We do go on about the merits of a nice automatic mechanical wristwatch, and we talk about everyday carry – the idea that preparedness is the ultimate ideal. What do you wear if you’re focused on preparedness?
One option might be the Spinnaker Del Sol SP-5031. The Del Sol is a solar-powered Chronograph, housed in a stainless steel and polycarbonate case. Why would I recommend a lowly quartz watch? Because it’s solar-powered, and will work just about anywhere you should happen to be. It’s got a screw-down crown, coated in black PVD, and signed with the Spinnaker sail. It’s water-resistant to 100M, and it lasted just fine when I took it for some laps swimming. Mind not to operate the chrono pushers while under water, though.
The white silicone strap is co-molded with blue accents, and is quite comfortable. My wife reminded me that I looked vulgar wearing it, but other than that supportive comment, it was reasonably well received. And, you could remove it if it really bothered you. The lugs are decoratively machined, and match the fitted strap nicely.
The watch is a colorful one. It appears in a few different color ways, of which we reviewed the white, orange, and blue one. The blue accents on the strap match the blue ring under the tachymetre bezel. The white dial has gray for the solar section of the dial, and orange on the dial and second hand. The hands are the perfect length, reaching to the ends of the markers. The markers are nice, tall applied indices. The one downside to the watch is that the lume is very weak. This is unfortunate, when everything else was done reasonably well.
To summarize, it’s a tough, reliable watch. It’s rendered in steel, and you’ll never have to worry about it running out of battery, mechanical winding, or other vulnerabilities beyond perhaps extreme temperatures. Outside of the lume performance, it’s an excellent watch, and one that makes for a decent weekend or trip to the woods wearer.
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- Brand & Model: Spinnaker Del Sol SP-5031
- Price: Pricing starts at $295 (before discount)
- Who we think it might be for: You need a watch that will work for months to years with no service, no thought, and don’t need a giant G-Shock.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I like the colors. It’s a little like TRON, in a good way.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Increase the lume quality.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The hand length was correct and the dial colors are attractive.
Tech Specs from Spinnaker
- Case size: 45mm diameter, 14mm thickness
- Case material: steel (brushed)
- Crystal: flat, sapphire
- Strap: 22mm wide silicone
- Movement: Japanese solar-powered chronograph movement