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Watch Freek
1,011 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Phoibos Nebula Vs Relio Solstice

I recently did a head-to-head review of the Relio Sosltice verses the Certina Ds-1. At the time it appeared to be a reasonable comparison, but since the purchase of the Nebula I have realised that perhaps it wasn’t. I have now deleted the that video, and will shortly be replacing it with this one.

In many ways these two watches have similarities. Both brands are Asia based and Asian made. Both are dressy sports watches, and both have the same movement. They are also similarly priced, albeit Phoibos gave me an initial discount because of my watch channel. I can assure you that this will have no influence on the review.

Dimensions –
Relio – 38mm case, 20mm lug, 46mm lug to lug, 12mm deep, 128 grams.
Phoibos – 39mm case, 20mm lug width, 46mm lug to lug, 12mm deep, 139 grams

Both watches come in reasonable packaging that suits the price point.

Relio -7
Phoibos -7

Brand Perception
Phoibos have deservedly earned a good reputation over the few years they have been trading, whilst Relio are the new boys on the block, albeit with very good reviews. For this reason, Phoibos deserves an extra point.

Relio – 7
Phoibos - 8

Movement /Crown-
Both have the same excellent movement, the Miyota 9015. This is a good step up from the NH35, as it is a high beat movement, and rarely arrives requiring regulation. Some may say the uni directional rota is noisy, I have never noticed it on the wrist. It runs at 2,800 bph, hacks, hand winds, and is known for its accuracy and reliability.

Both watches a have a 7mm crown, both are signed. The Phoibos initially had a bit of a gritty feel when being engaged, but this was sorted using a piece of waxed tooth floss.

Relio – 8
Phoibos - 8

The Relio has a domed sapphire crystal, whilst the crystal on the Phiobos is flat. Both have an AR coating.

The Relio has a sapphire exhibition back with a brushed surround, whilst the Phoibos has a solid back with the octopus’ logo embossed. The finishing both watches is excellent, but the Relio has interesting bead blasted cut outs. This is hard for me, but I think I like the originality of the Realio’s case, so I will give it an extra point.

Relio – 9
Phoibos - 8

This is very subjective. The Relio is slightly more blingy, whilst still very tasteful. I love it’s applied indices, and black to red fume dial. The Phoibos has a black to green dial, albeit brushed rather than fume. It has a sandwich dial which I like, however I am not keen on the little white dots above each index.

The Relio has a BGW9 lume, which is well applied and lasts for most of the night. The Phoibos has old radium, although on other variants has BGW9. I chose this option knowing the lume wouldn’t be as good, and this was the price I paid for the more vintage look.

Because of the aforementioned dots on the Phoibos, I will give the Relio one additional point

Relio -8
Phoibos -7

Both have fixed bezels, polished on the Relio, and brushed on the Phoibos. The Phoibos is more practical, whilst the Relio is a tad more pretty. Because the bezels are an integral part of the case, I won’t bother scoring this category.

The bracelet on the Phoibos is a well-made jubilee. It has well manufactured screw pins, and is very comfortable. It tapers from 200mm down to 18mm, then back to 20mm for the clasp. I like the fully milled clasp, although it only has 3 micro adjusts. The Relio has an H link bracelet, which is amazingly well made, and incredibly comfortable. It tapers from 20mm down to 16mm, then up to 19mm for the clasp. Whilst this makes the bracelet very comfortable, the taper reduces the bracelets presence. The Relio’s clasp is excellent, as it is fully milled, has a flip lock as well as pushers, and has 6 micro adjusts. Again, the Relio wins this class by a single point

Relio -9
Phoibos -8
Water Resistance-
Both have a screw down back and a screw down crown. The Relio is rated at 100m, whilst the Phoibos is 150m. I really don’t know why, but the Phoibos gets an extra point.

Relio - 7
Phoibos - 8

Price & Value For Money
The full price of the Relio is $395, whilst the Phoibos is $375. You are far more likely to find a discount voucher for the Phoibos as well. If you live in the UK, it’s worth noting the Phoibos is shipped from the UK, meaning there is no VAT or duty to pay on top. I had to pay an additional £60 to get the Relio to my door. I can’t help but think the Phoibos is a better VFM option, as it may end up being over £80/£100 cheaper. Of course, depending on where you live in the world, this may differ.

Phoibos -9

They are both similar watches, whilst the additional 1mm on the Phoibos may attract some people and deter others. I actually like both sizes, and owning both watches. Both are incredibly well made, and if Swiss may well cost several times as much. I love dressy sports watches, and they can be worn just about anywhere. Well, now the final score

Relio – 62
Phoibos – 63

I have to be honest, prior to making this head-to-head I suspected the Relio may steal it, but it looks like I am wrong. I can’t help thinking that the value for money aspect on the Phoibos swayed things. So, if I had to keep one and sell one, which would it be? I suspect you now think I won’t commit myself, well your wrong. I absolutely love both watches, but I can’t help feeling that Relio threw everything they had at the Solstice, and owning a watch that is ultimately going to be very rare appeals to me. I have no intention on flipping either, but the Relio is probably my favourite despite the Phoibos getting the better score.

Super Moderator
14,279 Posts
Man, this was a real squeaker here Wiggles, and yeah wow, it
could have gone either way. ;):) Can’t thank you enough
for sharing MW !!!

You know what was really interesting too?! Was how even though
the Phobos finished ahead. That you actually like the Relio a bit
more. What that says is that both watches are winners, but it also
shows how honest you are with your reviews.😎🥇I mean if I liked
one watch more than the other, it might be tough for me to give
the win to the opponent. 😊 Terrific job on keeping your personal
feelings out of it sir. Bravo !

You can tell the both of these are just great looks, design, and also
quality wise. It’s just a matter of how much you want to pay, and
more importantly what you are looking for. ..It’s basically a draw !!

Senior Freek
1,331 Posts
Both are nice looking pieces.
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