Spinnaker have a healthy collection of vintage styled timepieces, and they’ve just released a new series called the Bradner. The Bradner collection gives you a number of choices when it comes to dial colour, strap colour and even has an IP black case for one of the models. The partnership with Seiko sees a good drive train in this piece and it has a nifty internally rotating bezel.
The colours on the dial are striking and they all bring something different to the table. The contrast is probably best on the black dial with the large white markers. The LumiNova coating seems to partner up best with the black dial purely because the light blue on black is just exquisite in the dark.
The markers are all sizeable with a big space for lume in them. The baton watch hands also make space for a large lume portion and the hour hand strangely resembles the famous car brand Chevrolet’s logo. The second hand has a little lume dot on the end. The chapter ring with the minute markers has been applied to the dial instead of being marked on to the dial.
The hour markers are raised up high from the dial which becomes a defining feature and creates a textured, 3 dimensional look to the timepiece. The date window is at 3 o’clock and the Spinnaker name is under 12 o’clock. I am not a fan of the cursive font because it doesn’t have the desired sophisticated appeal that it is trying to display. All of this is snugly placed under a domed sapphire crystal.
This case on the Bradner is a comfortable 42mm with lugs that are curved just right so that they fit your wrist comfortably. The curve on the lugs is significant but even if you have large wrists this should work for you. The case has a mostly brushed finish with small polished pieces here and there.
The inner-rotating bezel requires the crystal to have that slightly bigger curve, which in turn, causes the timepiece to look like it is jumping right out at you. There is a crown at 2 o’clock and at 4 o’clock with the former being responsible for rotating the bi-directional internal bezel and the other for all timekeeping functions.
At 14mm the Bradner sits tall on your wrist and will cause some hassle with the formal dress situations but as a casual wearer it should still work well and obviously for water use. The exhibition caseback on the Bradner I enjoy more than on some of the other pieces because it doesn’t cover up the whole back crystal with the branding. We get a good look at the Seiko workhorse powering this piece.
Movement and Style
The movement is an improvement on vintage mechanisms but is still on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of mechanical movement quality. It is a loose imitation of the branded Seiko 4R35 and still does a fair job. The NH35 is an entry level movement that has been used to keep the price competitive but still reliable. It has a hacking second hand and 24 jewels with a 41 hour power reserve. The 21,600 bph gives you a just below average of modern movement speeds but will likely keep going for years and years to come.
The hand-stitched strap rounds off the vintage style with finesse. The strap is treated with a water resistant layer so you don’t have to swop out the strap if you are going to be using it for extended periods of time in the water. It keeps its quality well. The hand-stitched pieces are a sign of careful workmanship and can be expected on most genuine vintage leather straps. The cost on a timepiece can rise quickly and a tong buckle is a simple way to manage price and keep true to the vintage theme.
There are varying opinions on the movement but I think it will keep your time well for years to come if you look after it properly. There is real value for money with this piece if you are looking for a vintage diver and you are alright with an ever so slightly louder sound. The curved lugs make this comfortable and easily wearable despite the 14mm width.
I personally love the SuperLumiNova colour so that is one of the eye-catching aspects for me and the fact that you are not limited to one dial is a plus because we all like different things! Spinnaker has been producing a number of appealing models and variation in choice but I would like to see them put some work into a signature piece.
To have a look at the entire Spinnaker selection of watch visit their official website here.