Wood watches have risen in popularity for the fashion watch segment in the past few years. The Spinnaker Vessel is one that combines wood and stainless steel, in a classic chronograph look that definitely lies in the fashion watch segment. Why do I say fashion watch? It is more about style over function in a sense. Mineral crystal and a Japanese quartz movement are the biggest things that stand out, though I honestly thought the watch would be thin and cheap feeling, and it is surprisingly not. Now, do not get me wrong, this is still very much a fashion watch, especially because of the wood accents. I will explain why in this review, and how I feel the watch fares for its sale price of $149.00.
Spinnaker Vessel Specifications:
- Case: Stainless Steel and maple wood
- Crystal: Mineral
- Case Width: 44mm
- Case Thickness: 13mm
- Case Length: 52mm
- Lug Width: 22mm
- Weight: 150 grams
- Water Resistance: 150 grams
Regular Price: $290 USD Sale Price: $149.99
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The Spinnaker Vessel is really out of my wheelhouse when it comes to watches I like or admire. For the most part, it is the maple wood accents (or any type of wood on a watch for that matter), but I do not want to harp on that, because it wouldn’t be fair. The biggest benefit to this watch is its screw down crown and its 100 meter water resistance. So many times a watch that is geared towards fashion has a push pull crown and is 5 meters resistant, which means if you get caught in a decent enough down pour, your watch might not work anymore, or at the very least fill up with water and or condensation. Would I go swimming with it? NO. Is it something you should do? That is up to you. Honestly I have no idea how the maple wood would hold up to prolonged water use, so I would not be trying it.
The dial aesthetics are actually pretty nice, and with the exception of the Spinnaker Sail logo on the dial, nothing gimmicky and it is fairly uncluttered for a chronograph. Applied markers and numerals are always welcome, it just looks so much better than printed/painted ones. It gives the dial added dimension, and a gives the appearance of something that costs a little more than it did. The black outlined hands and dial registers (and also dial text and logo) give a nice stark contrast, making them legible and also attractive.
As I mentioned in the video, I do not know how the bezel insert is attached but I will go out on a limb and say the screws are purely functional and the bezel is just attached via glue or an epoxy. I have never been a fan of non functional or decorative screws on any watch and with the Spinnaker Vessel, it is no different. I will say at the current sale price, I get it and can overlook it. I mean, how high end can a $150 watch really be?
The bracelet of the Spinnaker Vessel is similar to a standard 3 link oyster, but the center links are covered with maple wood. If you watch the video, I show you how I believe they are assembled and attached, and after looking it over some more, I think I am correct. They are most likely press fit over the stainless links, though I am not sure if some glue is used to help it stay in place. I hope there is glue used though, otherwise a good drop on the ground and you could possibly be missing some maple wood links. Wood sections aside, the bracelet is of decent quality with solid end links that line well with the lugs and a flip lock, fold over push button clasp.
When it comes to fashion oriented watches one thing I never expect is is good lume. Now, I will not say this is flashlight like lume or anything like that, but way better then I was expecting. It charges up quickly, and lasts for about an hour before it is completely gone, even in complete darkness with your eyes adjusted. But, I have seen watches costing 3 times this price that have had lume paint applied to the markers and hands that was blotchy and basically didn’t even charge to glow for anything more then a minute. So, good job Spinnaker!
On the wrist, it wears comfortable and is relatively lightweight. Sizing the bracelet is no issue, as it uses standard friction pins and I removed 3 links for a good fit. Size wise, it is your typical 44mm chronograph and I feel it plays as its stated size, not larger or smaller. It also does not have Spinnaker engraved into the not crown side, something that they seem to do often, so no worries about having to look at a billboard why it is on your wrist.
7 1/2 inch wrist
As you can tell, the Spinnaker Vessel is not exactly doing it for me. I mean, I just have an aversion to wood, or wooden accent watches. I can say the Vessel is one of the better ones I have seen, as the all wood watches do nothing for me, nor do I think they are even remotely practical. I believe the movement used is a Miyota Quartz as it is listed as Japanese quartz, though not specific. And it functions as a quartz chronograph does, and I did not encounter any issues. I do wish that they would list exactly what it is on their website though, but I am guessing that the demographic that is buying this is not overly concerned about what movement is being used. That is not a knock to anyone either, or meant to come off snobbish, but I want to make clear that this model is not what I consider an excellent value watch, even though it is affordable. For those that like the look though, I feel the sale price will make it more attractive to many, and for the most part, it is better built than many department store watches at the same price.