Sinn’s Seemingly Boring H-Link Bracelet That Actually Looks Pretty Cool On The Wrist
Great weather and warm temperatures make us thirst for outdoor activities. For watch lovers, these conditions are a welcome justification to grant sporty watches on bracelets a prominent role in their rotations. It was in doing so that I discovered some of my Sinn watches once more. I guess my ever-persistent focus on watches on bracelets has sharpened my perception of bracelet designs. Anyway, I was struck by the strong feel of the brand’s H-link bracelet design and how well it fits the watches. That is remarkable because there was a time when I considered this type of bracelet not very attractive. What has changed?
In the past, my perception of Sinn’s H-link bracelet was dominated by product images from the brand. Every year, Sinn presents what it calls a “catalog book”. This big hardcover contains stories about the brand’s history and achievements as well as all of the current models and accessories. It is extraordinary that a brand offers such catalogs to its end customers. Other brands distribute similar catalogs to their authorized dealers, and these are highly sought-after items for collectors. But, as Sinn distributes its watches to end customers directly, this brand offers the complete product catalog to end customers as well. That’s great, isn’t it? So, where’s the problem?
A less objective view of Sinn’s H-link bracelets
The Sinn brand and its owner and managing director Lothar Schmidt have a strong bond with engineering. Accordingly, the part of the catalog book presenting the straps and bracelets the brand offers contains quite neutral, preferably objective images that remind me of a classical product catalog. This service of the brand deserves to be welcomed by its customers, including me. It’s just that those images of the bracelets in the catalog book look, well, boring. Unfortunately, I cannot state it differently. And the bracelets also look old-fashioned and don’t entice you to assume they would be very comfortable to wear.
Naturally, I feel a subjective bias when I compare the visual appeal of my images to the ones in Sinn’s catalog book. Some directional light and shadows add significant appeal to these bracelets. Already in the image above, which shows the bead-blasted and Tegimented steel bracelet for the U-series, you can sense an aesthetic that reaches beyond functional aspects. Looking at the image below, showing the brushed steel bracelet for the 140, 144, and 240 series, you can hardly deny that it makes a strong impact.
When comparing these two images, you will notice that the second bracelet tapers a lot more than the first. Apart from these two basic shapes, Sinn offers these bracelets in various finishings. You can have them with a bead-blasted or brushed surface, and they are available with Sinn’s Tegiment surface-hardening treatment. There are versions in bead-blasted titanium and black PVD coating, which Sinn only applies to surfaces hardened through its Tegiment treatment.
The H-link bracelet on different watches
A bracelet only looks good on a watch if it matches the rest of the watch’s design. I’m presenting you with three different executions of the H-link bracelet on three different watches to demonstrate the potential of that bracelet design. The contestants are the U1000 B on a bead-blasted and Tegimented bracelet, the 240 C on a brushed tapering bracelet, and the U1 C on a bead-blasted, Tegimented, and black PVD-coated bracelet. These are the Sinns that I wear on a bracelet.
All three watches are limited editions, and they’re all sold out. Finding them on the secondary market is not easy. Sorry about that! The bracelets, however, can be ordered at any time from Sinn.
The U1000 B was my first Sinn, and I had to see it live twice before I knew I had to have it. Today, I’m much quicker at making such decisions. If you only see the U1000 in images, the problem is that it appears rather small, although, in reality, it is quite big. The reason is that the designers at Sinn increased the size of every part of this watch. As you can see in the image above, even the winding crown is huge. If you look at a photo of this watch without any size reference, you assume the crown to have an average size. This assumption, in turn, makes you think the whole watch is tiny. It isn’t, as you can see. It’s big — 44 × 18mm, to be exact. The U1000 B is water resistant to 1,000 meters or 100 bar. Yes, it is a serious tool watch.
The “B” at the end of the name of this watch points to the matte blue dial. That blue is a pale navy shade that looks different depending on ambient light. The best feature of the U1000 and this special edition is that you can operate the chronograph via the pushers down to the maximum depth of 1,000 meters. Many dive chronographs have screw-down pushers, and you have to tighten them before submerging the watch. Having a dive chronograph that you cannot use underwater seems absolutely pointless to me. Anyway, the U1000 B does the job. The movement inside is an ETA 7750 turned 180 degrees and modified to have a 60-minute (rather than a 30-minute) counter.
The U1000 B on the bead-blasted and Tegimented bracelet
Sinn delivered the U1000 B with a blue silicon strap and a perfectly matching gray NATO. It looks gorgeous on that NATO too! But although affixed to a NATO is the safest way to wear a watch, it is not the most comfortable. For several years, Sinn’s wall calendar decorated my kitchen. One month, the calendar sheet showed Sinn’s T1 B and T2 B on bracelets. That combination looked so good that I had to have a bracelet for my U1000 B. As you can see in the images, this bracelet gives the U1000 B a powerful and robust look.
Another great feature of the U1000 B is that it is made of submarine steel. Yes, a dive watch made of submarine steel! How cool is that? This submarine steel is bead-blasted, which gives it a matte grayish look. Moreover, the surface of this material is hardened through Sinn’s Tegiment treatment. This treatment is incredibly effective. I still don’t have any scratches on my U1000 B. The downside of Tegiment is that cases treated this way cannot be refurbished. Should your Tegimented watch catch scratches or dents so severe that you don’t like your watch anymore, you’ll need a new case. Of course, the Tegimented case of my U1000 B needed a matching Tegimented bracelet. This bracelet is not made of submarine steel, but, thankfully, you cannot spot the difference.
The U1000 B had a limited ordering window. Sinn presented the watch at the beginning of 2014, and you could order one until December 31st. Since then, Sinn has stopped producing the U1000 model entirely. That’s a great pity. But for the official price of €3,750, I guess the U1000 B just didn’t sell well.
Sinn designed and marketed the 240 C in cooperation with the German watch magazine Chronos, hence the “C” in the name. It was limited to 100 pieces and cost €1,980. Similar to the U1000 B, it took me quite a while until I finally decided that I needed to have it. Looking back, I hardly understand my hesitation. I absolutely love this watch!
The case brings an attractive mix of large radially brushed and polished surfaces. Its dimensions of 43 × 11mm wear as flat as they sound. The silver rotating inner bezel carrying a 12-hour scale for a second timezone creates a harsh contrast to the black dial. But this strong contrast lends a vivid touch to this watch. Obviously, the yolk-yellow seconds hand is the eye-catcher. Inside this watch, a Sellita SW220-1 does its duty.
The 240 C came with a brown leather strap and the bracelet that you see in the images. I’ve never worn it on the leather strap, though. The tapering and brushed H-link bracelet suits this slightly vintage-styled watch amazingly. Although the visual integration of the bracelet into the case is by no means perfect, the bracelet wonderfully continues the shape of the case. This watch looks and wears gorgeously.
The U1 C is the result of another cooperation between Sinn and Chronos. If you like the brand and dive watches, the U1 is kind of a must-have. Consequently, I lurked around the U1 for quite a while, but none of the variations that I came across matched my taste. However, when I saw the U1 C, I knew that the version for me had arrived. I like gradient dials, and this dark green dial goes extremely well with the black bezel and case. The U1 C came on a black leather strap with green side stitching. That strap doesn’t look bad on the U1 C, but it was clear to me that I would only wear it on a bracelet or any other type of waterproof strap. Thus, when I ordered the watch, I also ordered the matching bracelet from Sinn.
Sinn’s black-coated bracelets have a small shortcoming. When you receive the new bracelet, there is so much silicone oil on it that you leave some drops of it wherever you lay it down. Therefore, I literally washed this bracelet with soap. After that, the silicone oil was gone, but the then-dry bracelet appeared slightly brighter than U1 C’s black-coated case. If you enlarge the image below and compare the end link to the lugs, you can spot the different shades of black. When I wear the watch, however, I don’t notice this difference. I could put some grease on the bracelet to make its hue appear like that of the watch head, but I prefer the bracelet to be clean.
The U1 C on the black-coated bracelet
For me, this bracelet suits the U1 C so well that I would miss something if the watch were mounted on a strap. This bracelet effectively underlines the sporty and sturdy look of the watch. Like the U1000 B, the U1 C is made of seawater-resistant and anti-magnetic submarine steel with a surface hardened through Sinn’s Tegiment treatment. The bracelet is made of regular steel but is Tegimented as well.
I mentioned before that Sinn applies a black PVD coating only to surfaces that have been hardened through its Tegiment treatment. The rationale is that if you accidentally hit a PVD-coated watch against a hard surface, the coating may chip. This exposes the shiny metal underneath, which looks quite unfavorable, especially with a dark coating. Sinn explains that the coating is considerably harder than regular steel, but when hit, the metal will buckle, causing the coating above it to break. A hardened surface below the coating, however, will significantly lower the risk of this happening, thus making your watch look beautiful for much longer. I don’t know if this theory has ever been verified.
The U1 C has the same water resistance as the U1000 B, and that is, as you already know, 1000 meters or 100 bar. Its case measures 44 × 14.7mm. The movement inside is an ETA 2824-2. This watch cost €2,390 and was limited to 100 pieces.
Should you have had reservations regarding Sinn’s H-link bracelet, I hope I was able to dispel them. This bracelet is certainly not the most elegant one on the market. It’s not the most stylish or the most recognizable one either. Nevertheless, it is comfortable and quite robust. But most importantly, it perfectly suits Sinn’s watches. And that is something that not all watch brands accomplish. The links in Sinn’s bracelets are connected by screws, for which you need a hexagonal socket screw key (also called Allen wrench or Inbus). Every Sinn watch on a bracelet comes with two such keys and even with a special glue to secure the screws in the bracelet. The clasps on the various executions of this bracelet do not fully live up to the quality of the rest of it. These clasps appear a bit simple, but they serve their purpose.
To order the matching bracelet for your Sinn watch, head to the brand’s official online shop. Also, feel free to let me know what you think of Sinn’s H-link bracelet design in the comments below.