The all new Phoibos Sentinel is housed in a matte finished 316L 42MM diameter case with some very nice angles and cuts. In terms of the lug to lug width, a very nice 50MM fits nice across my 6.5” wrist which is nice to see as I was expecting a bit of a larger fit. Another nice feature is the screw down crown and caseback which gives us a 200M water resistance rating - suitable for recreational diving and swimming. One thing I did notice was the precise and smooth cuts which are visible in the photo above. Now...for the cool stuff...the crown is actually lumed with C3 SuperLuminova “Old Radium” which really stands out even in daylight. Heading to the caseback - the level and precise engraving of the Sentinel logo is really really good for a microbrand to be quite honest. It reminds me of engravings on entry level swiss watches to be quite sincere. Overall, it has a bit of Panerai design but not completely.
The grainy blue dial on my iteration is a very legible one, and one should have no issue reading the time at any angle on this timepiece. Also, the flat sapphire crystal with inner AR coating definitely helps as well. A large 12-3-6-9 which reminds me of the Panerai dials is a nice design cue and pays homage to that design. The hands are long, including the red tipped seconds hand for increased legibility and to match the ratio of the numerals. In terms of lume, old C3 SuperLuminova “Radium” is utilized and it glows extremely bright in a green color which lasts for some time.
The well known tough and robust Miyota 9015 is a great movement all around. This movement has been used in many microbrand watches as well as Citizen automatic timepieces. It contains 21 Jewels - Hand-Winding - Hacking and a very precise accuracy of +5 on my model. I love this movement all around and do feel it does compete with the Swiss ETA-2824 in a way, but more affordable.
The Sentinel comes equipped on a thick 22MM genuine leather brown band with white contrast stitching and a decent signed Phoibos matte finished buckle. It will need some break-in time out of the box, but the quality is okay for the $350 pricepoint this model sells for currently. An additional Zulu style Nato strap is also provided in the Phoibos box, which seems of good quality and will definitely come in handy when you want to take a dip in the water with yout sentinel.
So, for $350 the Sentinel definitely checks all the boxes when it comes to a lot of watch for your money. We get a great reliable high beat movement, Sapphire, excellent casework, a 2 year warranty, and some nice packaging with an extra strap. I really don’t think you can go wrong with this model , and the build quality is only getting better with Phoibos it seems. Please do watch the full video review via Watch Addiction Watch Reviews on YouTube for a more hands-on approach.
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Case and Dial
The all new revamped Spinnaker Cahill looks a bit different this time around, and I think they made some much needed improvements. This 200M dive watch sits in a 43MM wide case comprised of solid 316L steel coated with black IP plating. It still remains chunky at 15MM tall including the slightly
domed sapphire crystal. The overall finishing looks very neat on my example with no blemishes or rough edges. If we take a look at the caseback there is indeed an exhibition window to exhibit the automatic movement that powers this watch, which is always fun to look at.
The dial itself is completely different with a more no nonsense look to it. The brushed grey markers are applied neatly, and the addition of a 24 hour military time is printed below that. I like the fact that they added lumed plots above the numerals, which are filled with green Swiss SuperLuminova for visibility in the dark. The 120 Click Lumed Unidirectional dive bezel is also improved with minimal backplay and perfect alignment which is a big thing for us watch addicts. Overall, the dial feels very militaristic with the crosshair and bold numerals, which is aesthetically pleasing to my tastes.
Beating at 3 HZ - the Seiko NH35 automatic caliber is used here which is typical in a dive watch at this price bracket. These are actually really accurate and they even have hand winding with a hack feature if you did not
know. I am getting around +6 seconds a day which is superb.
The 22MM genuine leather water resistant band is the same one used on most of their watches in different flavors. They are quite supple and easy to break in with hand stitched ends. I really have no issue with these and even have tested the water resistance myself with zero problems. The strap however does not taper at all assuming they did this to match the larger case diameter on this model compared to the smaller divers at 40MM they usually release.
Furthermore, Spinnaker models have definitely
improved since I reviewed their first model a couple years ago. The overall quality is decent for the asking price ( Especially with the discount code ). I like the fact that they don’t produce straight 1:1 homages like other brands, but incorporate characteristics of vintage divers into fresh designs.
The dial they used on this version is black, and even has a slight sunburst effect if it catches light at certain angles. It most certainly is not copying anything and features unique design language. For example, the perforated holes and marker chapter ring for some extra legibility. The date window sits at 3:00 and stands out next to this black dial making it easy to read at a glance. The hands themselves are fully lumed as well as the tip of the sweeping seconds hand. I found it quite easy to read the time once on wrist and do not see any issues here. Above the dial lays a nice domed sapphire crystal with AR coating, giving a nice blue hue when in contact with direct light.
The Miyota 9015 is a great japanese automatic movement built by Citizen to compete with mainstream Swiss movements such as the ETA 2824-2. I have a lot of experience with this movement and have even seen it in microbrand watches that cost upwards of $700. Standard functions include hand winding, hacking, and relatively decent accuracy within 5-10 seconds a day. One can expect around 42 hours of true power reserve if fully wound..I did notice the stripes on this caliber which give off a more luxurious vibe visible through the exhibition caseback.
The Carbon Fiber style Genuine Leather band that came equipped on this unit is certainly flexible, yet sturdy at the same time. I feel it matches the case and dial just fine and adds a bit of adventurous/Sporty look to the piece. The buckle itself is quite sterile and completely brushed to match the case finish.
Furthermore, the Belfort is definitely a style that many will be attracted to. It also checks all of the boxes that I look for when purchasing a decent timepiece for everyday use. We get a very good and reliable movement, decent casework, sapphire, and a 10 year warranty from a watch that is actually assembled right here in the states! That certainly means something to me as I am a USA citizen. It also shows the extra work that MMM has put into this timepiece.