Archive for January, 2010

Sinn U1 – Pimp U Watch

Monday, January 4th, 2010

U know I just hate to procrastinate, I really do, but I’ve got a sea-monkey on my back and his name is Sinn. U might think that after photo-shopping the Sinn U1 in white they might actually go back to designing watches for a change. Well U thought wrong. Late last year (that’s 2009 by the way) they went the way of U-Boat and brought out this new 47mm monstrosity called the ‘Sinn Ultimate U’. Read all about the hard sell here, thanks to the folks at Sinn Club Southeast Asia:

Needless to say I’m less than impressed by this latest abomination from my once- favourite watch manufacture. I don’t understand why they can’t leave their masterpiece alone. Did James Cameron try and make Titanic II: That Sinking Feeling? Noooooo… but Sinn has obviously decided to go the way of The Police Academy Series with the U1. First they make it gray. Then they make it black. Then they make it ‘invisible’. Then they make it half-black. Then they paint it white. And now they make it a bit bigger. With that little submarine logo that looks glued- on and the extra 2mm in girth, the only thing ultimate about this latest incarnation of the U1 is that it will set U back by about three times the price of the original, if U manage to get a discount that is.

I can tell U honestly its not even a clever way to make money anymore, although manufactures can probably get away with it the first few times before their clients wise up. Five years ago the waiting list for the original regular production U1 was about three months long. The recent incarnations, those much- vaunted limited editions that were launched to fanfare and parties (barring the 2007 Tempus version) couldn’t even sell out. I know it for sure when the AD starts offering pieces to a skinflint like me; in addition many of these LEs were bought only to be flipped within the week or month. Them eternal optimists at Sinn are still betting on Police Academy 7 to make money at the box-office, it seems.

Which is a darned shame, for Sinn is still probably the best there is at making solid, no-gimmick watches that strike a good balance between value and function. I’m thinking that most people in this world probably don’t need their watches to come with tegimented, submarine- steel casings with one-thousand feet depth- ratings (okay so it does have one gimmick after all, but its a good one), but would U mind paying about a thousand eight hundred USD for one? Doesn’t sound too unreasonable? After all milling submarine steel must cost something. What about something similar for three times that price now? Well hell all I can say is that steel better have had been stolen from the Red October or something!

If you’ve been considering a robust, handsome and manly timepiece with a (potentially) useful gimmick to brag about, then U can’t really go wrong with the Sinn U1. But do yourself a favor and get the no-frills vanilla version or the “I’m just a little different from you” SDR edition for a little bit more. They won’t plunge into the abyss of depreciation like a torpedoed whale and retain the best aspects of watchmaking – durability, Bauhaus-like design and good value – that Sinn was renown for. After all, if you do get your leg chewed off by a shark during that ill-fated dive trip, you would want people to say of you when they recover your carcass: “Man… that dead guy sure was clever!”

Sinn U1 SDR, Submarine Steel Case with Black Tegimented Bezel (Unidirectional), 44mm, 1000m waterproof, 40 hours power reserve. Movement: self-winding ETA 2824.

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