Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

German Sinn watches are known for serious professional-use timepieces and not much else. A design-oriented novelty watch, no matter how well-made, just isn't part of their DNA. That doesn't mean they haven't dabbled in fanciful things though. Who do they think they are? Fortis?... Back in 2010 I wrote about a very strange watch called Sinn 902 here. It was a sort of petite-men's watch with a unique cushion-shaped case and a three-hand movement. It was based on a series of timepieces that Sinn produced for Audi a few years earlier. Among those Audi models was a chronograph version of the unique cushion watch.

In 2012, Sinn released a Sinn-labeled version which is very similar to the watch they produced for Audi. This model, as seen here, is the Sinn 901, and is a limited edition. It is strikingly similar to the "Audi Design Square Chronograph" from several years ago. As I mentioned before, I think that we can thank Audi for the overall design of this unique cushion-shaped tool watch. Does it have enough charm to win over traditional Sinn fans?

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Luckily I got some hands-on time with the Modell 901 and I quite like it - more so than the three-hand 902 model. The 901's case is 38.4mm wide in steel. It is mostly brushed for a tool-like look. Though you have a softly polished bezel which is more shiny. Sinn fans know that few if any Sinn watches have dials that you'd call "artistic." Many are anywhere from handsome to even "pretty," but artistic? Almost never. The 901 (and 902) has a dial that is very much a piece of art. It feels a bit mod retro futuristic, but certainly includes some art.

Compared to the 2005/2006 Audi Design Square Chronograph, the dial is a bit more refined on the Sinn model. It is thematically the same, but Sinn played with the lines and colors a bit with a pleasing result. I also like the use of Sinn's aviator-style hands and the upgrades in dial legibility. The case is not very thin either and does wear larger than it is. Water resistance is 100 meters and while it is a durable watch, the 901 doesn't have Sinn's regular mix of super durability features.

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

In addition to the square/cushion shape of the case, the 901's most interesting feature is the carried-over lug adjustment system. Moving a small lever on the left side of the case extends both the lugs a little bit to give the strap a bit more wearing room. It can then be tightened up to offer a tighter feel on the wrist. As most people's wrists expand and contract with things like temperature and humidity, micro-adjust comfort feature such as this are most welcome.

Inside the Sinn 901 is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. Sinn doesn't include the day window like the Audi model does, but that isn't a very big deal. The chronograph pushers are a bit unique in their design, but that doesn't really effect their usage. The crown is also more "designery" that most Sinn watches, but it seems to fit the overall concept of this watch. By the way, according to Sinn, they partnered with fellow German company SUG to produce the cases for these 901 and 902 watches. SUG actually makes many, but I don't believe all, Sinn watch cases. Sinn apparently owns a large stake in SUG as well.

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Sinn Modell 901 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The tapered soft leather strap with inner rivets is an interesting detail and helps round-out the overall presentation of the 901. It is an extremely unique German watch in that it isn't at all what you think of when you think of Sinn, or German watches for that matter. Still, at the end of the day it is a Sinn. That means the watch is comfortable, legible, and still seems to somehow make sense given its oddity. Though you can't forget to give Audi a fair amount of credit for the overall design of the watch. Kudos to Sinn for keeping the tradition alive. Being limited, Sinn will only produce 150 pieces of the Modell 901 chronograph. Price is 2,800 Euros. See more at the Sinn website here.

What do you think?
  • I want it! (1)
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  • MarkCarson

    Looks larger (and appears to wear larger) than its 38.4mm width. Interestingly different for a Sinn. Thanks for the review.

  • JoeWelke

    Ariel, you say that Sinn doesn’t include the date window… but it does, at 3 o’clock, right next to the Sinn mark. This is a nice watch, good to see even Sinn can change things up on occassion.

    • That was a typo. I mean “day” not “date.” Thanks.

    • JoeWelke That was a typo. I mean “day” not “date.”

  • bichondaddy

    Well…it is different…and that’s about the only thing good I can say about it.

  • Ryan B

    Intersting design combo in a 50’s diner sort of way, overall it’s unique for sure.

  • Ulysses31

    This wasn’t what I expected to see when I read “Sinn” in the feed.  I like square watches but not so keen on the inflated-looking ones.  For some reason I really like the case back; it says something to me about fiendishly good teutonic craftsmanship.  The lug adjustment feature is clever and fairly useful.  I’d expect to see something like that more in a dive watch though, to facilitate easy fitting over a diving suit for example.  The dial isn’t very pretty but overall it has enough distinguishing features to catch the interest of certain customers.  As for me, i’ll continue to drool over the round, highly legible bead-blasted beauties they normally produce.

  • Kris C

    $4k for this? What a joke. I think its attractive, sure, but the only non-standard bit in this offering is the lug adjustment, and it aint worth more than 2 grand. They should have at least gone with one of their lemania throwback movements. Those are at least fun. The 7750 is not.

  • MatthewRond

    The Sinn technology and durability make this quite attractive. Where can I reliably purchase one of these watches?

  • torrento

    I like the art deco details and the shape. What gets me aesthetically is the thickness, and this is coming from someone who loves their 17mm deep Sinn 103 Classic. This watch looks quite bulky. That said, if you have a couple nice round watches, the unique shape is appealing since you don’t need to wear it everyday, and Sinn (and German manufacturers as a whole) make very few non-circular watches.