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Spinnaker’s “Wreck” range of watches is quite the conundrum. Would you pay new car prices for one that’s just been through a demolition derby?

Whilst the idea of paying money for a watch that’s “pre-worn” may make some of our toes curl up, it’s quite liberating when you think about it.

Never again will you worry about that first knock. When your beloved watch does eventually make contact with that door frame, you won’t peer down to your wrist with one eye closed and the other full of water, scared of what horrors await. As it’s all been done for you already. 

The case looks like it’s been out through a session in the washing machine. Alone. The bezel looks like it’s had a meet and greet with a piece of 80-grit sandpaper. And what’s that? Mould on the dial, hour markers and hands? 

They’re watches for a certain customer, and whilst I personally don’t find myself in that category, it’s got me thinking that there are some mental benefits to a “pre-worn” style watch. 

With an RRP of £250, it has all the specs you’d expect. However, I can offer a 20% discount code to all WIAA readers – WIAA20 – making it £200. 

The specs

When you slap it on, I feel it wears pretty large. 44mm diameter seems a bit overkill; 40-42mm would be a much sweeter spot and would make it a little bit more wearable and elegant on the wrist. For reference, my wrist is approx 7”.

Before we go into the main aspects of the watch – I must say, the lume is fantastic. I mean, just look at the depth of the application on the hour markers. They look like lovely thick slices of blue cheese with the mouldy spots and all, just need the crackers and pickle to go with it.

The name “Wreck” is certainly fitting for this watch: rustic and rugged, in appearance and finishing, from top to bottom. The weathered finish to the case means that you never have to worry about getting it damaged, scratched or dinged. However, it’s well machined and a real hunky chunk of steel. It has a pleasantly rounded profile and hugs the wrist well. 

The screw-in crown with the logo engraved on the end is solid in the hand and easy to handle thanks to the effective grip. 

The caseback doesn’t continue the worn finish, but rather is regular ol’ brushed, with the Spinnaker logo deeply engraved in the center, surrounded by various specifics.

The aluminium bezel insert has a gently aged fade to it, contrived of a plethora of scratches. The grip is really good, and the bezel action is superb – and incredibly loud when you rotate it.

Whilst the base of the dial is blue, it has a distinct variety of colouring (or discolouring) throughout. Again, to provide an aged, almost water-damaged look. I can’t take my eyes off the fake mould, they’ve done a great job on that. If you like that kind of cheese, expect to be constantly hungry. 

The hands and border around the date window have the same matte brushed finish to them, with that same weathered look as the rest of the watch. 

The legibility is great; the bright and simple lume-filled hands stand out against the deep blue backdrop. 

There are latitude and longitude coordinates engraved below the text in the bottom half of the dial. I’ve tried to dig into what they represent, or what’s found at that location, but sadly I can’t find anything – which is a bit remiss of Spinnaker, to be honest. I assume it’s to some sort of shipwreck, but it must be pretty important to be engraved on the dial, so why not share information about it? Anyway, visually it’s a nice touch and it exemplifies the overall texture-fest of the dial.

The thick leather strap is the only thing that is not worn out, thankfully; that would be taking the whole thing too far. It’s robust, with a gently textured top. It’s also surprisingly supple and comfortable on straight out the box considering the thickness of it. The tang buckle mimics the battered finish of the case.

Final Comments

I’m not going to tell you whether you should buy this watch or not. After all, I don’t feel that I can with a watch so potentially divisive. However, what I will say, is that if you do decide to buy it – then you’d be getting a lot of watch for your money, as is usually the case with Spinnaker divers. Solid build quality, pretty decent design, and specs on point. There’s little that disappoints when the watch is in hand – as long as you are ok with the aged, distressed look. 

Instead, I want to conclude by expressing how interesting it is to wear a watch like this. Whilst it’s not for me, I certainly see the appeal – I feel free, unchained, and unshackled from the usual concerns for the health of my watch. And for that, I can’t help but feel this is style makes the perfect “beater” watch.

1 comment

  1. Barrie Cree

    Coming from a world of guitar retailing, where ‘relic’d’ instruments have been around for years, I find the concept of a ‘pre-aged’ watch really interesting. The usual, negative, argument amongst guitarists is that one should develop the ageing oneself and add ‘mojo’ to an instrument but, whilst I can understand the reasoning, I don’t have any issues with something looking as though it’s been worn for years purely from an aesthetic point of view.

    I this case it looks like it’s been done sympathetically and I like Josh’s comments about being able to wear it without being remotely concerned about bashing it on a door frame or brick wall etc. As such, I rather like it!

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