Hands-on with the Spinnaker Spence (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

'To bezel or not to bezel?' - is perhaps a question that all watch collectors ponder at one point or another. On the one side, you have a clickable stainless steel ring that stands as a symbol of the history of tool watches, but on the other you lose precious watch face real estate that would otherwise be used for a more legible time display. For me, far more than a practical time marker, the bezel play's a more crucial role in the watch's aesthetics, and this Spinnaker Automatic Watch has one of the more mesmerizing bezels I've seen on a diver watch.

Help for Heroes limited edition Spence (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Help for Heroes Limited Edition Spinnaker Spence

The Spinnaker Spence just like the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane we've recently reviewed is one of the watchmaker's popular models that had a limited edition made for the support of the charity Help for Heroes. The proceeds from the sales of these limited edition watches will help veterans in the UK who were wounded in action.

The good news for the cause was that the 300 pieces were sold out in record time, but the bad news for consumers is that you won't be able to get your hands on one of these beauties through regular channels anymore. That being said, you'll still be able to purchase the regular Spence, which might be dressed differently but undoubtedly has the same soul.

The red bezel (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

A visually striking bezel to add to your attire

Both the regular and limited edition Spence are defined by their visually striking aluminum plated bezel. It is the first watch that got me to realize how much the bezel can add to the overall attire. In the case of the Help for Heroes edition, the metallic red ring is a tasteful addition to a navy blazer, crisp white shirt and a red tie, as an example.

A weighty 3 mm thick bezel from the side (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

The side of the bezel shows off the weighty 3 mm thick bezel, and has a polished finish - contrasting itself with the brushed stainless steel finish on the case. The bezel teeth on the upper edge are minimal, yet effective in both providing adequate grip for rotation as well as adding another visual layer to the watch's texture.

A highly wearable stainless steel diver

Coming in at 41.5 mm in diameter, the Spinnaker Spence is not cumbersome to wear despite its diver watch grade case that's rated for a depth of 200 meters. The robust stainless steel case is 14.5 mm thick, which is no slimline dress watch, but due to its relatively narrow diameter, it's a bulk that won't be bothersome for the wearer. The diameter to thickness ratio of the Spinnaker Spence is nicely proportioned, making it a suitable watch to be worn daily.

Aggressive lugs curving down (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Flanking its significant girth that contains the custom Seiko NH35 TMI Automatic movement are heavyset lugs to match. The lugs are adorned with very little chamfers or d?cor while aggressively curve down to meet the wearer's arm. When you match that with the crown guards, you get a utilitarian, masculine vibe. Add an oversized 8 mm screw-down crown and you end up with a midsize diver watch that can be worn by the grittiest and toughest wearer with pride.

Tri-color motif on display (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Bold and beautiful watchface

The watchface is where the special edition Help for Heroes edition of the Spinnaker Spence departs significantly from the regular Spence, adorned by the Heroes' symbolic color scheme of navy blue, red and light blue, representing the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. The standard Spence model comes instead in three colors: Bauhaus Black, Caco and Moss Green.

Highly visible indices even in the dark (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

In both cases, the watch indices are cladded with striking white markers that are highly visible, both in the day time and at night when the luminous indexes and hands come to life. There is also a date window at the 3 o'clock position, which is black on white for the limited edition while being white on black on the standard model.

Thick leather straps for the dive watch (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Leather watch strap fit for a hero

Included with the Spinnaker Spence is a leather watch strap that manages to be both hardy and refined at the same time. The thick full-grain leather not only compliments the diver's watch visually, it is also luscious to wear on the wrist.

Tri-color on the strap loops (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

With the Help for Heroes limited edition, the tri-color theme is cleverly included with three stitches, as well as leather loops in the theme palette, terminating with the Spinnaker signature stainless steel buckle.

Unmistakable bezel of the Spinnaker Spence (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Final Verdict

So who is the Spinnaker Spence for? If you're after a men's dive watch that adds flair to your attire - formal or otherwise, the Spence has a bezel that makes a definite statement - both in the standard and limited editions. But it's not a watch that can only make rare appearances on special occasions. It's easy to wield size, durable construction and deep water rating makes it a watch that can go everywhere with you, making it a watch we are happy to recommend to business travelers as their timekeepers while on the move.

David is a tech enthusiast/writer who is often on the move and is on a mission to explore ways to make his overhaul flights more enjoyable. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Business Travelers.