Gateway Watches

The Spinnaker Spence: a serious diver with great looks

 Spinnaker’s wallet-friendly watches might draw you in with their price point, but it’s their fresh take on the dive watch that will keep you coming back for more. We take the new Spence 300 Automatic for a spin

If you’re a regular reader of Square Mile's Gateway column, you’ll know that the value portion of the watch market has never been stronger.

Whether you’re looking for a dutiful recreation of an elegant vintage timepiece or a fresh take on a chunky sports watch, your options are surprisingly broad. This month, my head has been turned by Hong Kong outfit Spinnaker. With a name that evokes sailing the ocean on a gleaming white yacht, it’s to be expected that this young watch brand takes to the seas for much of its inspiration; both on and beneath the waves. Its ten or so collections, starting at £250-odd and rising to no more than £500, are mostly action-ready divers perfect for the rough and tumble of the daily commute – or, indeed, the high seas if you’re so inclined.

The latest addition to its roster is the Spence 300 Automatic and, like many of its siblings, it balances the typical no-nonsense aesthetic of your average dive watch with a vibrant pop of colour. But Spinnaker does a grand job of ensuring style doesn’t come at the expense of substance. For the money, you’re getting a screw-down crown, Super-LumiNova on the hands and printed indices, a unidirectional bezel, a stainless steel bracelet, and most importantly water resistance to 300m – all features you’d expect on more premium dive watch offerings.

The Spinnaker Spence 300 Automatic with green bezel
The Spinnaker Spence is a professional diver

Inside, the workhouse Miyota 9039 automatic movement from Japan takes care of business with a 42-hour power reserve, while each Spence 300 comes with an additional hand-stitched leather strap and a rather charming EVA gift box perfect for taking it on the road or abroad.

Five colourways, including a particularly appealing ‘sea green’, take things perhaps a step further than your average Ronseal diver (doing what’s said on the tin etc). After a month or so on the wrist, I’ve grown especially fond of the graduated green effect on the grained dial. Paired with its rugged sensibilities and a price point that means you don’t fear the occasional scuff or ding, it’s become a near constant companion during the week, sailing right into my heart.

£500. For more information, see