Phosphor watches can be credited with a very special honor. That being of the brand the officially popularized and mainstreamed e-ink watches. While they didn't invent the concept, they made them cool enough and affordable enough for mainstream adoption. With prices under $200, now everyone can have a neat looking, easy to read e-ink watch on their wrist. The newer World Time watch adds just that to the mix - a world time complication. In addition the time and a calendar, you can now scroll through time zones of the world. Aside from one minor drawback, the watch is a nice addition to the Phosphor watch collection.
The last Phosphor watch I reviewed was of this Phosphor Digitial Hour Clock watch. I raved over it, and the World Time is simply a slightly different version that offers a new style, and an the ability to see more than one time zone. The highly curved steel case is 35mm thick, but very long. Though its curvature helps it look good on the wrist. Instead of buttons on the side of the case (like the earlier model), the World Time has a large pushers on the front of the watch that is two buttons based on which side you press.
e-Ink screens can be curved, which is very good in this instance. At the same time, they still retain a high level of contrast making them easy to read. e-Ink screens still have a few down sides (such as the lack of backlighting and a seconds indicator - I discuss the reasons for this in my earlier review), but offer a lot of benefits in terms of being easy to read and crisp. I promise you that in the future (especially as e-Ink technology improves), we will have more e-Ink watches out there.
The World Time case is really thin at about 9mm thick, and doesn't feel like you are wearing a high-profile item on your wrist. The strap comes in polyurethane, leather, or a metal bracelet. While the Digital Hour Clock had a more "mod" look to it, the World Time is a bit more mainstream techie. This is a watch that is meant to compete with other gadgety watches out there (for that large market) and does it well.
Using the watch is pretty simple, aside from setting the time, the pushers are used for two main things. First is switching between function screens, and second is juxtaposing the colors - so you can have a light background with dark numerals or the opposite of that. There are first different mode screens to choose from. Two of those are for seeing the time in another time zones (one with just the world time, another with the home time and the second time zone). This is fine, but the problem I was referring to earlier comes in to play here. If you select a specific world time zone, then leave that display mode - when you return you will have to search for the time zone you selected again. The watch switches back to GMT + 0. I would have preferred that Phosphor retain the selected World Time setting even when you switch between display modes.
Another small issue is that the strap is integrated with the case. This means that if you wish to replace the strap for any reason, you can't and will need to either send it in to Phosphor, or replace the watch. How big of a deal is with? Well it wouldn't stop me from buying the watch because I know in the event the strap tears I probably wore the watch enough to buy a new one. Plus, if the buckle breaks, that is something that can be repaired. So while ideally you could switch out the strap, it isn't a deal breaker for me.
The price for the Phosphor World Time watch ranges from $150 - $195. This version with the black polyurethane strap is also available with a white strap. The leather strapped version costs $165, and the top model includes the steel bracelet. Get your self an e-Ink watch if you don't have one yet - they are worth it to wear even just ones in a while. People seeming me wear these watches love them, so I assume they'd make good gifts as well. Learn more or get one from Phosphor here.
Thank to Phosphor for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.