Spinnaker has released two new diver watches into their ever growing model lineup and sent me two variations. The case on all Spinnaker Fleuss models is the same across the board, but as you can see, these two have different bezels, dials and crown. Both are vintage style divers, most notably taking inspiration from the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Other colors of each are available as well, so check out the Spinnaker Website to take a look at those if the two I have for review don’t do it for you. Spinnaker has again offered a discount code for our readers/viewers, which is DON20, entered at checkout, which will save you 20%.
Spinnaker Fleuss Specifications:
- 43mm Stainless Steel Case
- 50mm Lug to Lug
- 22mm Lug Width
- 13mm Thick
- Sapphire Crystal
- Acrlyic Bezel
- 500 Feet Water Resistant
- Leather Strap
Price $285 Retail, Use Code DON20 at checkout for 20% off
All of the Spinnaker Fleuss Models have a gravel or sand type of dial texture, some are going to love this and some are going to hate it. I actually like it, Spinnaker has done this with a few other models and it breaks up the usual matte, sunray, enamel dials, etc. Both examples have applied markers or numerals and the dials are clean and uncluttered and weirdly, neither of them have the model name printed on the dial. As a matter of fact, I do not remember a Spinnaker model off hand that prints the model name on them, maybe they do this for cleaner aesthetics or maybe the watches are produced before a model name is appointed to it.
I have been saying forever that Spinnaker needs to upgrade the crystals with sapphire. They finally listened to me (and many others) and did so with the Fleuss lineup. I hope this a decision that will continue with future releases. Both crystals could probably use a better AR coating, but as you can see, I did not catch a ton of glare while doing the photography, and overall when wearing them I never had an issue looking down to see the time. On the other hand, they went with an acrylic bezel, which was a weird choice of material. Acrylic or a Bakelite bezel would have been used back in the day, but if you are going with sapphire on the dial it would only make sense to do the same for the bezel. I’m assuming that would have jumped the cost up a little more, and they chose to go another direction.
The Spinnaker Fleuss lineup all use the Seiko NH35 automatic movement, which seems like the go to automatic for Spinnaker. It has never been my favorite movement but at this price point, it is suitable. Speaking of price, it seems someone at Spinnaker realized their past pricing structure was a little off, as they retailed more in the $400 range. The prices have lowered, at least for this model and upgraded with better crystals, lume and dial/hand work.
On the wrist the Spinnaker Fleuss fits like most diver watches with similar specs, but one important thing to note is the straps. Both come with suede style leather straps and are decent quality. The standout to me is the length of the strap and hole placement. A lot of times similar brands have straps that are way too small and hole placement that makes wearing it odd and harder for someone with large or small wrists to wear. While it is impossible to make a strap that is one size fits all, Spinnaker did a good job here. On my 7 1/2 inch wrist the buckle sits right in the middle and there is a good amount of holes on either side left. If I could take a guess I would say it should fit a range of 6 1/2 inches up to 8 inches comfortably.
Lume on both examples of the Spinnaker Fleuss is pretty good. Keep in mind, both these watches are fully charged before the shots are taken and while they look pretty, check out the video to get a more realistic sense of the lume. The lume on the grey dial lasts longer than the blue, but expect both to fade out completely after 2 hours.
Spinnaker has definitely upped their game with the Fleuss. The upgrade of materials is welcomed and the adjusted pricing structure helps me give them a better overall rating. At a $400 price point, I would probably have some complaints. Under $300 MSRP and this is a good beater or an inexpensive diver to have in the rotation. One thing I did not notice till after I had taken the photos was the bezel lume on the blue example is not all there at the 45 minute mark. It could be a one off example but as always, if you purchase, inspect it well upon arrival. Other than that, the watch is pretty solid. I still don’t know if I would run out into the Ocean with one as I do not believe these are really tested to withstand 500 feet of water resistance and if I were going into the water I would want a rubber strap, but I’m sure they will probably hold up to a day at the beach without issue.