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Phosphor World Time Watch Review

Phosphor World Time Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

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.

Phosphor World Time Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

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.

Phosphor World Time Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Phosphor World Time Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

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.

Phosphor World Time Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

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.

Phosphor World Time Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

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.

About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

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  • Mike (Gerasios)

    Question. If the watch strap can not be replaced why are they selling stand alone straps? There appears to be a sec of screws on the underside of the watch. Can they be for strap replacement?

    • Phosphor is the one who indicates the straps cannot be changed. I suppose you might try to take the case apart – though I don’t know 100% if that would work. The straps they sell are for other pieces in their collection.

      • Nate

        The screws in the caseback do hold the strap on for the digital hour and world time pieces. However because this also opens the caseback, straps for these watches can only be ordered and changed by an authorized Phosphor dealer at least in Canada and the States. I work at such a dealer (just picked up the brand) and have been really impressed with the brand. Very high quality bands though so breakage should not be an issue for years.

  • weatherman

    I’m not so jazzed about the Phosphor watches. I feel like they’re not utilizing the e-ink as much as the could. What e-ink provides is high contrast and high pixel density, as well as long battery life. It seems like they could add a lot more options and nicer fonts for the clock so that it didn’t read like the cheapest digital watch ever made. Some nice “wallpaper” for instance would really set it apart. More options for screens and more features would be good too. For hardware that is the “next generation” of digital displays, it’s really the software that’s holding this back.

  • Kris C

    I own an e-ink watch, I bought one after reading about them here on aBtR. Mine is a 3-hand model with an e-ink face, and while there are a few “I wish it had/did this” things about it, overall I am very happy. I almost think this one is cooler, but I don’t regret buying it. On the world time version, I actually like the integrated strap, I think it suits the watch very well. The fonts are very well suited to the feel of the piece, I don;t think they give the impression of the cheapest digital watch ever made; the large, easy-read display and design give it a really sporty look that is executed nicely.

  • Peter

    What happens if you hold the right button while in World Time mode? The manual says it will ‘set world time’. I’m wondering if that will change the default World city to the one selected so you don’t always start at London.

  • scott granado

    I got this watch a few weeks ago after seeing the discount code posted on this site. I love the very modern style of the watch.

    One question: my biggest complaint is that the midde button rattles and can be easily heard when i move my hand back and forth, is this expected?

    • I don’t think that is a common issue. Doesn’t occur on mine.

  • Ivan Y

    At this price, this watch is a very easy buy. Much easier to spend $150-200 on a technology that will probably be outdated in a few years then dropping $1,100-1,300 on Seiko BRIGHTZ Active Matrix EPD watch that just came out (Japan-only for now, so those are eBay prices; ABtR article is here —

  • derrick w

    I purchased 2 world time watches around the Christmas holiday and one of them was broke, the screen was blank and when i called them they said it was the battery but sent me another fast now the other watch is blank i went to a store that sells watches and they told me that most phosphor watches has battery problems. Is anyone else having this issue? they say its hard to find a battery that can last long in the watch.

    • Nate

      Maybe Phosphor cheaped out on the batteries their watches came with and you got a couple from the earlier batches? Never seen such problems and I fiddle with my phosphor a lot.