Based on Sinn’s 556 model, a special and very limited edition watch has been designed to commemorate the retirement of the Canadian CH124 Sea King helicopter. The CH124 Sea King was designed for shipboard use by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
For anyone ever involved with (or interested in) this Canadian combat aircraft, this watch might be very interesting. Limited to just 55 pieces and only available via Watchbuys, the North American official distributor for many German brands, including Sinn Spezialuhren.
Sinn CH124 Sea King
The 55 Sinn CH124 Sea King watches refer to the 55 years of service of this aircraft and via WatchBuys’ pre-order, you can make your preference for a unique number known. Royal Canadian Air Force Captain Jason Miller contacted us to let us know about this special watch, he was also the one that came up with the idea and inspiration for the Sinn CH124 Sea King. Together with WatchBuys, he proposed the special design elements to the Sinn 556 watch.
Barker Bar Seconds Hand
As you can see, the silhouette of the CH124 Sea King is printed on the dial below the centre pinion. The seconds hand is the “Barker Bar”, referring to the safety bar in front of the door of the helicopter. According to the story about one of the rescue operations of the CH124 Sea King, it was crewman Barker that convinced engineers to install this safety bar in the helicopters. During a 1970 rescue mission at sea, Barker leaned on the door handle and exited the aircraft in a rather unusual way (and found himself hanging in the air on a stub wing), Colonel John Cody saved him by manoeuvring the CH124 in such way, that Barker could be pulled back into the cabin again by the other crewmen. It is just one of those stories that make the CH124 Sea King a memorable aircraft. In this newsletter from 2012 you can find the full story about this mission and the “Barker Bar”.
The following are Captain Miller’s comments which provide interesting background information:
“I am an Air Combat Systems Officer (ACSO) currently serving as an ACSO instructor at 402 “City of Winnipeg” Squadron in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Like so many before me, I had the honour of serving on the CH124 Sea King as a Tactical Coordinator (TACCO) during my time at 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.
I was posted to 423 (MH) Squadron after receiving my ACSO wings in April 2013 and completed my training on the Sea King in March 2014. As a sea-going unit, 423 (MH) Squadron’s mandate is to help provide “Wings for the fleet” and send the CH124 Sea King to sea on Canadian warships for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).
During my time on the Sea King, I participated in numerous international exercises and two international deployments with NATO in the Atlantic Ocean, Labrador Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, North Sea, and Mediterranean Sea.
Over the course of my posting at 423, I fell in love with the robust and utilitarian nature of the Sea King. A true workhorse, it is an aircraft that has been pushed into nearly every imaginable situation and environment over its 55-year tenure.
When searching for a company and watch to commemorate this legendary aircraft, Sinn was immediately on the shortlist. Like the Sea King, Sinn’s watches are robust and utilitarian; an excellent match for one of Canada’s greatest aircraft.”
Sinn CH124 Sea King Details
The Sinn 556 (A) has been re-designed for this CH124 Sea King edition, so what is exactly different?
- Nose-on depiction of the CH124 Sea King above the 6
- Grey-on-grey dial utilizing the same color tones currently used on the CH124
- “Barker Bar” designed seconds hand – a piece of safety equipment named after the crew member who fell out of the CH124 Sea King in flight and managed to survive
- Custom rotor featuring the aircraft designation, years of service, and serial number all printed in the same font as used on the aircraft
- Numerals, indices and hands use BGW9 SuperLuminova
On the rotor, you will find the inscription of the CH124 Sea King, the unique number (XX of 55) and the years of service of this helicopter.
What remained is the 38.5mm x 10mm case in stainless steel with brush finish, a sapphire crystal on the top and case back and the ETA2824 (Top Grade) movement. This movement has been made shockproof and complies to DIN ISO 1413 standards for that matter. The watch is also anti-magnetic according to DIN 8309 standards. This Sinn CH124 Sea King is a tool watch in almost every aspect, so we feel it is a very good match for the limited edition to commemorate the 55 years of the aircraft.
Normally, the Sinn 556 A retails for €890 in Germany ($1080USD in the US), this Sinn CH124 Sea King will have a price tag of $1280USD. The watch comes on a leather strap (20mm) and with 2 years of warranty.
More information about the CH124 Sea King Limited Edition and pre-ordering via the Watchbuys website. The watch will be delivered starting Summer 2019 and continue shipping into the fall.
*Masterhead image (c) by Giuseppe Battioli, see more of his work here.