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Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch holding a guitar
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Any watch that prompts me to reach for my guitar must be a good one. Maybe it’s the beautifully rustic pre-worn bronze-style case reminding me of the worn-down sunray finish of a 70’s Stratocaster, or the vintage vibes throughout the dial reminiscent of the bridge and pickups of a Les Paul. Or maybe it’s just the fact that it simply looks like a watch that needs to be worn whilst turning your amp up to 11.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Playing Guitar

We have been spoiled by Spinnaker for some time; in that, they consistently create pretty great diving watches for a very reasonable price; usually under £250. This new Croft Midsize Limited Edition made me take a second glance at the RRP though, as it’s been a little while since I saw one of their watches cost £310. Granted, these are limited editions – with a run of 1000 watches over 3 models, and offer a slightly more special appearance thanks to the skeletonised Seiko NH70 movement. However, all is not lost, as if you use my code WIAA20, you’ll get 20% off it, making it a more reasonable £248.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Wrist and guitar

Without further ado, let’s check it out.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Specs

This model is known as the “hazy sunset”, and it’s a delightful balance of vintage colours and finishes, the complexities that come with a skeleton dial, and the bold design requirements of an actual dive watch.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch on a guitar fretboard

The base of the dial is purely exposed Seiko NH70 movement, with a smokey layer applied on top to increase the limited legibility. Legibility on a skeleton watch is always going to be an issue, however, they’ve attempted to get the best of both worlds here.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch

Talking about the movement, the NH70 is a skeletonised version of the ever-popular Seiko NH35, which you’ll find in the majority of affordable automatic watches. Whilst the NH35 is industrial at best with its finishing (read: plain and boring), the NH70 is certainly a step above, and they’ve done a great job in making it look surprisingly well finished considering the budget aspect of it. Specs include a low best rate of 21.6k bph, hacking seconds hand, hand and automatic winding, and an approx 41-hour power reserve.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch macro dial
Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch macro

Spinnaker has also added a custom application to the rotor, making the rear of the movement, visible through the exhibition caseback, appear a lot fancier than the plain stock option.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch caseback and movement

Moving back to the dial; the hands are thick and bold, ensuring optimum visibility on top of the complex movement; as well as the simple mix of disc and baton hour markers. They all have a brushed light bronze finish to them, continuing the vintage theme from the case.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch on a guitar

The case is a great size and shape. On my approx 7” wrist, it fits excellently and I have no complaints at all. Whilst 14.6mm sounds tall, it wears a lot thinner thanks to the slender profile which contracts a lot from the sides to the top of the crystal and bottom of the caseback.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Wrist Sideways
Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch side on a guitar

I must admit, I have questions about the case on this model. It’s described as steel, so either the description is wrong, or this is an applied coating, which might rub off in time.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch side profile

The screw-in crown is a delight to use, with an effective grip and sturdy thread. Spinnaker used to sign their crowns with a motif based on the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, but now they opt for some sort of fancy N. It looks nice from a design standpoint, but I’m not sure of the connection. Whatever the case, it’s nicely finished and well engraved.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch crown

Moving on to the bezel; it’s a simple enough aluminium insert, but it’s wonderfully executed. Lume-filled numerals and dashes, little neat dents at each minute, and a tidy red triangle at 12 with lumed pip within.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch bezel insert

This brings us on to the lume, which is excellent. Thickly applied on all elements, it charges quickly, glows brightly, and lasts a while. Why can’t some of the more expensive brands just get their lume right?

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Lume Shot

Finally, we come to the strap. I always find Spinakker straps to be nice and thick, supple and high quality. I’m pleased to say that’s not changed here. It has a rustic matte brown finish to it which will age well, topped off with some cream stitched detailing at the lug ends. The buckle seems to have had a slight revamp to their usual too, with a more angular approach. It’s got a matching finish / coating to the case, which works well with the brown. The logo is neatly engraved on the top bar.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Leather Strap
Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Buckle
Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch buckle macro

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Final Comments

I applaud Spinnaker for trying something different. In fact, these are their only skeleton models available. From top to bottom, it’s a genuinely lovely watch too – with Spinnaker’s usual excellent build quality. I like the vintage / rustic aesthetic, which is tastefully done. It also provides some of the best legibility on a skeleton watch I’ve seen before thanks to the smokey opaque dial and bold hands and simple layout. So if you’re after a skeleton watch, but have concerns for readability then this could be just for you.

The RRP of £310 is a bit steep for me, but using code WIAA20 for 20%, making it £248, is much more reasonable. For that, you get a solid 150m diver with a flourish that’s not the norm.

Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch Guitar
Spinnaker Croft Midsize Limited Edition Watch On the Wrist

1 comment

  1. johnnyjohnny

    nice review and great looking piece. HOWever…even tho i think we all know the faux finish on the case is applied and will likely wear over time (pun i suppose), it would have been nice to contact Spinnaker and nail this point down.

    i’d have to assume the finish is some sort of plating material which will begin to wear, which would not look bad given that it starts out distressed/worn…except for the fact that the steel underneath will be silver vs the gold/bronze distressed finish, which makes it not a cool distressed piece when it wears, but a fakey application. on a strap i would have ordered a pure steel to avoid this, but they don’t even offer that (on strap), just another coated moded, the other one being black.

    good review, but even though we likely know the answer, it would have been nice to nail down this review point. other than that issue, the watch seems great to me, a longtime dive collector.

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