The watch we’re reviewing today is not one of the affordable Swiss brands, neither is it some watch made by a famous watch brand with spiraling price tags to simply have its logo engraved on the dial. Rather, it is a startup watch brand that has shown signs of a promising future from the quality of timepieces they manufacture. Their startup project is small compared to some other startup brands we’ve encountered in Europe, but as of now they have enough sponsors needed to continue with the production of this watch.
Pharos as a watch brand started in New York City by two watch enthusiast Alex Davis and Craig Karger. The name Pharos originated from the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria also known as Pharos of Alexandria. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and it’s greatly admired for its height, providing a source of light in mighty waters to many sailors. It is based on this perception that Pharos was founded.
Since inception to date, Pharos has produced about six different collections of dive watches. Each associated with elements inspired by lighthouses especially the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The multilayered dial seems to be the most prominent and aesthetically appealing element on the watch when you take a quick look at it. Proper scrutiny of this timepiece reveals the detailed craftsmanship, unique design and all other components that draws one’s visual interest to it. Let’s look in-depth into some of these components.
316L Stainless Steel Case
All Pharos Sentinel watch cases are constructed out of 316L stainless steel and come in measurements of about 41mm width, 48mm lug-to-lug width, and 9mm thickness. These numbers in conjunction with the slightly curved lugs make the watch comfortable and sit nicely on the wrist. It is water resistant up to 200m and features some high-quality finishing details including the polished grooves and brushed notches.
Turning to the back of the case, an engraved picture of the Pharos of Alexandria can be seen together with the name of the watch. Let me draw our attention to the caseback. Although the watch possesses a top-quality movement, it still has a solid caseback. This was done so the watch can handle the pressure of deep-water diving and to reduce the number of things likely to fail underwater.
Attached to the case is either a genuine leather strap or a rubber strap — nothing extravagant or special about the straps. The watch has quick release spring bars built-in for easy swapping of straps.
Sentinel Dial and Hands
The Sentinel collection features two models; the full lume Sentinel and sunburst Sentinel B. When you look at these models, your eyes are immediately fed with visually appealing components of the watch such as the steel case detailing, the lug curvature, and the lumed crown but one distinct feature of the Pharos Sentinel is the generous usage of Swiss SuperLuminova on the dial.
The full lume Sentinel and sunburst Sentinel were designed to cater for various tastes and preference. I have one of each model, the Sentinel #2 Black PVD, and the Sentinel B #5 Sunburst dial; the major visible differences are that the Sentinel B has a sunburst dial with a partial lume ring display while the Sentinel has a sandwich dial with a full lume display. All other specifications are the same in both watches.
The Sentinel #2 Black PVD features a black PVD coated steel case with alternating case detailing of brushed and polished surfaces. It has a white and black full lume dial that emits a green glow in low light conditions.
The Sentinel B #5 Sunburst dial, on the other hand, features a stainless-steel case also with brushed and polished surfaces and a green sunburst dial with green lume on the rings. I personally prefer this to the one with the full lume because it’s more conservative and has a more dressier look. The full lume is replaced with lume only on the perimeter complemented by an attractive sunburst dial.
Above the dial is a sapphire crystal which again is a premium choice associated with luxury watches. Let me add in that Swiss Super-LumiNova lume is offered in two colors, green and blue.
Another distinctive detail is the lumed logo on the crown. It just sets them apart from other dive watches.
Sellita SW200 Movement
Powering the Pharos Sentinel is a Swiss Movement, the Sellita SW200. Swiss movements are generally preferred to Japanese movements because they have a longer power reserve, require less winding, and they are usually more efficient and reliable. This is why they are found mostly in luxury watches.
A direct competitor to the Sellita SW200 movement is the ETA‘s 2824 workhorse. The ETA 2824 movement is used by many reputable watch brands because it costs less and its more readily available than its Swiss counterpart. The use of this Swiss movement in the Pharos Sentinel come as a shock to many, this is because most watches around this price point simply use Japanese movements.
Moving to the specifics of the movement, the Sellita Caliber SW200 is an automatic movement with 26 jewels and a power reserve of about 38 hours. It operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph), its hackable and also has a quick date feature. Pharos has shown us that we can have a top caliber watch without necessarily spending thousands of dollars on it.
The Pharos Sentinel is a timepiece different from anything in the market from the lume, the crown, the dial even down to the packaging of the watch. It comes in a premium-quality grey lacquer display box that makes you want to open to take a view of what’s beneath it. It’s challenging to cram in all the superb little details of this watch into this review. Everything about the watch just seems to be right. It’s as if the manufacturers have been patiently studying all dive watches that has ever been and put all that knowledge into the creation of a single timepiece. It’s definitely worth the value.
To have a look at all the Pharos watch models available visit their official website here.