Archive for the 'SINN' Category

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: http://sinnclubsea.blogspot.com.

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.

Updated: SINN U1 Black “Limited Edition” Model (Prototype)

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

UPDATE: I guess after all that ranting in the earlier post the polite thing to say here would be that I was underwhelmed. As advertised, Hourglass and SINN launched the latter’s latest re-invention of the popular SINN U1 watch at Paulaner’s Brahaus in Singapore last evening. Cutting to the chase and leaving out the bits on the scantily-clad SINN models and the several invitees who were tripping over one other in the buffet queue, here’s the prototype in all its understated glory.

I checked and I wasn’t the only person who found the scheme strikingly similar to at least two other designs already out there. But who cares! ‘Stealthy’ designs rule! Stealth is clearly the way forward in horological design, since watchmakers can now save money on paint! (technically they would still have to buy grey paint – ed.) Stealth is good as most people should now tell time from their mobile phones instead of their watches! I’m relieved. One truly can do no worse than sticking with the original SINN U1 with its unbeatable value for money (but I know 399 other persons will disagree).

 

 

SINN U1 Black/ U-Black/ U-Black Stealth Limited Edition, Tegimented steel case in black, 44mm. With rubber strap and deployant clasp. Recommend Retail price SG$4,500.00. Available exclusively at all Hourglass outlets (Singapore). Bell and Ross BR01-94 Phantom image courtesy of www.bellross.com. Hublot Big Bang King All Black courtesy of www.hublot.com.

SINN U1 black to become as common as canned food

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

 

 

More random horological bitterness. As has been suspected for sometime now, SINN has been preparing a production version of their highly successful and limited U1 Black Tempus Edition to be unveiled on 3rd October 2008, this Friday. Still limited (but not as limited as before) to a rumoured production run of 399 pieces, this piece is sure to send collectors, speculators and aficionados scrambling as if their pants were on fire.

I love SINN watches for their value and design but have had my reservations about them for a while now, and I’m not sure if this latest offering does anything to abate them. Technology-wise, this does little to advance SINN’s claims of innovation. Changing colours, removing and adding markings here and there belong to the creative province of primary-school students (and Bell and Ross BR01 designers, if I may add). Next, SINN watches have seen quite a fair increase in price recently across their range and especially evident in the astronomical RRP of their u1000, which again has nothing new to offer innovations-wise but costs as much as an aircraft carrier. This ‘new’ SINN U1 Black looks like its bringing nothing to the table but will be adding a few thousand dollars on top of the price of a regular U1.

Watchmakers are forever milking their designs and this is nothing new. IWC’s 2007 ceramic doppelchronograph spawned a hideous Top Gun edition. Bell and Ross’s BR series designs in blue/ black/ pink/ brown/ orange/ red/ taupe/ aqua/ rainbow also come to mind. Breitling’s Avenger Skyland Blacksteel is actually pretty nice though, bucking the trend of horrible alternate incarnations, but must be regarded as somewhat of a different design altogether. This SINN U1 black is yet to be fully unveiled at time of writing, and I’m hoping it proves me wrong, because SINN is one of those watchmakers I have a thing for. Just don’t make it like another of those colourful/colourless (I believe the word they like to throw around nowadays is “stealthy”) BR01s. No seriously. Please don’t.

The writer is a owner of a SINN U1 Black Tempus edition and is particularly sore that the his watch will no longer be as exclusive.

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