Helmut Sinn 1916 — 2018

It’s with great sadness that we report the passing of Mr. Helmut Sinn, the man who founded the eponymous brand known for making some of the toughest watches around. Sinn Spezialuhren released the following statement from owner Lothar Schmidt:

“We have received the news that Helmut Sinn has died at the age of 101. The former pilot and blind-flying instructor founded our company under the name ‘Helmut Sinn Spezialuhren’ in 1961 and helped shape it over many years.

It is with the utmost respect that we remember Helmut Sinn’s extraordinary and strong-willed personality, his creativity and dynamism, his energy and his sense of humour.

The highest tribute must be paid to his achievements as an entrepreneur and as the founder of Helmut Sinn Spezialuhren, the company that laid the foundations for the one we know today.

We will always have very fond memories of Helmut Sinn.”

With a career spanning well over half a century, Mr. Sinn’s pioneering vision and ethos built a brand focused on no-nonsense watchmaking. Actually, make it two brands, the second of which, Guinand, he operated until his retirement in 2006 at the age of 90.Mr. Sinn was born in 1916 in Northern France. He was a pilot during the Second World War, and then later a flight instructor. He even spent a short amount of time racing rally cars. Then in 1956, he created Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH & Co. KG with a focus on producing quality military-inspired chronographs and watches and selling them direct at competitive prices. He sold Sinn to IWC engineer Lothar Schmidt in ’94, but Mr. Sinn’s stamp on the brand that to this day carries his name is everlasting.

Featured image from vintage-sinn-collector.de.

Editor’s note: this article has been updated to reflect Mr. Schmidt’s statement.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.