September 9, 2011
by Ariel Adams
Almost under the radar comes this new Sinn 358 watch. Did I intend to make that initial statement because this is a pilot watch? No but it works. I love timepieces like this that are all tool and do not look like they are made to be worn by tools. German Sinn watches continue to make me happy for mostly dismissing the pressures of the high-end watch world to upmarket all decent watches out there. Not that Sinn watches are cheap, but rather that they mostly feel fairly priced.
The 358 collection is a good sign because it shows Sinn increasing the sizes of a few of their core collection watches. In essence, the 358 is a larger version of the outgoing 356. At 42mm wide, the 358 offers a more modern and Western-appealing version of the 356’s 38.5mm wide case. The case is done in bead-blasted steel and comes with an acrylic domed crystal. Why acrylic? Sinn claims it is better for shock-resistance, but they also thankfully offer a sapphire crystal as an option (standard on some models). Actually to be perfectly accurate each of the three 358 models have different “standard” parts. Though it seems as though most of those parts and features can be optioned around. Basically you can get the model 358 of your choice through Sinn easily enough via a special order.
Another option is an air dehumidifying system that Sinn uses in many of its watches to remove potential moisture that can build up in the dial and cause condensation or fogginess. This can be a problem during quick rises or descents in a plane or just when rapidly changing climates (think of walking outside into hot humid air from an air-conditioned building). You can learn more about this technology here, and Sinn watches with it will have a little “Ar” logo on the dial. By the way, Sinn Ar watches only come with sapphire crystals.
Water resistant to 100 meters, the 358 is also highly antimagentic (with the solid caseback), and low pressure resistant. These are serious tool watches for serious use. The basic 358 model is called the 358 Pilot, which then goes up to the 358 Sa Pilot (Sa stands for “sapphire”), topping out with my favorite model, the 358 DIAPAL. I went into some detail a few years ago on what DIAPAL is here. You can read about it direct from Sinn here. DIAPAL is basically a oil-free (no lubrication) escapement that Sinn developed some years ago. Others have followed suit. This increases the lifespan of the watch and ensure more trouble-free usage. Sinn gives each of their DIAPAL watches metallic charcoal gray dials so you can them apart easily. I love the idea of these system in watches as such as this. The 358 Diapal is the top-of-the-line model in this collection and when combined with a metal bracelet is sure to be a hell of a watch. Don’t forget it also has a GMT hand that is easy to miss.
Speaking of bracelet, these watches are available with a range of straps and a single metal bracelet option at this time. The dial is classic, legible, and stately. It is probably the epitome of German watch incarnate. Little details come out with close inspection such as how the chronograph subdials are all different and optimized for easy reading. People today will feel it is a bit retro, but that is totally in. I have a feeling they will find it fashionable as well, something which is good, but also nothing Sinn seems to be concerned with.
Inside the watches are Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movements that are decorated and finely regulated by Sinn. The 358 DIAPAL however has a 7750 with a GMT module (and day of the week is removed). This gives the movement an independently adjustable GMT hand, but sadly there is no 24 hour scale to go with the hand.
Last, there is a limited edition of 500 pieces Sinn 358 Anniversary model meant to celebrate 50 years of Sinn. This model has a bi-compax dial and an even more retro look. As a nice daily wear any of these models would do just find. It is also a watch that no one can complain about you wearing. Prices are in the 2,000 – 3,000 Euros range.[phpbay]sinn, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]