Editor’s note: While Sydney is finally breaking free from the burdens of a Covid-19 related lockdown, the WYGDAI team is also getting ready to embrace watches again. Here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener. For our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
The new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener LE featuring a especially scratch-resistant Damascus steel case and dial, the outsourced Sellita SW300-1 movement — automatic, 25 jewels, 4Hz frequency, seconds stop function, ~40-hour power reserve — 43×10.4mm dimensions, 51mm lug-to-lug measurement, 22mm lug interhorn spacing, 78g weight without strap, a screw-fastened case back with a screw-down crown, and 100m water-resistance.
Because since 1961 Sinn has been at the forefront of focusing on fusing high-quality mechanical watches with advanced horological skills and new materials. Be it 1995’s 22-carat yellow gold watch with a material hardness equal to that of stainless steel (220 HV) or 2005’s debut of German submarine steel’s usage as a diving watch material, Sinn has managed to push the envelope time and again.
The brand’s tryst with Damascus steel first saw daylight back in 2015, with the second iteration released in 2018 (again 100-piece LE and featuring the same ETA 2892-A2 movement). And with this version 3.0 the brand is back in all its glory with a timepiece that’s both practical, aesthetically pleasing, and ready for life.
When and Where
Released on 26 October 2021, it comes in a fine wooden case with a black and a brown vintage-look cowhide strap, a band replacement tool, spare spring bars, an Eschenbach watchmaker’s loupe, a care cloth and a brochure.
The new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener is available globally retailing for €8250, but is a limited edition release of 100-pieces only.
Who is it for
My first reaction was that this is a wooden timepiece. Next, the dial reminded me of ripples in a pond, gently caused by a drop in still waters. It was only on deeper inspection that I realised it is an all-steel time-piece.
Steel and watches are as intertwined as leaves with branches, and the watch world is crazy for steel watches. But we all know that. So what’s different about this steel offering?
Instead of being made simply from stainless steel or 316L or 904L, the new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener is made from Damascus steel. And not just the outer case, but even the dial, and also the crown, pin and buckles on the strap are all made from this rather rare material in the world of watchmaking.
To make it true Sinn-esque, the watch features an integrated dial and case with both featuring Black Hard Coating on a TEGIMENT Technology basis, presence of anti-magnetic properties as per DIN 8309, and the inclusion of a practical real-world 100m water-resistance.
The new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener is for someone who appreciates what the brand is doing; it’s for anyone who would like a distinctive timepiece that has roots not only in trustworthy watchmaking but also in an art form old as time itself.
Damascus steel is almost the stuff of legends. Famed since as early as 900 AD, it is still known for its intricate wavy patterned designs thanks to the visually altering lighter and darker surfaces textures, and is considered by many to be one of the most sought after materials especially for sword building.
It’s true that Damascus feel swords can fetch a fortune, and to unashamedly compare them to present day horological world, finding an original one is like finding a NOS Rolex Sub in the attic. Cut to present day, and while its use and popularity for sword building has declined over the centuries, its innate charm still pleases.
So when a material as mythical and impressive to look at as Damascus steel is used in the world of watchmaking, there is a certain degree of expectation and excitement. Thankfully, Sinn delivers on both fronts.
There is a Neal Stephenson quote from the novel Quicksilver on Damascus steel that reads: “This is wealth and the means to defend it, combined into one perfection”. The new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener is what the pure spawn of a dress watch and a tool watch would look like, combined into one perfection.
At a relatively manageable 43mm x 10.4mm in measurements, the new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener is truly worthy of finding the crowing glory in any watch collection.
That’s All Folks!
Beyond the obvious charm of the Damascus steel, I also appreciate the inclusion of a few other details that go a long way in making this a stellar release:
- First, all the watches are individually numbered, and do not follow the recent trend of simply wiring ‘one of xxx’
- Next, since the one-piece dial and case are forged from one steel block, the pattern of alternating bands of light and dark ends up lending a continuous organic characteristic to the timepiece
- The use of fairly raised appliqués — Sinn branding at 12, the gold indices, the Damaszener branding at 6, and the nicely framed date window that actually compliments the dial rather that obstructing the symmetry — is very welcome, giving the dial a 3D personality
- I also appreciate that the date wheel is black, abiding by the uniformity. Though that said, I would have preferred the date text to be golden
- The watch is big at 43mm no doubt, but thanks to the overall aesthetics and curved not-so-long-that-giraffes-get-a-complex lugs, it should sit well even on smaller wrists
- While the 2018 version was decently legible, the new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener made from genuine forge-welded Damascus steel offers far more legibility thanks to the inclusion of hands and appliqués made of 18-carat gold
- The watch will be easily recognisable courtesy its wavy patterned design
- The movement is only a fairly generic SW300-1, but those arguing the cost of the watch vs the movement should note that a number of watches including certain TAG Heuer Monacos — in their Calibre 11 which features the same SW300-1 with a Dubois-Depraz module on top — Bell & Ross BR 05 Blue Steel Ref. BR05A-BLU-ST/SST, and last year’s three new Hublot Classic Fusion models in Yellow gold, titanium and ceramic feature the same movement. In short, it’s widely used, trustworthy, easier (and cheaper) to service, and will withstand the curse of daily beating
The new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener is a timepiece cut from a different cloth; it is a handsome watch no doubt, one that will allow its wearer to witness the magic of time being churned on a dial seeped in legend.
To find out more about the new Sinn 1800 S GG Damaszener and other Sinn watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are © Sinn / Copyright Sinn Spezialuhren.