Spinnaker Croft

From the start, Spinnaker has maintained a vast, varied catalog of watches, but my retro divers have always been my favorites. Starting with the Cahill, the brand has turned out several dive watches that blend modern and vintage design cues. One of their latest is the Croft, which is available in blue, brown, black, or green. They gave me a black model SP-5058-03 for this review.

Spinnaker Croft black
Robert Croft was a US Navy Diving Instructor and in 1967, became the first man to free dive to 200 feet. Naturally, his namesake watch has the features one would expect for such activity: bright SuperLuminova, a highly legible “bars-and-dots” markers, pencil hands, a 120-click unidirectional elapsed time bezel, and a screw-down crown. Water resistance is 150m, well exceeding what was necessary for Croft’s journey.

Spinnaker Croft black case back

As is their maddening practice, Spinnaker does not provide much information about the watch’s movement, listing it only as a “Japan automatic” (Why, Spinnaker? Seriously, why do you do this to us?). Through the exhibition caseback, you will see what appears to be a Miyota 8218 automatic. These 82xx series movements beat at 21.6k per hour, and do not hack. As such, they tend to be outshined by the smoother, feature rich 9xxx series, but they are sturdy time-tested units. The 8218 has a small seconds offset to the lower right, lending it a bit of character.

Spinnaker Croft side

The Croft’s case is relatively conservative, presenting flat sides, short lugs, and a brushed surface accented by polished chamfers along its upper and lower edges, which serve to slim its appearance. The Spinnaker name is engraved on one side, which is more than necessary in my book given that the name is on the dial and buckle as well, but it is not so pronounced as to be distracting. The crown is coin edged, signed, and proportionate to the large (43mm wide, 12mm thick) case. It is on the larger side of things, but I wouldn't say the Croft is at all huge by modern dive watch standards. I was able to strap it comfortably on my 6.5” wrist and wouldn’t hesitate to wear it in casual settings. 

Spinnaker Croft black wrist

That said, the Croft’s presence isn’t conveyed by its width, but by its towering sapphire box crystal, which is then topped with a pronounced date magnifier. I confess I generally have little use for a date window and even less for a cyclops lens, and it is not exactly the most practical arrangement, adding as it does, distortion upon distortion. Still, it is so over-the-top audacious that I love it.

Spinnaker Croft black crystal

The Croft’s bezel sports a lume pearl and a matte black aluminum insert. A coin edge provides ample grip through its silky smooth 120-click rotation. Indeed, I found the travel to be perfect. It wasn’t too sloppy or too tight, and it had zero wobble or back play. Dart-shaped markers at 15, 30, and 45 are a nice touch.

Spinnaker Croft black macro

Black dial dive watches are thick on the ground, so Spinnaker did something a little different with this one. The markers are applied and show a pleasant amount of height. As on other vintage inspired Spinnakers, the brand name is written in a suitably retro streamlined typeface. I can't tell if it is applied or merely debossed, but it is most definitely dial colored, so it is only apparent in a certain light, which is a rather cool touch. In the lower left, counterbalancing the concentric textured small seconds dial, are the words “Automatic” in gold, and “500FT/150M” in red. The dial’s surface is sand textured and given a fumé effect that is gold at its center, darkening to black as it approaches the perimeter. Printed gold indexes round it out.

All in all, it is really nicely executed. They didn’t scrimp on the lume either. It is torch-bright and long-lasting.

Spinnaker Croft black lume

When it comes to diving watch straps, I am a terrible hypocrite; I don’t dive, I rarely even take most of my dive watches swimming, and yet I will insist that my dive watches come with a bracelet or waterproof strap. It just seems to be that if you bill your product as something for underwater use, you should provide a proper underwater strap. The Croft comes on thick, water-resistant leather. The hang tag describes this as meaning ”it will absorb considerably less water than a normal leather strap.” I have to say, “considerably less” does not really impress me, even though it is probably for more waterproofing than I would normally need. If you wear the Croft as a land-based fashion accessory (as I typically do), then it will be just fine. If you plan on testing your free diving skills, you may want to swap a 22mm rubber or nylon replacement.

Spinnaker Croft black strap

The Croft strikes the right retro chords for me, and it is loaded with fun details. Best of all, It’s inexpensive. You can order it directly from Spinnaker-Watches.com for $320. If you are shopping for a sports watch with some quirky vintage charm, the Croft is a good bet. ⬩

Spinnaker Croft black

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