We do like Spinnaker watches at WRUK – and not just because they keep sending them to us to review! Does the Spinnaker Spence match the brand’s recent high standards?
Spinnaker Spence Review
I’ve grown used to the packaging of Spinnaker watches by now, and the Spence is as spartan as the rest! If it keeps costs down it’s fine in my book, though.
The Spinnaker Spence has a matt-steel case that reminded me of their Tesei Titanium model. This one is steel, though, and it’s finished well with no sharp edges. The crown is big – perhaps protruding a little too far beyond the square crown guards – and very easy to manipulate.
It looks like Spinnaker are only using quality movements now: this watch has the Seiko NH35 which is one of my favourite low-end automatic movements. It has Spinnaker’s trademark black roto which I am not too keen on, but at least the movement is decorated to justify the display case back. I really like the case, perhaps the bezel knurling could be deeper, but it’s an interesting texture and wears well. I was not so keen on the full-lume bezel: the application of paint left a lot to be desired and it feels like it won’t last as long as the rest of the watch.
Dial and Hands
The dial of the Spinnaker Spence is excellent. A textured black colour, it catches the light beautifully. Spinnaker – for their price point – have some really unique designs and great build quality. All the markers are applied straight and well-lumed. Maybe the Rolex Submariner style hands are out of place on this modern design, but they are perfectly legible in all light conditions.
The dial has a satisfying sense of depth and the red text adds a suitable splash of colour. It’s understated but attractive to my eye. The date is always welcome, but the stark white date wheel looks a little odd with vintage lume and the position makes the dial a little unbalanced.
Strap and Buckle
Spinnaker straps are always excellent for the price and this vintage-style leather is no exception. It’s thick, supple and feels like quality.
The buckle matches the bead blasted finish of the watch but, as usual, the engraving on the Spinnaker branding is very light and may as well have been left off altogether.
Spinnaker Spence Video Review
What I Liked
- The design is nice – reminiscent of more expensive watches but still original
- Build quality is excellent all round
- The Seiko movement is a good choice as a balance between price and performance
What I Didn’t Like
- I’m not sure about the Mercedes hands, which are perhaps a little too “fussy” for the dial
- The bezel doesn’t quite look right to me – the full lume makes it look a little flat
- The date window looks a little odd in white with the vintage markers.
Spinnaker Spence – the WRUK Verdict
I’ve not yet come across a Spinnaker watch that we don’t like at least a bit – but bear in mind that they keep sending me samples to review when I say that. Objectively, for the price they charge, they are decent value watches as long as you use a discount voucher. I’m not sure I’d want to spend more than $350 on a Spinnaker, but if you like good-looking low-cost watches you’ll like this one. I certainly do, and it will be getting some wrist time this summer.
Buy a Spinnaker Spence SP-5066
You can find out more at the new British-based Spinnaker Watches website – and don’t forget to use our 20% off discount code WRUK at the checkout when you buy a Spinnaker watch.