Sinn was pretty quiet this year at Baselworld 2010. I walked into their booth proudly wearing a Sinn watch myself to find not a soul that spoke English. Really Sinn? Actually, I can’t be too surprised, the competent watch maker is a ghost in the United States. With just one authorized dealer (only online), Sinn watches aren’t exactly common ’round these parts. But that shouldn’t be the case. 2010 didn’t have any super exciting new Sinn models that herald in a new era of “superman watch,” but there area few interesting pieces. One is the U200 – which is a ‘big boy’s watch” for smaller wrists. And then there is this unique Sinn 142 St II GZ. An obfuscatory and odd name for a pretty interesting watch. In addition to the Dubois Depraz Calibre 2070 (base ETA 2892-A2) automatic movement its chronograph, synced 24 hour hand, and date, the watch has the first “tide bezel” I’ve ever seen.

The interesting function allows you to set the bezel, and then figure out the tides in a given area for that day. It is a much more low-tech solution in comparison to the many fancy electronic based tide chart watches out there. At the top of the spectrum are complex timepieces where you set the date and your longitude and latitude and you can accurately see tide charts for as long in the future as you can imagine. For this Sinn, the inner bezel needs to be adjusted so that you indicate the time of day where the last high tide occurred by lining up the inner bezel appropriately. Then, you can use the hour hand to track the ebb and flow of the tides along the blue indicator. Yes, it is simple and requires external data, but it is an elegant and attractive solution for those who need the data, and want a Sinn style timepiece on their wrists. If you want, you can use a website like this one to see tide times all over the US, so that you can adjust your Sinn 142 St II GZ before going out that day. It does beg the question though, why you’d want a mechanical watch to do something a digital watch clearly can do with much more precision and power. So for me. this complication is interesting and useful, but for people primarily want the watch for its other features (or have a very specific set of needs that the watch is able to satisfy).

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Like the standard Sinn 142 collection, the watch is in a 44mm wide steel case with a sand-blasted finish all over. Makes for a sober, modern tool-look. Though the oblong case with the round dial looks like those “space watches” from a while back mixed with some 70’s retro diving watches. The case is water resistant to 100 meters, and has one of Sinn’s legendary comfy metal bracelets (with a diver’s extension). You can also get the watch on a leather strap. Style-wise the piece is unique for its black, blue, white, and red tones in the Sinn family. Legibility is very good, with Sinn’s typical sense of Germanic, manly quirkiness. Reading the dial  is aided by the doubly AR coated sapphire crystal. Sinn’s watch dials are so clear because they do an excellent job of making the crystals glare free. Look for the Sinn 142 St II GZ watch soon for a few thousand bucks.

See Sinn watches on eBay here.

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