Introducing: Three New Sinn 356 Pilot Chronographs To Celebrate 25 Years Of The Model
Let me introduce you to three brand-new Sinn 356 chronographs! The German brand celebrates 25 years of its 356 with these three new models. Lovers of vintage chronographs rejoice: Sinn has opted for a dual-register layout. Let’s have a closer look at the latest additions to Sinn’s comprehensive chronograph catalog.
The new Sinn drop is comprised of an anthracite limited edition, a vintage-inspired model with a vignette dial, and a white panda-dial version. In short, there should be a little something for everyone here.
Celebrating 25 years of the Sinn 356
Sinn’s popular 356 chronographs go back to the mid-’90s. In reality, the story started a little more than 25 years ago in 1996. Sinn brought out a special-edition chronograph for the Japanese market, limited to 300 pieces. The idea was to offer a slightly smaller, more elegant version of the 256 with its rotating bezel. This Japan-only model housed a hand-wound Valjoux 7760 caliber.
The watch was a success, and come 1998, Sinn decided it was time for a regular-production version for the worldwide market. The 356 Pilot made its debut, this time with an automatic caliber. Its bead-blasted case was topped with a shatterproof acrylic crystal, and the 356 collection was born.
The 356 chronographs have been a mainstay of the Sinn catalog ever since. Many versions have entered production, with the current one powered by a Sellita SW500 caliber. This results in the typical layout with day and date at 3 o’clock and sub-dials at 6, 9, and 12. Nowadays, you can choose between acrylic or sapphire crystals. You can also have your pick of several dial styles.
The Sinn 356 Pilot Classic Anniversary
Let’s move on to today’s new versions. The first is a limited edition of 500 pieces. You will instantly recognize this as something new thanks to the eye-catching dual-register layout. Sinn has opted for a matte anthracite dial with silver sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock. The look is rather striking, to say the least.
You still get the familiar bead-blasted 38.5mm case that is standard for the Sinn 356. On this model, the case back has a sapphire crystal to put the Sellita SW510 on display. The top crystal is also sapphire, cut from a 5mm-thick blank, and domed by milling the definitive shape on five different curvature radii. The resulting watch is 15mm tall and water resistant to 100 meters. The SW510 caliber features individual numbering on its rotor.
But it is the dial that is the showstopper here. The combination of a slightly warm anthracite electro-plated surface and concentrically ridged silver sub-dials looks neat. The Sinn logo is applied and balanced out by “Flieger Klassik” printing at six. The sub-dials don’t cut off the lumed numerals, which will surely please a broad audience. Sinn includes two nubuck boar straps and a tool to swap them to your heart’s desire.
The Sinn 356 Pilot Classic AS E
The other two additions, luckily, aren’t limited and will be added to the regular collection. The second is very much on-trend with an anthracite vignette dial. I asked whether fumé was the new green a while back, and I guess Sinn thinks so.
In comparison to the limited edition, this dial appears a little more brown in hue. Sinn refers to both as “anthracite,” though, so perhaps it simply is due to the vignette effect and the pairing with dark beige lume. That lume, specifically, gives this version of the 356 a rather vintage-inspired aesthetic. It is easily the most trendy out of the three but perhaps not the most timeless.
This model comes with a solid steel case back, adding 0.6mm to the 15mm thickness of the limited edition to maintain 100m water resistance. Contrary to popular belief, in terms of water resistance, exhibition case backs can be thinner than all-steel ones. Top-side, you can have your pick of sapphire or the original acrylic crystal. I think it is quite cool of Sinn to offer the choice.
The Sinn 356 Pilot Classic W
Lastly, we have the 356 Pilot Classic W, with that “W” indicating we are dealing with a white dial. Sinn has opted for a crisp matte white dial with contrasting black sub-dials. This, then, is a traditional panda-dial chronograph.
Unlike the other two versions, this one features small rectangular indices behind the printed numerals. Like the hands, these are lume-filled for nighttime legibility. The stark contrast of this version allows the classical typography to shine. You know I am a sucker for flat-topped fours and hooked sevens, and they are both present here!
Otherwise, the 356 Pilot Classic W is technically identical to the AS E. Both measure 38.5mm × 15.6mm, and both house the SW510 caliber. And, like its fumé brother, you can have your pick of sapphire or acrylic crystals.
I will come out and say that I really like what Sinn is offering here. The AS E is a little too retro for my liking, but the other two look absolutely amazing. My pick of the bunch would probably be the white-dial variant.
The one negative that remains from the 356 models that we already know is the thickness. At 15mm for the limited edition and 15.6mm for the others, these aren’t slim watches, even for automatic chronographs. I love the 38.5mm diameter, but when paired with this height, it makes them a bit tubby.
That said, I think these dials are phenomenal. They manage to be traditional and contemporary at the same time, offering great clarity and legibility. All in all, these make great additions to the impressive Sinn 356 lineup.
Pricing and availability
As mentioned, the Sinn 356 Pilot Classic Anniversary is limited to 500 individually numbered pieces. As mentioned, the other two new models aren’t limited and all are available for order now. The 356 Pilot Classic Anniversary with two straps is priced at €2,990. However, the regular production models can be had for €2,390 on a leather strap, €2,600 on rubber, or €2,615 on a bracelet.
What do you think of these new Sinn 356 chronographs? Let us know in the comments below.