It’s Monday in July in 2020, folks, and that means two certainties for yours truly – the first of five full weeks stuck in lockdown, and a chance to focus on another independent watchmaker. That’s right, it’s MICRO MONDAYS, and today we’re taking a closer look at a brand that is already well known in the watch world – Spinnaker.
The Hong Kong-based watchmaker creates cost-effective timepieces with a strong emphasis on yachting and nautical inspiration, hence their name and logo. All of the timepieces are hewn from hardwearing 316L steel, and Spinnaker sources all its movements from third-party Japanese manufacturers such as Seiko, Miyota and Hattori.
A large and diverse array of timepieces has enabled the brand to amass a good following in the community, and thanks to borrowing archetypal stylistic cues and traits from some more well-known watches, the Hong Kong firm has also been able to cater to a pretty large audience. In fact, for quite a few budding enthusiasts, a Spinnaker may well be their first decent watch.
But with such a breadth of different collections, traversing Spinnaker’s website, which is how you purchase one of their watches, can be a little daunting. So, we’ve trawled the forums, Facebook threads and Instagram comments to track down their three most popular models …
Easily Spinnaker’s most popular model, the Dumas is an octagonal ode to French diving legend Frédéric Dumas. The eight-sided, angular tonneau-shaped stainless steel case measures in at an imposing 44mm across and 16mm thick, and features both brushed and polished elements that give it a good amount of versatility. The bulky case isn’t all show and no go, however, offering an impressive 300 metres of water resistance, decent robustness and a functional uni-directional rotating bezel with mineral crystal inlay.
The case is capped on its front with sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, and the Dumas also benefits from a display caseback that shows off the movement – Seiko’s NH35. This self-winding calibre serves up respectable accuracy, date complication, 24 jewels, an operating frequency of 21,600 vph (3Hz) and roughly 41 hours of power reserve. All of the Dumas watches, of which there are seven different dial/bezel colour combos, come equipped with a sporty-looking Milanese-style steel mesh bracelet with deployant clasp. Priced at less than $1000 Aussie dollars, the Dumas presents as a great option for anyone interested in getting into dive watches or just a good weekend/tool watch.
Utilising a case that some will find quite similar to another famous nautically themed watch, the Spinnaker Hull is available as both a three-hander and chronograph. The cushion case can be had in a number of different finishes, including a brushed steel, steel with black ionic coating, or steel with a gold ionic coating. All the cases measure 42mm across and range from between 12mm and 15mm thick, depending on whether you go for the time and date or chrono option. All of the cases are fitted with a mineral crystal glass that’s been given an anti-reflective coating, and depending which model you go for, have either a display or solid caseback.
The three-hander automatic variants of the Hull score Seiko’s aforementioned NH35 movement, while the quartz Calibre VK73 by Hattori powers the chronograph models. The Hull can be had on a number of different leather/textile straps or a tri-link steel bracelet. This is another solid weekend/tool watch, and if you’ve always been a fan of Panerai but don’t have the five-figures needed to scratch the itch, these watches are a very cost-effective alternative, with RRPs ranging from $600 to $800 AUD.
Sporting the most traditional-looking design of the three watches mentioned in this list, the Hunley borrows heavily from the aesthetic characteristics of some of the most important dive/tool watches from the ’60s and ’70s but adds an unusual dial. With a brushed stainless steel case that measures 41.5mm across and 16mm thick, it’s also one of Spinnaker’s smallest watches in production. Water resistance is rated at 200 metres, meaning that the Hunley will offer good all-round bandwidth.
Sitting on top of the traditionally proportioned case is a sapphire crystal glass that’s scored an AR coating and, just like other automatic Spinnaker models, the Hunley sports a display caseback that again shows off the Seiko NH35. Available in a number of different dial and bezel colour combinations, the Hunley can come equipped with a number of leather straps or a steel tri-link bracelet. Another solid offering from Spinnaker, and for anyone after a robust daily for less than $1000 AUD, the Hunley could be a great option.