The Seiko SRPC53 is housed in a really interesting curved solid 316L stainless steel case with larger dimensions of 44MM x 50mm x 13.3MM. The case almost slightly reminds me of the twisted Omega Speedmaster lugs, but not 1:1. Overall, the brushing is very neat on the sides while the lug tops contain a high polish for some nice contrast. When on wrist, it certainly pops straight out at you when reading the time due to its’ case shape. The caseback itself is screwed down whilst the crown is pull and push giving us 100 Meters of water resistance. This watch definitely is not a true dive watch but one that can be used to swim, shower, and pretty much any other water activity besides deep diving. A nice feature is the exhinition caseback which shows off the Seiko 4R36 automatic movement.
The matte black dial is clean, crisp, and legible at every angle. A flat hardlex crystal sitting om top of it does insure that as well. The actual layout of the hands and applied lumed markers are quite similiar to the Seiko Samurai which was released to the public over a year ago. All in all, everything is proportioned well, and seems to be in place without too much clutter. Now, the lume is not as bright as Seiko Lumibrite but I would say it is somewhat on the level of C3 SuperLuminova.
Inside this watch resides the seiko 4R36 automatic movement. We do get a nice day and date feature at the 3:00 position which is quite legible and even contains a black wheel to match the dial color. Essentially, this is an NH35 with a day functiom. Some positives include hand winding. hacking, and a 40 hour power reserve along with 24 jewels. It is also fairly accurate, losing around four seconds a day on my iteration.
The bracelet is a typical Seiko 5 oyster style bracelet. They are not the highest quality with rather flat links and zero curvature, but there are some positives. The actual bracelet is comfortable and easily adjustable with pins and does feature a decent ammount of micro adjustments to insure a perfect fit. Also, there is no dive extension which is a positive for me because those things always hurt my wrist for some reason and allow the bracelet to sit high and awkward clasp side. Other than that, it is definitely useable and functional.
Furthermore, the SRPC53 certainly contains DNA from the Seiko Samurai and Seiko Monster models which are priced a bit higher. If you are in the market for one of those, or just cannot stand to pay such a high price to obtain one - the SRPC53 is definitely a contendor and will satisfy your needs in my opinion.
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The all new Phoibos Sentinel is housed in a matte finished 316L 42MM diameter case with some very nice angles and cuts. In terms of the lug to lug width, a very nice 50MM fits nice across my 6.5” wrist which is nice to see as I was expecting a bit of a larger fit. Another nice feature is the screw down crown and caseback which gives us a 200M water resistance rating - suitable for recreational diving and swimming. One thing I did notice was the precise and smooth cuts which are visible in the photo above. Now...for the cool stuff...the crown is actually lumed with C3 SuperLuminova “Old Radium” which really stands out even in daylight. Heading to the caseback - the level and precise engraving of the Sentinel logo is really really good for a microbrand to be quite honest. It reminds me of engravings on entry level swiss watches to be quite sincere. Overall, it has a bit of Panerai design but not completely.
The grainy blue dial on my iteration is a very legible one, and one should have no issue reading the time at any angle on this timepiece. Also, the flat sapphire crystal with inner AR coating definitely helps as well. A large 12-3-6-9 which reminds me of the Panerai dials is a nice design cue and pays homage to that design. The hands are long, including the red tipped seconds hand for increased legibility and to match the ratio of the numerals. In terms of lume, old C3 SuperLuminova “Radium” is utilized and it glows extremely bright in a green color which lasts for some time.
The well known tough and robust Miyota 9015 is a great movement all around. This movement has been used in many microbrand watches as well as Citizen automatic timepieces. It contains 21 Jewels - Hand-Winding - Hacking and a very precise accuracy of +5 on my model. I love this movement all around and do feel it does compete with the Swiss ETA-2824 in a way, but more affordable.
The Sentinel comes equipped on a thick 22MM genuine leather brown band with white contrast stitching and a decent signed Phoibos matte finished buckle. It will need some break-in time out of the box, but the quality is okay for the $350 pricepoint this model sells for currently. An additional Zulu style Nato strap is also provided in the Phoibos box, which seems of good quality and will definitely come in handy when you want to take a dip in the water with yout sentinel.
So, for $350 the Sentinel definitely checks all the boxes when it comes to a lot of watch for your money. We get a great reliable high beat movement, Sapphire, excellent casework, a 2 year warranty, and some nice packaging with an extra strap. I really don’t think you can go wrong with this model , and the build quality is only getting better with Phoibos it seems. Please do watch the full video review via Watch Addiction Watch Reviews on YouTube for a more hands-on approach.
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Case and Dial
The all new revamped Spinnaker Cahill looks a bit different this time around, and I think they made some much needed improvements. This 200M dive watch sits in a 43MM wide case comprised of solid 316L steel coated with black IP plating. It still remains chunky at 15MM tall including the slightly
domed sapphire crystal. The overall finishing looks very neat on my example with no blemishes or rough edges. If we take a look at the caseback there is indeed an exhibition window to exhibit the automatic movement that powers this watch, which is always fun to look at.
The dial itself is completely different with a more no nonsense look to it. The brushed grey markers are applied neatly, and the addition of a 24 hour military time is printed below that. I like the fact that they added lumed plots above the numerals, which are filled with green Swiss SuperLuminova for visibility in the dark. The 120 Click Lumed Unidirectional dive bezel is also improved with minimal backplay and perfect alignment which is a big thing for us watch addicts. Overall, the dial feels very militaristic with the crosshair and bold numerals, which is aesthetically pleasing to my tastes.
Beating at 3 HZ - the Seiko NH35 automatic caliber is used here which is typical in a dive watch at this price bracket. These are actually really accurate and they even have hand winding with a hack feature if you did not
know. I am getting around +6 seconds a day which is superb.
The 22MM genuine leather water resistant band is the same one used on most of their watches in different flavors. They are quite supple and easy to break in with hand stitched ends. I really have no issue with these and even have tested the water resistance myself with zero problems. The strap however does not taper at all assuming they did this to match the larger case diameter on this model compared to the smaller divers at 40MM they usually release.
Furthermore, Spinnaker models have definitely
improved since I reviewed their first model a couple years ago. The overall quality is decent for the asking price ( Especially with the discount code ). I like the fact that they don’t produce straight 1:1 homages like other brands, but incorporate characteristics of vintage divers into fresh designs.
12/14/2018 2 Comments
Hand Assembled in Melbourne, AU
The Melbourne Flinders is no doubt a classic and elegant mens dress piece. It has all the characteristics of a true watch which can be dressed up, or even worn casually if you must. It also has rather pleasant dimensions at 40MM wide and an incredible slim profile of 9.8MM ( Yes , it will fit under a cuff ). I found the rose gold IP plating to be quite neat and smooth, with its brushed case sides while the lug sides remain polished for some pop. I believe the actual screw down caseback and lugs are one piece, whilst the circular case and smooth polished bezel are a separate piece. I found this to be quite interesting and unique as I honestly have never seen this type of construction. It is a relatively affordable piece at around $450 USD - but does contain all of the goodies including an AR coated sapphire crystal and exhibition sapphire back.
The dial is an off-white color which matches the Rose Gold well, and features two layers. If we head to the inner portion of the dial where there are white horizontal planks which resemble the deck of a fancy ship or yacht. Applied faceted indices are brushed on top and tipped off with a high polish which matches the polished smooth bezel nicely. It is rather a no nonsense dress watch with our bordered date window at 3:00 containing a white wheel to match the dial. I looked in a bit closer on a macro level at the print work below 12:00 and above 6:00 - to find no errors and neat script and standard writing. They have definitely done the rounds on these making sure perfection is implimented into each one of their timepieces. If you did not know Melbourne Watch Co actually hand assembles their models in Australia - making these basically an australian made timepiece...which is super cool. Lastly, the hands are blued for that traditional elegant look and definitely legibile with an “M” counter balance on the long sweeping seconds hand which reaches to the end of the dial ( Yes, I hate when companies use short hands - But No Worries here! )
Taking a look at the caseback we can see the Swiss Made automatic Sellitta SW-200-1 movement. I do have a lot of experience with this movement and it is essentially the same as an ETA 2824-2. It also contains hand winding, hacking, and 21 jewels - while boasting a decent power reserve of 38 hours. Small details such as the custom rotor are not really expected at this pricepoint , but kudos to them for going the extra mile. If you are an accuracy freak like me, I did record the timekeeping of this model and it is gaining around 2 seconds a day, which is truly outstanding.
Supplied Leather Band
A brown genuine leather 20MM band which contains Quick-Release spring bars comes standard on the Flinders. Straight out of the box it does conform to the wrist and fits quite comfortably on my 6.5” wrist. The buckle itself is signed with the “M” for Melbourne and features the same high polished rose gold finish we see on the case itself.
In conclusion, I think this is truly an undervalued watch. The watch itself is using a very good swiss automatic movement...it is actually assembled by hand in Australia...and comes in an interesting case with decent finishing. I do see a lot of microbrands of lesser quality and even lower grade movements charging upwards of $500-$600 with no real “Uniqueness”. Melbourne definitely has a winner on their hands with the flinders model and it seems it is quite successful as this is their Mark 2 version. I highly reccommend you check them out, and see what they have to offer. Let me finish this off by saying...It does not feel like a microbrand watch at all, rather from a swiss entry level luxury brand. Thanks for reading as always and stay tuned for more reviews.
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