Revolution magazine and The Rake magazine collaborated with German watchmaker Sinn Spezialuhren and the 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” is the successful result.
Successful result? Yes, this watch with a retail price of €2240,- was sold within two hours. The Sinn 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” was limited to 150 pieces only.
Sinn happens to be one of my favourite watch brands, and I’ve often written here that I regret selling my 142 with Lémania 5100 movement. This Frankfurt-based company makes some pretty stunning watches, and even though the prices do not compare to those in my early years of collecting (which watch does that anyway?), they never lost touch with reality. Sinn brings a lot of watch for the buck, and they proved this yet again with this beautiful 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” in collaboration with our friends from Revolution and The Rake (one of the few print magazines I read).
The full story about this Sinn x The Rake & Revolution 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” can be read in this article by my friend Wei Koh. In short, the Sinn 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” is based on the 1967 Bundeswehr 1550 watch. Powered by a manual wound Valjoux 222 movement (with flyback) and later on by caliber 230. This watch was specially created for the (then) West-German Bundeswehr (defence forces). Then, in the 1980s, Sinn founder Helmut Sinn purchased these watches from Bundeswehr inventories. He rebranded them with Sinn and labelled them as Sinn 155.
This Sinn 155 in collab with The Rake and Revolution magazine is not the first recreation of the original 155. Already in 2005, there was a special edition of 200 pieces for the Japanese market. It used the original case that Sinn was able to source, and used the hand-wound Valjoux 7760 movement. Then, in 2008, Sinn did another special edition of the 155 for Manufactum. Manufactum is a department store (a.o. in Munich and Cologne) where they sell ‘only good stuff’. It is an impressive store, where you will be able to find useful quality items like pens, razor blades, bathtubs (really), espresso machines, knives, clothing, but also watches. For Manufactum, Sinn did a special 272 pieces of the 155 (they also did a special 103 for Manufactum, as you can read here). The Sinn 155 with The Rake and Revolution is the latest recreation, using the same case, bezel and domed crystal as the vintage military watches. The hands are treated with a special coloured Super-LumiNova that should recreate the look of aged tritium, often referred to as faux-patina. As you can see, Sinn did a beautiful discoloured ‘ghost’ bezel as well for this watch.
“Collabs are hot. Whether it is in fashion or watches, people love something creative.”
For this latest and most rare recreation (as it’s only 150 pieces), Sinn used the self-winding Sellita SW510 movement. They still managed to respect the two subdial design of the military watches. Fitted with a leather Bund strap, it looks like an original (and worn) Bundeswehr watch from the late 1960s. A job well done by Sinn, Revolution and The Rake. On the dial, you’ll also find the black star.
Collabs are hot. Whether it is in fashion or watches, people love something creative. It is not about being a limited edition, or challenging to obtain, but about the out-of-the-box thinking of two (or more) parties to come up with something interesting. Would Sinn have come up with this 155 themselves? Well, if you look at the version they did for Manufactum, it is very close to what Sinn is famous for. Highly functional no-nonsense watches, where form follows function. It is not that difficult to see what type of input the people from Revolution and The Rake gave to Sinn Spezialuhren. They managed to create something vintage-looking, using ingredients that are so much appreciated by collectors of military-style pieces (not only Sinn). You can debate whether this watch pretends to be something it is not, but that goes for all watches that are a recreation. The original watches not being easy to find anymore, or became unaffordable if they are, watches like this Sinn 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” are an interesting option for those who love the look of those original military watches. And, last but not least, not everyone is ready to shell out thousands of dollars for a watch which has no service history or that uses parts that can’t be replaced anymore. Not everyone is prepared to spend that kind of money on a watch they’re too afraid to wear and use. The €2240 (of $2500USD) price tag on this Sinn 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” is more than reasonable and it will not buy you an original 1550 SG watch (by far).
Surely not all collaborations work. That goes for watches, but also fashion. It merely is not for everyone, but nothing is. When Stone Island collaborated with Nike, not everyone seemed to be happy (or understood it). Collaborations need to add something fresh and creative to a product, and it needs to make sense (for the customer). What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily need to work for someone else (I don’t care about anything Supreme, for example). Authenticity is of crucial importance for (successful) collaborations, and Wei Koh of Revolution and The Rake is a real watch guy (his first Sinn was a 103 Ti Diapal). He knows his stuff very well and has a sincere interest in cool (and vintage) watches. That shows in this Sinn 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” for sure.
All Sinn x Revolution & The Rake 155 Bundeswehr “Dark Star” watches are sold out, and Revolution added a waiting list to join if you’re still interested. In case anyone cancels their order, they will allocate it to someone on this waiting list.
Fore more information, visit Revolution Magazine.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more