At 38.5 mm in diameter, the Sinn 356 pilot's watch is a great choice for life inside the cockpit and beyond. In addition to a stopwatch function, these timepieces feature either a day-date display or power reserve indicator.
The watch manufacturer Sinn Spezialuhren crafts timepieces for use in a wide range of environments. However, their main focus remains aviation and professional diving. They regularly have their diving and pilot's watches inspected according to DIN standards to guarantee their reliability. The functionality of each model is tested under extreme conditions such as high pressure and powerful magnetic fields. The Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (DIN, German Institute for Standardization) is a member of the ISO and sets standards for various industries in Germany.
Sinn gets their calibers from Swiss movement manufacturers like ETA and Sellita. The ETA Valjoux 7750 or Sellita SW 500, a reproduction of the 7750, powers the automatic 356 watches. The SW 500 has a 48-hour power reserve and can measure periods of time of up to 12 hours using two subdials: an hour counter at 6 and a minute counter at 12 o'clock. The elapsed seconds are tracked via the central second hand, while a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock is used to tell the time.
Thanks to their 38.5-mm cases, the 356 pilot's watches are an ideal choice if you're looking for a sporty unisex watch. Their functional design remains free of any unnecessary details. In addition to the various subdials, there's also a day-date display at 3 o'clock. Luminous hands and Arabic numerals make telling the time in a dark cockpit or at night a breeze. Each model features a stainless steel case with either a satin-brushed or bead-blasted finish. These timepieces look particularly nice on a leather strap with visible stitching. However, stainless steel bracelets and silicone straps are also available.
|Model (ref. number)||Price (approx.)||Dial color|
|358 Sa Pilot (358.060)||3,400 USD||Black|
|356 Sa Pilot III (356.0721)||2,600 USD||Silver|
|356 Sa Pilot II (356.072)||2,600 USD||Copper|
|356 Pilot UTC (356.025)||2,300 USD||Black|
|356 Sa GR (356.077)||2,300 USD||Black|
|356 Sa Pilot (356.070)||2,300 USD||Black|
|356 (356.020)||1,700 USD||Black|
The watch glass has the largest influence on the price of the 356 collection's pilot's watches. You can choose from high-domed sapphire glass or acrylic glass. Models with acrylic glass go for as little as 1,700 USD in very good or mint condition. These timepieces have black dials and bead-blasted cases.
Watches with sapphire glass require a larger investment: The 356 Sa Pilot with a standard black dial costs around 2,300 USD. Producing high-domed sapphire glass is much more time consuming than producing mineral or acrylic glass. It involves taking a large piece of glass and grinding it down to the right shape. The glass is then polished and treated with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. This special process results in a much more robust piece of glass.
If black isn't your dial color of choice, the 356 collection also offers some alternatives. The 356 Sa Pilot II has a light copper dial and demands around 2,600 USD. You can also purchase the 356 Sa Pilot III with a silver dial for the same price. Both editions get their color via electroplating. In this process, the base material is submerged in an electrolyte solution. An electric current is then run through the solution, causing the metal atoms in the solution to adhere to the base material's surface.
The ETA Valjoux caliber 7750 powers the 356 Pilot UTC. This timepiece features an additional hand to display the time in a second time zone. This is particularly practical for frequent travelers who want to keep track of the time back home. While it sells for an affordable 2,300 USD, this watch may be difficult to find since it is no longer in production.
For the same price, you can purchase the 356 Sa GR. Instead of a day display, it features a power reserve indicator at 3 o'clock. This means you'll always know how much energy your timepiece has left. The 356 Sa GR is also out of production, making it rare today.
Anyone on the market for a larger pilot's watch should look no further than the Sinn 358 collection. These watches are nearly identical to those in the 356 series, except for their larger, 42-mm cases. Once again, there is a variety of bands to choose from. A mint-condition 358 Sa Pilot costs around 3,400 USD.
If you're searching for something with a similar design, but more brand recognition, the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph, ref. IW377701, is the watch for you. It even features the same base movement, the ETA Valjoux 7750. Plan to spend about 4,500 USD for this pilot's chronograph.