The latest in the vintage inspired lineup from Spinnaker is the Tavolara. From the website, this model was named after the small island off the northeast coast of Sardinia, Italy which is a haven for scuba divers due to its incredible array of coral and marine life. I would say that is a good name to give to a dual crown dive style watch, though for the watch itself, I would classify this as more of a fashion diver than a true dive watch, as I will detail blow. Even with that, the Spinnaker Tavolara has a great look with an easily read dial and a great size at 42mm x 48mm.
Spinnaker Tavolara Specifications:
- CASE MATERIAL : Stainless Steel
- CASE DIAMETER (mm) : 42
- CASE THICKNESS (mm) : 14
- CASE LENGTH (mm) : 48
- LUG WIDTH (mm) 20
- CASE COLOR : Stainless Steel
- MOVEMENT : Miyota 8215 Automatic
- CRYSTAL : Mineral
- STRAP : Leather Strap and Nylon Nato Style
- WATER RESISTANCE : 100 Meters
Price using code WR35 $253.50, giving 35% off retail price of $390. Use code at checkout to get discount.
Sometimes the review process does not work out the way you want it to. Spinnaker sent a few models for review recently, and this Tavolara model was to have a sale for two weeks, in which they wanted the review up in that time frame. Unfortunately I got the timeline wrong, and the sale at the time of this writing is now over. So, that is why you see a code above for a discount of 35% off, making this watch just over $250. You might be asking, why is the sale price so important? Well, at the full retail price I probably would not have chose to review this watch, because frankly, it is high. At the price with the discount, I think it is much more in tune for what the watch offers.
Make no bones about it, I have never shied away from the fact that I consider Spinnaker watches to be fashion watches. This is often a term that some non watch enthusiasts do not really understand, but basically it is more show than go. Now, Spinnaker does seem to fall somewhere in the middle of that, as certain aspects are much nicer and build quality is generally much better as well, but you will not be getting high end specs such as a high beat automatic movement or sapphire crystals either. This particular model, the Spinnaker Tavolara, does have some very nice features though, and is an attractive dive style watch.
Let me get the bad out of the way. The Spinnaker Tavolara has a massive mineral crystal that extends a good 3mm off of the dial, meaning there is no crystal protection. If the crystal was sapphire, this would not bother me as much, but being mineral it is most likely going to get scratched up easily. Yes, mineral has its advantages as it is very impact resistant, but I have always found sapphire to be better as I am more worried about scratches than shattering. Depending on what you do for a living/your lifestyle, this might not be as big of an issue. I will say that the crystal is super clear and while usually crystals this large cause a lot of distortion, this one does not, as you can clearly see in my photos. Honestly, in terms of clarity it is better than some watches I have reviewed costing 4 times its retail price.
Dial readability, especially in a dive style watch is always a point of contention with me. You should be able to read the time with just a glance and not have to search for the hands or markers. The Spinnaker Tavolara pulls this off well. The hour/minute/second hands are large, different in colors and shape, which allows them to stand out on the dial, the way it should be. I could do without the large sail at the 12 position, but I understand that is part of Spinnaker’s branding and something they like to emphasize. The sail as well as all of the other markers are applied, not printed and are filled with generous amounts of lume compound.
The crown at the 2 position operates your internal bezel if you choose to do any timing with this model, though it does not screw down, so be careful after setting it not to bang it into anything, or you will have to start all over. The main crown does screw down and on my example has some wobble, but does not feel like it will snap off either. With 100 meters of water resistance, this is not one I would go deep diving with, but I imagine light swimming in the ocean or pool, should be fine.
Satin brushed finishing throughout the case is surprisingly good. You can see how well done the case sides are, but I always look for the things that some don’t, which is the underside of the lugs. Many times on less expensive watches you will find sharp edges and while you might not feel this against your wrist while wearing, when these are nicely rounded it shows attention to detail. The Spinnaker Tavolara is comfortable on all sides and the all brushed finishing lends itself to that “tool” watch style.
Powering the Spinnaker Tavolara is the Miyota 8215 automatic movement. I am sure many are familiar with this non hacking, low beat movement as it has been around for quite some time now. The Miyota 8215 is a catch 22. It is an affordable movement and one that runs well, but the lack of being able to hack and its sometimes erratic second hand can be annoying. If Spinnaker does not have plans to use the 9015 at anytime soon, I would hope maybe they would consider the Seiko NH35 for future automatic models.
The Tavolara comes with both a 20mm perforated, almost distressed leather strap and for the green dial, an orange nylon Nato. I do not like Nato straps, never have, but the leather strap is very nice for the price point, and seems like it will hold up fairly well. It is a little short though, so if you wrists are bigger than mine, you might have to use an aftermarket strap.
Wrist shot on 7 1/2 inch wrist
The Tavolara lights up fairly well, though as you can see the hands do not have the same intensity as the markers, which if I was given a choice, I would like to have reversed. The hands do glow, but after an hour I can still see the markers, not so much the hands. Another layer of lume compound on the hands would have fixed this in my opinion.
Overall, the Spinnaker Tavolara is probably not a watch I would personally wear daily, but they did build an attractive dual crown dive style watch that at the discount price will not break the bank. Being part of their vintage lineup, it is also not large at 42x48mm, so those that have been wanting a dual crown diver in a smaller size should give this one a look. Funky meets classic is probably the best way to describe the Tavolara. Its a fashion watch that does not feel like a fashion watch.
Thank you for reading.