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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As promised, here is my initial thoughts on the Spinnaker Dumas. More pics available on my instagram: sail944

I first saw this watch on instagram, and was impressed by the design and branding. As an avid sailor and dive watch nerd, I was delighted by all of their sailing-focused photos and approach to the brand. I was also happy to see a "new" design and not just another sub homage. Additonally, they were running a 20%off promo with an additional 20% of with promo code "PR 20" bringing the total to $307 shipped. VERY TEMPTING! So naturally I did what any of us would do, and searched for reviews about the brand on WUS.... But was unable to find anything.

Still longing for a good blue-faced diver under $500 (i've owned and flipped Seiko FFF, Squale, Aramar Arctic Ocean, Borealis snowflake - but none entirely fit the bill) I took a chance and placed my order.

THE STORY THICKENS

After placing my order, my paypal pmt went directly to "Solar Time LTD", which is a manufacturer in Hong Kong. Shipping also originated from Hong Kong, 20 mins away from the address on file for "Solar Time Ltd".

On the Spinnaker website, I wasn't able to dig up any location, but I did find an email address referencing "Dartmouth Brands UK"; the English company responsible for creating AVI-8 and Ballast Watches. Their websites are all eerily similar as well.

Therefore, my thoughts are that Dartmouth Brands designed the watches/website/brand and have outsourced the production to Solar Time Ltd in China to drop-ship the watches directly to the customer. Not really a surprise here, and I am fine with this as long as it is done seamlessly (more on this coming up).

SHIPPING
Item was listed as shipped the day following my order an would be via TNT from HK to Ohio. Shipping was included in the purchase price, so I expected something similar to USPS or ground.... I had the watch 4days later, which is the absolute FASTEST international ship time I have ever had. A+ to spinnaker here.


STRANGER THINGS

Upon opening the package I was stunned by the watch but quickly realized that there had been a mistake. My watch and promised extra strap had come in a *white cardboard* box instead of the fancy wood one with strap tool as they had made a huge deal of on the website. Obviously with mine being one of the first Dumas' shipped, there had been a communication breakdown between the Spinnaker/Dartmouth brand and Solar Time Ltd.

I quickly DM'd Spinnaker on instagram (that's where I got the extra 20% off coupon code from), and they acknowledged the mistake and told me to email them to get the box set sent out. TO BE COTINUED...


SO ONTO THE WATCH!

Awesome. Better attention to detail than some of the other microbrands out there (looking at you borealis, squale and aramar!). I would compare quality to Seiko or Steinhart. slightly lower than alpina/entry level swiss, but close!

beautiful dark blue textured dial with smooth and raised dial along the indicies, which are applied, brushed, and lumed (c3 superlume) to match the hands. Spinnaker logo acts as the 12 indicie, is lumed, and actually polished which does not add nor detract from the design IMO. Spinnaker branding and "Automatic WR 300M" are balanced and in a font that I could definitely see on a yacht.

Sword hands are a plus for me, and have a unique brush to them which gives me a real "tool" feel to the overall elegance t the design. It works and adds some character to the watch.

Lumed Bezel is awesome, lines up correctly, and is either acrylic or mineral glass. Color matches dial perfectly

One Drawback for me was the use of mineral crystal vs. sapphire, but at this pricepoint it is acceptable/understandable. As is using a Miyta vs. Swiss movement

Display back was a nice touch too, yet looking at a miyta leaves a little to be desired, save the branded blue rotor, which I like. (reminds me of the token red rolex gear!)

Movement winds/sets smoothly, and the date window lines up as it should (#1 reason for me flipping the borealis seahawk). Still not a fan of the miyota date font, but at least the window lines up; even at double-digit dates.

IMO, the case design is what makes this watch pop. nice brushed and angled sides with somewhat sharp polished chamfers (please excuse the fingerprints in pic). polishing and brushing seems consistent everywhere on the watch/bezel, which I have not had with other brands (Seiko). I give the case an + here, and would compare it to alpina/low end swiss.

Crown is nicely polished yet easy to grasp, with a white spinnaker inlay, which lines up perfectly vertical with the crown screwed in (don't think my breitling even executes this as well)... not my style per say, but at least it's done right!


THE BRACELET

2 words: learning curve. It's basically a nicely-made mesh with a deployant, so you do not have to adjust the length every time you put it on.Nice feature, but the execution here was 6/10. The design means that the bitter end (extra length) of the strap is on the bottom half/inside wrist, which is opposite of a normal watch. even worse is that the floating keeper is too loose, leading to the extra mesh to flap around (see pic), and the keeper often gets in the way of the deployant when putting the watch on.

Not an entire deal breaker for me here, especially since they include a leather strap (and I think the watch will look killer on Nato's too), but a definite area that needs improvement.


FINAL THOUGHTS

9/10. best $300 watch I've owned. Great value for the money, and although I wish it had a swiss mvt, sapphire, and more refined bracelet, it's just not realistic for the selling price of the watch.

After flipping over 50 watches in the last few years in search of the perfect "weekend blue beater", I think that I have found a keeper. I really like the case, colors, and details of the watch, and it seems to dress up and down equally as well. As I type this I am at my office in a suit, and it fits just as well as it did last night in jeans and t-shirt.

More to come regarding my experience with Spinnaker customer service. Plenty more pics on instagram as sail944. Enjoy!
 

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Cool watch! I was curious about this model after seeing the your post in f71, so thanks for putting together this review. That case shape is just begging for an engineer 2 bracelet.
 

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Nice review and a cool take on the Omega SHOM ! I've always wanted an Omega SHOM just haven't found the right one, I did however find its little cousin the 166.0251 and I love it !



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pamsnob what a beaut!
 
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