Today we are gonna take a look at another dive watch from a brand called Spinnaker. You all are probably known with this brand as I reviewed a couple of other models in the past. The model that Spinnaker sent me this time is called Fleuss. It is kind of a homage to the famous Blancpain Fifty Fathoms which is one of the first dive watches ever made. This model is actually named after Henry Fleuss who is widely regarded as the inventor of the first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (Scuba) in 1878. This invention first successfully used in 1880 and now it is used by every diver in the world.
The Fleuss came in the same packaging as other watches from Dartmouth brands, I didn’t even bother to photograph it as for the reviewers the packaging is different than consumers packaging. And inside lies the watch. This one is probably one of my favourite Spinnakers I ever reviewed. It seems that they are making better and better watches with each new model. I especially like the Bradner that they made with super compressor case, but that is another story for another day. I immediately noticed that they don’t engrave their name anymore on the side of the case, that was one of my throw offs from this brand as all previous watches had that branding. And another thing was to switch from mineral crystals to sapphire, and they finally did that with Fleuss line. I also noticed the cool pattern on the dial and of course the “bakelite” like bezel which has that vintage feeling.
The case is made of 316L stainless steel. The machine work is done pretty well, all the lines and angles are sharp and pronounced. The case shape is a classic round case with no crown guards. The case diameter is 43mm, from lug to lug it measures at 50mm and the thickness is 12,7mm. Overall very good proportions, maybe I would like it in 40mm size as it would go better with the vintage-inspired thing and the name of the model, but I guess people are wanting 42mm sizes if they are making it and it has been a pretty big success as I see them from time to time on my Instagram feed. On top of the case you will find the uni-directional acrylic bezel. Which is a bit strange choice if you ask me as they used sapphire glass and I would assume that the bezel should be sapphire too, but as I been told the acrylic bezel insert is more precise for the time period when this style of watches was made. The bezel inserts numbers are maybe printed not in the best quality, they lack sharpness, looks a bit pixely. The markers on the bezel insert are luminous. At 3 o’clock we have a screw down crown with a Spinnaker sail logo. The crown size is perfect, it is easy to grab it and to set time. The exhibition case back on the back is a nice add-on, but I think it is not needed for a dive watch, it just makes it less water resistant and another thing that can easily fail underwater. Of course, it is cool that you can see the movement and that custom rotor, I always liked when you can see the movement, even if it is a Miyota or Seiko affordable movement. On top of the watch sits a sapphire crystal with an AR coating. The AR coating could be better as the reflections are still seen and it was pretty hard to take photos in a sunlight. On the case back the crystal I think is a mineral one. The water resistance is 150m (15ATM) which I think is due to that exhibition case back.
The dial on the Fleuss is also kept in that vintage style with that faux patina lume on the hour markers and the hands. I really like that gravel or sand type of texture on the dial, also the dark blue colour works with the faux patina on the markers. At 3 o’clock we have the date window with a blue date wheel. I really like when companies match the date wheel colour with the dial, it looks so much better in that way than a white date wheel and different colour dial. Fleuss has applied markers and numerals and the dial is clean and uncluttered and weirdly, neither of them have the model name printed on the dial.
The movement that is powering the Fleuss is a trusty old Seiko NH-35 which right now is probably one of the best Japan made movements to use in a microbrand dive watch. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH. As you all know this is my go-to movement when it comes to affordable time only movement from Japan, the Miyotas to me are too noisy and doesn’t keep the accuracy so good as this one does. Also, another plus is the hacking seconds. The accuracy is quite good, about +6 to +8 seconds a day, which is great.
The strap, as usual, is very nice. The light brown strap works very well with that faux patina on the bezel and dial and that blue, it just works so well! The strap is very soft and supple. The top is very soft, it feels like suede, but not exactly like it. The underline is leather. The whole strap actually is water resistant, I don’t know what exactly that means, but I’ve read on their website that you can easily take it in water, but I’d better use silicone strap for it if you want to go swimming. The tang-style buckle is signed and made from stainless steel.
Overall the watch is really great! I think so far this is one of their best watch releases. It has good looks, they finally used the sapphire crystal and stopped engraving the Spinnaker logo on the side of the case that annoyed so many people. It seems that Spinnaker is really stepping up their game to become a very good microbrand. This watch totally goes into my “top 10 dive watches under 500$” list.
Japan Automatic 3 Hands with Date
CASE MATERIAL : Stainless Steel
CASE DIAMETER (mm) : 43
CASE THICKNESS (mm) : 13.25
CASE SHAPE : Round
CASE COLOUR : Stainless Steel
DIAL COLOUR : Blue
BAND : Genuine leather Strap
BAND COLOUR : Brown
BUCKLE : Normal Buckle
BAND WIDTH (mm) : 22
WATER RESISTANCE : 15 ATM
WATCH WEIGHT (g) : 95
WARRANTY : 2 Years International