There are as many different reasons to buy watches as there are
wearers, and today I’d like to talk about a personal motivator:
engineering. Being an engineer myself, I appreciate and savor the
work required to find an innovative and elegant solution to a problem,
particularly in field of materials science.
So how does this related to
Sinn? Sinn is a German company making watches with
Swiss (ETA) movements, and their engineering is simply superb. I’ve
chosen three of their watches to talk about, and I think that by the end of this article, you will agree that Sinn engineering is indeed something special.
The Sinn UX
First off is the Sinn UX, a seemingly standard looking quartz diver’s watch with some decidedly non-standard features. Made of steel designed for submarines, and further
toughened by a process called tegimenting, it sports a sapphire
crystal with super-hard anti-reflective coating and 7-year battery. But that’s just the beginning. The case and dial are filled with silicone oil which, having
the same refractive index as the sapphire, removes reflections and
makes the dial visible from all angles and avoids the underwater
“mirror effect”. Sinn had to use quartz here because no mechanical
movement can function while immersed in oil.
But the silicon oil isn’t just for visibility. In conjunction with the construction of the case, and a special gasket system, the oil allows the watch to withstand enormous pressure. For the sake of comparison, a Rolex Submariner is rated for
200-400 meters (about 650 to 1,300 feet) of depth, depending on when it was made, and a Rolex Sea-Dweller is
guaranteed to 1,200 meters (about 4,000 feet). Pretty impressive. But the Sinn UX is rated to 12,000 meters or almost 40,000 feet! Or, put another
way, slightly deeper than the deepest known part of the ocean. Of course, the movement will stop working around 5,000 meters, but at that depth, you have more to worry about than telling the time.
The Sinn U2
Next up is the Sinn U2, a mechanical diver’s watch based on the ETA
2893 movement. This adds an independently settable 24-hour hand which makes it very useful for traveling. The U2 is filled with Argon gas, and
that odd hole in the 6 marker is a copper sulphate indicator that
tells you if the Argon needs to be replenished — the idea being that
you can tell if moisture has seeped in or the seals have weakened. Clever, since you should notice immediately just by reading the time. The copper sulphate capsules (there are actually two of them) also absorb moisture to keep the movement nice and dry.
Like the UX, the U2 it’s made of tegimented submarine steel, with a hardened
anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal, and a super-hard machined
bezel. I really like the face of both the UX and the U2: functional, unique,
and very legible.
The Sinn Arktis
Lastly, the Sinn Arktis. For this one, I quote directly from Sinn:
A Sinn for exceptional conditions was created in intensive
cooperation with the internationally famous extreme diver Mario
M. Weidner: A mechanical diver’s chronograph that is not only pressure-resistant to 300 meters of water depth, but also guarantees rate
precision and reliable functions at unusually cold temperatures. It
passed the endurance test at the North Pole with flying colors.
While “only” water resistant to 300 meters, and made of “ordinary” stainless
steel, the Arktis is notable for its wide functional temperature range of -45°C to
80°C, thanks to their use of a custom oil that lubricates the movement. Like the U2, it’s filled with Argon gas and has the
same copper sulphate crystals.
It even has chronograph, date, and day complications: a fairly unusual combination for a dive-rated watch. The blue dial gives it a rather elegant appearance, as well.
There’s a lot of innovation in the rest of the Sinn catalog as well,
and I invite you to take a further look.
By Paul Hubbard