We’ve covered Sinn plenty in the past, so most of our readers already know the spiel when it comes to this German favorite. But outside of their line of rugged over-engineered mechanical wonders, Sinn is also known for producing some fantastic low-tech entry-level watches like the 556, the recent 104, and the discontinued 656. Most who handle these timepieces would agree that their level of finish puts other brands selling similarly priced watches to shame.
However, none of these hold a candle to my favorite timepiece in their more affordable line-up, the Sinn 356 PILOT chronograph. In many ways, the 356 is everything one could hope for in a military-inspired tool watch, which shouldn’t come as a shock since the design is reminiscent of a pilot chronograph favorite, the IWC 3706. There are a number of variants in the 356 line: the 356 Sa with sapphire crystal, the 356 PILOT UTC with, you guessed it, a UTC complication, the 356 Sa GR with power reserve indicator, and the 356 Sa PILOT II with a copper dial.
There is also the 358 series, featuring a larger 42mm case for those with heartier wrists. But I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the 356, and I believe that the basic model is perfect in both form and function. Sinn obviously agrees, or else they wouldn’t have made the 356 a staple in their collection after initially releasing the Sinn 356 SPEZIALEDITION as a Japanese limited edition in 1996. So let’s get to the nitty gritty, shall well?
*Note: The 356 featured in these photographs is my own and is my most worn watch. As such, it has a number of dings and scratches.