Sinn, based in Frankfurt, Germany, is well-known for special purpose tool watches. They have developed a whole range of their EZM watches where EZM stands for Einsatzzeitmesser – German for mission timer. But, next to their Frankfurt Financial District Watches, they also offer some clean elegant watches. And Sinn enjoys to introduce new case materials. Using anti-corrosive and non-magnetic submarine steel for dive watches is one remarkable example.
Now Sinn’s second model made of Damascus Steel has become available. As watches made of Damascus Steel are quite rare such a model presented by a well-known brand deserves attention. We took a closer look.
The concept and design is almost identical to Sinn’s 1800 S Damaszener presented in 2016. The “S” stands for “schwarz” (black in German) indicating that the first Sinn watch made of Damascus steel had a black PVD coating. This was the solution to render the Damascus steel resistant to corrosion caused by humidity. The Damascus steel used then was made of non-stainless steel. The black coating added another design layer (pun intended). But this coating also slightly covered and hid the Damascus steel pattern.
In Balbachdamast, a German company specialized in the industrial production of Damascus Steel, Sinn has found the partner to provide Damascus steel made of stainless steels certified for the use as implants and therefore even superior to surgical steel (316L). This results in a material that requires no compromises to be used for outstanding watch cases.
And this result is stunning. The 1800 Damaszener embodies all you connect with Damascus steel. Traditionally Damascus steel had been used for extraordinary swords and knives. The original ancient technique to create Damascus steel has been lost. But more modern reproduction techniques achieve a similar result by forge-welding two or more different steels to combine their different characteristics like hardness and flexibility into a completely new material with completely new characteristics. Such a piece of welded steels is repeatedly “folded” to double the number of layers. This way hundreds or thousands of layers are created and the typical Damascus patterns emerge. To make the lines visible which are caused by the different combined steels the surface has to be etched with an acid.
The 1800 Damaszener displays these characteristic patterns on every piece of the watch. A speciality of the 1800 Damaszener is the fact that the complete watch case including the dial is cut from a block of Damascus steel. Dial and case of the watch are one piece. Hence the pattern on the dial continues along the bezel and across the whole case. The screw down case back and the crown are made of Damascus steel, too. And even the buckle and also the pin of the buckle are made from Damascus steel. This is remarkable attention to detail.
The case has a diameter of 43 mm and is 10.4 mm thick. While the surfaces of the dial and case are not polished in the usual sense they are smooth and at certain angles reflect light like a mirror. This watch is shiny. And at this size, the watch definitely is not discreet. But wearing this watch you won’t want to hide it.
Sinn states the weight of the watch without strap as 75 gramme. Holding the watch in the hand and wearing it on the wrist it doesn’t really feel heavy but definitely noticeable, which is perfectly appropriate. The case is water-resistant up to 10 bar.
The dial is dominated by the Damascus steel pattern. Hands and applied hour markers are designed in a simple unobtrusive baton style. The hands are black. The hour markers are polished blank at their sides and black on the top. Hour and minute hand and hour markers are covered with white Superluminova that glows blue in the dark.
There is a date window at six o’clock. Due to the fact that the dial is part of the case, the dial is relatively thick and the date window is a relatively deep funnel. The “walls” of this “funnel” are covered in black and the date display is white text on a black background. Reading the date is not really easy but it isn’t really hard either and this way the date interferes with the rest of the dial as little as possible.
The brand name and the name of the watch are the only text on the dial. Without the “DAMASZENER” text it would be looking even better – especially as the design of this text block doesn’t appear quite high grade.
Sinn has applied their TEGIMENT technology to harden surfaces of watch cases to several different metals. And they have also applied it to the Damascus Steel of this model. The prominent properties of TEGIMENT are that it doesn’t alter the look of surface materials and that it is truly effective. Sinn has created a so-called TEGIMENT set to demonstrate the effect of that surface hardening technology. The set includes a watch case of untreated steel, a watch case hardened by TEGIMENT and a small screwdriver as used by a watchmaker. First they ask you to scratch the untreated watch case with the screwdriver. This is a painful act because the screwdriver quite easily cuts the steel very deep. Then they ask you to do the same with the TEGIMENT case. And the result is a real surprise. Even if you apply considerable force to that screwdriver on the case the only effect you cause is a little bit of abrasion of the screwdriver on the case that you can wipe off with a finger. The TEGIMENT hardened case stays undamaged.
The movement working in the 1800 Damaszener is an ETA 2892-A2 – no more, no less. So you can expect a very reliable companion offering a power reserve of approximately 42 hours.
Sinn includes a considerably complete set of accessories in the big and extremely well-made box, which is opened by a comfortable push-button. The most practical value is offered by a second strap. The watch comes mounted on a medium brown vintage strap. The second strap is the same design but in black. There are replacement spring bars, which put a satisfied smile on our face. The included strap changing tool, unfortunately, is not adequate to change the strap on this watch. The tool offers two push-pins which are the right tool for spring bar holes that reach completely through the lugs. The 1800 Damaszener (fortunately) does not have holes on the outer side of its lugs. For this kind of lugs, you need a tool with a little fork. Therefore, Sinn, if you kindly provide us a strap changing tool please fit it in a way we can apply it to the watch. Last but not least a loupe and a cleaning cloth are also included.
The Sinn 1800 Damaszener is steel as steel can be. This metal in its most exclusive shape of Damascus steel defines this watch. The design follows this concept down to the smallest detail. This watch is loud but not silly. It’s cool. And it is unique. If you like Damascus Steel and are not afraid of showing this here is your watch.
At the price of €7.800 the 1800 Damaszener is breaching the usual price range for watches by Sinn. But, compared to the other few watches in Damascus steel on the market, this price appears fair.
Like its predecessor, the 1800 Damaszener is limited to 100 individually numbered pieces. The 1800 S Damaszener from 2016 is sold out completely. And at noon of the day, Sinn presented the 1800 Damaszener at the 2018’s edition of the Munichtime fair the list of available limitation numbers was already filled three-fourths. So Sinn, who directly market their watches, will have only a few pieces left in stock. If this review has wet your appetite for this watch you might give one of their sales partners a try who are listed on their website.
Andreas Ahrens is a contributor to Fratello from Germany. He lives in Hamburg and works in the Aerospace and Automotive industry. Andreas received his first mechanical watch in 1984, a Mortima Dive watch. Since 2004, he is a collector and... read more