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SINN - ... a history!

The story of one of the most known names in the modern German horology – SINN – began in 1956 (other notes specify 1961) when, the ex-pilot and aviation instructor, Helmut SINN founded the company in the area of Frankfurt.

Pilot in WW2, besides aviation, he loved the watches and started the first incursion in the field of horology as partner in Bader-Sinn (BASI), company that split when Sinn Spezialuhren started. It is interesting that in that early period (pre-Sinn), it produced and sold only "instrumental watches", in fact aircraft clocks. As Germany could not have at that time aeronautic industry, these were called also "rally watches". The motto of that time was also interesting - "the best possible watch for the best possible price" the company selling directly to the clients in order to reduce its costs.

From that period is also noticed the performance of Helmut Sinn (1953) when he won the Alger-Capetown rally (15.000 km) competing on a VW Beagle, over the years, the presence of a Rallye-Set within the portfolio of Sinn products would not have been accidental.

From unclear reasons, different Sinn stories specify as appearance year, either 1956, or 1961! The story of the company is from the beginning a successful one, the produced watches being either chronographs, for sport or diving, highly wanted today by the collectors.

The Sinn history retains the watch that was at the board of the prototype of the Eurofighter aircraft but also the first chronograph – model 142 S (see the annex) – that went in the “outer space at the hand of the German astronaut Reinhard A. Furrer in the Spacelab mission from 1985, D1.

Another watch “highly wanted” by the collectors of <military watches> is Sinn 1550 SG (see the annex) delivered in the ‘70s, based on a contract, to the German army (Bundeswehr | 6645-12-146-3774) with a Valjoux 230 movement, in fact a Heuer - 3H watch.

From such watches, enumerated before, in 1990-2000, success models were born, many in limited editions or are not made anymore today: 142 Ti D1, 155 or 156 Military.

Also, to Helmut Sinn it is due (at least partially) the appearance of companies in the field of horology, an example being the now famous Bell&Ross. Founded in France in 1992 by - Bruno Belamich ("Bell") and Carlos Rosillo ("Ross") – Bell&Ross had the first watches manufactured by Sinn, where Belamich appears to have worked at the beginning. There is information that their first 500 watches were financed by Helmut Sinn.

In a decision that Helmut Sinn ulterior called it "regrettable", he sold the company, in 1994, to Lothar Schmidt that nowadays has the CEO position.

After selling Sinn Spezialuhren, Helmut Sinn could not helped and he founded in 1998, at 82 years, Jubilar Uhren that produces under the Chronosport brand different chronographs and watches for pilots. Even more, Helmut Sinn purchased also an old supplier of his – Guinand Watch Co. S.A. localized in Switzerland.

He retired at 90 years (in 2006) leaving the company Jubilar Uhren (that is also localized in Frankfurt/Main very closed to Sinn headquarters) in the hands of a collaborator, even from the Sinn period - Horst Hassler!

Helmut SINN companies

* * *
Special: in April.2008, the German television RTL prezented a documentary made by Jochen Hasmanis. Entitled
“Die Zeitmaschine” (The time machine) , the documentary is homage to the one that was already considered a legend of the German horology – Helmut Sinn (presentation and sequences from the trailer):


* * *

After the take over from 1994, numerous technical innovations were put in practice and started to equip the Sinn watches. The past of Lothar Schmidt as designing engineer at Porche Design but also his performance at International Watch Co. (IWC) represented an excellent starting point for a new vision that was brought by Sinn - Spezialuhren zu Frankfurt am Main.  Lothar Schmidt gave new amplitude to Sinn and if the company will manage to acquire its necessary of movements (maybe even through an in-house project) will have much to say in the future.

References:

- Purelab and Mike Stuffler on watchuseek.com

- “The History of Helmut Sinn” on watchlife.com

- Helmut Sinn on wikipedia.org

- Sinn (Uhrenmarke) on wikipedia.org

- "Watches in Space | Space Cadet" on russianwatchguide.com
- Sinn 2005 catalogue (english)

- Konrad Knirim | “Military Timepieces – 150 years watches and clocks of German forces”, Verlag Peter Pomp, 2002, pag. 575 - 579.

Any completions are more than welcomed!


Brasov - May, 2009

Helmut SINN
Helmut SINN

Helmut SINN
Helmut SINN

Helmut SINN
Helmut SINN

SINN NaBo 17
SINN NaBo 17

Helmut SINN
Helmut SINN

SINN 142 (M-military | S-space)
SINN 142 (M-military | S-space)

Helmut SINN
Helmut SINN

SINN 1550 SG | Heuer 6645-12-146-3774
SINN 1550 SG | Heuer 6645-12-146-3774

Helmut SINN
Helmut SINN

H. Sinn and H. Hassler
H. Sinn and H. Hassler

Lothar SCHMIDT
Lothar SCHMIDT

SINN catalogue - 2005
SINN catalogue - 2005





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