August is ending... the kids are going back to school, the weather is slowly getting colder, and the sun is setting earlier every day. Only one thing could bring a bit of light during these times: a new Spinnaker release.
Earlier this week, the microbrand Spinnaker left us all wanting for more with the announcement of their next chronograph model. Now that the dust has settled, we have all the information about this brand new watch, which will certainly fly off the shelves (figuratively) in a heartbeat.
With its 43mm case, the Hydrofoil is considered a mid-sized watch in Spinnaker's offering. However, the case diameter doesn't tell the whole story. You must also take into account the large and protruding pusher buttons, as well as the 14mm thick case.
These two factors combined make the Hydrofoil a pretty bulky watch that will look best on large-wristed folks. This stocky timepiece is attached to the bracelet through a 23mm lug width, which evidently tapers down to the buckle.
As you can see in the picture above, the Hydrofoil uses proprietary lugs, which means that strap changes are out of the question.
200m / 20 bar
Solid 316l Stainless Steel
For this new Spinnaker Hydrofoil, the star of the show is the Seiko Mecha-Quartz movement. If you're not familiar with this term, it's simply a movement that combines the best of both worlds between mechanical and quartz movements.
For instance, you get the high accuracy and long power reserve of a quartz movement, with an added mechanical module for the chronograph functions (smoother second sweep, snappy reset). The chronograph complications are pretty simple: small second hand (lower subdial), 60-minute stopwatch (left subdial), and 24-hour display (right subdial).
Like most Spinnaker watches, the Hydrofoil is built for 200 meters of water resistance (plenty for recreational diving). Also, the two pusher buttons and the crown are screwed-down to prevent accidental pulling.
On top of the dial is a flat sapphire crystal, which Spinnaker coated with an anti-reflective film to reduce glare to a bare minimum. This is a great feature because it would be a shame to be unable to see the details of the Hydrofoil's exquisite dial.
Around this crystal, you get a bulbous 60-minute diving bezel with a 120-click mechanism. I was disappointed to learn that Spinnaker uses an aluminum insert, which is a bit underwhelming for a $305 watch.
This bulbous aluminum insert is quite reflective, which is a feature I like, but I know lots of collectors prefer the matte look of a ceramic bezel.
As expected, Spinnaker applies a thick layer of Superluminova on the hands, indices, and bezel. This high-end formula glows in a bright green color for a long amount of time.
The Hydrofoil comes with a solid stainless steel Oyster bracelet, which has proprietary lugs. This means that you can't swap the OEM bracelet for anything else, which can be a deal-breaker for some of you.
Fortunately, the OEM bracelet is high-quality so you shouldn't need to swap it out for anything else. However, the lack of a diving extension can be a bit disappointing for such a sporty watch.
Multi-Layered w/ Waves
316l Stainless Steel
When looking strictly at the dial of the Spinnaker Hydrofoil, you might think you're holding a $2,000+ timepiece. The level of detail and complexity of this dial is absolutely astounding.
First, the dial features a "wavy" texture that gradually fades to black as you get closer to the edges, which Spinnaker describes as a "fumée" finish. Also, the Hydrofoil's dial has a multi-layered configuration.
As you can see above, the baton indices are applied to a separate layer (with the chapter ring), and the three subdials are situated on a lower-layer. This set-up makes the Hydrofoil extremely unique and gives a lot of depth to the dial.
I also love the date display, which is quite distinctive. Not only is it situated at a peculiar position (12 o'clock), but it also features a thick frame with separated digits.
On yet another layer of the dial, you can find a tachymeter scale, which makes the Hydrofoil a true multi-purpose tool watch.
The Hydrofoil's hand and indices are quite simple, which contrasts greatly with the complex dial layout. For instance, the oversized pencil hands for the hours and minutes are nothing out-of-the-ordinary, but they allow for lots of lume.
The bead-blasted stainless steel case is another part of the Spinnaker Hydrofoil which I absolutely adore. For instance, the thick proprietary lugs are quite distinctive, and so are the rounded crown guards.
While I think the Hydrofoil is a great name for a watch, Spinnaker was a bit more robotic when naming the four different variations of this timepiece. The SP-5086-11, which I renamed the "Reverse Panda" is prominently black and white, with a few red accents.
I think this version is the one that puts the most attention on the tachymeter (red-on-white layout), which is something you should consider if you often use that tool. This model still features the "fumée" finish, with the middle of the dial being slightly gray instead of black.
The SP-5086-22, which I baptized the "Deep Sea", features three prominent colors: blue, black, and white. This model is very iridescent, with the bezel and dial going from dark to light blue depending on the room's lighting.
On this example, the tachymeter and second hand are now painted in a bright orange color. I definitely like how this one looks, but it might be harder to pair with most clothes.
From seeing the picture, you might've guessed what I decided to call the SP-5086-33: the Panda. While this one shares the same colorway as the SP-5086-11, the small accents are a bit different. For instance, the second hand is painted in a bright blue color, which only matches the "tachymeter" script (not the actual scale).
The black-on-white layout of the tachymeter scale makes it easy to forget that it's even there, so it's perfect if you don't plan on using this tool too much.
The Spinnaker Hydrofoil SP-5086-44, or as I like to call it, the "Dark Hulk", is undoubtedly my favorite piece of the collection. This model's green-and-black layout with small orange accents is simply gorgeous, and it really showcases the complex dial of the watch.
The dark green color of the bezel seems to make it a bit less shiny than other models, so you should get this one if you hate reflective bezel inserts. Also, the orange second hand is right at home above the wavy green dial.
I think the Spinnaker Hydrofoil is an amazing piece that is definitely worth its $305 price tag. While the specs are nothing out of the ordinary, the complex & deep dial makes this timepiece worth every single penny.
Like other Spinnaker watches, the Hydrofoil comes with a 2-year complete warranty as well as free shipping. In conclusion, you better jump on this piece as quickly as possible if you're interested because I have a feeling that it will get sold out in a heartbeat.