Spinnaker Bradner Dual Crown
Spinnaker Bradner Dual Crown Specifications:
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case
- 50mm Lug To Lug
- 14mm Thick
- 22mm Lug Width
- Seiko NH35 Automatic Movement
- 150 Meters Water Resistant
- Leather Strap
I have reviewed a lot of Spinnaker Watches over the years here on Watchreport, but I can easily say that the Bradner is the best model they have produced to date. Now, I am a fan of super compressor dual crown style watches, to begin with, so they had me right off the bat with the design. Spinnaker Watches are for the most part budget watches, usually under the $300 mark (especially after some price adjusting a year or so ago), and on many of their watches they use mineral crystal. I believe the Spinnaker Bradner Dual Crown is only the third or fourth watch to actually have sapphire, and this is a nice domed sapphire as well. Yes, it is still an NH35 movement, but really, at these prices, I do not expect much different. This is without a doubt my favorite piece so far from the brand, but then I got to thinking. There are a lot more watches that hit this price or very close to it these days. Brands such as Obris Morgan or Helm. So would it be better to drop your money on the Bradner or add $15 or so and grab something else?
Obviously, there is no lack of choices these days when it comes to purchasing a watch. Countless option after countless option. That does make it hard for a potential buyer to narrow it down. This is not an attempt at a buying guide or anything like that, as so many have different wants to different reasons for buying. Simply put, the Spinnaker Bradner Dual Crown is a good option if you are on a budget and want a good automatic dual crown dive watch. The case finish is better than I expected, the Spinnaker manufacturing seems to keep getting better and better. I really like the vertical brushing on the case sides and there are only a few areas with the high polish, mostly the crowns. Speaking of crowns, the main crown at 4 o’clock is screw down, but the inner bezel crown is not. I am ok with this, but my example seems to be a little too easy to turn, and with that, I feel if you were actually going to use this to time anything, it can get easily knocked out of place. I doubt most are buying this to dive or time anything with though, let’s face it, these watches are bought for looks over pure function.
-7 1/2 inch wrist-
My favorite aspect of this model is the dial. While there are other colors available, the sunray blue dial with applied markers is a nice and welcome change from the texture dials that Spinnaker has been doing on their recent dive watches. What is also a nice touch and something we do not see on watches sometimes 3 times this price, is the date wheel matches the dial. It just makes everything blend in better instead of a distraction on the dial. The dial text has been kept to a minimum as well.
Take a look at the pic above. Notice the second-hand lume circle? It really does not look all that great, or very refined. I don’t know if I would say I was surprised but I was caught off guard by it. It is just a little sloppy. I know I am discussing a $285 Chinese Made watch and of course corners are going to be cut, but this speaks more to bad QC and not cutting corners. As always, this could be just my example. Funny, normally people complain and say that we reviewers probably get the best examples of a watch so the reviewer can give a better review. I at least used to think they would send a great example (in fairness, the best example should always be sent to a reviewer or a customer, period). These days it seems the watches sent to reviewers are not being checked like they should be. Weird marketing strategy.
I had a few people message me on Instagram asking about the Spinnaker Bradner Dual Crown in regards to the lume. I have heard that it lasts for just a few minutes and nothing more. It does light up bright initially but it does not last all night long at all. I personally found it to last about an hour or two, but nothing more. It does look great in photos when fully charged, but it is not everlasting lume at all.
I think the biggest and most obvious comparison for this Spinnaker Bradner Dual Crown would be the Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver, which I have reviewed here and many different sites have reviewed over the past year or so. At the time, the DH was a great budget option for a super compressor style case and it was nicely designed and was of decent quality for the price. I stated in my review I loved the look but it was not without issues, such as horrible lume, a mineral crystal, and a silicone dive strap. If I had to choose a winner between the two, it would probably be the Spinnaker, but if Dan Henry started using sapphire crystals and came out with a newer version of the diver with upgraded lume, it might be a different outcome. Can you get a Helm Diver (non-dual crown) for $300? Yes, you can. Actually, the Helm Vanuatu is $275, has the same movement as this Spinnaker, a sapphire crystal, a multi-link bracelet and is a great value watch. So, there are a lot of options out there. If you are looking for a dual crown watch such as this, and do not want to break the bank, this is not a bad option and at current time I would pick over the Dan Henry.