May 16, 2008
by Ariel Adams
When you consider what goes on inside of a watch movement, it is impressive that they even work at all. I mean really, have you ever considered the delicate dance of components harmonically beating and gyrating to the rhythm of the balance wheel which must maintain a strenuously high level of consistency? To think such sophistication was birthed so long ago, and yet only now serious improvement are being made.
The constant motion of component on component is a close relationship of neighboring metals (literally), and has the unpleasant side effect of friction. If you are mechanically minded, you will surely fathom that years of metal on metal contact has the side effect of wearing out the parts. This however is interestingly avoided in most part to special oils and the use of “rubies” for lubrication and to reduce wear. Rubies, are polished stones that after as strong points between various moving pieces of a watch. Gems are particularly hard (even the synthetic ones uses in watches) and don’t experience the same type of wear that most metals do. Regardless, there is still the issue of smooth motion between parts. Thus, a primary concern of any watch construction is the mitigation of wear, plus the assurance of absolutely reliably movement of the escapement (amplitude).
Your typical mechanical watch needs to be maintained every couple of years to ensure fluid operation. This means opening up the movement for a oil and cleaning job during the “servicing process.” Sinn, completely unhappy with this status quo wanted to remove this headache. They succeeded in prototyping this technology in the mid 1990s, using a technique they called “Diapal.” The term is merely a contraction of the words “DIAmond” and “PALete.” Without going into it on a deep level that will inevitably bore you, here is what you need to know. Sinn Diapal watches use OIL-FREE escapements and round polished diamonds instead of traditional rubies which don’t wear at all, and are much much smoother to reduce friction and enhance consistent amplitude. Again, the escapement has no oil! Pretty nice.
So there you have it, polished diamonds used over rubies to create a smoothly operating balance wheel and escapement combination that does not need lubricating oil, thus elongating the lifespan of the watch! That is really impressive, as it took years for Sinn to reduce this process to reliable practice. Of course they hold patents on it.
The Sinn 757 is the newest Sinn watch in the line up to house a Diapal movement. Before the 757, the 756 (same watch without a rotating bezel) was given a Diapal movement. Visually there are a couple of things which set the Diapal version apart from the normal version. The chronograph subdials remain the same black color, while the rest of the dial takes on a ghostly shade of gray. The UTC hand is now white, as opposed to yellow in the standard Sinn 757 UTC version. Further, there is a Diapal indicator on the face of the watch. Overall, it looks really cool.
Because the Sinn 757 UTC Diapal is new, they are hard to get, but well worth it, for the technology, the tegimented case, and the long life span. This new iteration of the 757 series makes a superman watch even hardier.
See Sinn watches on eBay here.See Sinn watches on Amazon here.