First off I want to say I like the Phoibos Wave Master a lot. With some design elements similar to the Tudor Black Bay and a few other watches, it is in my opinion an amazing watch for the money. The Wave Master has a 316L stainless steel polished and brushed case with a fully lumed beveled ceramic bezel and a flat, slightly beveled and raised sapphire crystal with inner a/r. All 11 round and rectangular applied polished edge indices are lumed using Super LumiNova Dark blue and BGW9. The Phoibos octopus logo and watch information are printed in white on the wave pattern face. In this example the face and bezel are blue, which to me seem appropriate with the wave face pattern. The thin orange second hand has a lumed lollipop tail which works nicely with the orange minute/second markers of the sloped chapter ring. The watch has a six o’clock black on white date window, which give the watch face perfect symmetry.
The solid machined and signed, gear edged and beveled top, 3 o’clock screw down crown does not have a crown guard. The left and right sides of the case are polished and beveled. The 120 click unidirectional coin edge bezel is extremely solid with no back play that I can detect. The only other areas of the watch that are polished are the sides of the six sided engineered bracelet links and the sides of the folding, push button release clasp and the flip lock clasp. The Phoibos name only appears once on the watch, etched in block letters on the brushed stainless face of the flip lock clasp. The two, solid, folding clasp links fit into the three position micro adjustable clasp. I found the screws of the individual bracelet links difficult to turn and as such I recommend going to a jeweler for link removal, if needed. The screw down brushed stainless case back is well engraved with watch information as well as a the brand’s large centered octopus logo.
The Wave Master is rated for 300 M W/R. It measures 42 mm in diameter, 48.5 mm lug to lug, 14 mm thick and the non tapering bracelet is 22 mm across, a very popular and comfortable sized dive watch, in my opinion. Powering this watch is the extremely popular SII NH35A automatic movement from Seiko’s Time Module company. This manual wind and hacking capable movement is rated 21,600 vibrations per hour, has 24 jewels and is rated for more than 41 hours. Manufactured in either Malaysia or Japan, this movement is rated accurate to -20 to +40 seconds a day. My example is about 5 seconds a day slow.
Flaws? The indices on the face could be a little larger, the hour and minute hands could be a little bit bolder and the 12 o’clock octopus logo on the face could be a little smaller. When compared to this watch, where does the Tudor Black Bay (and other similar very expensive dive watches) really outperform? The Tudor’s 70 hour power reserve and COSC accuracy is superb, but at a price that is at least 14 times higher. Other forms of certification really do not mean much except to very serious divers. Finish, materials, comfort, design and general overall quality are very high in the roughly $229 Wave Master, which is available in black with black bezel, green with black bezel and blue with blue bezel.
All models, except the green, are offered with or without the date window. Green is only offered without the date window, according to the Phoibos website at this time. This watch has been getting lots of press and reviews lately and I can see why. Who else offers a great looking, comfortable, well built and finished, 316L dive watch with engineered bracelet, Seiko or equivalent powered automatic movement with a fully lumed face, ceramic bezel, sapphire crystal and a 300M W/R rating for the price? Check out Phoibos watches! phoiboswatch.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.