PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 13 Dec, 2016.


This is the first Spinnaker I’ve reviewed – but it feels like I’ve met them before. Probably because I’ve become acquainted with a lot of their family. The company responsible of Spinnaker (Dartmouth Brands) is the same as Avi-8, Thomas Earnshaw, Deutsche Uhrenfabrik, and James McCabe – of which I’ve reviewed a fair few.

The Spinnaker Tavolara retails at $390 / approx £310. If you order direct, using the discount code WIAB5 will get you a cheeky 5% off.

At first glance, it’s quite an unusual looking fellow; with a certain charm about it that catches the eye. Let’s take a closer look at the watch.

The specs

  • Case dimensions: 42mm diameter x 14mm height x 49mm lug to lug
  • Lug width: 20mm
  • Weight: 95g
  • Movement: Miyota 8215
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Water resistance: 100m
  • Price: $390 / approx £310

The case

The first thing you notice is that the case appears to be pretty thick due to the very tall sapphire crystal. It has excellent clarity with a vintage style sharp angle surrounding the edge. This is more than welcome as it’s a little bit different – just be careful you don’t knock and chip the crystal.

Everything else is fairly straight forward. The case is completely brushed so will prove to be hard wearing and resilient against scratches, and it’s also well manufactured against all counts.

A key feature of the case is the double crown, one at 2 and one at 4; both with the logo engraved on end. These are in fact the only polished parts of the entire watch so they stand out well against the case. The top crown controls the inner rotating bezel and the bottom is for setting the time. This bottom crown has a blue rubber ring through the centre of it to aid grip.

The screw-in caseback is simple and has a large exhibition window to display the movement, with various engraved watch details surrounding it. The movement looks cool, but more on that later.

The case in general is fairly simple; but well manufactured. It feels as if it’ll stand the test of time.

The dial

The dial on this particular model is quite an unusual dark turquoise colour. It has heavy green accents thanks to the minute hand, printing and inner bezel markings. This colour scheme works really well with the strap colour and the whole watch stands out thanks to this non-conventional colour scheme.

The shape and design of the hands are also unusual. The hour hand has a green surround and an oversized arrow at the tip, and the minute hand is a brushed metal affair with a smaller point. The second hand is a thin red stick with a lumed disc located at the length of the hour hand.

The green printing on the dial is minimal: there’s the crosshairs, water resistance at 9 and “automatic” at the base. Everything else is applied elements.

We have applied disc hour markers with trapezoids at 3, 6 and 9, and in addition to that we have an applied Spinnaker logo at 12. They’re all really nicely made with good depth, signifying good quality.

The bottom half of the dial has the Spinnaker word lightly applied too, which is a nice little touch.

An internal rotating bezel is a feature I always enjoy, although in this instance it has a bit of up / down wiggle whilst using it which shouldn’t really be there. It has a smooth action though and is easy to use.

The date wheel is the same colour as the dial, with white printed numerals.

The strap(s)

The main strap provided is an interesting and different green leather with top perforated holes making it quite sporty. This is coupled with contrasting lighter green stitching. The leather is soft, comfortable, and has a nice patina to it.

The tang buckle has the logo deeply engraved on the top bar and is a nice angular shape which is completely brushed.

The Spinnaker Tavolara also comes with a green NATO strap, which is good quality and has a matching buckle – a good second choice if you want to go swimming for instance.

The movement

The movement is not specified but it appears to be the Miyota 8215, a suitable, reliable choice.

The stock movement always looks very plain – but Spinnaker have included a cool custom blue rotor with the logo printed on top.

Other specs include a non-hacking seconds hand, low-beat running at 21.6k bph (6 ticks per second), 21 jewels, date, single direction (left) rotor winding, 40 hours power reserve, and accuracy of -20 / +40 seconds per day.

All Miyotas have an excellent reputation for reliability so you’re in good hands here.

Final comments

If the Spinnaker Tavolara was a music genre, I’d definitely say it was Alternative. Whilst officially classed as a sailing watch (all Spinnakers are), it’s fairly unique in looks. Just like Radiohead, you either love them or aren’t so fussed; still there’s no denying they’re different and out on their own. I really like this about the Tavolara – not only is the colour scheme out there, but the design of the hands and the tall crystal all working together is a configuration I’ve not come across before.

I would say that £310 could be a bit too much for a Miyota watch – the good news is that Spinnaker have regular sales and the watches are available elsewhere for cheaper. I wouldn’t buy it at full price, but with a discount of around 25% for example it’s a very tempting option. If that’s no good, don’t forget that the code WIAB5 gets you 5% off.

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