Whenever we think of tool watches the likes of Rolex submariner, Tudor submariner or Hamilton Khaki watches come to mind. Watches designed to be used as instruments to help their wearer in whatever his task is and to be sturdy enough to withstand the conditions of the job. Now there is no doubt that the previously mentioned watches have accomplished their job so well that they became icons in the industry, but sometimes there are watches that come along and completely change the meaning of “tool watch”. At least this was the case for me, with Sinn 157.
To those that might be new to watchmaking, take note of Sinn. It is a German brand that has brought a lot of innovation in the watch industry and even more important, I truly believe that when you buy a Sinn, you get an amazing value package. Another noteworthy fact regarding Sinn is that they have excellent customer support and services. Our own Sinn 157 required a new OEM crystal, clasp, 2 spare bracelet links and a crown. After contacting Sinn the items were at our doorstep within 10 days and at very reasonable cost.
While Sinn has a rather large collection that can suit really anyone, I really do believe that they do their best work in purpose made instrument watches.
The Sinn 157 is such an example.
One brief look at this watch and your perception of tool watches will change. There is absolutely zero attempt of refinement by Sinn here, they knew from the start what they wanted to do and did not sway to appeal to the masses in any shape or form.
The completely bead blasted (stainless steel or titanium) bracelet and case and the rather blocky (slab of steel) construction of the case makes no attempt at luxury. And that is absolutely perfect. From certain angles the integration of the bracelet to the case give the look of pillbox, looking quite menacing. While it is a rather small watch diameter and lug to lug wise with 40mm x 45mm (lug to lug) x 15mm (thickness) it definitely has a lot of wrist presence. The lug width is 20mm with an integrated H-link bracelet that flares out to hug the case beyond the lugs. Quite honestly I have tried wearing it on a multitude of straps, from leather to NDC straps… but it really feels best on the OEM bracelet or on a rubber strap. Looks quite good and is very comfortable on our own 7Friends&Watches rubber strap.
The flat sapphire crystal and the matte finish of the dial provide stunning visibility and makes this watch a joy to photograph. It is also noteworthy to mention that the dial has Tritium lume!
But what a tool watch needs to truly be a tool watch is an appropriate movement. Here enters the Lemania 5100, an absolute legend of a movement known especially for its resilience, long service intervals and easy serviceability. The perfect movement for this watch, as the movement truly resembles the outside construction in its no nonsense, straight to the point design.
Thanks to the Lemania 5100, there are 7 hands on the dial, the most interesting addition being the center chronograph minute hand, but there is also a 24 hour subdial present. The orange accents help to easily identify the chronograph related hands, making for a quick accurate read. The inner chapter ring for our version is made out of a Pulsometre/Tachymetre combination, but there are some out there with a 12 hour scale.
Everything on the Sinn 157 has an actual use purpose and is designed with reliability and legibility in mind. One truly has to see one in person to understand the complete tool watch aesthetic of this watch, like it came out from inside of a main battle tank.
At the moment of writing this article, these can still be found on the market for under 2000 USD and considering what you are getting here in terms of the Sinn brand and build as well as the Lemania 5100, I truly believe it is a steal.