Spinnaker Tesei Titanium (Review)

Today we are gonna look at one special piece from Spinnaker, some may say that this is nothing special, but in my opinion, this is an important watch in Spinnakers line up. Named after the Italian Naval officer, Teseo Tesei, this Spinnaker model is a new very sturdy offering from the brand. A couple of months they already released a different watch with the same model name, but that one was with a bronze case with Swiss movement and Made in Switzerland. But this new Tesei is made out of titanium and is, in my opinion, the best watch so far from Spinnaker! Just like Sternglas, Spinnaker seems to be listening in fans and making improvements on the design to make the perfect watch, and they have succeeded!

The waiting for this watch was very long as I was pretty late to the game with this one and I needed to wait a month to get my hands on one. When it finally arrived I was surprised that it didn’t arrive in the old style box that usually is given to watch reviewers, it actually came in a retail box which is pretty good looking in my opinion. I actually unboxed it outside in the coldest day possible while the first snow was falling, this just shows how excited I was that I couldn’t wait till I got home from post office! The first impressions were good, I really like the look and feel of the watch. The lightness actually didn’t surprise me as much as I thought, it is lighter than smaller stainless steel case watches, but not by a much, pretty small difference.

So, the case is made of grade 5 titanium, which is known as “workhorse” titanium. This is a fitting name for this metal since the Tesei also has a workhorse movement of sorts. More on that later, for now, let’s keep talking about the case moe. Grade 5 titanium sounds fancy, but in reality, it’s the most common titanium in the world – accounting for about 50% of the world’s titanium. This highly durable and ultra lightweight metal is used in everything from aerospace to marine and automobile manufacturing. While most watches are made from stainless steel, grade 5 is what you’ll find in titanium watches. Steel is a popular choice because of the ways you can finish the end product. Titanium isn’t as flexible appearance-wise, but it serves a purpose, especially when it comes to tool watches like the Tesei. Compared to steel, titanium is about 30% stronger, yet about 50% lighter. Some collectors prefer heavy watches, but let’s face it, you don’t want a heavy beast on your wrist while you’re working.

The case itself seems well machined and smooth which is a good sign of quality. The diameter comes in at 42mm and 51mm in length, which is a pretty standard size for a modern dive watch. This model has 200M of water resistance which is more than enough for desk diving. The uni-directional 120 click bezel has a matte black insert made from a scratch-resistant ceramic material (lumed nonetheless!). The convex domed crystal is scratch resistant sapphire with anti-reflective coating. The case thickness is 15mm, which is pretty standard and not too thick for a capable dive watch. The exhibition case back with flat mineral crystal is a nice detail although the movement isn’t anything pretty to look at. Nice features I did notice was the smooth integration of the crown guards which almost sits flush with the screw down signed crown. This crown is definitely well protected. I really like that Spinnaker doesn’t add their logo on the left side of the case, on the old models, you could see a big engraved Spinnaker logo which kind of ruins the look of the watch, but in their last models they stopped doing that and it is another step to the right direction.

The dial on mine example is blue, but Tesei also comes with a black dial. The dial has a nice grainy texture which adds some depth to it. The applied hour markers are large and filled with C3 SuperLuminova just like the bezel, but the only problem with that is that the lume isn’t that bright, I think Spinnaker should find a better lume or application process so in the dark it lasts a bit longer and shines brighter. The hands are actually brushed and definitely play along with the aesthetic of the timepiece which is a good thing of course. Overall the dial is really good and legible!

Inside Tesei you will find the good old self-winding mechanical Miyota calibre 8215. This is a simple 3 hand automatic movement made in Japan. Some people might complain about the non-hacking function, others might not like the stuttering seconds, but all you need to know is that it’s a workhorse movement that is reliable and cheap when service time comes as you just can buy a new movement for super cheap and swap it in. This calibre does have a 42-hour power reserve, 21 jewels and hand winding. When it comes to precision, it was ok-ish for the price. My example was running at +17 to +19 seconds a day.

The band is built with a heavy-duty military spec fabric called Cordura, the bottom has water-resistant leather. The strap with my model came in blue colour with orange contrasting stitching which really works with the colours of the watch and strap. It has a common 22mm lug-width if you want to throw another strap on it and I’m thinking of putting on some leather strap in some crazy colour like orange or something.

Overall I really like the watch and it is the only Spinnaker that I like that much so it will stay in my collection for some time till Spinnaker releases something better, haha. The price of the watch is questionable because of the movement that they used, there are some watches for this price where you can get an ETA or Sellita movement, but you won’t find a titanium watch for a price like this. But despite the movement, the watch has a really great design which is an original design and isn’t a homage to Rolex or any other popular watch with all that you get a 200m water resistance, nice Cordura strap, very light case which is perfect for daily use, sapphire crystal and very nice bezel with ceramic insert.

Price: 520$ @ spinnaker-watches.com

MOVEMENT

Japan Automatic 3 Hands with Date

CASE

CASE MATERIAL: Titanium
BEZEL: Unidirectional Bezel
CASE DIAMETER (mm): 43
CASE THICKNESS (mm): 15
CASE SHAPE: Round
CASE COLOUR: Silver

DIAL

DIAL COLOUR: Blue

BAND

BAND: CORDURA strap
BAND COLOUR: Blue
BUCKLE: Normal Buckle
BANDWIDTH (mm): 22

WATER RATING

WATER RESISTANCE: 20 ATM

OTHER DETAILS

WATCH WEIGHT (g): 80
WARRANTY: 2 Years International

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