Tribute divers are hot these days. The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition Divers Sixty-Five caught all the headlines recently, owing to its bronze case and Brashear’s legendary status as a naval diver. But Spinnaker’s Vintage Diver range has a history of heritage, looking for inspiration in diving’s past through four iterations.

Spinnaker’s latest Vintage Diver is inspired by the pioneering underwater archaeologist Edward Lee Spence. Spence had to scour shipwrecks for sunken treasure, but the SP-5039 series is available on Spinnaker’s website.

The Spence SP-5039 hits all the dive watch highlights: 20 ATM (200 m) waterproof stainless case, unidirectional bezel, lumed hands and batons, and a classic 42 mm diameter. Its waterproofed leather strap is an interesting alternative to a bracelet or a NATO, although the watch comes with the latter as an alternative.

It comes in four flavors, but my favorite is the SP-5039-01. The blue quarter section on its black bezel is an understated highlight, and the textured black dial looks well appointed, with as much chrome on the batons as lume. The date display at 3:00 also gets chrome dressing.

It runs a “Seiko 24 Jewels Self-winding movement with Date Display,” although we’ll have to wait for the hands-on review to figure out which one. Given that Seiko’s movements range from good to great, I’m not worried about what we’ll find. Based on the specs, I’m guessing it’s a 4R35, which hacks and hand winds.

The only ding on paper is the mineral crystal, but as an SKX007 fan I can’t hold that against them.

Tech Specs from Spinnaker

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Bezel: Unidirectional Bezel With Aluminum Plate
  • Case Diameter: 42 mm
  • Case Thickness: 16 mm
  • Watch Weight: 125 g
  • Warranty: 2 Years International
  • Water Resistance: 20 ATM

By Jim Manley

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