Sinn. Unashamedly built for purpose, where function trumps form. The German brand is known for creating over-engineered tool watches that will last the wearer a lifetime, but perhaps not so necessary for everyday life, job depending of course.
While the aviation aesthetic ties are strong and well documented, Sinn has expanded in recent years to entice a broader consumer with options that are more suited to civilian/everyday life. The Sinn104 StSa I W, being a collective hybrid of aviation and diver resulting from this design direction.
The 104 could be considered mostly a modern interpretation of a pilots watch with a sprinkle of diver DNA. The highly polished, stainless steel case and lugs scream dressy attire, yet the angular, sharp lugs give a slightly more aggressive demeanour. Small crown guards are provided to add some protection to the more than adequate signed crown, which at times can dig into the wrist with specific movements if not worn higher on the wrist.
On the reverse, a sapphire display case back reveals the SW220-1 movement along with some minor decorations such as gold rotor and blued screws. The drawback here being the 38hr power reserve which at times can be a reach and winding of the movement is…not the smoothest. The tech inside includes; anti-shock, anti-magnetism and a hefty 200mWR which puts other “sports watch” to shame.
There is no doubt the 104 is built for one purpose…legibility. The beautiful white glossy dial tucked away behind a sapphire crystal that boasts AR on both sides, can only truly be appreciated in person. Matched with contrasting black baton minute indices and those gorgeous syringe style hands are the epitome of simple, readable dials.
Simple italicised logo font (a nod to aviation styling) and a German/English coloured matched day/date wheel finish off the nicely balanced dial.
The coin-edged, bi-directional captive bezel is a slightly more unusual affair using a minutes countdown layout, which, turns out to be very useful in everyday use. Small adjusting screws allow the user to adjust the tension to get the preferred “click” that is desired. It’s not the best rotating bezel I’ve used, but it does the job well with little play.
Lume is nicely applied to all indices, and the lumed triangle on the bezel is a nice touch. Attention to detail that is expected from a German company.
Sinn offers multiple options for the 104, and it initially arrived on a chocolate brown, aviation-inspired leather with white stitching. While contrasting nicely with the dial and being relatively soft, the lack of taper, thickness and lack of enough holes meant it didn’t initially fit as hoped.
After a quick strap change, it was a completely different equation, with the perfectly proportioned 41mm case and those angular lugs sitting snuggly on my 6.5″ wrist. At only 75g and 12mm thick, the Sinn104 really is a great all-rounder for everyday use. After a few months, an H-Link bracelet was purchased (something that should’ve been done initially – lesson learnt). While nicely executed, more micro-adjustments would be preferred over a diver extension or at least an option for half links available. Sizing the bracelet was reasonably easy with the use of dual-sided hexagon screws, however, don’t loose the provided tool; otherwise, you will be stuck.
The Sinn104 may not be a “perfect watch”, but it comes pretty darn close. Having owned this particular piece for over a year now, it has quickly become my go to everyday piece. One can not argue the attractiveness of that white dial (other options include black, blue, and a stunning green if white is not your flavour) and fantastic legibility. It looks incredible with any strap combination and works for almost every occasion.
More importantly, wearability is just perfect. So good that when you look down, it’s a pleasant feast for the eyes every-time. On the second-hand market, you’d be pushed to find a better-valued piece with German engineering to back it up.