March 3, 2023
by Tom Roth
There’s an old joke that maintains, “Heaven is where the cooks are French, the policemen are British, the romantics are Italian, the mechanics are German, and everything is run by the Swiss.” Modified for horology, the French make the dress watches, anything heritage-inspired is British, the Italians craft the straps, the Germans make the tool watches — and everything is still run by the Swiss. To the penultimate point, it’s undeniable that German watchmakers have carved out an assailable position as makers of serious spec-monsters with brands like Sinn leading the charge. For years, the U50 has served as Sinn’s star, backed by a deep bench that can handle any eventuality in air, on land, or at sea. For 2023, the U50 gets a partner in crime: the T50 diver.
The T50 is special for many reasons, but the biggest, by far, is Sinn’s introduction of a new alloy it’s calling Goldbronze. In true practical Germanic fashion, the name is explanation enough: It’s made out of bronze and gold — one-eighth gold, to be exact. In contrast to the jargonless name, the material seems to serve no practical purpose — it just looks cool. Thanks to a brighter-than-bronze sheen, this Goldbronze seems mostly a demonstration of Sinn’s advanced metallurgy techniques rather than a value-add of any material benefits. That said, it undeniably sets the T50 apart in the crowded dive watch field.
With three editions, the 41mm T50 comes in a full Goldbronze flavor, a high-strength bead-blasted titanium version, and one hybrid model that combines the titanium case with a Goldbronze bezel. Beyond the novel Goldbronze material, the T50 marks the brand’s latest foray into titanium casework. Before last week, only Sinn’s 103 series of chronographs featured titanium cases, while just a handful of Sinn’s back-catalog pieces have ever made use of the material. This makes some sense, considering that Sinn has flown the flag over its one-of-a-kind tegimented steel, which offers many of the same benefits as titanium.
Beyond the materials, the T50 features Sinn’s familiar utilitarian black dials with luminous markers — except for the full Goldbronze, whose irregularly ground dial has a rough look that Sinn promises makes each T50 Goldbronze unique. Limited to 300 pieces, these certainly do take on a singular look, accentuated further by the fabric strap that, itself, is a departure from Sinn’s typical bracelets or curved rubber straps, neither of which is available for the limited edition.
Like the U50, the new T50 watches have a 4 o’clock crown and bezels that are clearly designed for diving. Where the T50 blazes its own trail is in the machined cutouts — eight in total — circumnavigating the bezel. Whether to provide grip or simply serve as a stylistic differentiation between the U and T series is anyone’s guess but it does help the T50 take on a character all its own. Pilot-style hands borrowed from the U1 and U2 collections are big and luminous and help draw a connective line through several parts of Sinn’s overall design theory and help keep the T50 both familiar and new.
Sinn’s technical prowess is really what makes the T50 a true performance diver, as invisible features like Argon gas case treatments to prevent fogging, and a Captive Diver’s Bezel (best explained by Sinn as “Push, then turn”) represent innovations that have real-world utility. Next-level technologies like this join class-leading specs that have made Sinn divers famous: 500m water resistance, anti-magnetism, and crazy-bright lume. Where Sinn’s relentless practicality perhaps gets the best of itself is in regard to the movement. Using a workaday SW-300, some buyers may balk at the high price tag, hoping for something more elevated, especially when paired with such great specs. But by using a common movement, Sinn ensures years of easy maintenance without the need for bespoke manufactured parts.
Taken together, it’s clear that the T50 marks Sinn’s full intention to continue as one of the world’s premiere makers of tool watches. It’s a natural addition to the catalog that flexes Sinn’s deep technical skills and plants the Goldbronze flag, which may very well begin to appear elsewhere throughout the catalog in the coming months and years. More information on the T50 Goldbronze ($5,760 USD), T50 GDBR (starting at $4,270 USD), and all-titanium T50 ($3,840 USD) can be found on Sinn’s website.