Hands-On With The Surprisingly Unique Sinn T50 GDBR
In all honesty, out of the three new Sinn T50 models, we should have covered the T50 GDBR first. It is the one model that is the most unique and most surprising. The limited-edition T50 Goldbronze is an extravagant statement, whereas the regular titanium T50 will probably be the crowd favorite. But the new T50 GDBR takes the cake when it comes to adding something unique to the world of watches. It’s time for a hands-on with Sinn’s stylish and modern titanium diver with a Goldbronze bezel. As it turns out, it might just be my favorite current Sinn model.
I am not a fan of bronze watches. While there might be an occasional exception, in general, bronze watches are just not for me. That’s also why I was not necessarily impressed or intrigued when Michael wrote about the three new Sinn T50 models. For me, it was all about the full-titanium version. While the T50 Goldbronze limited edition that Lex wrote about was a fun statement, the T50 GDBR felt like a weird construct. A titanium watch with a Goldbronze bezel? It seemed like a clash of styles in terms of materials. On top of that, the modern design of the T50 seemed to work best with the all-titanium model. At least that is what I thought…
The Sinn T50 GDBR seemed like the odd one out at first
But as I’ve found so many times in the world of watches, seeing is believing. And after I got a first glimpse of all three models, the Sinn T50 GDBR quickly became my favorite. Not only does the combination of materials prove to be a great match, but the overall style of the watch is also fantastic. It is versatile both on the titanium bracelet and the light gray Sinn silicone strap that Sinn provided us. As it turns out, the Goldbronze bezel is the key element in making the T50 GDBR a great watch that offers both wonderful style and substance.
Let’s remind ourselves of the details of the watch first. The Sinn T50 GDBR comes with a 41mm bead-blasted titanium case with a Goldbronze bezel. This case measures 12.3mm thick and has a 47mm lug-to-lug and a 20mm lug spacing. It features drilled lugs and is water resistant to 500 meters. Furthermore, the T50 GDBR comes with an Ar-Dehumidifying capsule, and this two-tone version is Tegimented to avoid scratching, just like the regular titanium version. All Sinn T50 models are powered by a Sellita SW300-1 with 25 jewels and a 56-hour power reserve. As with all Sinn watches, you can choose from a wide variety of bracelet/strap options. The main ones are a titanium bracelet for €4,100, a series of leather straps for €3,750, and a select number of silicone straps for €4,140.
The combination of Goldbronze and titanium works
At first, a titanium watch with a bronze bezel seems strange, outrageous even. But as I explained in last week’s Sunday Morning Showdown, no decision that Sinn makes is just for aesthetic purposes. Sinn developed this new Goldbronze because of better compatibility with the skin and higher corrosion resistance in seawater. To reach this goal, Sinn changed the composition of the bronze alloy to come up with Goldbronze 125. Bronze is a copper-tin alloy supplemented with a series of additives. But for the new material, Sinn ensured that additives like lead, cadmium, and nickel were below the detection limit of 0.002%. Thanks to the higher purity of the material, of which one-eighth is gold, it gets its special properties.
So first and foremost, Goldbronze has a functional purpose. How could it not? This is Sinn we are talking about, so function always comes first. But the new material also combines wonderfully with the bead-blasted titanium case. The combination works surprisingly well in terms of color and texture.
Part of it is a contrast of modern and vintage visual appeal. But the textures also complement each other nicely. I found it intriguing from the moment I laid eyes on the T50 GDBR. Additionally, the watch is lightweight due to the titanium used, but partly thanks to the bronze, it has a substantial weight and feel to it.
The dial of the Sinn T50 GDBR is a key element
Visually, the key element to make the watch even better is the dial design. This typical Sinn dial is clean and simple enough to make the T50 GDBR very much a modern-day diver. But the dial also has enough character to match the bronze color. It is matte black and features white luminous markings and dagger-style hands also treated with Super-LumiNova. As an extension of the clean, minimalist dial, the diving scale on the bezel is also executed in a modern way. The typography fits the style perfectly, and the combination of white and black is simple but allows the Goldbronze to pop.
As you can see, the Sinn logo is crisp white, but the text on the lower half of the dial is light gray. It’s a subtle visual difference that, in my opinion, works very well. And that’s also why the light gray silicone strap makes perfect sense as your strap option. It keeps that color scheme perfectly intact. The date window is neatly integrated at 3 o’clock. It is placed against the 3 o’clock marker and features a black disc with white printing. I simply love how all the elements perfectly complement each other to form a harmonious design. And in that design, the Goldbronze bezel is the standout element that gives the watch exactly the right visual spark.
For once, I would pick a silicone strap over a bracelet
As you can see, we tried the T50 GDBR on both the titanium bracelet and the light gray silicone strap — which you will have to cut to size — with a great folding clasp. Granted, it’s a big boy, but it really works well. The brand also offers the same strap with a smaller butterfly folding clasp. I would prefer this bigger one, though, as it fits the style of the watch perfectly. Additionally, it comes with a strap-length quick-adjustment mechanism. It allows you to adjust your silicone strap to make it 5mm tighter or looser.
Sinn offers multiple colors for the silicone strap, but considering the color scheme, I think there is only one right choice. Leave black, red, and white, and go for light gray. It transforms the T50 GDBR from an ultra-technical dive watch on the titanium bracelet to a timepiece that is still very serious in all its capabilities but a bit more easygoing.
While there is nothing wrong with the titanium bracelet, it’s simply a matter of personal preference why I would pick the silicone strap. And I can even imagine that the T50 GDBR would look great on a variety of leather straps, giving it a bigger injection of vintage charm. Getting back to the bracelet for a second, as I mentioned in the review of the regular titanium model, I think Sinn could do better with the clasp. Its stamped construction feels somewhat outdated, and plenty of competitors do a better job. Sinn already has a better clasp for the silicone strap, so improvements can’t be far away. But like I said, it would not be an issue for me as I would pick the silicone strap.
Wearing the Sinn T50 GDBR
Once on the wrist, the watch turned out to be a winner. That’s when you truly understand why it is such a great watch. While I have described the elements that make it a winner, I’ll gladly recap them again. First off, visually, it just works. The size, the combination of materials, and the color scheme create a watch that feels just right. The 41mm case is the perfect size for my wrist, and while 12.3mm might not be ultra-slim, the profile feels that way. The flat sapphire crystal and overall straight case shape with the characteristic bezel make for a super easy-wearing watch.
The overall weight is lower than that of a stainless steel watch, but as I said, it is substantial enough to remind you that you are wearing a watch. And if the weight doesn’t do that, the visual appeal will do the job. While I was initially skeptical of the combination of materials, I quickly fell in love with it. The bezel’s design hints at the Seiko “Ashtray” models from the 1980s that Mike wrote about. While not as extreme, the bezel notches remind me of those quirky watches.
Final thoughts on the Sinn T50 GDBR
By now, you will understand that I love this new Sinn T50 GDBR. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of wearing it and admiring the design and the mix of materials. I think Sinn started this project by adding functionality as a result of its unique Goldbronze material. But it has changed the T50 GDBR into a stylish statement that I adore. In hindsight, this is my favorite summer watch of the year. But that would be selling the watch short. It is far more than just a summer watch.
The new Sinn T50 GDBR is a watch that is easily among the most stylish pieces the brand makes. Having said that, its looks are steeped in functionality, and that makes this a great timepiece. While I understand that this is not everyone’s choice since the full-titanium model offers the same functionality with a less divisive look, this would most definitely be my pick. Sure, I would have to pay €800 more than €3,380 for the titanium model, but I think it is worth it.
The Sinn T50 GDBR is my favorite Sinn watch that is currently available. That is how much I loved wearing this new model and how much it impacted me. Compliments to Sinn for creating this new watch, proving that it is an exciting brand that creates much more than strictly functional timepieces. It is why this new T50 GDBR is its best yet.
For more information, visit the official Sinn website. In the meantime, let us know which of the three Sinn T50 models is your favorite in the comments section.