Start counting your pennies because the Sinn 356 Flieger II Sa on a strap deserves your attention and maybe your money. I found this copper-beauty at the WatchBuys.com road show and it reminds me why Sinn watches (pronounced Zinn) is a brand to consider.
Ok, it was the copper that got my attention. Like a kid drawn to a shiny penny, I was drawn to it from across the room. My first impression of the Flieger, or pilot or aviator, was that it was no 55mm propeller-size clock on the wrist, but a discreet 38.5 mm stainless steel bead-blasted beauty.
Its conservative diameter is proportionally sound along with its 15mm case-height. This ten-penny-high satin-finished steel case gives it the feel of a watch that will be around for a while. It’s not fat. It’s healthy. It comes in either a solid or display back and has a domed acrylic or sapphire crystal front. The case is pressure-resistant up to 100m water depth and includes a screw-down crown with protective horns.
The electroplated guilloche dial is the perfect canvas for the bold, black Arabic numerals at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11. The three registers replace the 12, 6 and 9 with carved circles in the dial’s waved pattern. Each register offers its own bold, black marker or numeral.
The hour, minute and stopwatch second-hand are all covered in luminescence. The hour and minute hands are described as a “double boy“ hand-style in De Carle’s Watch Encyclopedia. They look like a vintage military hand. The luminescence is prominent on the base of each hand while the tips reach to the simple marker luminescence boxes above each hour.
Sinn’s logo is humbly positioned above the day and date windows, each of which are outlined in a thin, black line. The day abbreviation and date are white and contrast clearly on their black base. Although the model’s name, “Flieger” squarely holds up the day and date windows, the font seems too spindly to visually serve in such a foundational position.
The case holds the Sellita SW500 automatic mechanical chronograph movement with power reserve of 42 hours according to the catalog. This is the head-to-head competitor for the ubiquitous ETA Valjoux 7750 movement. The Sellita functions include registers for 12-hours, 30-minutes, subsidiary seconds, as well as the date, day and complete chronograph functions.
Please note that I found the manufacturer’s web site indicated the Flieger had a Valjoux 7750 which is different than the product catalog. This might be caused by product changes not shared with the marketing department or optional movements for the model. Either way, make sure you know which one you’re getting.
I still think it’s the inside the matters most and because of this, I was frustrated to have to hunt down the movement information from the retailer. They don’t make it easy on the watch geek.
The 20mm lug width accommodates the black or brown leather strap with contrasting stitching. It looks great on the leather but also has a stainless steel bracelet and another one with satin finish for an additional cost. I didn’t try on this watch with the leather strap. (This is the only drawback to WatchBuys.com road show.) Still, the leather seems more appropriate for the vintage look. Plus, it’s less expensive.
There’s a manufactures warranty with the Flieger (and all Sinn watches, of course) and you can send it to Germany if you like. I was glad to see they also have a relationship with RGM Watch Company in Pennsylvania. I can drive to Pennsylvania if I had to.
This watch probably has more copper than a newly minted U.S. penny, which costs the U.S. Mint $1.83 to make 100 of those suckers. That’s not value in my book, and I take the same stance on my watches. For this watch, I believe it’s a great way to get a sound chronograph tool watch you’ll have for a long time. Search out the options, as the prices vary from the black dialed basic with acrylic to the one described here. This watch is available at www.WatchBuys.com for $2,130 or 213,000 pennies.
- Brand & Model: Sinn 356 Flieger II Sa on Strap
- Price: $2130
- Who we think it might be for: This is for the person who appreciates the new watch with a reflection of vintage and who is not too worried about having the biggest fad watch.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I would definitely buy one.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I would recommend they reduce or refine the word, “flieger” on the dial.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The copper dial drew me to it immediately. If it tarnishes over time, I think it would only become more beautiful.
- Brand Model: Sinn 356 Flieger II Sa on Strap
- Movement (technology): Automatic mechanical (SW500/Valjoux 7750)
- Size of case diameter (mm):5mm
- Height of case:0 mm
- Weight: 75 grams (head only)
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Case Back: Solid
- Crown: Screw down
- Crystal/Glass material: Sapphire crystal
- Water resistance (m/ft/atm): Pressure-resistant up to 10 bar (= 100 m water depth)
- Strap/Bracelet material: leather
- Illumination: Yes
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