The success what my blog has achieved during the last 3 years is huge and that’s all thanks to you readers. And this success has been allowing me to look at a ton of watches, through all these years I have met so many new people and so many new companies have been discovered and looked at. And of course one of the best collaborations I have yet had is with the Dartmouth brands (Spinnaker, AVI-8, Thomas Earnshaw, James McCabe, Dufa etc.) and we will be looking at one of their newest dive watches from Spinnaker called Croft. I have reviewed Spinnaker watches in the past, and they all were quite good with amazing specs for the price. I really start to understand why these companies have been going up in popularity among watch enthusiasts.
If there’s one particular style of tool watch that is universally accepted, it’s the dive watch. Something about them always calls back to the great times of watchmaking innovation, and visions of the deep sea divers. Paying homage to these golden days of diving is Spinnaker’s new line of Croft watches. As most of the collections in the Dartmouth brands group, they have been named after somebody famous. The Croft line of dive watches is named after Robert Croft, a US Navy diver who became the first human to free dive to a depth of 200ft back in 1967 – an impressive feat regardless of the time period.
The watch came in the same rectangular style packaging as the last James McCabe watch I received. The first impressions were that it looks better than in the pictures, I usually hate the cyclops date on dive watches, but it looks good on the Croft. The strap also as always surprised me as it had very nice quality and definitely not a cheap look.
The case of the Croft measures at 43mm across and 14mm thick. It is comprised of your typical 316L stainless steel and features mostly fine brushed areas which look great as well as some polished edges of the lugs. On the wrist it doesn’t look like a 43mm masculine diver, it does not look that beefy, at least not on my wrist. The brushed case back is screwed down and features a nice sapphire exhibition window where you can see the movement at work. They have also added a custom Spinnaker rotor and you can see the nice striped finishing on the movement. I like that companies at least try to make these workhorse movements look good and representable to the consumer’s eye. On top of the dial sits a rounded edge flat sapphire crystal with raised cyclops window over the date. The Croft has a unidirectional dive style bezel, with an aluminium insert that is black matched to the dial. In addition to the colour matching, the bezel is 120 clicks. The last Spinnaker disappointed me with misaligned bezel, but this one is on point and is super easy to turn and grip, thanks to those coin edges. This watch is pressure tested to 150M (15ATM), pretty odd number, but it is plenty enough to take it for a swim in a sea. On the right side of the watch, you will find a screw down crown with Spinnaker sail logo on the side. The crown is easy to unscrew and has nice threading. On the left side is something I hate about Spinnaker watches, they put their logo on the side. I know that many people don’t care about these, but I just hate when companies put their logo on every piece of watch part.
The grainy textured black dial with what looks like a bronze spot in the middle of the dial. And I have to say, wearing this watch for a couple of days have changed my mind, at first I was very skeptical about the looks, but now I really like it. It has a vintage aesthetic which is nice to see as it does match the history behind the watch. We get a small sub seconds dial at the 4:00 position which has a small lumed hand and is done with a crosshair effect. The circular applied markers are positioned perfectly and we do get a double rectangle below the 12:00 position. The rather thick hands definitely stay in tune with the size of the markers and the numerals printing on the rotating bezel. Now we come to the reason why the Cyclops is most definitely needed as the date wheels on the 8 series Miyota movements tend to run quite small. The Superluminova lume is surprisingly super bright and lasts quite some time
Beating inside the Croft series (and visible through the display case back) is a Miyota 8218, a Japanese automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve and 21 jewels, that ticks along at 21,600bph. Miyota has been making its way into more and more watches, and for good reason. These movements are reliable, easily serviceable, and keep great time. I have this in one of my father’s watches, and it is going like a champ for years now without any service. But I heard that many people don’t like these movements and it is a big turn off for many as it is not a hacking seconds movement. The lack of the hacking feature means little to me day-to-day, but I know it is the norm. One of the cooler features of having the seconds hand as a small sub-dial is that you don’t have to see that slight stutter of the hand due to the mid-beat movement, but this small second dial is smooth as a whistle.
The strap that came with the watch was a regular vintage style black leather strap. The strap is on the thick side, that of course for some is a throw off as it makes the watch look bigger on the wrist, but I like it. The leather is nice to touch, it is smooth, and treated to make the leather waterproof. I wouldn’t dive with the strap, but for rain or sweat, it works. The strap has a tang style buckle with Spinnaker logo.
Overall I really like the watch, as I said at first I wasn’t much fan of it, but after wearing it for a couple of days, I started to like it. This is probably the first Spinnaker which I like that much. It has some problems of course, but the package you are getting for this price is very good deal + if you can get a discount code, it is literally a steal!
Japan Automatic 2 Hands with Date and Small Second
CASE MATERIAL : Stainless Steel
CASE DIAMETER (mm) : 43
CASE THICKNESS (mm) : 12
CASE SHAPE : Round
CASE COLOUR : Stainless Steel
DIAL COLOUR : Black
BAND : Genuine leather Strap
BAND COLOUR : Black
BUCKLE : Normal Buckle
BAND WIDTH (mm) : 22
WATER RESISTANCE : 15 ATM
WATCH WEIGHT (g) : 110
WARRANTY : 2 Years International