Hager Pheon GMT

It has been a long time since I’ve had my hands on a Hagar Watch for review — December 2014, to be exact. I’ve been keeping up with the brand, of course, and checking out the new models in person at the annual District Time shows in DC, but somehow, brand owner Pete Brown and I just haven’t connected long enough to arrange a review. Until now, that is, when a Pheon GMT came through my door.

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm

The Pheon comes in two configurations (GMT or small seconds), two sizes (38mm or 42mm), and any color dial you want so long as it is fumé blue. Its square cushion case has more than a touch of Panerai to it, but a lithe Panerai, mercifully stripped of excess bulk. I sampled the 38mm model, which is 45.5mm long and 12mm thick, or what I would call absolutely perfect on my 6.75” wrist. I could probably wear the larger version with much fuss either (42x49x13mm), but this suits me just fine. Still, it’s nice to have the option, and given that square cases tend to appear a full size or two larger on the wrist than round cases, you won’t be hurting for wrist presence.

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm wrist

Lest you think the Pheon is a dress watch, I’d direct you to its brushed finish, AR-coated domed sapphire crystal, and guarded, screw-down crown. This watch was built to handle a wide range of environments. While it is not strictly a dive watch, it carries a 200m rating so you could certainly dive with it if so inclined. Indeed, the three-link, scalloped, Panerai-inspired bracelet secures with a proper push-button deployment clasp and wetsuit extension. Unlike many of that ilk I have reviewed lately, the boxy clasp is nicely finished all around, leaving no sharp corners. That said, I must note that the polished bevels don’t tie to any other surface on the watch. The bracelet tapers from 20-18mm on the smaller watch, 22-20mm on the larger.

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm

Now, the real fun is in the dial, a gradient fumé sunburst in a rich blue that fades lighter towards the center. Bright blue-white lume shows through the cut-out markers, numerals, and logo. The polished handset combines a dauphine minute hand with an Omega-style, arrow-shaped hour hand, and, if you opt for this model, a bright blue GMT hand. It looks great, although I did miss the utility having a 12 or 24-hour bezel. If you can live without the GMT function, then I’d opt for the small seconds version as it is just a touch cleaner in my book.

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm

On the flip side, you will find a pheon engraved on the case back. The image also graces the crown head. Inside, beats a Swiss made automatic with a 42-hour power reserve. “Which manufacturer?” You might ask. Let me ask you, “does it matter?” After all, you can count the likely options on one hand without using all the fingers, they all use the same ETA architecture, and none of them are duds. This one is actually a 25-jewel, 28.8kbph Soprod C125 with a quick-set GMT.

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm

I wore the Pheon for a few days the Time Bum’s hermetically sealed, Coronavirus-resistant bunker and liked having around. While the bracelet was perfectly comfortable, I found the big clasp to be overkill and a touch oversized for my newly housebound lifestyle. After a rummage through the collection, I dug out a padded Navy suede two-piece strap from Cheapest NATO Straps that proved a perfect complement to both the modest case and the lush blue dial.

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm

I enjoyed my time with the Pheon. The Panerai/Omega design cues mesh well, the blue dial is lovely, and the smaller size was right in my sweet spot. At $1,165, it is not cheap, but definitely in the attainable range for most collectors. If you prefer the small seconds, you will only pay $865, which is not bad for a watch that captures the panache of the new Panerai Mediterrano at a price that is cheaper by an order of magnitude.

The Pheon series is in stock and available now direct from HagerWatches.com. ⬩

Hager Pheon GMT 38mm
Hager Pheon GMT 38mm


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