Spinnaker Tesei Mille Metri
Spinnaker is a brand I have heavily covered here over the years. The latest piece is the Spinnaker Tesei Mille Metri and is retailing for $1,350. In the video above, I really get into the pricing issues with this watch, so I won’t belabor it here, but I will reiterate to make sure you use either the coupon code on the website or find a good coupon code online. Strange way to start off a review I am sure you are all thinking, and maybe if this were some other site, but I like to get straight to the point. See, Spinnaker is not known for producing watches at this price point, and as such, it makes this watch somewhat difficult to review. It honestly has less to do with the price and more to do with the brand, or more specifically the hierarchy of the brand in the watch world. Spinnaker, in my opinion, is a decent brand, under the umbrella of a bigger company that produce a hell of a lot of watches. Being a savvy shopper and using discounts, you can walk away with a pretty solid and fashionable watch for under $500 most of the time, sometimes much less than $500. They also make a lot of great designs and are pumping out new models constantly. But, getting into a price category of over $1000, and well, that’s where the trouble starts. Don’t worry, I will talk about this watch in this review, and showcase it as always, but do keep that price in the back of your head will ya?
Tesei Mille Metri Specifications:
- 44mm Stainless Steel Case
- 16mm Thick
- 52mm Lug to Lug
- 22mm Lug Width
- Sapphire Crystal
- Sapphire Bezel Insert
- 1000 Meters WR
- Sellita SW200 Movement
- Metal Bracelet and Rubber Strap
- Limited Edition*
- Price $1350 (Discounts readily available right on Spinnaker Website)
So, let’s be clear here. I think this is a great watch from Spinnaker. I noticed some comments on the video review that some do not agree with me, and that is probably based on my review. See, I went on about the price, but not in the fact that the quality of the watch was subpar, it is more about the brand and their perceived place. Some took that the wrong way, and like to go hard on the watch. The Spinnaker Tesei Mille Metri is easily the best watch they have ever produced and also comes in a few different options, so I will get into it now. You have 3 versions, that is of the 3 hand variant. The Ebony Black model reviewed here, a Hunter Green and a Peacock Blue. They all use the SW200 movement unless you opt for the more expensive GMT version, which comes in Midnight Black and lacks the Gilt dial of the one I have here. The packaging is extensive; a massive cardboard box is all done up with the appropriate graphics, a pelican style case, and inside is the 1000m dive watch with an H-Link bracelet, warranty info, numbered certificate, and a very nice rubber strap. One thing is for sure, they did not skimp on the packaging.
They really didn’t skimp on much else though either. As you saw in the specs above, the Tesei Mille Metri has pretty much everything you would look for in a dive watch at this price. Sapphire, Sapphire bezel insert, Swiss Movement, high water resistance, solid bracelet, clean dial, etc. It is all here. What else is here? Well, it is somewhat reminiscent, at least case design, of the Rolex DSSD. Yes, I know, there are only so many ways to make a round case dive watch, but when you look at the case, the Helium Release Valve, the overall size, and that hour hand-It is pretty derivative. Fortunately, it is not an exact copy, and you can easily see with the dial work, the cross-hairs, the textured outer edge, it is attempting to be a little different. Still present though is that damn cyclops. Yes, I get it, some people apparently can not see the date on a watch and need a magnifier. Well, start carrying one in your pocket, and let’s start a campaign to make watch crystals wart-free! You, yeah you reading this right now, you know this watch or any watch (Seiko Prospex, I’m looking at you ) would look so much better sans cyclops. Of all things to copy from Rolex, why oh why bring this over. Anyways, the dial is not pretty attractive otherwise and if you are not a fan of gold, the other dial colors have silvertone hands and markers.
The bezel on my example is a little hard to grip, it turns easily enough if you get your fingers on it in the right way, but this is not one of the bezels that you’ll sit there and annoy your wife with while watching tv. You guys know what I mean. Crown action is seemingly quite good though, and the crown does not have any real wobble. Spinnaker chose a solid case back, which I personally find proper for a dive watch, and it is a very nice case back as well. Kudos. You’ll see your limited edition number on the case back as well as these Spinnaker Tesei Mille Metri watches are a run of 300 only. I hope to not see any more of these produced in other colors/variations, as that will take away the specialness of it, but bigger brands do this all the time, so it would not surprise me one bit. Plus, 300 of each color isn’t really that limited, so I don’t know what I am going on about. I always tell folks, 50 or under is limited, 10 or under is truly limited, and is probably the only time you should care about such things. I am also just some guy who writes about watches and records himself talking about watches privately in a home studio, so you do you.
I like the inclusion of the rubber strap, not only because it is a very comfortable and attractive dive strap, but it really reduces the weight of this beast. At 44mm and 16mm thick, it is a heavy watch. The H-Link bracelet that uses friction pins instead of screws is mighty, and removing it and putting it on rubber knocks about 100 grams off the weight, which is definitely more my speed these days. For those that want to build your forearms up and choose to keep the bracelet on, Spinnaker put a ratcheting extension clasp on this piece, a first I believe for the brand. You have seen it before, it is pretty much a carbon copy of ones used on countless microbrands. It may be large and a focal point of the underside of your wrist, but it is very functional and especially nice to have if you need a little extra room on a hot, sweaty day. While the buckle on the rubber strap is not some super custom piece of metal, it does not look like your standard off the shelf thumbnail buckle either and is also not crazy oversized for no reason whatsoever.
I wore this watch for a few days on the bracelet, and then quickly switched to the rubber strap, but even though I do not search out big heavy watches these days, I was fine wearing this on my 7 1/2 inch wrist. Sure, it is heavy, but it seems pretty balanced when sized properly and overall I didn’t find myself waiting to rip it off at the end of the night.
Speaking of the night, Spinnaker went full-tilt boogie on the lume, and I may start to sound like a broken record, but easily the best lume I have ever seen from the brand. Dual-color SuperLuminova was used, and they did not cheap out or mess around. Every area where lume is applied, including the bezel insert, lights up vividly and will last quite a few hours. The lume is strong with this one.
Summing this one up is pretty easy. The Spinnaker Tesei Mille Metri is a mouthful to say, it is the highest-priced piece I belie the brand has ever done, and they seem to play around with the pricing and discounts every time I go to the website. I do not care for that, but the watch itself is much better than I ever expected it to be, and I am glad it is not a dud. Sure, a lot of other microbrands have done this style of the watch before, and many years ago actually, so you can say Spinnaker is late to the party. That would be true if they only sold 1 or 2 watches a year, but they produce so many different models each year that I do not think it matters. For those wanting that big chunky piece, here it is. My biggest takeaway here is what they can do, and with that said, hopefully, this is a sign of things to come. Would I like to see this price come way down though? Yeah. $1350 is a lot. $1000 with a code is still pricey for this brand, at least for now. $750 and I think it would be much easier to recommend. Whatever you do, make sure you get the best possible price on it if you choose to buy one. Taking a look at Watchrecon and resale value is not good with this brand at all, and your flippers will take a big hit if you don’t buy smart.