Archive for the ‘Watches’ Category
Sinn is releasing this gorgeous 358 Jubilaum watch to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It’s limited to 500 units – thus, WatchBuys (the only authorized US dealer for Sinn) is taking preorders on it now. There are a number of technical achievements worth noting:
- The case is filled with inert gas and also has a copper sulphate capsule inside to absorb extra moisture – this prevents the face from fogging in extreme conditions and protects the movement components from humidity.
- The movement that is developed for this watch is entirely new to the line, which is why the dial layout allows for new placements of chronograph registers.
- The grey dial is electroplated for UV resistance, thereby giving it extra resistance to fading over time.
- Domed sapphire crystal for additional strength and shatter resistance.
I like how Sinn will be deciding what watch strap color “will best suit the watch’s design” and has not yet announced it; as of now it will be grey, but Sinn reserves the right to change it prior to delivery without warning. In other words, if you like the watch, you’ll have to trust them on the strap color. At a price of $2,740, this will be an easy one for me to resist.
I’m not as big a fan of divers as I am of aviator watches, as I prefer cleaner faces… that being said, the Sinn U1 is starting to really grow on me. Technologically, this watch boasts the kinds of innovations that Sinn is known for. Firstly, the entire case and bezel are made from submarine steel (hence, the U designation from German U-Boats), which makes the watch extremely resistant to salt water and magnetic fields. The U1 is also water resistant to 1,000 meters – the lab that was contracted to tested the watch also tests actual submarines for their depth limits. In short, this is not a “pretty” watch; it’s a workhorse that’s made to withstand extreme environments. Whether you choose to put the U1′s durability to the test is totally up to you. It’s just nice to know that your watch is capable of taking a beating.
Lily entrusted me with the task of choosing a watch for her dad’s birthday this year. The challenges I faced with this selection were twofold: firstly, it had to be something that he’d like to wear, and secondly, it needed to be reasonably priced. Most of the watches I write about are not cheap, and frankly even if we had the money to buy my father-in-law a really nice Swiss or German timepiece, it might not be something that he’d be into.
My final selection was a Seiko SNZG15K1. Many are unfamiliar with the brand’s collections that are available outside of the US – the Spirit and 5 lines are relatively inexpensive and feature automatic movements. These watches are a far cry from the cheap Seikos that you might find in a drugstore… in short, they offer an incredible bang for the buck. I can’t think of another sub-$150 mechanical watch that I’d rather buy.
Aesthetically, this is perfect for my father-in-law, who prefers understated things that can take a beating. The watch has a 42mm high-contrast face which make for great readability, and the nylon strap is a nice touch. The tang buckle has a matte finish to match the casing, and there’s a leather accent sewn into the band for durability. My only complaint is that the movement does not allow for hand winding (thus, it must be worn daily to continue running). But that’s a small gripe on a watch that’s an excellent value.
I mentioned that these Seikos are not available anywhere in the US – your best bet on acquiring them is through a proxy like Roachman or on eBay. I’m not looking for a watch right now, but I’d certainly be excited to add a Seiko to the collection in the future. For now, though, I hope my father-in-law enjoys this timepiece as much as I did picking it out for him.
I have to admit that this particular watch design took awhile to grow on me. I first discovered Meistersinger while browsing WatchBuys (the site where my Sinn was purchased from) and the lack of a second hand really threw me off. Months later, when the watch popped up again on another forum I was browsing, I was intrigued. The biggest asset of their single-hand face is simplicity – it’s about as clutter free as one can get. I’m assuming that the single hand also helps the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement achieve an impressive 48-hour power reserve. Meistersinger’s unusual design is influenced by sun dials and older pocket watches, all of which featured only one hand. Thus, it only tells time in 5 minute increments – the watch shown above indicates that it’s 10 minutes after 10.
For those of us who value extreme time accuracy, this watch’s method of timekeeping might not be the right choice. But as Meistersinger points out, in the pre-industrial age clocks only told time in 15 or 30 minute increments, and that sufficed for them; this watch design is meant to encourage people to slow down and not stress over exact minutes. The concept seemed strange to me until I realized that when asked what time it is, I often round times up or down just for ease of communication (i.e. “it’s almost 9:40″).
For what it’s worth, Meistersinger also makes some modern “traditional” three-hand watches that are quite handsome. I find the single-hand design to be the most compelling of the lot, though. I don’t know if it’s something that I can personally wear, but it’s a design I can appreciate.