REVIEW: Spinnaker Dumas
Those of us who are into watches have all heard of Spinnaker watches at one time or another. This is without a doubt due to the large-scale online marketing which is ever-present on Instagram. Based on online impressions alone, I personally feel that Spinnaker aims to offer watches at affordable prices, yet they seem to toe a fine line between dive and fashion watches. Wanting to decide for myself as to what Spinnaker is all about, I reached out and was lucky enough to get one of their latest dive watch releases, the Dumas, to try out and review.
Spinnaker, as evident by their namesake, was founded with the intent to pay homage to the world and lifestyle of yachting. As with all of Spinnaker’s offerings, they are named after great people in the diving community and the Spinnaker Dumas is no exception. The Dumas is aptly named after Frédéric Dumas, the famed dive leader aboard the RV Calypso who worked on many films and stories with the Cousteau team. The Dumas derives its inspiration from watch shapes and designs of the 1970s, a time in which watches were diving instruments and designed with pure function and practicality in mind. The Dumas represents a more muscular form in dive watch design which is very apparent with its 44mm diameter, 15mm thick, octagonal case. The watch is quite big, but didn’t feel uncomfortable on my wrist, and will be right up your alley if you’re into bold and large watch cases. The size of the case lends to the functionality of the watch as it is rated for 300m of water resistance. A 120-click uni-directional turning bezel rounds out the case design, and when paired with the water resistance, offers exceptional value in this price range and will withstand any aquatic related activities you can throw at it.
The dial is utilitarian in nature and features an appealing combination of shapes, colors, and details that catch the eye. The outer index has white batons for the minutes and luminous circle and rectangles for the hours. They are large enough to be seen without any issue behind the mineral crystal and the over-sized orange sword-shaped minute hand provides a nice pop of color, especially on the blue dial variant I reviewed. Seeing as how this is a dive watch, I would be remiss if I did not mention the insane amount of lume the dial throws out as well. There will be no issues seeing this puppy in the dark!
The powerhouse behind the watch is the tried and trusted Seiko NH35 automatic self-winding movement. This workhorse offers around -20/+40 seconds per day accuracy and has a power reserve of 42 hours. I personally have no qualms with using the NH35 movement as it sturdy and allows the company to keep the costs down. The Dumas also comes equipped with an exhibition case back which showcases the movement and a signed Spinnaker rotor. The watch came equipped with a Milanese mesh strap, and while I like this choice as a strong nod to the designs of the period, the bracelet itself was heavy and cumbersome. Another negative to me is the design of the lugs and the case which were simply too narrow for NATO straps. I am happy to say that the blue dial of the watch does pair very nicely with a variety of leather strap options.
The Spinnaker Dumas is the first proper diver watch created by Spinnaker designed specifically with divers in mind. It’s presence on the wrist is undeniable, even if overstatedly so, but that aligns with their target audience. At a retail price of $400, the Spinnaker Dumas is a good option for a larger dive watch that has a reliable movement, superb water resistance, and stylings of the 1970’s. While it may be a tad too big and thick for my liking, I will certainly be looking into sampling some more of Spinnaker’s offerings such as the Cahill Mid-Size Automatic Diver in the very near future.