July 2013


The Sinn 556 is the baby of the Sinn family, weighing in at 38.5mm in diameter and only 10mm thick. While I always liked the look of the 556, I always felt it would be too small for me. However, I am finding lately that I am gravitating towards smaller watches for my fun pieces because its nice to have something that feels like you’re wearing nothing.

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Its a beautiful watch, with a matte black dial and some serious AR coating that makes it look like there’s no crystal at all. This is a A dial, which has arabics on it instead of just indices. The crystal is sapphire, but flat.

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The case has a brushed satin finish, and is precision machined. It is very well crafted, typical of Sinn’s usual casework. Nice three-piece construction with a fixed bezel. The bezel is fully brushed as well, but would have been nice with a polished front. The date window is at 4:30, and has a matte black finish to it as well, but is quite small and not easily read for those with poor eyesight. The hands, however, are very easy to read and glow like a torch at night.

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Here’s a shot of the side of the watch, which is well crafted and has lug holes, which are always a nice feature. They always make removing straps a bit easier.

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The stainless steel bracelet features a stamped flip-lock clasp which is standard for all the Sinn bracelets. This particular bracelet isn’t tegimented, so doesn’t offer any additional scratch protection. The bracelet is also given a brushed finish to match the watch. The 757/857 watches from Sinn have a similar look, but larger cases and a Bead Blast finish in contrast.

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The Sinn 556 features a Swiss ETA 2824 movement, with some decoration and Sinn signature on the gilded rotor. Not the most fabulously decorated Rotor, but still looks nice nonetheless I suppose. Overall, all the parts of the watch are very meticulously crafted and it is what continues to make Sinn so successful as a luxury tool watch company.

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Overall I am really loving my Sinn 556, even with its small 38.5mm diameter. The watch wears very nicely for such a small watch, kind of like a 36mm Rolex Datejust manages to look good for its size as well. The 556 will be with me for some time, as I think I will be keeping this one for a while at least. It fits the bill for those low-key days where I don’t want to draw attention and I don’t want to bang my watch into things because its so big.

Specs:
Case diameter (mm): 38.5
Case thickness (mm): 10.0
Case back: Transparent
Case metal: Stainless steel
Dial color: Black
Winding: Automatic

The Latest Breitling Relationships Forged This Year

Breitling has really endured and thrived as one of the current times’ world renowned, luxury Swiss watch brands. And this year, the Swiss brand has been really busy partnering with many industries from poker tournaments, to French car racing, and of course, in aviation.
Here are some headlines that showcase the Breitling brand at its finest:

Poker Event Highlights
Poker Event HighlightsHaving class and a high standard that are looked up to by other watch brands, it’s not rare to see Breitling watches being part of poker tournaments and events. Poker has recently increased in popularity thanks to an online gaming boom during the mid-2000s. That mentioned, discussions of poker competitions and Breitling watches have also increased. Although there has been no recent news on partnerships between the Swiss watch manufacturer and current poker competitions, online forums and some news sites are full of speculation about a potential partnership. In our forums, discussions have already come up regarding the Chronomat, SA, and Navi being worn by three poker finalists in the recently held Commerce Casino World Poker Tournament. There was also an online conversation about a very popular Finnish poker player who currently lives in the French Riviera’s Monte Carlo. “The Finn” poker professional has been seen wearing a Breitling Super Avenger timepiece. It should be noted that he has been acknowledged as a prominent poker player in the most prestigious card game tournament, the World Series of Poker (WSOP). That said, it wouldn’t be far fetched to see more poker professionals wearing Breitling classics in the ongoing WSOP 2013 or even the upcoming Partypoker World Poker Tour in Cyprus, France, and the US. Besides, there has already been a WSOP professional who has won a Breitling watch, although it was from a different tournament as blog site MyItThings.com recalls.

Breitling for Bentley

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Now this news should already be expected. The Swiss watch company has already been known to be the sponsor/partner of Team Bentley during their 2001 to 2003 season of the 24 Hour Le Mans competition. On that note, it is high time that they celebrate their 10th year anniversary with a commemorative series. “The Breitling for Bentley 10 Years Watch features a design inspired by Bentley vehicles, sporting a radiator grille, an openworked dial, a wheel rim-looking sculpted rotor, a sapphire caseback, knurled motif bezels, and special calibres. The watch boasts a self-winding chronograph movement system that has a 70-hour power reserve, vertical coupling watch, and column wheel”. The commemorative series released three versions namely the Bentley B05 Unitime, the Bentley B04 GMT, and the Bentley B06. You can even look out for these new timepiece models during the poker events mentioned above to see how good they look in person.

With Aviation, Breitling Will Always Be There

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More than poker tournaments and French car racing, it is in the aviation industry that the Breitling timepieces have been moulded to become classics. In celebration of 60 years of service, Patrouille de France once again partners with Breitling. To honour the long years of service by the precision aerobatic demonstration team of the French Air Force, the Swiss watchmaker comes up with the Breitling Chronomat 44 Patrouille de France which will only have 600 pieces released. Bellesmontres.com has the full details of this celebration.

Just posted a video review of my JOA PAM249 Homage watch, with the Cali dial. This is a cool rendition of the 249 from Johel, and can sort of tide you over until you fork over the $15K or so you’ll need to buy the original. Its got some items with it that I don’t love, and I really am not that big a fan of homage watches but its not too shabby. Check it out.

Just reviewed a brand new strap from Aaron Pimentel of Combat Straps based out of Canada. He does some very good work with some interesting exotic hides such as Toad and Tilapia, but this review here is on a John Lobb (yes, the same John Lobb that makes bespoke shoes in London) Grey Sueded leather strap. Very nice work and I am extremely happy with it. Check out the full review on PaneraiSource: Combat-Straps Review.

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I personally love the Fortis watches from a few years back, and while this isn’t really an “oldie” per se, its from the previous generation of Fortis, so when the chance to pick up this Spacematic Chrono came up, I jumped on it. I reviewed the Fortis Spacematic Automatic back in 2008, and the Chronograph Spacematic is a nice chunkier version of the basic model. Its a similar case, with slightly thicker dimensions and wears fantastic for a 40mm watch.

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The matte black dial, with tool watch style features really resonates with me, and is part of the reason I’m always draw to Fortis watches. The Valjoux 7750 movement inside is in its pure unadulterated form complete with day and date complications. The chronograph central seconds counter is in the familiar neon orange that Fortis often uses.

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The Fortis Spacematic Chronograph has a distinctively boxy and simple case shape, featuring very straight sides and lugs, even with its elegant 3-piece case construction. The overall case finish is a fine bead blast, which looks fantastic on a tool watch, but can be difficult to touch-up if you get it scratched. Polished and satin finished cases are much easier to touch up.

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The Fortis Spacematic has a fantastic bracelet, three links across with screw construction rather than pinned. Its not quite up to Breitling Standards but its a very nicely executed piece. The clasp is of the stamped variety, with slightly sharp edges that are a bit hard on the fingernails when opening. Its not as bad as some clasps I’ve used, but its not the best either. I would have liked to see smoother edges on the bottom of the clasp or something to make it feel smoother.

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The pushers are standard location, no screwdown pushers, but it does have a screwdown crown that has a checked crosshatch pattern which is a very cool feature. Water resistance is 200m, which is pretty good. Just don’t push the chronograph pushers when you’re underwater.

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The Fortis measures only 40mm in diameter, but looks great on the wrist. They can also be had for what I think is a bargain relative to their true value – certainly a bargain compared with their retail pricing that’s for sure. Compared to a similar Sinn or Kobold, the older Fortis watches are slightly cheaper on the secondary market and just as wearable IMO.

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Overall a great watch that gives a very satisfying experience. I really dig this Spacematic Chronograph from Fortis and it makes me miss my Fortis Spacematic Automatic that I sold long ago.

Specs:
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Case Diameter: 40mm
Caseback: Solid
Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
Bezel Function: Fixed
Water Resistance: 200m/660ft
Calendar: Automatic Day-Date at 3:00

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