- The Spinnaker Bradner is a vintage-inspired dive watch that has seen multiple improvements
- New enhancements include an anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal, improved lume application, an upgraded water resistance rating, and smoother internal bezel gearing
- The recently introduced bracelet model, while having the same core components, differs slightly in case construction and offers unique color dials
- Despite the improvements, the Bradner faces challenges, particularly concerning its free-rotating bezel control and bracelet compatibility
Elevating the Timekeeping Game: The Improved Spinnaker Bradner
The Spinnaker Bradner, already known for its distinct charm and performance, underwent a major upgrade. The remodelled timepiece now boasts an Anti-Reflective (AR) coating on the sapphire crystal, improved luminescence, and enhanced water resistance – up from 150m to 180m. An added refinement is the smoother gearing of the internal bezel, a much-appreciated change for watch enthusiasts.
Embracing Style with Functionality: The Bradner Bracelet Edition
Besides the revamped leather strap model, Spinnaker introduced the Bradner on a Beads of Rice (BOR) bracelet. This edition features not only diverse dial colors but also a subtly reworked case to accommodate the bracelet. Despite the allure of the BOR bracelet, one downside is its incompatibility with previous Bradner models. The unique machine work and spring bar placement restrict the bracelet to the new model only.
Dissecting the Bradner: A Look at the Case and Dial
Crafted from 316L stainless steel, the Bradner case features well-defined lines, angles, and a satin-brushed finish. The 42mm diameter case, with its dual-crown and compressor-style design, offers a captivating aesthetic. However, the 15mm thickness might feel somewhat bulky to some wearers.
One point of contention is the internal rotating bezel’s control – the second crown at the 2 o’clock position is not screw-down. This design choice leads to accidental movement of the bezel, requiring frequent readjustments.
The main dial draws attention with its square and rectangular indices at five-minute intervals, an orange-accented specification print at 6 o’clock, and a date window at 3 o’clock. The watch hands also bear Super-Luminova applications, providing low-light visibility.
Delving into the Heart: The Movement Inside
Powering the Spinnaker Bradner is the reliable Seiko NH35 movement. Widely used in the microbrand world, the NH35 offers reliability and ease of servicing. This 24-jewel automatic movement operates with a 21,600 BPH beat rate and boasts a 41-hour power reserve. Adding a touch of exclusivity, Spinnaker adorns the movement with a customized black rotor.
Strap vs Bracelet: A Comparison of Complements
While the soft, water-resistant strap offers a comfortable wear, it’s the new BOR bracelet that steals the show. Despite its aesthetic appeal and comfort, the bracelet does fall short due to its immovable rice beads. The clasp, while functional, lacks uniqueness in design compared to those seen on other microbrands.
The Spinnaker Bradner Review: The Final Verdict
In its refined form, the Spinnaker Bradner delivers a significant punch in both design and functionality. Its vintage allure, coupled with improved specifications and the new bracelet option, make it a noteworthy contender in its price range. However, it’s not without flaws. The free-rotating bezel and the bracelet’s limited compatibility could be sticking points for potential buyers.
All in all, the Spinnaker Bradner, priced at $285 for the strap version and $370 for the bracelet variant, offers good value for money. Despite minor drawbacks, it represents a commendable blend of vintage charm, modern improvements, and, in the bracelet version, a stylish departure from the norm.