Checking out the Sinn T50s in Geneva

The Sinn U50 is one of those watches that watch enthusiasts collectively knew would be a huge hit when it launched in 2020. Though essentially a shrunken-down U1 (with half the water resistance), it was Sinn doing what they do best. Humbly making incredibly rugged, high-spec, modern tool-watches, and making it seem easy. Thin at 11.3mm, well-sized at 41mm x 47mm for a modern, but not oversized fit, and built to withstand 500 bar of pressure, it demonstrated that good engineering prevails over scale. The only problem has been a lack of new versions since launch.

There was a blackout LE with a dark MOP dial, which was cool, if not for everyone (Sinn’s head of marketing, Sabine Kleiter wears this watch, and it always looks striking). And then the U50 Pro, which was a date-free remix, with the crown up at 10. Another great-looking version, it was sadly limited to 150 pieces and to the North American market. Both are great, but neither a true addition to the line. And then, in 2023, we got what we wanted. Well, sort of.

Rather than building on the U50, Sinn launched a sibling watch called the T50. At a glance, they seemed a lot alike, but there are quite a few differences as well making them a slightly different beast. If I were to liken it to something, it would be the higher-priced sport trim of the same base model car. They have the same dimensions and general design, particularly regarding the case, but are made out of hardened titanium, gold bronze (a patent-pending alloy that is 12% gold), and a combination of the two, instead of steel.


The cases also feature Sinn’s Ar tech, which is a combination of removing and replacing the oxygen in the watch, which prevents fogging and adds to the longevity of the movement, and a copper-sulfate capsule, which pulls moisture out of the interior of the gas, further helping with longevity, and also acting as a sort of warning device for the seals. This isn’t anything new for Sinn, it’s tech that has been around for 20-something years, but it wasn’t on the U50.

The dials got some unexpected changes as well. Rather than the signature “Lego” hands that were retained from the U1, the T50 got roman swords. Though another handset Sinn has used on past divers, it was a bit surprising, to me at least, that they’d make that change. To better accommodate those hands, the dials’ markers were trimmed down a bit, for an overall less aggressive look. Once again, not a bad thing, but unexpected.

Anyway, when the T50s were announced, Blake Buettner and I were so excited about it, we recorded a quick reaction video. Check that out. While Sinn doesn’t have a booth at Watches & Wonders, they exhibit at Time to Watches, a much smaller watch fair held at HEAD, Geneva’s design school. I’ll do a round-up of that separately, but I’ve gone the last two years, and it’s a nice, grounding reprieve from the luxury madness that is the Palexpo. More importantly, it gives me an opportunity to go hands-on with Sinn’s newest creations.

Unsurprisingly, the T50s in the metal are exceptional. We started our tour of them with the full Goldbronze, which is a limited edition with a hand-scratched dial surface, revealing warm metal under a black coating. The case was gorgeous. Goldbronze is somewhere between rose gold and bronze in color. Slightly desaturated, it didn’t feel opulent or overly nautical and retained the watches’ toolish-attitude thanks to uniform bead blasting. The case shape also took well to the metal, not feeling out of place in the context. As a bronze fan who can’t wear bronze due to a skin reaction, this metal is very exciting as it won’t cause such an issue.

The scratched dial is an interesting addition as well. I’m not 100% sure where I stand on it, it’s akin to fauxtina, but also adds some uniqueness to each piece (no two are the same) as well as handcraft. In person it’s less aggressive seeming than photos make out, due to its actual scale. If you’re into this, Sinn also released a U50 LE this year with the same finish. It’s worth noting the T50 Goldbronze LE is only sold on a fabric strap, as there currently is no Goldbronze bracelet.

From there, we took a look at the T50 GBDR, which is two-tone, featuring a Goldbronze bezel, titanium case, and titanium bracelet if chosen. This one really got me. The Goldbronze looked amazing with the titanium. Usually, two-tone watches feel more ornate, but this didn’t come off that way. Sure, the Goldbronze adds a pop of warmth, a touch of gold tone, but the matte finish and the context of the watch itself, made it feel purposeful. The slightly darker-than-steel coloring of the titanium accentuated the Goldbronze in just the right way as well. Thanks to the titanium, the T50 GBDR was noticeably lighter as well.

Lastly, we checked out the full titanium T50. What’s not to like here? Admittedly, I am a titanium stan and would gladly swap out all steel in my collection for beautiful, lightweight titanium. Regardless, in the context of the T50, it makes so much sense. The U50 is as modern as a diver can get, save using steel. Nothing wrong with steel, but to me, a perfect sports watch should also be light and non-fatiguing. Though it was on my wrist all-too-briefly, I could tell given the scale and weight of the T50, you could forget it was there, in the best sense.

Something I enjoyed about the T50s was the lack of red. All of the core U50s use red prominently. It’s on the base of the hour and minute hands, nearly covering the seconds hand, printed on the dial and dispersed across the bezel. While I’m not anti-red, I’m not drawn to it either and prefer a more restrained application. On the T50s, this isn’t a concern at all as the palette is reduced to white, black, and gray. The result is just a touch sleeker to my eyes.

Another unexpected change was to the bezel system. Though the U50 and T50 bezels look identical the T50 features a “safety” mechanism, which requires you to push down to turn. While this is nothing new in the world of divers (the Squale 2002 comes to mind, but isn’t the only watch with this feature either) it’s a smart addition that adds no bulk. Though the U50’s bezel seems at low risk to be accidentally turned, in a watch that is all about discreet features, this feels appropriate.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the U50 (I’m wearing Buettner’s as I finish the post), and in concept prefer the lego hands as they feel more distinct, but the T50 might just be the most compelling truly modern diver out there. It’s got tech few brands can match, it’s thin, relatively small, lightweight, and yet has 500m resistance. If you needed one tough-as-nails watch, you could hardly find a better option, with the U50 a close second (or first, depending on tastes).

While I’m still surprised Sinn hasn’t expanded more on the core U50 line before coming out with the T50 sports-trim, it does feel like an upgraded watch. Of course, this comes at a price, which is perhaps the only downside, if not surprising. The T50s start at $3,840, over $1,000 more than the base U50. While that’s a significant jump up (which goes up fast once Goldbronze is concerned) they are still competitive against comparable Swiss offerings. Sinn

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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