‘Sinn sinn sinn, Look we’ve been green’ – Introducing the new Sinn 103 Sa G
Editor’s note: This is a Mind (stats), Body (design features) & Soul (what’s special) review of the new Sinn 103 Sa G watch. For our detailed reviews, please head to our dedicated review section here.
What is it: The new Sinn 103 Sa G Chronograph LE ref. 103.172
Why: Because 2020 has seen its share of different brightly coloured watches from the likes of Rolex, Breitling and Carl F Bucherer, and adding to that list of life-enthused, coloured watches is this new Sinn offering. Also because they do one hell of a job with utilitarian and pilot’s chronographs and the design language of this is right up their alley
When released: November 2020
Where: Available globally, but a limited edition release of 500-pieces only. In Australia, it is available through Define Watches
Who is it for: Definitely for those who like the colour green. Also for those who would like a well-built, German pilot’s chronograph watch that charters its own (flight) path
How does it do: Holy moly it’s green ravioli (a reference to the cult British comedy Mind Your Language). It’s striking, it’s legible, it’s not another blue watch, and for its price of $4’500 AUD, it’s a pretty good package too as we’ll see
Missing: If there is such a thing as green-overload, this is it. If you like the colour, then it is great. But if you don’t, well… And in that, it can be a polarising watch which if you think about it is not necessarily a bad thing.
As for me if I like the green overload or not, that would depend on the ‘true’ colour of the green; the shimmering metallic green dial could could go either way in real life under natural lighting conditions, and a watch like this really needs to reviewed hands-on and not solely based on press images.
Overall though, if it were up to me, I would introduce some brown coloured elements to the dial and call it a homage to nature. There is a quote by the American writer Lois Lowry that plays the same tune as my sentiment: “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come”. In the same vein, ‘keep the green (with brown undertones) Sinn 103 Sa G on your wrist and perhaps the singing praise of other enthusiasts will come’.
I have taken the liberty of customising this with brown straps and to me it looks perfect on this brown calfskin with leather underlay and contrasting seam bund strap. And just so you know I am not a fan of bund straps but here the bund strap appears like a big tree truck holding the green foliage with pride.
The reference 103.172 features the outsourced Concepto C99001 automatic-winding chronograph movement and its nice to see that the brand is expanding beyond simply using the very trustworthy but common Valjoux 7750. This movement is by Concepto, a relatively young movement manufacturer, having been founded in 2006 by Valérien Jaquet. They specialise in the creation of exclusive calibers that are entirely produced and assembled by the Independent manufacturer.
This Concepto C99001 is an anti-magnetic as per DIN 8309 movement features 25 jewels and beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28,000 vph). In regards to the specs, it pretty much reads as a clone of the Valjoux 7750, but with a day-date complication. Note that I haven’t mentioned the power-reserve – the brand officially hasn’t told us in their press release, but based on the movement used, it could be anywhere between 42 to 48-hours.
The Concepto C99001 is encased inside a 41mm diameter — with 47mm lug to lug spacing — and 16mm thick polished stainless steel case with a band lug width of 20mm and a screw-fastened case-back along with a screw-down crown and crown guards. The 200m water-resistant (and pressure resistant) case meets the technical requirements for waterproofness, as set out in standard DIN 8310. It’s a decently weighted watch coming in at 77 gramme weight sans strap.
If I am not wrong some of Sinn 103 Sa range watches are known for using acrylic crystals but this release makes use of a ‘special’ high-domed sapphire crystal that is designed to replicate the profile of an acrylic glass. I say special above because Sinn notifies us that this crystal glass is ground out of a solid blank approximately 5mm thick with five different curvature radii and is then carefully polished.
The case frames a metallic-green dial with indices and numbers coated with luminescent colour along with the hour, minute and stopwatch second hands. The counters are sunken and so is the day-date window, and that brings in some sense of surface interplay which I appreciate.
Featuring a display case-back, the rear also has the words ‘Eine von 500’ (‘One of 500’) engraved on the transparent back ring. Overall, it’s a decently legible sporty watch that speaks to me mainly due to the use of syringe hands and the incorporation of multiple complications (day-date, Flieger chronograph).
It is not a completely new look for the watch given the dial design is their standard 103 St Flieger chronograph language and the British racing green colour is reminiscent of the Sinn 104 Sa A G LE from 2019. They had also offered a similar piece a couple of years ago when they released the ‘all-blue’ Sinn 103 SA B E.
But the new Sinn 103 Sa G Chronograph LE works because just like the recently released Sinn R500, the new Sinn 103 Sa G is a limited edition watch with: 200m water-resistance, a nicely polished case, a chronograph complication along with an anodised bi-directional pilot’s bezel, and a somewhat unique shimmering metallic-green dial. And all this for the price of only $4’500 AUD is pretty good value for money in my opinion.
I reckon for me where this really scores is the addition of the day-date complication. We have discussed this before in another article here, but in a nut-shell, there aren’t that many day-date options around in current catalogues of various watch brands these day.
Competitively priced, the new Sinn 103 Sa G easily (and rather successfully on paper at least) competes with the likes of:
- TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Day-date: Ref. WAR201A.BA0723, retailing for a similar 4’100 AUD. It is non-limited edition and doesn’t feature a flieger chronograph
- Then there is the Fortis Pilot F-43 Bicompax which is a normal production release retailing for a higher 4’800 AUD. This is very similar to the Sinn we are looking at today
- The TAG Heuer Carrera ref. CV2A84.FC6394 combines the day-date with a racing chronograph instead, and retails for $7’550 AUD.
- There is also a cheaper day-date chronograph, the Hamilton Broadway Day Date Auto Chrono ref. H43516641 that retails for around 2’500 AUD. It is again not a pilot’s chronograph though
- There is of course my personal favourites, the Breguet Type XX but these beauties are five times the price so lets’s exclude those.
- Last but not the least is the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph ref. IW377709 retailing for 8’600 AUD. It’s only got a 60m water-resistance though and an outsourced movement, as their caliber 79320 is essentially a modified ETA/Valjoux 7750 but that said, it comes with the brand’s prestige
In my opinion, the new Sinn 103 Sa G Chronograph LE essentially competes with the Fortis or the IWC options best, though I would leave the judgement to you. Please feel free to leave in comments any watches that I may have missed here that fit the bill of competing with the new Sinn 103 Sa G.
While the new Sinn 103 Sa G doesn’t offer anything revolutionary or groundbreaking from the brand, it still takes an established design language, enthuses it will a striking colour, puts in a different — read non-Valjoux 7750 — engine under the hood, and calls it a day. Honestly, it ticks the right boxes.
Wrapping this review up is a modified Robbie Williams song. Why? Because I like Robbie William’s music. And ever since we started covering Sinn watches, I have had this burning desire to quote this song from the British singer. Tacky? Maybe. But I just couldn’t help myself anymore.
So here goes, with a bit of lyric modifications from my end, in a nut-shell, the new Sinn 103 Sa G Chronograph LE can be described as: ‘Sinn sinn sinn, Look we’ve been green, And we are on your wrist tonight, Hate the sin, not the sinner, the watch is a stunner, I’m just after a glimmer, Of shimmering metallic-green, And light’.
To find out more about the new Sinn 103 Sa G and other Sinn watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are © Sinn / Copyright Sinn Spezialuhren.