Hans Hass was an Austrian scientist. Born in 1919, he suffered from Reynaud’s Disease, and was not forced to serve in the German Army in World War II. Instead, he studied coral reefs and all the marine life that lives in that ecosystem. In the process, he became one of the most accomplished divers of the 20th century. During his life, he would invent a new kind of rebreather, and he was one of the first people to film an underwater documentary.
Spinnaker is famous for their nautical-themed watches, and now they’ve released the Hass Automatic Kelp Green in Hass’ honor. This is a tribute to the ocean floor, with notes of grey, green, and gold. But does it deserve a place in your collection? I picked one up and put it through its paces; here’s what I thought.
A Nautical Dial
The Spinnaker Hass Automatic Kelp Green Watch is built as advertised around a kelp green dial. The dial has a stepped design, with the center seated lower than the outer index. This gives it a three-dimensional appeal without the need for an overly fat case. Don’t get me wrong – the case is pretty fat, but it’s not enormous.
There’s a charcoal grey ring around the outer edge of the dial, with a series of fine white hashes at the individual minute positions. Overlapping between the outer grey ring and the outside of the main green dial is a set of fat gold lume blocks, positioned at five-minute intervals. At the 12 o’clock position is a double-wide block, which extends to a point at its tip. On the recessed center area of the dial, you’ll notice tiny Arabic numerals. These show 24-hour time; so at the one o’clock position, it says “13,” and so on.
There are a couple of exceptions. At 12 and 6 o’clock, there are vertical lines instead of numerals. More importantly, you’ll find a day and date window at the three o’clock position. The day is at the left, with cream text on weekdays and red text on weekend. The date is to the right, and is displayed in red Arabic numerals that match the color of the text for weekends. The center of the dial is mostly bare, with minimal ornamentation. The word “SPINNAKER” is printed in white text across the top, with smaller text across the bottom detailing the depth specifications.
The hour and minute hands are big, fat, like enormous claymores. Both are mostly covered with a gold lume finish that matches the lume blocks that mark the five-minute positions. The hour hand is a bit fatter, and has a narrow white border. The minute hand is longer and less flat, and outlined with red. The second hand is long and very slender, except for near the tip. It has a gold lume block towards the end, which is outlined in a red paint that extends all the way to the tip.
A Dive-Worthy Case
The Hass Automatic has a diameter of 43mm, which lends it a medium wrist presence. At 50.5mm from lug to lug, it tends towards the larger end of the medium. It’s 15.3mm thick, which is a bit fat, but not overly so. And it’s constructed from 316L stainless steel, the most corrosion-resistant variety.
This is a true dive watch, with a water-resistance rating of 300 meters (1,000 feet). I particularly liked the uni-directional rotating bezel, which has a unique “countdown” design. The surface has not one, but two sets of markings. The inner set of markings are standard dive marks, with green hashes at one-minute increments, and yellow stripes alternating with green Arabic numerals at five-minute increments. The outer set of markings show alternating Arabic numerals and yellow stripes, but in reverse order. So where the main markings have a stripe at the 15-minute mark, the countdown marking says “45.”
Inside the bezel is a sapphire lens with a flat surface that won’t distort your dial. It’s coated with an anti-reflective finish, which does a good job of preventing glare even on bright, sunny days.
Bracelet and Movement
The Hass SP-5099 Automatic comes with a tri-link stainless steel bracelet that perfectly matches the case. The links are nice and tight, with rounded edges that won’t create pinch points. It latches and unlatches easily, with a secure catch that doesn’t easily pop open by mistake.
Inside the watch is a Japanese NH16 TMI automatic movement. It vibrates at 3Hz, or 21,600 times per hour. The accuracy is so-so, at -10/+30 seconds per day. That’s about what you expect from a midrange automatic, and it’s more than good enough for most purposes.
Spinnaker backs their watches with a two-year international warranty. If it fails due to a defect in parts or labor, you’ll be fully protected.
For more information visit the official Spinnaker website here.