Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon

If memory serves, I reviewed the Phoibos Proteus just a few months ago. I liked its dive watch features, handsome style and deemed it a mighty fine value (in fact, if want to try to win that watch, enter the current giveaway). So when they offered me the new PY028D Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon variant for review, I was happy to give it a try. 

Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon
As I mentioned back in June, the Proteus has an angular stainless steel case measuring 42mm wide, 49mm long, and 13mm thick. On this model, Phoibos went with a mottled gray PVD coating on the case and the large, spiral-cut crown. The resulting faux patina is more convincing than many "aged bronze" effects I've seen, but not quite as aggressively grizzled as the Out Of Order "damaged" finishes. I'd say it merely mellows the look of the case.   

Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon

Like other Proteus models, this one has a 120-click, unidirectional bezel with an engraved and lumed ceramic insert. My one functional criticism from the last review is still an issue here; the edge texturing looks nice but offers insufficient grip for easy operation. 

Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon

The dial features the same layout as the standard black variant I reviewed earlier, including toothy applied markers, faceted hands, whimsical lightning bolt second hand, and porthole date window, although this time, they are sandblasted for a matte finish. Old Radium lume on the hands, indices, and bezel markings amplifies the vintage effect. I dig Old Radium as it has an appealing creamy quality without veering too much towards orange or yellow while still maintaining a healthy glow at night. As you can see here, it more than holds its own against the BGW9 on the white chapter ring.  

Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon

Now, the real departure is the forged carbon dial. This high-tech material is used in cutting-edge aerospace applications. You might say it is the polar opposite of "retro," and yet, it works. That lightly marbled surface has an almost organic quality to it that just makes sense with all of the other soft vintage design features. 

Y'all know how much I love the Phoibos logo. Angry King Octopus just makes me smile. I like to imagine that he is Cthulhu after devouring the soul of Disney's King Neptune from The Little Mermaid, but that's just me. Anyway, he appears on the dial, crown, and caseback. Long may he reign.

Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon

Lest you think the Proteus is all fashion and no function, I should remind you that it has all the same dive watch goodies as the rest of the collection: screw-down crown and case back; double-domed, triple AR-coated sapphire crystal; and a whopping 300m water resistance. A trusty Seiko NH35 automatic hums away inside (24-jewel, 21.6k bph, 40+ hour, Diashock protected). 

Phoibos Proteus Aged Steel Black Forged Carbon

Phoibos ditched the bracelet on the Aged Steel versions, which is probably a wise move as coatings can wear quickly when the links rub. Instead, they supplied two 22mm straps, one in aged brown leather made in Italy, the other in black rubber, and a signed, patinated buckle. Both look great on the watch as the warm tones in the leather complement the Old Radium, and the black rubber matches the dial and bezel for a more modern look. I'd gravitate towards the leather for daily wear and then break out the rubber when I wanted to hit the surf. I've always said that you can't sell a dive watch without a waterproof strap and if you are headed underwater, you needn't worry about the bane of the rubber strap, lint. 

Phoibos Proteus rubber strap

As I said up top, I really liked the black dial and brushed stainless Proteus, but this one is even better. I prefer the strap to the bracelet, the carbon to the sand textured dial, and the Old Radium/BGW9 to the BGW9/C3. At $315, the price is only barely higher, and in my opinion, well worth it. If you agree, or if you would like to check out more Proteus versions (meteorite, anyone?), head over to PhoibosWatch.com. ⬩

Phoibos Proteus rubber strap







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