At this point, I am sure most of you are aware of the Spinnaker Brand. This latest piece, the Spinnaker Boettger is another watch that ups the value of the brand overall, especially from how they started. I have reviewed many models from this Hong Kong-based brand and have discussed their parent company and sister brands, and while they do try to market themselves as a microbrand, they are clearly not. One thing they are though is good listeners. They have listened to their customers and paid attention to the market, and every year they improve not only their designs but also the quality of their pieces. Not every model is a home run in my opinion, but this piece, especially last year, got a good amount of coverage as it somewhat pays homage to an iconic piece from Sinn’s history, the 809.
Price $650 (Check for discounts online and their website)
wrist shot on 7 1/2 inch wrist
Last year, Spinnaker produced the first Boettger, with a stainless steel bracelet. At the time of this writing, there are quite a few more dial colors and options for the bracelet model as opposed to this new rubber strap version. The initial previews of this model got a lot of vintage watch enthusiasts excited, as the floating markers reminded many of the Sinn 809. When the watch was fully revealed, I think some were disappointed that it took some elements from that highly lauded Sinn, yet it was not an exact copy by any means. It is funny when you sit back and think about the watch community at times, as we are so divided when it comes to what some think is okay to pay homage or flat out-reproduce, and it seems many were disappointed this wasn’t a one for one recreation. If you are not familiar with the 809, and opening another tab seems too stressful, here is a pic of it from the web below.
Sinn 809-image from Worn and Wound
So, what did they create with the Spinnaker Boettger? Well, in my opinion, they created what indeed an homage should be. It is not a one-of-one copy and is not just an exact reproduction with a different name slapped on the dial. The most notable elements taken from the 809 are the floating indices and second hand, and there is a familiarity to the case shape and crown placement, but it is all done differently. The Sinn was much thinner at 9.5mm and its case shape was a little more intriguing as the Boettgetr is a little boxy and one-note, but again, the overall design inspiration is easy to see. In the end, they have created a completely different watch that maybe evokes the spirit of the Sinn, but that’s about it.
Since I do not have an 809 in hand, this is not a comparison article, nor should it be, but I did want to get the inspiration out of the way. Again, the biggest talking point of the Boettger has to be the floating markers, which you can see actually come out of what would traditionally be called a rehaut, with a chapter ring placed above. Because it is raised above and done in the same color as the dial, it gives the illusion that the makers are floating above the dial, or laying just underneath the crystal, which for sure is a unique look.
This version of the Spinnaker Boettger is the deep navy dial with the gunmetal case and overall they have created a clean and easy to read dial, and while the minute hand is similar to the Sinn, the hour hand is not, and many wish they had gone for something a little more svelte, as it is kind of a mish-mash of the different hour hand styles, and just gets in the way with the rest of this otherwise beautiful dial. If you never had a watch with floating indices like this, it really is something to watch the hands go underneath the indices instead of above them, and while it is nothing truly groundbreaking, it does create a different and fun visual as opposed to a standard dial.
The case design is a little slab-sided on the Spinnaker Boetgger and as such, I think that is where it loses some character compared to the Sinn, and I have to say, I am not in love with this brushed gunmetal PVD case. I think a bead blasted version would have been a better choice, or go all the way and create a matte black. The case finishing in this instance gives the watch a slightly cheap feeling. I have not seen the stainless versions in person, but they don’t seem to emit the same look, at least not to me. The crown is at the 4 o clock position though and with 300m of water resistance, it is, of course, a screw-down crown, controlling the Miyota 9015 automatic movement.
The bezel of the Spinnaker Boettger is easy to grip, but it turns too easily for my tastes. The clicks are precise and firm and no slop really, but you can actually turn the bezel with one finger, so I wish it was tighter. That all said, I have not found it to be off placement often in the week or so I have worn it.
The lug design gives the appearance of hooded lugs, but unlike the Sinn, in which you could have replaced the bracelet with a standard strap, the bracelet and staps on the Boettger are proprietary, and that does make me scratch my head. It was obviously intentional, but I am just not sure why they chose to go with proprietary lugs on a case design such as this. Oris is known for doing this as well with the Aquis line, but the case and lug design of the Aquis is unique, and if you take it away, would the watch really look as special and be as popular as it has become? I am not so sure. With the Boettger, the hooded lug design was kind of built-in and they went ahead and complicated for no good reason.
The bracelet of the Boettger does come off as a little generic, and though I don’t like the integration of the rubber strap, I have to admit, it is a fantastic rubber strap. Listed as Nitrile Butadiene Rubber, it is pliable, catches no lint or fingerprints, and really does feel great on the wrist. The strap is also pretty long, fitting my 7 1/2 inch wrist easily, and should accommodate much larger wrists with a length of 130 x 85mm. Spinnaker chose a nice buckle as well that allows the strap to sink into it and allows the buckle to lay flat while on the wrist. Nicely done.
wrist shot on 7 1/2 inch wrist
So, how to sum up this Spinnaker? It is overall a well-made piece and even though I question some design decisions like those lugs, this is an attractive watch in its own right, and the dial definitely adds some fun and uniqueness not seen on many modern watches. The size is perfect in my opinion and while it is thicker than the 809, that is most likely due to the Miyota 9015 movement and the way they did the stepped dial, and it’s not like this is a 16mm beast. It wears much like a Seiko SKX, and as such, is very comfortable. To those who were looking for that perfect modern Sinn 809, this isn’t it, but that’s okay. It is another in a long line of Spinnaker watches and for the price, (find the best discount), does offer a lot of value.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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