Pharos Sentinel

Today, Pharos Watches opens their Kickstarter campaign for a pair dressy sport watches with a Swiss automatic movement: the full-lume Sentinel, and the sunray Sentinel B. They let me sample a pair of prototypes in advance of the launch.

Pharos Sentinel Full Lume White

The Sentinel’s case measures 41mm wide and 12.5mm thick, placing it neatly in the mid-sized range. It is a complex design, incorporating polished, brushed, and matte finishes, as well as a series of blocky recesses in the case sides that are echoed in its bezel. Long lugs extend its length to 49mm, but their extreme taper and bombĂ© twist minimize the size. It fit well on my 6.75” wrist and tucked easily under a buttoned shirt cuff

Pharos Sentinel Full Lume White wrist

A 200m water resistance rating, screw-down crown, crown guards, and generous lume let you know that it is a sport watch, while the brightwork and dial details serve to dress it up, achieving a pleasant balance between the two. Of course, the crystal is sapphire. The engraved and lumed logo on the crown is a nice touch.

Pharos Sentinel Full Lume White

On the back, an engraved lighthouse reminds you of the Sentinel’s inspiration, one that becomes even more apparent when you see the full lume version. It also alerts you to the Swiss movement inside, a Sellita SW200 to be exact. Based on the venerable ETA 2824, this 26-jewel, 28.8k bph automatic has been used in many a microbrand watch. I’ve had a few examples through my collection and have found it to be an accurate, reliable unit.

Pharos Sentinel case back

As noted above, buyers may choose one of two dial designs, both of which share the same handset and marker arrangement. It features an applied, polished, and lumed ring containing Roman numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, the Pharos logo at 12, and circular markers for the remainder. This ring is joined to an outer ring that meets the rehaut. A printed index hugs the outer edge. Polished and lumed dagger-shaped hands and a lollipop second complete the layout, the minute and second hands extending through the first ring to reach the index. It is a distinctive, attractive arrangement that imparts a unique flair without sacrificing legibility.

Pharos Sentinel B Green

Of the two dials, the sunray Sentinel B is the more conventional. The polished and lumed marker ring is set off smartly by the deep bottle green color (dark blue is also offered); however, it is let down a bit by the Pharos branding. Granted, I am a bit of a nut when it comes to watch dial text, but the brand's typeface strikes me as cold, almost industrial. Had this been a traditional, no-frills tool watch layout, I wouldn't have thought twice, but here it seems to be out of step with the Sentinel's more ornate ring of markers. I think a lighter weight, serif type would have been in keeping with the overall theme, although I suspect I will be in the minority on that one.

Pharos Sentinel B Green

Now, the full lume dial is another story altogether. On this version, the marker ring continues right through the center of the dial in a web pattern. The round markers are outlined in lume rather than being filled as they were on the sunray. The bridges between the inner and outer dials are wider and are lumed as well, creating a lume marker on either side of the circles. This overlay section is white over a layer of white SuperLuminova below, creating a fun interplay of light and shadow in daylight and a striking display of lume in the dark. There is no place for a brand name or other text on the dial and it doesn’t need it. I’ve seen, and enjoyed, similar dials on Sarapeneva and Ayers watches. The Pharos is a fine addition to the genre.

Pharos Sentinel full lume white

To my eye, the full lume dial is the clear winner. It ties the overall design together in a way the more open sunray dial does not as it complements the marker arrangement and also echoes the recesses in the case and bezel. Pharos offers the full lume with a blue outer dial or black in a black case, but the white-on-white is hard to beat.

Pharos Sentinel full lume and Sentinel B lume

Whichever your choice, the Sentinel will come on a lightly padded, 22mm leather strap with quick-release bars and a 20mm signed buckle. The straps are well made, comfortable, and seem a good fit for the dress/casual nature of the watch. Kickstarter backers will also get a rubber strap. A stainless steel bracelet is a $40 option.

Pharos Sentinel full lume strap

Super Early Bird pricing for the Pharos Sentinel and Sentinel B starts at $499, which is 40% off the anticipated retail price. Head over to PharosWatches.com and the Pharos Sentinel Kickstarter page for more. ⬩

Pharos Sentinel full lume white

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