Quartz chronographs, especially mecha-quartz chronographs, are becoming more common and popular as watch buyers look for versatile watches that don’t break the bank. Spinnaker has made a name for itself by offering a variety of watches at affordable prices. With that said, it makes sense for them to offer a mecha-quartz chronograph with an impressive feature set. Is there enough in the Spinnaker Hull Chronograph to convince buyers to jump from the likes of Dan Henry, Seiko, and others? Let’s find out.
If you are unfamiliar with what a mecha-quartz movement is, I recommend checking out my review of the Nezumi Voiture where I discuss the movement’s technology. To sum it up quickly, a mecha-quartz movement combines a standard quartz movement for the timekeeping function and a mechanical component for the chronograph functions.
There is a lot to digest on the dial of the Hull Chronograph with multiple surfaces, textures, and complications. The 42mm case allows the dial some breathing room to fit all of this without appearing cluttered.
Starting at the 12 o’clock position, you will be greeted with a large date window that Spinnaker refers to as a Grande Date complication. Given the size of the date window, it is easy to read at a glance and is quite enjoyable to watch as it clicks over to the next date. The Spinnaker logo is applied below the date window and the water resistance rating of 100M is displayed below the logo.
The 3 subdials are fairly standard as far as their readouts are concerned if you are familiar with Seiko’s mecha-quartz movements. A running seconds register is present at 6 o’clock, a 60-minute chronograph timer at 9 o’clock, and 24-hour time at 3 o’clock. The 24-hour subdial does not track a second time zone, which is unfortunately how Seiko’s mecha-quartz movements are set up.
Both the subdials and the main dial have sandwich dial elements. The subdials have lume-filled lines at the cardinal positions with the exception of the 60-minute subdial which is split in thirds. The main dial has lume-filled plots and is flanked by minute hash marks.
The dial itself has a sandy texture and is shaded from light to dark blue. The transition is subtle, and I didn’t notice it until I looked at the watch under bright lighting conditions.
The hour, minute, and subdial hands are all pencil-shaped with the chronograph hand being lollipop-style. All hands have gilt accents and are filled with lume. This includes the subdial hands, which makes using the chronograph in the dark possible.
Case & Bezel
The case of the Hull Chronograph is a cushion style and anyone familiar with a Panerai-style case will feel right at home. The case is mostly polished except for the tachymeter scale and the tops of the lugs.
The tachymeter scale has engraved numerals filled with black paint. The domed sapphire crystal protrudes above the tachymeter scale with a small bevel as it meets the bezel.
If you haven’t already noticed, all three crowns have knurling. Knurling of some sort is always present on crowns to aid in winding or screwing down. Knurling is done on the two other crowns because they also screw down. That’s right! All three crowns on the Hull Chronograph screw down. This is a rather uncommon feature among chronographs, especially quartz chronographs. While I enjoyed having the added water resistance due to the screw-down crowns, I did find that it added an extra step when you wanted to use the chronograph. I also found them to be a bit finicky when trying to catch the threads to screw them back in.
The 22mm lugs are proportional to the case and the included waterproof leather strap is serviceable. A rubber strap would have fit better with the overall theme of the watch and made it feel sportier.
The screw-in caseback is etched with the Spinnaker sailboat logo and the normal spec-sheet verbiage surrounding it.
Most of Spinnaker’s watches are chunky and on the large side. The Hull Chronograph is no exception, but it wears extremely well for its size. The 47.5mm lug-to-lug distance combined with the sloping lugs make the Hull Chronograph comfortable on most wrist sizes and will provide plenty of wrist presence for those with smaller wrists.
The Hull Chronograph is a thick watch at 15.6mm. Because of the shape of the case and lugs, it doesn’t feel as thick as it is on the wrist. The dome on the crystal also flows smoothly into the tachymeter bezel which helps cut down on the perceived thickness of the watch. All of this helps avoid the slab-sided effect some thick watches can have.
Spinnaker could pare down the thickness of the watch and possibly the diameter of the watch to attract those with small wrists. Even though the watch wears well, the dimensions are sure to put some off. The chronograph hand on my sample was also slightly misaligned. It was minor enough that most wouldn’t notice but considering you can’t adjust mecha-quartz chronograph hands like you can on a standard quartz chronograph, it can be a sticking point.
In the sea of quartz chronographs that have launched in 2019, the Hull Chronograph has a lot to offer. Screw-down pushers and crown, a solid water resistance rating, and a date complication you don’t see often are all good talking points for this watch.
The Hull Chronograph is priced well, especially given its feature set. Spinnaker has some serious manufacturing and distribution behind them but it’s nice to see a brand pushing out some not-too-often-seen features in a watch like this. I’d like to see more manufacturers try out some features like Spinnaker has done here.
|Lug-to-lug Height||47.5mm||Lug Width||22mm|
|Crystal||Domed Sapphire||Strap||Leather Strap|
|Water Resistance||100 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova®|
More Images of the Spinnaker Hull Chronograph
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