Phoibos is a young, zesty brand which always gets me excited because you can usually expect something that strays from ordinary and that is what we have with the Reef Master PY015B. The Phoibos name stems from Greek mythology as the other name for Apollo, the god of light, which gives the piece a bit of shine. This is the first time I’ve had my hands on a Phoibos and I was pleased with its quality feel and the smart design. This piece is made for rigorous use and I am sure it will stand up to most tests.
The Diamond-like coating isn’t completely uncommon in watches but I haven’t seen it applied quite as wonderfully, as has been done with the Reef Master, in many other timepieces. The DLC coating gives the piece some extra protection against scratching and other damage by applying some of the characteristics of diamond strength.
The 42mm case size means that it will fit well on most wrists but the 14mm thickness does make it a bit cumbersome and results in the bezel hooking and turning on longer sleeves. The caseback is screwed down and has the Phoibos octopus printed on the back.
The crown, also stamped with the octopus, is a screw down crown, which together with the tight caseback allow this piece to boast its 300m water resistant rating. Inside this tough exterior is the Seiko NH35 movement which is one of the mechanical movements the Phoibos team like to make use of for their more affordable pieces.
It is a 24 jewel mechanism with a 41 hour power reserve that goes at an unspectacular but efficient 21,600 bph. The accuracy is about 13 seconds a day.
Reef Master Dial
I am not sure what type of watch Phoibos would have in its collection but the Reef Master would be a top contender. The black dial is attractive and unlike many other dials I have come across. The white markers are indented and filled with SuperLumiNova for excellent night vision.
Only the 6, 9 and 12 hour markers have the Arabic numerals with the rest using line indexes. There is a subtle light shade of blue at each hour marker and on both the minute and second hands.
The bulky baton hands are also filled with lume and make for perfect visibility due to their size. The Phoibos octopus makes another appearance just under the 12 o’clock and the water resistant rating and automatic movement disclaimer are in a small print at the bottom which means they aren’t this big, bulging eye sore font that a number of watchmakers like to use.
A small date window at 3 o’clock on the other hand could probably have been slightly bigger.
Crazy Horse Strap
The strap is made from crazy horse leather (a fantastical name for saddle leather) that will change over time from contact and friction with the world around you. It has a special wax layer that makes the look possible.
The Reef Master also comes with a rubber strap if you are looking for something more uniform but I really like the crazy horse leather because it can dress up and instead of aging poorly takes on a vintage appearance over time. The blue stitching goes well with the other blue accents and the light blue glow of the SuperLumiNova. Nothing special about the tang buckle but the entire piece doesn’t need to be made up of all-star appendages, it’s alright to have the part there that you know does their job day in and day out.
The Reef Master is really comfortable and not too heavy. The crazy horse leather strap is such a great addition for me and I would recommend letting it age so that it has that classically vintage look. Phoibos gladly went for an original look with this timepiece and it paid off brilliantly! The movement might need some work every few years but it is a standard movement that shouldn’t be too expensive to have touched up. I have to be completely honest and say the octopus is a bit weird for me but the rest of the dial isn’t too packed with nonsense so it doesn’t come across as too in your face. Phoibos have done themselves proud!
To have a look at the entire range of Phoibos watches visit their official website here.