbrands are going towards smaller case sizes these days, and from what I have seen, the reception has been good.
Because the design of this watch is so similar to the IWC mentioned above, I want to concentrate more on the quality and finishing of the Spectre Phantom II, rather than overall design. This watch is very impressive for the price, with multi-directional satin-brushed finishing throughout the watch, and accented areas of high polish, such as the edges of the bezel and outer edges of the bracelet. It allows the watch to be sporty and casual, but still, look great when heading into the office or a night on the town. Speaking of sporty, not only does the Phantom have 100m of water resistance, but it also includes a screw-down crown, something that you do not regularly see on a watch of this style.
There are two options when it comes to choosing the Spectre Phantom II: The sunburst dial, as shown here, both in either black or blue, and a textured dial that honestly I do not know how to describe, but it is limited to only 25 pieces per color (again, blue or black) and I will just direct you to it HERE for a look. There are quite a few details I like about this dial, one being that it is fairly clean dial, with only two lines of text, followed by the date at the 6 o’clock position, which allows for nice symmetry on the dial. Spectre chose not to write out their brand either; they chose to go with simplicity and just have their logo prominently displayed under the 12 o’clock marker. My only knock here is that the logo is printed on the dial, as opposed to applied like all the indices, and I feel had they done this, it would look a little more upscale.
Even though the logo is printed on the dial, it does get a reprieve in that it does glow in the dark, something that is un-needed but is a nice extra touch. C1 Superluminova is used here on the hands and indices and while this is not diving watch territory lume, it is more than sufficient and keeps a subtle glow in the dark for a few hours.
One of the most important aspects of a watch for me, and for most watch enthusiasts, is the fit. If it is your first time here on Watchreport, I have a 7 1/2 inch wrist. Removing a link and this watch fits me just perfect, but a few things to keep in mind. The Spectre Phantom II will fit up to an 8-inch wrist max, so if you have a wrist larger than that, you will need to see if extra links are available from the company. That brings me to another area that of contention. Your options for straps are the bracelet, or the included alligator patterned leather strap. That is it. Both are custom fit, so the only way you will be able to wear another strap is to have one done by a custom leather strap maker, and that can get pricey. I will just state it bluntly here if you have over an 8-inch wrist and you are not looking to spend more money, both the leather and steel bracelet will not fit you, so keep that in mind.
It is not rare at all to see an inspired design in the watch world, and let’s face it, this particular design is very popular in the luxury watch market. Spectre Watches are not the only microbrand doing it either, though I would say they are in a unique price category. They are not as cheap as some out on the market, but an example that would set you back quite a bit more would be the Pelton Perseus, which is touted as being American Made and will set you back $3000 USD. I have not handled the Pelton, so I can not comment on quality and such, but from looking at photos on their website, the screws in the bezel do not line up as they do on this Spectre Phantom II, which is surprising to see on a $3000 watch. This watch offers a lot for its $680 price and quality is definitely there. This style of watch has never really appealed to me, at least not yet, but you never know, 10 years from now this style might be one of my grails. If you love this style, this Phantom is worth a look for sure.