Sinn is a Frankfurt-based manufacturer perhaps best known for their “tool” watches; tough timepieces with typically German levels of over-engineering designed to handle whatever the wearer can throw at them. Despite this reputation, Sinn does, of course, release dress watches, such as the 1800 S Damaszener or their beautiful 1746 Porcelain collection. Last year’s 6200 Meisterbund I watch in rose gold was re-released in white gold with the Sinn 6200 WG Meisterbund I that we’ll take a look at here.
Getting away from this watch for a moment to discuss the brand’s history, Sinn was founded in 1961 in Frankfurt, Germany by pilot and flight instructor Helmut Sinn. The company’s initial focus was the manufacture of cockpit clocks and aviation chronographs which were sold direct to the customer, bypassing retailers. In 1994 Helmut Sinn sold the company to Lothar Schmidt, an engineer and former employee of International Watch Company (IWC) in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Under Schmidt’s leadership, Sinn developed a reputation for over-engineered tough watches and would go on to supply watches for the German federal police (GSG 9), the fire service, and professional divers and pilots.
This heritage allows Sinn to occupy a comfortable niche in the German watch industry as a specialist in professional watches, but pieces like the 6200 WG Meisterbund I and its rose gold sibling offer a well-decorated manufacture calibre from Uhren-Werke-Dresden (UWD) and a precious metal case engineered by Sächsische Uhrentechnologie GmbH (SUG).
Lothar Schmidt is a shareholder in SUG, who are a specialist case manufacturer that have historically supplied steel cases for Sinn and precious metal cases for A. Lange & Söhne. The case of the Sinn 6200 WG Meisterbund I is manufactured by SUG in a palladium-rich alloy of white gold, which requires no rhodium plating to maintain its silver color and should be well tolerated by wearers with nickel allergies. The case measures 40mm by 9.3mm, making it slim, yet modern in appearance and well suited for dress watch duties.
The lugs are short and curved to enhance the slim profile, and the sides of the case are satin-brushed to contrast with the polished bezel. This case shows a level of finishing up to A. Lange & Söhne standards, which is appropriate considering it was manufactured by the same supplier. The case is further water-resistant to 10 Bar (approximately 100m), which is considerable for a precious metal dress piece but not unexpected given Sinn’s proclivity for tough timepieces. The Sinn 6200 WG Meisterbund I comes attached to either a mocha or black alligator leather strap, and includes a wooden display box with a loupe to admire the fine detailing on the dial and movement.
The Sinn 6200 WG Meisterbund I features an anthracite dial, decorated with fine guilloché in radial waves emanating from the dial’s center. The effect looks like a sunburst finish at first glance, but reveals greater detail and visual interest when inspected closely. The hour indicators are applied and have a distinctive elongated or “stretched” appearance, which will no doubt prove a controversial design choice, but one that I personally quite like. Printed white Arabic numerals mark every 10-minute interval around the dial, which detracts somewhat from the elegance of this timepiece but does serve to increase legibility. Surrounding the dial is a railroad minute track with applied metal indexes every hour, presumably also made of white gold.
The hour and minute hands of the Sinn 6200 WG Meisterbund I are slim, could be described as leaf-shaped, and contrast well against the anthracite dial without obscuring the view. The small seconds counter at 6 o’clock uses a matte disc to distinguish itself from the rest of the dial, and features its own railroad track with Arabic numerals marking every 10th second. “Made in Germany” is displayed along the bottom of the dial to either side of the small seconds counter, along with the Sinn branding and “Frankfurt Am Main” taking pride of place near 12 o’clock. Even at a glance, there can be no doubt that this is not a Swiss timepiece – a fact that is being celebrated here rather than concealed.
Through the sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, the hand-wound caliber UWD 33.1 is revealed. This is the same caliber that’s featured in the previous rose gold 6200 Meisterbund I, and it is just as beautiful here. Marco Lang of Lang & Heyne watches is the man behind UWD – who also produces very finely finished watches in traditional German style – and his expertise shows here. The movement is made of nickel silver (also known as German Silver or Maillechort), which has a silver-like appearance when new but will tarnish a creamy yellow with age. The bridges are uniquely crescent-shaped and matte-finished with contrasting diamond-planed edges.
The movement operates at 3Hz and features six eccentric weights in the balance system, and a spring barrel supported on one side (which Sinn calls a “flying barrel”), offering a power reserve of 55 hours. The caliber UWD 33.1 also comes equipped with a hacking seconds mechanism for precise time-setting, and is anti-magnetic in accordance with DIN 8309 (approximately 4 800 A/M, or amperes per meter). The crown wheel and ratchet are further sunburst-decorated by hand.
This is a finely finished dress piece in precious metal – a collaboration between three German companies who each bring specialist skills to the table. With a price tag of $15,460, many will consider this timepiece a miss for Sinn, as their name still evokes that heritage of affordable, tough watches for everyday wear. But consider it in this light. The Sinn 6200 WG Meisterbund I is cased by the same manufacturer that supplies A. Lange & Söhne, offers an architecturally interesting movement produced by UWD, and displays a well-decorated yet legible dial characteristic of Sinn Spezialuhren. While it is up against some strong competition from fellow German (not to mention Swiss) watchmakers at this price, I can picture 55 people appreciating the craftsmanship and watchmaking that goes into a piece like this. sinn.de