The Unusual Suspects: The Sinn U50 Is An Indestructible Everyday Tank Of A Watch
Once again, The Unusual Suspects reveals a small wonder from a purveyor of large, unscratchable tools. Sinn Spezialuhren from Frankfurt has a pragmatic and exact view of wristwatches as instruments, with some of the toughest pieces around. The brand’s catalog is comprehensive, and the Sinn U50 is fairly new, but unfortunately, it’s already fading from view. Blame the short attention span of 2022, with added Instagram algorithm fatigue, but I’m here to remind you.
Sinn is a brand we enjoy at Fratello, last seen in Jorg’s superb buying guide of the brand’s millennial repertoire. The Sinn catalog runs the spectrum from retro and modern, with its most beloved references lurking in three main categories. There are the classic pilot’s watches, such as a delightful reverse-panda 103 last year, and big instrument watches like the rescue-mission-focused EZM 12. And let’s not forget the brand’s dive-watch lineup, where we find the U50 hidden in plain sight.
A masterfully compressed piece of Tough
If you’re a watch addict like me, you might question my logic. After all, the U50 is only a couple of years old, and at my age, that still means brand new. But we’re both wrong in this ever-shifting world of instant gratification and waning watch interest. For the same reasons the Sinn U50 is such a piece of brilliance, it seemed to glide into the non-hashtagged hinterland of Instagram. It could be because Sinn is not known for small-sized splendor. Except for the forum-favorite 104 that I myself had the pleasure of owning, Sinn is known for large-sized tools like the U1. Even the delightful 103 is a tad on the chubby side. And slimness in a diver often equates to vintage, not high-tech, modern tool watches. The U50 has the best of both worlds.
The impressive specs of a slim tool
I’ll start with the specs, and the U50 SDR is my favorite with its tegimented (ultra-hardened) black bezel, making the emergency-red details pop like mad. There is no trace of vintage, and no similar watch to compare it with, especially for the size. The 41mm U50 feels considerably smaller due to its super-slim case of 11.5mm and 47mm lug-to-lug. It does feel heavy for its size, but incredibly comfortable. The depth rating is 500 meters, so it’s a serious piece of kit. If you choose the fully tegimented T-model, you’ll be struggling to put even the slightest scratch on its silky matte case. The juxtaposition of the ultra-sharp contrasts of the instrument-like dial with a soft and wearable case will confuse you. This is one of the toughest and most wearable tool watches you can buy for just over €2,000.
Cool sure comes in small packages
I had the pleasure of a long-term test in 2020. Though I read up on the watch before receiving it, I was still surprised. Two of the remixed shots you see here are from my month of joy, with what I find to be the ultimate combination. This is the U50 SDR with a black tegimented bezel and the searingly bright red rubber strap. Holding it all together was a massively over-engineered folding diver’s clasp thicker than the actual watch. If you buy one, make sure you order or find one with the slimmer clasp as this was massive overkill. But still, the intense and precise haptics of it gave me goosebumps.
At the end of the month, the U50 SDR had left such an impression that I did NOT want to return it to Sinn. I’ll admit to searching for a pre-owned one since then, and who knows? I might hit the jackpot eventually.
Small but heavy, slim, and surprisingly tank-like
Yes, the U50 is Juxtaposition City on a rubber strap, but has this been the reason for its stunted success? We’ll never know, but it’s the best Sinn I have ever had on my wrist. With the Seiko magic of a 4 o’clock crown matched to a slender case, I understand why it’s not dominating Instagram. Battle-ready diver’s watches are meant to be 42-45mm and mighty heavy, but such a brawny bezeled brute will likely cost you some comfort. Seriously, you don’t need a big, whopping tool to show off your supposed lifestyle of “adventure”. Chances are you are still only thinking of buying that SCUBA gear, and while stuck in daily life, this is a much better companion. Once you do board that speedboat to the reef though, the U50 will be more ready than you’ll ever be. So go check it out on the Sinn website now.
What do you think? Can indestructible tools come in small sizes, or does the concept confuse you? Try one on, and you might be swayed for good. Let us know your take in the comments below.
Find me and follow me at @thorsvaboe