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Review of the BR-01-94 Phantom


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#1
doc savage

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I ordered this watch almost as a novelty--I have been wanting to try out the Instrument series for a while and ever since I first saw the Phantom I knew I had to have one. What a marvelously impractical variation of a watch that seems designed to be the ultimate in readability!

I'm not going to spoil this review by posting photos of the real Phantom. Anyone that is aware that replicas of Bell & Ross watches exist will know this timepiece for what it is; I bought this for it's own merits and not to try to fool anyone. So I'll get the "flaws" out of the way first:

1) No lume whatsoever. Nada. In the dark it dissapears... like magic! Stealth Mode! Perfect for ninjas or people afraid of radiation.

2) Mineral crystal with NO AR coating.

3) Quartz movement. Tic, tic, tic, tic....

4) Subdials are wrong. The rep has running seconds at six and a 24 hour dial at three. Also, the gen has no date window.

5) Brushed finish with shiny bevels--I understand the real deal is flat black all over.

6) Shiny dark gray dial print--The gen black lume is about the same color but much duller. I have brightened some of the photos to show detail, in person it looks pretty much black-on-black.

7) Caseback is a joke. It has phony screws, a typo, and the laser engraving looks printed on. Even the expensive rep BR casebacks are a joke if you have ever seen how deep and crisp the gen engraving is.

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Alright, on to the good stuff.

CQout seller Skimlace was my choice for this purchase, it cost me 40. This was my first CQout purchase and I am quite satisfied, the shipping was very fast from China via EMS especially during Chinese New Year--only four days to California!

The watch arrived well packed and mounted on the rubber strap I paid an extra $10 for. The leather band was included in the package, but not the tiny hex keys--doesn't matter much to me since I happen to love the rubber. The chrono was a few ticks off, but being a quartz that is no problem to fix.

I was pretty surprised to hear a hiss of air when I unscrewed the crown--has anyone else ever experienced this? The elevation here is 1,175 feet, compared to 37 feet in Guangzhou; maybe this thing is fairly water resistant!

The watch is fairly easy to read, but stay far away if you have poor eyesight! I remember reading a review of the blue marking 01-96 version where the owner was unhappy with the contrast in low light. I assure you that is nothing compared to this one. The running seconds at six tick like every other quartz, but you really would have to be within two feet to see it. The chrono buttons are easy to activate and work as expected. The dial is every bit of 46mm, and square, so you better have the wrist to pull this off, but smaller, incorrect versions are available. B&R did not make an 03 in the Phantom colors. The dial has all the right markings (aside from having the wrong subdials) and the printing is nice and crisp--it ought to be with no lume.

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Obligatory weapon shot:

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Unfortunately I don't have any pistols anymore.

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Comparison with the UPO:

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My wrist is right around 8".

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Just barely makes it--I took the second keeper off.

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As you can see, it pinches the sides of my wrist a little since the strap is a bit stiff. I might try experimenting with heating and precurving the strap to prevent this, anyone ever try it?

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Thanks for reading!

#2
Corgi

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This watch is really stealthy and cool. Thanks for the review.

I loved that picture of it beside the gun and other black accessories... I think it really suits your image, and then some! I would definitely consider one of these affordable quartz Bell n' Rosses for outdoor excursions, sports, fitness, and other times where I get active but don't want my fragile timepieces to suffer the consequences!

#3
Pix

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With all its flaws, it's still a sexy military type watch. I would buy it if they did a 39mm version.
And for the price... ^_^

#4
doc savage

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    I REALLY like it here!

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This watch is really stealthy and cool. Thanks for the review.

I loved that picture of it beside the gun and other black accessories... I think it really suits your image, and then some! I would definitely consider one of these affordable quartz Bell n' Rosses for outdoor excursions, sports, fitness, and other times where I get active but don't want my fragile timepieces to suffer the consequences!


Thanks Corgi, but where's the gun?

I think this watch is perfect for times when you wouldn't wear something too expensive. And as a quartz, it keeps great time!


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