Manufacturer: Phoibos | Price: $390 USD
So here we are then, I’ve finally managed to get a Phoibos in for review. I had to pay for it myself though, so it’s just as fuckin’ well I liked the initial renders that I saw. I ordered this Nebula model on the day of release, and just a few days later it arrived from their warehouse in the UK. Yup, you’re right, I didn’t know they had one either! Since I started Zaltek Reviews back in 2018, I’ve tried to get various models in for review from Phoibos, but never received a single response to any of my requests. Hopefully they’ll read this and consider me for future models. Try as I might, even to this day, I am still disappointed that I never got to review their Great Wall model. It’s not as if I can buy everything, I’d be fuckin’ bankrupt quicker than you can say, “You’re putting weight on Will…” “aye, cause everytime I shag your wife, she makes me a sandwich!” I digress… this new Phoibos Nebula sports watch then. Is it any good, or just a hyped pile of dog shit?
- Dimensions: Case – 40.3mm, Thickness – 10.8mm, Lug to Lug – 45.8mm, Lug Width – 20mm
- Movement: Miyota 9015, 28,800vph, Hackable, Self Winding, 42hr Power Reserve
- Case: Brushed & Polished 316L Stainless Steel
- Bezel: Fixed, Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
- Dial: Gradient Vertical Brushing, Sandwich Construction, Date at 6
- Lume: Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 (15 Layers)
- Bracelet: Brushed & Polished 316L Stainless Steel, Solid Links, Screw Pins, Custom Milled Clasp
- Crystal: Flat Sapphire, Anti-Reflective Coatings (3 Layers)
- Water Resistance: 150m / 15ATM / 500ft
- Caseback: Screw Down, Embossed Phoibos Logo
- Crown: 6mm, Screw Down, Signed
- Weight: 141g (Sized up for my 6¾″ wrist)
- Where to Buy: Phoibos / Phoibos Europe
- Warranty: 2 Years International
Phoibos Nebula Colour Options
Case & Crown
The case of the Phoibos Nebula has a total diameter of 40.3mm. The lug to lug is 45.8mm and the overall thickness I measured in at a beautifully svelte 10.8mm. The case, fixed bezel, caseback, crown and bracelet are all 316L stainless steel. The finishing of the case is mostly brushed, but with the addition of polished chamfered edges that run along the top edge of the case and down over the lugs. Overall, it looks stunning as the quality of the finishing is top notch! The brushing is lovely and buttery smooth to the touch. The polishing too, is like a mirror. It’s certainly a step above, quality wise, over most microbrands that I can think of. The Phoibos Nebula has a water resistance rating of 150m, which is more than enough if you ask me, considering that this is essentially a sports watch.
The proportions of the Phoibos Nebula are absolutely spot on, with its relatively compact design, super-comfortable bracelet and it wears so bloody well on wrist that I sometimes have to check to see if I’m still wearing a watch. The signed crown is nicely sized at 6mm, looks great with it’s nicely detailed embossed logo and there’s no cheesy polishing to be found on it anywhere. The crown is also a piece of cake to operate with oodles of grip and there’s absolutely no wobble either when the crown is in use. As you can see in the image below, regarding the screw down caseback, we are greeted with yet another Phoibos logo staring back at us. Some aren’t keen on Phoibos’ choice of logo. Personally speaking, I think it’s great, it’s certainly way better than just boring old text, that’s for sure!
Strap / Bracelet
Forget absolutely everything I’ve ever wrote in my past reviews regarding bracelets that other microbrands have used. You might think that this bracelet looks like just any other jubilee right? WRONG! This bracelet is definitely not an off-the-shelf item. The bracelet has most definitely been manufactured with only the best materials available, the build quality is friggin’ outstanding and the tolerances are tighter than erm… a nun’s fandango!?
We also certainly get all the key aspects of a very good premium bracelet here that I’m forever banging on about in my reviews, solid links throughout, female end links, top quality screws and a fully milled custom clasp, that should make you look twice once you see it in person. The links themselves are relatively short and a tiny bit chunky in comparison to other jubilee’s I’ve seen, but the 3x micro-adjustment holes are plentiful to ensure you get a perfectly snug fit. *Edit* Oh aye, I’ve forgotten again… measurements… the bracelet is 20mm at the lugs, that tapers down to 17.5mm and it’s 20.5mm at the fully milled & signed clasp.
Movement / Accuracy
The chosen movement for the Phoibos Nebula is the high beat, smooth sweep Miyota 9015. This slim, Japanese movement is self-winding, has 24 jewels and the oscillating weight spins up, giving you up to a respectable 42 hour power reserve. The balance runs at 28,800vph (4Hz) and the movement itself is also hackable. Checking the accuracy on my trusty timegrapher, after running the Nebula for approximately two weeks, I was extremely impressed with the final results, with the Phoibos Nebula coming in at precisely +/-0 seconds per day, with zero beat error. I can’t really complain about that can I? Total perfection!!
Dial, Bezel & Hands
Thankfully, Phoibos also made the decision to include a perfectly executed date window at the 6 o’clock position, that’s colour-matched too. Sweet! Next up, are these proportionately styled hour and minute hands that are actually really nicely executed and manufactured. The lumed baton shaped section of the seconds hand is rather scrumptious too, and the actual tip of the hand does reach right out to the very inside edge of the minute track. It might have been a good idea to finish the tip of the seconds hand in a contrasting colour though, maybe? I dunno, I’m just thinking out loud. As I said, it’s just an idea from a design prospective.
The lume of this Phoibos Nebula is actually executed very nicely indeed. Initially, it is quite potent and even although it will of course fade over time, I still found it legible during the wee small hours. The actual formula that’s been used here on this version of the Phoibos Nebula is Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9. There are other versions of the Nebula however, that utilise Super-LumiNova® Old Radium, which is normally rather shit in my experience, although to be fair to Phoibos, I don’t have any other version here, so who knows, it might actually be half decent. Personally speaking, I would stick with the BGW9 versions of the Nebula.
The Phoibos Nebula is a bit of a bargain when you take everything into account and actually take a moment to consider what you’re getting here for your $390. The fit & finish are just bang on, the execution, the tight tolerances, just absolutely everything about this watch is nothing more than just, let me think of the words that best describes the Nebula from Phoibos… ABSOLUTELY FUCKIN’ AWESOME! I’m actually really glad I bought this, as it’s going nowhere anytime soon. I love the design, the way it wears on wrist, and that bracelet & clasp are just fantastic! The Nebula is definitely up there with the best microbrands I’ve reviewed.