28 Jul Phoibos Eagle Ray PY025C Dive Watch Review
Another High Quality Watch From Phoibos!
I was able to get my hands on the new Phoibos Eagle Ray 300 a few weeks ago and I have to say, I’m impressed once again by the quality and value that the brand delivers. I’ve stated it several times before, the dive watch market is saturated at almost every price point and you can’t go far without finding a solid watch.
So, it’s always a challenge for a manufacturer to wade into the fray with a new watch. This time, Phoibos brings to the table a beautiful, well thought out, traditional dive style watch.
The watch has checked all the standard boxes you have come to expect from Phoibos and definitely throws down a gauntlet to many other watches at the $300 price point.
The Eagle Ray PY025C is a solidly built watch with a Seiko NH35 inside and continues the line of earlier Eagle Ray watches from Phoibos. Some of the models include limited edition bronze versions and some with really cool meteorite dials.
Am Excellent Bracelet
This time, Phoibos has changed the movement and upped the stakes with an excellent bracelet version. Perhaps the biggest addition to this one is the bracelet and I want to talk about it first, because it’s excellent.
I don’t understand why more companies don’t put a few extra dollars to deliver a better bracelet, but most at this price point are weak. Not so with the Phoibos.
Solid end links meet up to nice brushed and polished connecting links held together by screws. The highlight of the bracelet has to be the clasp; the milled clasp is solid and finished and is held together by a great buckle with three micro adjustments.
The buckle is thicker (kind of like the style that comes on some Hamiltons) and gives the watch a very nice finished feel. All the buckle edges are chamfered and don’t ‘hook’ you or your shirt seem, etc. The clasp also has double push buttons for release and the entire bracelet has a high quality feel.
As we get into the watch itself, you will see you get a pretty decent time piece that’s reasonably priced. The watch itself doesn’t break any new ground or have a super original look, yet, it’s still a beautiful watch to behold. I think that shows the expertise in Phoibos, that with a few select touches, they can take a standard diver and give it some class.
To me, when the Eagle Ray is on the wrist, it looks like it costs substantially more than the retail price.
It’s Got All The Looks
To me, when the Eagle Ray is on the wrist, it looks like it costs substantially more than the retail price. This is true of a lot of Phoibos watches I have handled, they really give you so much more money than other brands. It’s nice to see Phoibos deliver a fantastic watch at the right price.
Phoibos started with a solid 316L stainless steel case that has a nice taper at the lugs. The Eagle Ray is on the smaller side for dive watches, but I think this is a good thing as the watch becomes more usable at the 41mm case width dimension. With this size, the watch becomes a real competitor to the Orient Mako USA, Hamilton Scuba and a whole host of other microbrands.
The caseback is engraved with the Phoibos octopus logo along with some writing around the edge stating water resistance, movement, etc. A signed crown with awesome contouring is easy to screw in and out and has a succinct ‘pop’ when twisting.
On the front, the watch is a definite looker, the cut bezel has a buzz saw design to it and looks great. One thing about Phiobos, many of their original watches are just that, original. They aren’t afraid to put unique texturing or cuts into bezels, cases and so on. If you want to see what I mean, check out my review of the Phoibos Great Wall here.
The Lume Will Not Let You Down
A fully-lumed, ceramic bezel surrounds the glossy black dial. The Eagle Ray comes in four color choices: red, green, blue and the black you see here. As we expect, the dial receives a healthy dose of lume and it doesn’t disappoint. The applied indices have a formal look to them and are surrounded by a silver gilt edge. The hand set carries the same design as the indices, lumed centers with a nice edge to them. There are so many names for hands on a watch that I can’t keep up, but I think these are called a syringe style. Whatever the official name, they are striking.
Crisp Bezel Action
The bezel action is also fantastic. It has a nice firm ratchet to it and with the unique cuts, it’s very easy to rotate. It has the slightest hint of a little play in it, but still seems firm enough that it would stay in place under some hard bumps.
A black background date window at the bottom is complimented by the Phoibos logo at the top along with a sharp seconds hand that has a lollipop of lume near the end. All this adds up to a bit more of an upscale look than just a basic diver. The gloss from the bezel and dial really combine to give the watch a nice presence.
All this adds up to a bit more of an upscale look than just a basic diver. The gloss from the bezel and dial really combine to give the watch a nice presence.
Now, it may look a little more refined, but the watch still carries 300 meters of water resistance, and with a sapphire crystal and sturdy build, the watch feels ready for action. The crystal is not only sapphire but also has a mild dome to it with three layers of anti-reflective coating.
Seiko On The Inside
Inside is the ‘standard’ microbrand Seiko NH35. By now, everyone knows it’s a solid movement with no frills. Some of them keep excellent time while others show erratic behavior. In the time I’ve had the Eagle Ray (which has seen substantial wrist time) it’s been running about 20 seconds fast, consistently. I can live with that.
I think the evolution of the Eagle Ray line to include a bracelet version is a nice touch and considering how well constructed it is, you would be silly to overlook this watch if you’re in the market. There are a number of coupon codes floating around out there for 10% off, which drops the price down to $270. For that money, it’s hard to pass up.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.