We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

An introductory guide to Sinn watches

Over recent years, there has been a shift in focus towards the quality and craftsmanship of independent German watchmakers. Some of the very earliest innovations in watchmaking came from countries other than Switzerland – a fact that many are not aware of. Sinn is known for developing high-precision quality wristwatches and has now been in existence for over six decades. The company draws from the latest technologies to produce quality timepieces that promise robustness and longevity above all else. Whilst doing so, Sinn keeps its watches looking straight-to-the-point and instantly identifiable, carrying the same DNA over from one instrument to another as it evolves as one of the world’s leading German watchmakers.

About Sinn watches

If it is meticulous craftsmanship and unwavering quality that you are looking for in a luxury tool watch, you can consider Sinn as a strong contender within the industry. Today there are more reasons than ever to invest in a Sinn watch. The brand is renowned across the globe for making incredibly durable watches for facing the harshest and most extreme conditions. Some Sinn watches are water-resistant to 5000 meters. Others are designed specifically for astronauts and are certified as official diving watches and expert pilot’s watches. Sinn selects some of the most reliable and hardy materials in the industry, including submarine steel, known for its superior resistance to the corrosive effects of seawater.

Best known for its mission timers used by rescue services, fire departments, and special forces, Sinn offers a range of GMT watches, chronograph watches and dual time watches that can also measure periods of time up to 12 hours. Its pilot's watches are certified by DIN 8330 standard, based on the 'Technische Standard Fliegeruhren' (TESTAF or Technical Standard for Pilot's Watches). Above all, Sinn watches are functional, innovative, and extremely robust and come in several versions depending on your needs and desires in a luxury tool watch.

A brief history on Sinn watches

The history of Sinn as a watchmaker can be traced right back to 1961 when Helmut Sinn founded the business in Frankfurt am Main. At first, the manufacturer focussed on supplying its cases to Swiss brands but later focussed on developing its own chronograph watches, diving watches and pilot’s watches. Helmut Sinn was originally a flight instructor during the Second World War, understanding more than anyone what is required of a reliable timekeeping instrument for operations in the cockpit. In 1985, astronaut Reinhard Furrer wore a watch developed by Sinn during a space lab expedition.

In 1994, Sinn was taken over by an engineer named Lothar Schmidt, who redirected the brand and focussed on the development of functional in-house technologies. It coincided with an important model. The Sinn 244 watch was released, boasting unique magnetic field protection technology. To minimize magnetic disruptions in extreme conditions, its case was built from lightweight titanium. As a result of its innovative features, the Sinn 244 watch was utilised by military personnel as well as pilots. A year later, Sinn’s highly-skilled technicians came up with a revolutionary technology named the Ar-Dehumidifying technology that killed two birds with one stone. Not only did it prevent the undesirable fogging up of the watch’s crystal glass when experiencing a dramatic temperature change, but the technology also preserved the oil inside the watch, preventing it from succumbing to the ageing effects brought on by moisture in the air.

Popular Sinn watches

The Sinn 104

The 41mm Sinn 104 St Sa is a special edition watch that is specifically directed towards the needs of the professional pilot. That said, it can be admired and enjoyed by those who have closely followed the brand, as well as fans of the pilot watch style. It has a ratcheting countdown bezel and has been crafted from stainless steel with a contemporary matte finish. A brown suede leather strap enhances a more casual and classic look compared to the dressier H-link bracelet option crafted from matching stainless steel.

Our Pick

Sinn 104

Reference: 104.010

Case/Dial: 41mm Stainless steel, Black
200 mt.

Movement: SW 220-1, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Calendar, 38h power reserve

Style: Aviation

The Sinn U2

Built for daring underwater missions, the Sinn U2 is an expertly crafted diver’s watch with a staggering water-resistance of 2000 meters. If this wasn’t enough, this popular Sinn watch also operates peerlessly in temperatures that range from -45 degrees Celsius to +80 degrees Celsius. If you are in the market for a rugged and reliable dive watch that ticks all the boxes, the standout feature of the Sinn U2 watch is its submarine steel case. The material is chosen for its corrosion-resistant capabilities, particularly when exposed to seawater.

Our Pick

The Sinn U2

Reference: 1020.1081

Case/Dial: 44mm German Submarine Steel, bead-blasted, black
2000 mt.

Movement: SW 330-1, Self-winding

Style: Diver

The Sinn 556

The Sinn 556 is a very classic-looking pilot’s watch from the Instrument category and is loved for its clean and simplified dial design. A set of baton hour markers and visible central hands that taper to a point make for a dial that is instantly readable in all conditions. Luminous material is also applied to the surface of these features to assist with timekeeping in dark conditions. Inspired by earlier Sinn NaBo clocks used in the cockpit, these watches are equipped with a dual seal crown to assist with the case’s impressive water resistance.

Our Pick

Sinn 556

Reference: 556.010

Case/Dial: 38.5mm Stainless steel, Black
200 mt.

Movement: SW200-1, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Calendar, 40h power reserve

Style: Dress

The Sinn 910 anniversary

The Sinn 910 watch was released by Sinn in 2016 to mark its 55th anniversary. Its movement features a column-wheel chronograph for enhanced performance, along with a split-second function that enables you to record intermediate time. If you’re looking for a superior chronograph that has all the distinct Sinn attributes, one of the 300 limited-edition 910 anniversary models is a great choice, if you’re lucky enough to come across it on the pre-owned market, that is.

Our Pick

Sinn 910 anniversary

Reference: 910

Case/Dial: 41.5mm Stainless steel, White
100 mt.

Movement: Valjoux 7750 Rattrapante, Self-winding

Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds Chronograph with split-seconds function, 53h power reserve

Strap: Leather

Style: Classic

The Sinn EZM 12

Without a doubt, the Sinn EXM 12 is a feature-packed and more technical-looking design than some other Sinn watches. It offers some handy functions including an inner rotating bezel that allows you to track specific timeframes. In addition to this, it offers the brand’s patented Ar-Dehumidifying technology, magnetic field protection, and TEGIMENT technology.

Our Pick

Sinn EZM 12

Reference: EZM 12

Case/Dial: 44mm Stailess steel, Black

Movement: ETA 2836-2, Self-winding

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, Calendar, 38h power reserve

Style: Chronograph

The Sinn 856

Integrated with a tried and tested automatic Sellita movement and with all of the brand’s identifiable pilot watch design codes, the Sinn 856 has a slim raised bezel for enhancing a sense of space across the dial, together with luminous hands, large Arabic numeral hour markers and a useful date window at 4:30. A 24-hour inner track is yet another useful feature, housed underneath a sapphire crystal glass front with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective properties.

Our Pick

Sinn 856

Reference: 856

Case/Dial: 40mm Stainless steel, black
200 mt.

Movement: SW300-1, Self-winding

Functions: Date, daydate

Style: Dress

How much do Sinn watches cost?

The cost of a Sinn watch can vary depending on the model and its functions. Those with a stopwatch function can be found in the Instrument Chronograph collection and these tend to be the pilot’s watch type, despite a few racing and rally chronographs. Sinn Instrument Chronograph watches powered by Valjoux movements can cost around $2,000 in mint condition and around $500 less for a pre-owned model. The Sinn 103 with an acrylic glass from this collection is an iconic model that comes with a day and date function, a 200-meter water resistance, a black dial and bezel, and a Valjoux movement, costing around $1,700.

The Sinn 903 St with a slide rule complication was built for assisting with mathematical calculations in the cockpit, which also belongs to the Instrument Chronograph collection. It has a crown on the left for adjusting the slide rule. You need to set aside around $2,500 for this model, whilst new models cost around $3.200.

Sinn watches without a chronograph function are classified as Sinn Instrument watches and belong to a different category. The Sinn 104 is a three-handed day-date model powered by a Sellita movement and is affordably priced on the pre-owned market at around $1000. The no-frills design of the Sinn 556 watch proves a particularly popular model with Arabic numerals placed at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock locations. Purchased new, this watch will cost around $1,100 but if it’s improved resistance to magnetic fields you need, the Sinn 836 is similar in looks and comes with a slightly higher price tag of around $2000.

Sinn diving watches can cost a little more. The Sinn UX watch is the place to look if you’re in search of a watch with superior aquatic capabilities. More than enough for scuba divers and professional divers, the Sinn UX promises a water resistance up to 5000 meters and measures a confident 44mm diameter, with a submarine steel bodywork, a unidirectional rotating bezel and luminous elements on its dial. You can expect to pay around £2,200 for a new Sinn UX watch and around $700 less for a pre-owned one.

Why are Sinn watches so popular?

Sinn is a German watch manufacturer that is synonymous with technological innovations. They meet certain criteria that are not often found in other luxury watches on the market within this same price bracket. They use the latest technology to solve a whole host of problems that have not yet been tackled by rival watch brands. Sinn has also made some firsts within the industry. It was the first manufacturer to create a watch from hardened gold and frequently uses submariner steel for its expertly developed diving watches. Having made watches for space, underwater operations, and dry land missions, Sinn appeals to its customers with its straightforward designs and appealing prices. Supplying directly to its customers, Sinn can strengthen its bond with those who need and love its instruments the most.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Follow us
© 2024 All rights reserved by watchesguild