A long while back, we were contacted by a watch company called spinnaker watches to see if we would be interested in reviewing a watch for them and featuring it on our instagram feed, we jumped at the chance as the watches looked amazing in the photos and to actually have a chance to get one in our hands was something we couldn’t pass up.
The model that Spinnaker sent us this is called Fleuss. It is a little bit of a homage to the a famous watch, the ‘Blancpain Fifty Fathoms’ which was one of the first dive watches ever made, you can keep that fact to use one day in the future…
This watch is actually named after Henry Fleuss who is widely regarded as the inventor of the first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus… everyone round our way knows this as ‘scuba’… in 1878. This invention first successfully used in 1880 and now it is used by every diver in the world… the facts just keep on coming, you can have that one for the pub quiz as well.
I am far from an expert reviewer, especially when it comes to watches, I wouldn’t say i am a watch aficionado, although, I do like them, I’ve had many over the years, I have a ‘collection’ but as a creature of habit, i generally wear a Garmin Tactix Charlie most days for work. I did do a video on YouTube pretty much as soon as the watch arrived and went through my first impressions, I didn’t feel it appropriate to ‘review’ it at the time (that honestly was not a watch related pun) as I had only just received it, i have now had the watch for a few months, i have worn it abroad and for a number of formal occasions as well as daily for a while, so i feel that now is a better time to give it the justice of a review.
So, lets start off with the actual body of the watch, what I believe is referred to as the case which is machined out of 316L stainless steel. The quality of the case seems to be of a good standard, all the lines and angles are sharp and pronounced without any blemishes or marks that i can see. For you watch people that are into measurements, the case diameter is 43mm and the thickness is 12,7mm.
Adorning the top of the case you’ll find an acrylic bezel that is uni-directional, the glass sat in the middle of this bezel is quality sapphire glass
The markers on the bezel insert are luminous. At 3 o’clock there is a screw down crown with a Spinnaker sail logo on the face of it and grooves around it. The crown size is perfect, it is easy for you to handle it and enable you to set the time, date and give it a wind. I believe that the back is referred to as an exhibition case, either way, it is a nice addition, possibly not needed for a dive watch, I am not sure if it makes it any less water resistant making it another thing that can fail underwater. Of course, it is cool that you can see the movement and that custom rotor, I always like it when you can see the movement of a watch, even if it is one of the more affordable movements used in the Fleuss. On top of the watch sits a sapphire crystal with an AR coating. The AR coating is good but it could be better as the reflections are still seen and it was pretty hard to take photos with certain lights. On the case back the crystal I think is a mineral one. The water resistance is 150m (15ATM) which I think is possibly down to that exhibition case back as I have already mentioned.
The face on the Fleuss is also kept in that vintage style with a faux patina lume on the hour markers and the hands. I really like the texture that is on the face, also the dark blue colour works with the faux patina on the markers. At 3 o’clock there is a date window with a blue date wheel. I like when companies match the date wheel colour with the dial, it looks so much better in that way than a white date wheel and different colour dial.
From doing a bit of research, I have found that movement that is used in the Fleuss is a the Seiko NH-35 which is allegedly one of the best Japan made movements that is used in these type of dive watches at the moment. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH.
From my point, the movement is not too noisy and seems to keep accurate time. The accuracy is quite good, it is supposed to be about +6 to +8 seconds a day, which I don’t think is too bad.
The strap, is very nice and of good quality. The blue strap does work well with that faux patina on the bezel and face. The strap is just as you want it, soft and supple. The top is very soft, it almost feels like it is suede, but not exactly like it. The under side is leather. Spinnaker claim that the strap is actually water resistant, I don’t know if it is or not, but I’d have thought that a silicone or metal strap would be better suited for swimming and what not.
All in all, it is a great watch and has been in my daily rotation well, wearing it out on occasions and on my rest days, I have enjoyed wearing it and a number of people have commented on it.