We are thrilled to announce the latest official retailer at CHRONEXT: highly-regarded German watchmaker Sinn. To celebrate this new partnership, we look back at some of the most notable of the technological contributions the brand has made in its impressive history.
Sinn is an exciting and unique manufacturer in the sprawling watch industry: it's rarely accused of being glamorous or trendy, but what it has in buckets is respect. Founded in 1961 in Frankfurt, where it still operates, the company was the brainchild of Helmut Sinn. Initially, the goal was to make only navigation watches and tools for pilots, but the quality of the products was clear from the start. Sinn watches were worn by pilots and even astronauts on important missions.
In the 1990s, Sinn began to explore more exotic technologies for which it has been greatly admired. Today there is a sense that it is once again a rising star among German watchmakers, thanks to its unfailing commitment to ever-more functional, no-nonsense timepieces for everyday and professional use, boasting remarkable tech that few if any other brands can offer. What tech? I'm glad you asked.
It may have a strange name, but Sinn's Ar-Dehumidifying technology is quite fascinating. It's essentially an anti-aging effort, aimed at preventing the oil that lubricates the watch mechanism from drying out, keeping things running more accurately and for longer. A special seal, capsule and protective gas comprise the three-way solution to creating a fully anhydrous internal atmosphere. An extra bonus is that the crystal is much less likely to fog. This technology is used in several Sinn watches, such as the 103 UTC with a second time zone.
While Dehumidification keeps the watch's oil from aging, Diapal technology aims to remove the need for a lubricant altogether. Sinn selects high-tech materials for their ability to work together with virtually no friction. The main focus of this effort is on the escapement, which is the component most sensitive to the oil's degradation in a conventional movement. Diapal originally used diamond pallets instead of ruby - today it uses advanced materials involving nanotechnology, the exact nature of which is a trade secret, and can be found in pieces such as the superb 358 pilot's watch.
3. Hydro and more
Sinn is known for its diving watches, which have seen a host of fantastic upgrades over the years. "Hydro" technology refers to specialist watches that are filled with an incredible fluid that covers the entire movement and dial. Utterly transparent, this fluid eliminates the risk of fogging and annoying reflections, creating amazing legibility from all angles, as well as making the airless watch highly pressure resistant. Sinn has also introduced innovations in durability for its well-known divers like the U1000 - examples include an extra-secure Captive Safety Bezel, which protects against knocks and catches, and the use of "submarine steel", first developed by the German military and extremely reliable for long-term use in seawater.
4. Magnetic Field Protection
It's not that common to be exposed to the kinds of magnetic fields that can mess with a mechanical watch's accuracy, but it's not unheard of either, and it can be a real pain. Sinn wanted to make magnetic resistance available for non-professional watches, and created a special form of soft-iron Faraday cage that protects watches up to 1,000 Gauss (80,000 A/m). That's the same as the Rolex Milgauss. Find it in gorgeous pilot's watches like the 857, or the beautiful chronograph unveiled at Baselworld this year, the 936.
5. Temperature Resistance
Not content with dehumidifying watches to protect the lifespan of their oil lubricant, nor with doing away with oil completely in the Diapal watches, Sinn went a step further and created a new type of oil altogether. Why? To make their watches more resistant to changes in temperature. Alongside rigorous testing of components to ensure they don't significantly expand in high temperatures as most metals do, this oil allows Sinn timepieces like the U200 EZM to remain accurate even in the most extreme conditions (up to -45 and +80 degrees Celsius).
Among the most impressive and mysterious of Sinn's many innovations, "Tegimentation" is an entirely unique process of making steel cases completely scratch resistant. Rather than adding some kind of coating or protection, as most companies do, Sinn treats the surface layer of the metal itself, hardening it to an incredible 1,200 vickers (most steel cases are about 220 vickers). No one knows how they do this, since the technology is proprietary and closely guarded. Sinn does also have its own PVD coating it sometimes adds to Tegiment watches for even greater scratch resistance. The popular U1 is a great example.
One of Sinn's nicher options, so-called Q technology is a means of protecting wearers of quartz timepieces (like the 434 series) against the electromagnetic radiation emitted by many such electronic devices. Various types of shielding are employed to block this radiation from permeating your wrist. Even without protection, the risk posed from everyday devices of this type is very low, well within governmental safety limits, but Sinn's Q technology gives even greater peace of mind for a tool you might wish to wear every day.
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