Spinnaker Vessel

Mixing wood and watches is an idea that just will not die. I'll admit that in the abstract, it seems like a solid combination but it almost never works. Kickstarter is lousy with wooden watches and they invariably leave me cold. Wooden cases and bracelets just look gimmicky to me. Still, wood can work on a watch. The Ralph Lauren Automotive series works it in nicely, and there were those beautiful walnut dial Hamilton Sherwood watches in the 60's. So maybe there is a current affordable watch that can capture that same appeal, like this Spinnaker Vessel SP-5027-77 chronograph given to me for this review?


Well, not quite. At first blush, the Vessel seems to be on the right track, combining a 44mm black ion plated stainless steel case with a wooden bezel like the Ralph Lauren and wooden center links like some of those Sherwoods. The hands and markers are rose gold as are the screws decorating the bezel. Gold and black would not have been my first choice, but I did feel the dark wood tone worked well with the black metal, and Spinnaker offers several other models in different color combinations. 

My first issue was with that wooden bezel. It was made of sandlewood and appeared to have been affected by the protective film, leaving it oddly shiny in spots. They were not immediately noticeable, but once seen, they could not be overlooked. I tried rubbing it with a soft cloth, and after consulting with Spinnaker, washing it with soap and water. Neither worked. A watch that can't handle its own packaging is a pretty big problem.


I thought the Vessel's dial was overdone. While I liked its texture and the depth of the applied markers, the numbers, brand name, and logo were all too large, fighting for space and crowding the dial. Add the gold accents of the bezel and the gold screw heads and the whole thing starts to get fussy. Lume is merely average.

The Vessel's dark wood inlay looked quite nice and offered a good range of adjustment, even for my smallish wrist. It has solid links and a signed flip-lock clasp with  micro adjustments. My biggest issue was that the links were far looser than I would have liked, which created an unpleasant rattle.


As a value proposition, the Vessel is reasonable. Full retail is only $250, which is not bad, even considering the anonymous Japanese quartz chronograph movement (likely a Miyota), and mineral crystal. Water resistance is 100m, which offer more than adequate, especially considering that the Vessel is more of a fashion watch than a tool watch. The price is even more appealing once you use the code TTB30 for a 30% discount. 

Overall, I found the Vessel to be a touch blingly, and the execution of the wooden elements was a let-down. When Spinnaker is on, they are on, offering tasteful watches with good specs, and after applying one of their frequently-offered discount codes, their prices are excellent.  I wish I could recommend this one, but I'm afraid the Vessel was not for me. If you feel differently, please head over to Spinnaker-Watches.com. ⬩


Share:
© The Time Bum | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig