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The all new iteration of the popular Spinnaker Spence series dubbed the “Drab” is housed in a solid 316L solid steel case with a coat of IP black plating in a matte finish. It is certainly a smooth finishing and looks clean to my eyes. The actual dimensions are rather nice as well coming in at 41MM x 14 x 48MM. It is definitely a robust watch and even features a flat sapphire crystal on the front whilst mineral is used on the exhibition caseback for a view of the movement at work. The crown is something to take note of and is very tough feeling with zero wobble and has a nice pop out once unscrewed. The case itself is water resistant to 200 Meters making this a very capable dive or sports watch.
Our dial is done in a greenish forest tone with applied lumed Superluminova markers and a nice set of arrow hands to go with a rather thin pointer seconds hand. As seen in the photo, there are no alignment issues on this example which shows decent quality control. I do like the yellow hint of color in the “AUTOMATIC” above 6:00 and feel it plays along well with the green colors on the Drab. Our 1950’s style Spinnaker logo is applied in Silver as usual below 12:00 and matches the framed markers perfectly. I like how Spinnaker kept it simple here without much clutter or overuse of writing. The 120 Click Bezel contains 0-15 minutes which is matte finished and contains some nice lume as well. I can almost see a “Minimalist” style bezel here...almost.
NH35. Need I say More? Most watch enthusiasts reading this article are very familiar with this Seiko automatic 24 jewel movement, and it is considered one of the most reliable affordable automatic movements for the coin. It also does come with a decent power reserve of around 40 hours and generally keeps decent time at around +5 seconds a day on this example I have.
The Drab definitely offers something way different than its older brother, the standard original spence. It has all those good components, and some new tricks such as a lumed bezel and a super legible no nonsense tool watch styling. Personally, I do like this color combo and almost reminds me of something I would take camping, swim with in a lake, or just hop on a boat with. The affordable pricing of this timepiece also allows folks to get a decent well made automatic watch for under $300, which is a win in my book. Thanks for taking the time to read and please do check out the hands on video review on YouTube.
Today, we are going to take a look at a recent addition to my personal collection of watches. I have been eyeing a 16570 Rolex for some time now and have come to the conclusion that this definitely is the best value packed rolex for your money. It is not the least expensive Rolex at around $5000-$6000 USD for a decent pre owned model with box and papers from the F serial years mine came from. The new Maxi case Explorer II is just a bit odd looking to me, using a large orange gmt hand which resembles the vintage Explorer II in a way. Anyway, enough rambling on - let’s explore this timepiece!
The 904L solid stainless steel 40MM case is finely brushed and polished on the flanks of the case and bracelet in a very nice and luxurious manner. I don’t know, whenever I pick up a 904L steel Rolex it just feels of better quality and the finishing looks better, but that’s just my opinion. In terms of thickness including the Sapphire crystal which sits a bit above the stationary 24 hour bezel we are looking at 12.2MM. The lug to lug distance of 47MM allows for a perfect fit on my 6.5” wrist with zero overhang, which is very pleasing. The case itself is also water resistant to 100 Meters making this a capable watch. Whether your climbing and exploring mountains and caves, flying over different time zones, or simply riding your bicycle to the beach for a quick dip, the Explorer II will satisfy in each of these situations. The watch itself feels tough, robust, and can definitely get away with the term “Tool Watch”.
I chose to go with the glossy black dial, it just speaks to me much more than the “Feminine” white dial option. I also do really enjoy the 18K white gold hands and lips of the applied Superluminova markers. The 2.5X magnification lens is certainly helpful with reading the date at a quick glance whilst driving or jogging as well. There are three lines of text on this model and two lines at the bottom stating the COSC certification. It is a rather simple, no nonsense dial meant for use of each of the three functions ( Date , GMT time , Regular Time ). Another bonus of getting a more recent 16570 (2005) is the lume. The lume glows green and is certainly bright at night lasting a decent ammount of time.
The Rolex 3186 Automatic calibre is a COSC certified Rolex in house movement featuring a blue parachrom hairspring as well, whilst the previous 3185 did not. One can expect around 50 hours of power reserve which is quite good and a bit over two days. The movement contains 31 jewels and has a high beat of 28,800 BPH. Caliber 3186 also features a GMT function of course for the two time zones this watch can hold at any given moment. My example is performing at +2 seconds a day which is just as good as my current 2016 Submariner.
This model uses a 20MM 904L steel oyster bracelet with the older style stamped clasp and flip over lock. We also do get a few micro adjustments for tweeking the perfect fit to your wrist, which is always useful during summer season for me. The tops are brushed while the flanks and polished. However, you cannot compare the quality of these bracelets to the newer style bracelets. They may be comfortable and 100% functional , but the overall solidness and robustness of the newer oyster bracelets on the Maxi cases blows these away. On a good note, this model does contain the solid end links.
Furthermore, the 16570 is most definitely overshadowed by many and quite bland for some. However, It is certainly the best value 5 digit sports steel rolex currently on the market. I mean...you are getting a Gmt function, Date, and small details not found on any other model like the unique brushed finish on the 24 hour bezel. In some years, I can picture this watch jumping in price to around $6-$7,000.....If you are in the market for a 16570 , find one in good condition which shouldn’t be hard and I am sure you will have a great experience as I am currently having. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the full video review on YouTube.
10/19/2018 0 Comments
This week in for review from R2A watches, is the re edition of the original Yuri Gagarin Russian space watch. In 1961 cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited space wearing this rather simple, yet functional timepiece.
Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin featured in his Space Suit
The 40MM solid stainless steel case on this piece is certainly slender and well finished. The smooth brushed strokes on the flanks were definitely noticeable to me at first glance, as well as the high polished lug tops. In terms of thickness we are looking at roughly 12MM by 49 Long which is quite slender and one might see this as a casual/dressy timepiece. A standard 20MM lug width goes well with the diameter and there will be no problem switching straps as we all love to do on a daily basis. The case itself is water resistant to 30 Meters only , so definitely keep this one away from water. A thin pull and push crown operates the time only function with ease and I do not see an issue there. Overall, it is a very impressively built watch for the $500 selling point. An added bonus on this limited edition model of 1000 units is the exhibition caseback with very neat inscribed specifications on the screw caseback.
The beautiful Cyrillic logod blue dial ( Logo of first Moscow Watch Factory Below 12:00 - Sturmanskie Logo Above 6:00 ) on this model is definitely beautiful in all lighting and really is the star of the show here. It was meant to be simple, legible, and functional for typical everyday use whilst roaming the galaxy in a spaceship..The large arabic numerals are filled with Superluminova for increased legibility at night and is pretty decent on my example for a non-diver timepiece. The dial seems slightly domed as well as the domed mineral crystal featured on the Gagarin. Honestly, I would have preferred a Sapphire crystal at this pricepoint...but the beauty of the simple, clean, and elegant design wins it over for me.
This watch utilizes a 17 jewel POLJOT mechanical movement which features 42 hours of power reserve and 17 jewels. The movement itself is hand windable of course, but does lack the hacking seconds feature. It also has a slower beat rate of 21,600 BPH, just as other russian watches like Vostok.
Supplied Leather Band
The 20MM leather band is made of genuine leather and features some nice red stitching to match the seconds hand, which is a nice touch. I found it to be quite comfortable and certainly gets the job done. However, this watch would also certainly look stellar on a Nato strap..
Furthermore, the Sturmanskie Gagarin re edition is most definitely an all around well built piece with a decent mechanical movement ( +10 a day on my
example ). The case build and construction combined with finishing alone make this watch worthy of its’ $500 pricepoint. I do like the fact that you are buying into a piece of history as this watch is a remake of the first actual watch in space. I feel many watch enthusiasts only take Omega ( First Watch on the Moon ) into consideration when the topic of Space and watches comes up, and the Sturmanskie should be mentioned as well...as this is honestly the first watch to be in Space. Thanks for taking the time to read and please do check out R2A watches as their watches are quite unique and the customer serbice was impeccable.
Spinnaker has launched their all new Tesei Bronze diver, which is quite surprising for the brand. Why do I say this? Well, Spinnaker usually produces decent quality affordable Hong Kong produced watches with Seiko or Miyota movements in stainless steel with various coatings. The Tesei is Swiss Made, Bronze, and packs a punch for the money.
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The CUSN8 Bronze case is solid and certainly is felt whilst on the wrist. A quick dimension check - we are looking at 43MM across, 20MM between the lugs, and 18MM in thickness. As you can see, it is certainly a bit largee than your average diver nowadays. The lug to lug distance of 49MM definitely helps the watch wear right on my 6.5” wrist though. Spinnaker does include an automatic helium escape valve for extra assurance on that 300M rating they state along with a screw down signed crown and caseback. The bezel itself looks decent with a 120 click unidrectional rotation and a lumed matte ceramic insert.
The dial is also pretty unique and features two layers. The first layer is the wave dial which has some nice deep grooves and will be noticed quickly at first glance. The second layer features your lumed applied markers with Swiss SuperLuminova, to match the bezel insert. ( Lume Shot Below ). The lume is probably the best and strongest I have seen so far from any of the Spinnaker watches I have reviewed here on Watch Addict. One thing I did not like so much is the small date window at 3:00. I think they could have made it a bit larger so it can be easier to read.
This Spinnaker is marked Swiss Made...So we do get the popular Sellitta SW200 automatic movement. They even went ahead and added a custom rotor with branding which is always good in my
book. This movement contains 26 jewels, beats at 28,800 VPH with a 38 hour power reserve. It also features hand winding and a hacking feature. My model is running around +10 seconds a day which is normal for these types of movements without COSC or other certification.
Italian Hand Made Leather Band
The new Spinnaker Italian Made genuine leather band is a comfortable one indeed. It has some nice thickness to it but conforms nicely to the wrist straight from the factory. The normal Spinnaker buckle is used, but this time in bronze.
The Spinnaker Tesei is priced at $850 full retail direct from the Spinnaker website. I think this pricing is decent and I assume my discount code will help you save 20% as well once they are released to the public which would bring the price down to $680 shipped worldwide. That is a very fair price in my eyes if you look at what your actually getting. Nowadays, even bronze watches with NH35 movements are running $300-$400...so I think the price is definitely fair and a good value for your money. Thanks for taking the tome to read another watch addict review, and please do check out the full hands on review on my YouTube channel.