Spinnaker Hull California (Review)

As promised I will bring more content on Spinnaker watches as I’ve been getting a lot of positive response from my readers! The watch we are looking at today is a brand new release from Spinnaker based on their previous Hull design which is a little homage to the Panerai. And since I saw the first Hull design I was waiting for Spinnaker to do this dial design we have here called California. I always liked this dial design on a Panerai style case, I just think it looks, killer! Right now the watch is on pre-order and they will ship on the May 31. Right now you can go to their page and sign-up for the watch!

The Hull came in the same box as all Spinnakers are being shipped. The blue cardboard box is very minimal and won’t take much space while sitting in your closet. Inside the box, we have cleaning cloth, manual and of course the watch itself. When I opened the box I was surprised to see how small the watch is, I was expecting much larger watch like 45mm, but this one is just 42mm and actually looks and wears like 40mm watch. The leather strap on this model is thicker than usual, but I guess they went with that Panerai styling as they have thick straps too. I also quite like the rough texture on the dial, it gives it more depth and looks super cool with the California style dial and that vintage lume colour.

The case of the Hull California is made of 316L stainless steel. The case has a cushion style with very short lugs. The case is very well manufactured with nice angles and sharp line. The case is coated with black PVD finish and it looks like it has a very thick layer of it, and that is very good as it won’t rub off so easily. The finishing on the case is satin brushed with polished. The finishing is also done really good! The case is 42mm wide (without the crown), from lug to lug it measures at 48mm and the thickness is whooping 15,5mm. Due to the shape of the watch and the length, it actually feels like a 40mm watch to me, but the one thing you have to consider is that it will sit quite high. At 3 o’clock we have a screw down crown. The crown is very easy to grip and it unscrews pretty smoothly. The top of the crown strangely isn’t signed. The screw in exhibition case back is polished and doesn’t feature the black PVD coating like the case, that is done, because if the coating was there, then after 2-3 years it would rub off. The crystal on the case back is flat mineral with black Spinnaker sail logo printing. Around the case back there are some specifications engraved. The crystal on top is a domed mineral crystal with blue AR coating which really makes the dial pop. The water resistance is weirdly only 100m which for swimming is acceptable, but weird is that it isn’t 200m or something as many of Spinnakers with exhibition case backs can go much deeper.

The dial is really cool on this Hull. It has this granite, very rough texture in black with a matte finish. Around the dial, we have the railroad style minute track in white. The dial, of course, is California style which means on top we have the Roman numerals and on the bottom Arabic. All the indexes have this creamy coloured vintage lume on them and I just love it! Some hate the faux-patina, but I love it as it gives the watch vintage look without sacrificing the durability of it. The index style hour and minute hands are in gold colour with lume in the middle. The lollipop style seconds hand is also in gold colour with a little dot of lume. The lume Spinnaker used is the Swiss Super-Luminova and it has a decent green glow. At 3 o’clock we have a date window with white outline framing it and the black date wheel is matched with the dial colour. I also like that the Spinnaker logo at 12 o’clock is also in the gold colour.

The movement that is powering the Hull 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 on the Hull is a bit different than we usually get on Spinnaker watch. This one is much thicker at 4mm. The leather is very nice to touch and has that almost suede-like feel. The brown, weathered look just goes so well with the California dial. The stitching is done by hand and looks decent. The underside is lined with black leather and actually, the whole strap is water resistant which is a thing that Spinnaker does. I haven’t actually tested this, but I will try to test the straps in this summer and give feedback in the next Spinnaker reviews. The strap is 22mm at the lugs and at 20mm at the buckle. The buckle is just a regular tang style also coated with the black PVD coating and signed with Spinnaker logo. The only thing with the strap is that it is a bit too stiff at first as the leather is pretty thick, but after some time it will wear in and will be much softer.

Overall the watch is really good! Spinnaker is really stepping up their game with the designs like this, Dumas or Tesei. This one is a very solid option if you are looking at Spinnaker watch or a diver for cheap! The watch is also a very solid package for the money as you get a well built and designed case and dial, Japan made automatic movement from Seiko and a very great quality leather strap!

You can sign up here for the Hull California!

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