Limited Editions Done Right—8 Killer LEs from Sinn

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Limited editions can be a risky thing—taking an existing and already well-received watch and revising it significantly enough to justify its existence, but also making sure the changes don’t ruin all that was good with the watch in the first place can be quite the challenge, and we’ve all seen our fair share of misses from brands. Sinn, however, seem to have a lot more hits than misses in their back catalog and plenty to choose from in the last few years alone, be they divers, chronographs or three-handers. Although not intended to be a definitive collection, today’s list takes a look at some of our favorite past limited editions from the beloved German brand.

The awesome Sinn 910 Anniversary split-seconds, column wheel chronograph, but more on this one later.

356 Isetan

First on our list is the 356 Isetan, a 2016 collaboration with noted Tokyo department store, Isetan. The 356 Isetan features the same 38.5mm case and Sellita SW500 movement (Sinn had already switched from the Valjoux 7750 at this point), but here the running-seconds register and day/date displays are removed to leave a clean and symmetrical dial. The watch retains a domed acrylic, and the hands and indices are painted with “old-radium”-style Luminova for a bit of a vintage vibe. The watch comes on a rich, brown leather strap. Only 50 of these were ever produced. 

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U1 Dune

As Sinn’s iconic Diver, the U1 has had more limited editions than any other reference, including the recent U1 Professional and Blu1 releases, but it’s the U1-D “Dune” that I’m giving the honors to here. Released in 2015 in collaboration with The Hour Glass, one of Asia’s largest watch retailers, the Dune replaces the iconic red accents of the mainstay model with a more muted sand-toned finish for the hands, bezel markings and dial text. The Tegimented submarine steel case features a hardened black coating along with the bezel, crown and case back. Bringing it all together, the dial is a matte grey with darker charcoal-grey, lumed indices. This one is limited to just 350 units.

U2c

A 2015 collaboration with German magazine, Chronos, the Sinn U2c is another serious tool diver from the brand. Using the same case as the regular U2 model—44mm of black hard-coated, Tegimented submarine steel—the U2c does away with the GMT hand and accompanying 24-hour scale on the inner portion of the dial and leaves only white and grey markings against a deep black dial and bezel. Inside this stealthy looking beast is the ETA 2892-A2. The watch also features Sinn’s Captive Bezel, Ar-Dehumidifying and Temperature Resistant technologies, and it’s water-resistant to a whopping 2,000 meters. Only 50 were ever made, and the entire run sold out quickly.

910 Anniversary

Marking the 55th anniversary of the birth of the brand, 2016 saw the release of the Sinn 910 Anniversary chronograph. Although the watch forms part of the Frankfurt Financial District collection, the 910 Anniversary is markedly less sober than the black dialed watches that have come to define that series. The cream-colored dial incorporates red accents within a dual-register chronograph display powered by a Valjoux 7750-based movement that’s been modified to include a column wheel and a rattrapante function. The additional chronograph pusher at the eight o’clock position actuates the split-second hand. One push stops the split-second so that a reading can be taken while the main chronograph second hand continues, and a second push sees that hand catch up and sit invisibly behind the main chronograph hand. The watch also features a double tachymeter scale with the inner black ring of markings displaying the speed in miles per hour for times less than 60 seconds, and the outer red ring displaying the speed if recorded between one and two minutes. The 910 is limited to 300 pieces, and it’s still available to purchase.

556 M-30 Aviation

As Sinn’s ever-popular, entry-level watch, the 556 has also had its fair share of facelifts. One of the more interesting variants to be produced in limited numbers comes in the form of the 556 M-30 Aviation. Inside the same satin finished, stainless steel case of the 556i sits a deep blue matte dial accented with orange minute markers and an orange second hand. The dial is rotated 180 degrees within the case to put the crown on the left side, and the date wheel is oriented to the date window at nine o’clock. Limited to a run of 30 pieces, the M-30 Aviation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Japanese magazine, Mono.

103 A Sa B

The Sinn 103 is a well-known and well-loved watch, so any improvement is going to be a tough ask. Primarily this is a 103, but in blue. That said, the striking blue bezel and sunburst dial give the watch a whole new persona, and the vibrancy is tempered by off-white chronograph sub-dials. The 103 features a highly decorated Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement visible through the exhibition case back, and there’s a domed sapphire crystal on the front. The watch is water resistant to 200 meters and it features a diving bezel and screw down chronograph pushers. The production was limited to 500 pieces.

Chronograph Tachymeter

The Chronograph Tachymeter is loosely based on the 103 and features a 41mm polished case with a Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement inside. The similarities with the classic 103 soon end though, as all the sub-dial registers are removed from the dial save for the running seconds at the nine o’clock position and the date display on the opposite side. Instead, the dial gives way to a spiral tachymeter scale that enables the calculation of speeds right down to 20 as the chronograph second hand completes a third “lap” (a single tachymeter scale would normally go down to 60 for one rotation).

While it may not be the most exploitative usage of the movement inside, the vintage styling is very well executed here; the balance of the markings on the dial against the vintage-toned lume give it character without overwhelming the design. 100 pieces were made in conjunction with online German retailer, Manufactum.

1800 S Damaszener

Finally, we’re going with a bit of a curveball from Sinn. Unveiled in late 2015, the 1800 S Damaszener features a full Damascus steel case and dial. Cut from a single piece of folded steel, the 43mm diameter case and inset dial show the same graining, which flows from the case through to the dial and then out again. The folded metal is then finished with Sinn’s Tegimenting process and black coating, leaving the case hardened and resistant to corrosion. Although the unique look of Damascus steel is somewhat of a departure for Sinn, the dial design is unmistakably on-brand, keeping the watch fairly legible with lumed hands and applied hour indices. Owing to the construction process of the case, no two of the 100 pieces made have the same pattern.

Brad stumbled into the watch world in 2011 and has been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. Based in London, Brad's interests lie in anything that ticks, sweeps or hums and is slightly off the beaten track.
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