PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 11 May, 2018.
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Part of the same group who owns Avi-8, Thomas Earnshaw, DuFa, and James McCabe (Dartmouth Brands), Spinnaker are their brand focusing on dive watches, hence why their logo is a sail.
One of their most recent releases, the Croft, pays tribute to a special individual in the diving world. In 1967 Robert Croft, A US Navy Diving Instructor became the first person to free dive to depth of 200 ft.
At first glance it’s not usual in looks for a dive watch; being a vivid root beer colour rather than a traditional black or blue. Let’s check it out.
- Dimensions: 43mm diameter x 14.5mm height x 51mm lug to lug
- Weight: 110g
- Water resistance rating: 15ATM / 150m
- Movement: Miyota 8218
- Accuracy: +11.5 sec/day
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $320 / ~£225
- Buy here: https://www.spinnaker-watches.com/collections/croft/products/sp-5058-02
The case is a straightforward barrel shape with downturned lugs; primarily brushed bar the polished top and bottom edging, and bottom. There is a deep and accurate engraving of the Spinnaker logo along the side.
On of the most impressive aspects of this watch is the beautiful boxed sapphire crystal, sitting tall with a domed edge. In addition to this extra height, there’s also a round cyclops date magnifier above the date window – so be careful not to knock it. The flow of the crystal is really nice, joining seamlessly through to the edge of the bezel. The crystal is obviously super thick from when you tap it. I find the distorted edge adds real character when viewing the watch and another vintage vibe.
The 120 click bezel has a coined edge which offers suitable grip and is easy to use. The action is smooth and loud, which also lines up accurately. There is an applied lume pip at 12 with a polished ring, showing good attention to detail. It’s a tasty deep root beer colour which compliments the dial and strap perfectly.
The screw-in crown doesn’t have any guards or protection, again providing a vintage feel to the watch. It has good grip, making it easy to use, and a polished end with the Spinnaker sail logo engraved.
The caseback is quite tall, with a large exhibition window showcasing the entirety of the movement. Various details are deeply engraved surrounding the window.
The eyes are primarily drawn to the base of the dial, a highly texturised faux sunburst; lighter in the centre gradually getting darker towards the edge. For me, this is a key design feature of the Croft and certainly makes it stand out.
The applied indices and hands are all the same design – lume filled with a brushed brass edging to them. I feel using brushed brass finishing rather than steel is a nice alternative and matches the root beer theme. They’re all very well made, even under the macro lens.
The hands are a bold, legible shape – thick and wide with a direct pointed tip. Legibility is excellent, which, at the end of the day, is important for a diver rated to 150m.
The lume used is Super LumiNova®, which is reasonably quick to charge and glows brightly. Whilst it’s not outstanding, it’s better than I was expecting which is always a nice surprise.
The applied logo is probably the one thing I’m a bit disappointed with, I wish it was a bit thicker to match the hour markers.
There’s a small seconds subdial at 4, with a concentric circular texture on the base which sets it apart from the rest of the dial and provides a nice variety to the overall texture of the dial. The hand is a mini version of the big hands.
The date window has a border around it to create a neat transition, whilst the date wheel is a dark brown to match the dial.
Overall I’m impressed with the dial – good legibility, interesting backdrop and markers / hands. Overall I’ve found it to be pretty good design, albeit not for everyone.
The Croft comes with a lovely oil finished leather strap. It’s a rustic, characteristic brown to match the dial perfectly. The thickness of it signifies good quality and it smells great too. It does mark a bit, but that adds even more character, and is a testament to the quality of leather. Overall it’s very comfortable thanks to a very soft upper.
It has decent rugged double stitching, cream coloured which is a suitable contrast. It also has a good, thick seal down the sides.
There’s an interesting shaped tang buckle, with the Spinnaker logo well engraved in the top bar.
The movement used within the Spinnaker Croft is the Miyota 8218, a movement I’ve only come across once before: in the Avi-8 Centenary collection. This is because it’s used mainly due to the seconds subdial being located at 4, which you don’t see too often.
The specs are the usual you’d expect from a workhorse Miyota: low beat of 21.6k bph (6 ticks a second), although as it’s a small seconds hand you can’t tell if there’s a stammer or not; 42 hour power reserve, date complication, non-hacking seconds hand (so you can’t set it perfectly).
In terms of accuracy, this one is coming in at +11.5 seconds a day. Usually I’d be after within 10 seconds a day, so it’s a little more than I’d hoped. They are super easy to regulate to within COSC specs though if you wanted.
It’s a fairly plain looking movement, but the bridges have a nice pearlage finish to them to make it look slightly higher market. Spinnaker have also added a customised printed sticker to the rotor, which is more interesting than the stock one.
I’ve been really impressed overall with the Spinnaker Croft. In fact, it’s easy to say this is their best watch yet: it’s also reasonably priced for what it is. Every aspect is well-built, from the thick boxed crystal, to the case, all the way through to the strap.
Really, the only negative in terms of build quality is the logo, which is a little thin for my liking. Of course, the brown texturised dial may not be for everyone visually; but if you dig it then it’s a lovely timepiece to buy.