PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 7 Jul, 2017.
I’ve reviewed two Spinnakers in the past, the Tavolara and Spence. Both were reasonably well made and interesting in design, however their RRPs were a bit too high for what you got.
I think they’re slowly learning about their pricing model – these two latest offerings (both are in the Cahill family) are a bit more reasonable; the Cahill Men’s is $410 / £315 and the Cahill Mid-Size is $245 / £185.
I’m also pleased to share with you a 30% off and free shipping code: WIAA30; making these even more affordable. Let’s take a closer look to see if either of these watches are worthy of your money.
Spinnaker Cahill Men’s specs
- Dimensions: 43mm diameter x 16mm height x 50mm lug to lug
- Weight: 106g
- Water resistance rating: 200m / 20ATM
- Movement: Miyota 8215
- Accuracy: +34.7 s/d
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $410 / £315 or $287 / £220 with code WIAA30
- Buy here: https://www.spinnaker-watches.com/products/sp-5033-03
Spinnaker Cahill Mid-Size specs
- Dimensions: 38mm diameter x 14mm height x 46.5mm lug to lug
- Weight: 76g
- Water resistance rating: 100m / 10ATM
- Movement: Seiko NH35
- Accuracy: +2.9 s/d
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $245 / £185 or $171.50 / £130 with code WIAA30
- Buy here: https://www.spinnaker-watches.com/products/sp-5042-03
43mm Men’s has a black DLC coating, very tactical and quite imposing coupled with the 43mm diameter. The 38mm Mid-Size is a gentle yellow good plating, which I’ve found myself liking more than I’d expect.
Both cases are finished to a good degree, with the 43mm Men’s having an additional Spinnaker logo engraved down the side.
The 43mm Men’s bezel has a glass insert with catches the light and gives a shimmer of reflection. There’s a bit of play on the bezel mechanism but it’s quite smooth and easy to use. The 38mm Mid-Size uses a fairly standard aluminium insert which is painted, but the action is really stiff and actually quite hard to use.
There’s a screw-in exhibition caseback on both watches, showing off the movements well. Both have watch specifics surrounding the window.
The screw-in crown is the same on both, and has a reassuring thread which is easy to unscrew. The crown has the Spinnaker logo engraved on the end which is accurately done, as well as decent grip and a channel around the middle to break it up a bit.
Both dials have the same mottled base to them; it’s an interesting texture that divides opinion. The 43mm Men’s is black, whilst the 38mm Mid-Size counterpart is green.
The design is the same on both, just a slightly scaled down and more condensed version on the 38mm Mid-Size; with a smaller logo and more packed together hour markers (they’re the same size). The hour marker at 3 is omitted too, making way completely for the date window which I think is much more balanced.
The hands are ever-so-slightly different; both have Mercedes vibes, but the 38mm Mid-Size omits the actual Mercedes symbol in the centre of the disc on the hour hand. I personally think this is a nicer design – it’s a little softer and more modern.
The lume is much better on the 38mm Mid-Size, probably because it’s a standard green, whereas the 43mm Men’s is an orange that isn’t as popular and probably harder to source.
The straps on both watches are better than average I’m pleased to say. They are both thick, sturdy and obviously high quality genuine leather.
The 43mm Men’s strap is 2mm wider to match the larger case size. It’s a deep black with attractive orange stitching which matches the accents on the dial, and has a very soft top.
The buckle is a more aggressive, angular affair on the 43mm Men’s, with larger flanks and a black DLC coating to match the case. It has the logo engraved on the top bar.
The 38mm Mid-Size strap is an interesting one – one that’s certainly not the norm. It has a furry, material-like top texture to it which actually goes well with the dial base.
There are two small stitch detailing at the top ends near the lugs, which keeps it interesting. The tang buckle is gold plated to match the case and is a softer, more rounded affair. It also has the Spinnaker logo engraved on the top bar.
Both watches contain different movements, which I think is a bit strange – one would have thought they’d both pack the same mechanism.
The 43mm Men’s has a Miyota 8215 within. It’s a very popular and affordable movement that’s proving to be a reliable workhorse. The accuracy isn’t that great, however, at +34.7 s/d so it would have been nice for it to be regulated a little.
The movement used within the 38mm Mid-Size is the Seiko NH35; an even more popular movement than the 8215. It’s also much more accurate coming in at an amazing +2.9 s/d which really surprised me.
Both movements are low-beat, so they run at 21.6k bph or 6 ticks per second, and it’s good to see that Spinnaker have made an effort in making alterations to the stock rotors. The 38mm Mid-Size has a nicer finish to it, with what looks like a wave pattern, whilst the 43mm Men’s has a pretty straight forward blue sticker on top.
In terms of design, there’s practically nothing in them – the Mens is larger and more tactical thanks to the vastness of the black DLC coating and the matching strap.
However, the Mid-Size wins it hands down for me. Firstly, it’s a much better buy – in fact I’d go as far as saying it’s a bit of a bargain. $245 / £185 is a very good price for this watch, and of course it’s even cheaper with the WIAA30 discount code, making it $171.50 / £130. For that price, I’d even go as far saying it’s a great watch. It’s also a much more balanced size at 38mm in diameter. The dial looks more comfortable and the strap and case compliment each other so well.
I don’t think the Men’s justifies the $410 / £315 price tag unfortunately. Even with the WIAA30 discount code making it $287 / £220, there’s better alternatives out there. That’s not to say that I’m still pleased to see Spinnaker improving the quality of their watches, as this is a step up from the Spence.