Revisiting the Sinn 140 St - The Ultimate Space Chronograph
 

Revisiting the Sinn 140 St - The Ultimate Space Chronograph

4 min read
Richard Brown

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Richard Brown

Categories

Reviews

It may not be as iconic as the Omega Speedmaster, but the technically brilliant Sinn 140 is a hugely impressive space-proven watch.

Genres of watches tend to bring with them expected design parameters.

Think of a 300m dive watch, and the chances are we all imagine similar creatures. However, one of the most exciting tool watch categories really has no set specs, and creations tend to be based on a watch that was selected in the 1960s and never went away. We speak, of course, about watches that have traveled into space and the genre-defining Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch.

It is interesting from the perspective of watches, the club that has been blasted into space is probably smaller than the human collective who have participated in the same ultimate adventure.

Omega Speedmaster on the MoonThe Omega Speedmaster on the Moon - Wiki/Common/Unrestricted

 
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Post Apollo, as life in space evolved from cramped conditions to the relative luxury of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, so did the eclectic collection of watches that orbited the Earth. Unusual spatial timekeepers include the divisive Omega Speedmaster X-33, a Timex Ironman Data Link, a Seiko A829-6029 (now known as "The Astronaut"), and a humble Timex Expedition, to name but a few.

One of the lesser knows models, but arguably the most technically impressive should be front and center when discussing space-borne equipment. It is the Sinn 140 ST Space Chronograph.

Sinn140The Sinn 140 St Space Chronograph Watch - Image credit WatchGecko.

 
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The 140 (and the very similar 142) is one of Sinn's flagship models. It was first worn in space in 1985 as part of the personal equipment belonging to German astronaut Reinhard Furrer when he was a payload specialist aboard the Challenger Shuttle flight STS-61A. The watch flew again on several flights in the 1990s. It has a distinctly 1980s look, but not in a dated way. It reminds me of the 1980s Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun in 1986.

The 2023 current evolution of the 140, which is available from WatchGecko, boasts superior technology and engineering expected from Sinn. The 44mm steel case has been additionally hardened with proprietary REGIMENT Technology, first showcased on the 756 Duochronograph at Baselworld 2003. This is not a coating like PVD. The REGIMENT process physically alters metal to be harder and more scratch-resistant.

The 140 is also equipped with NASA-level dehumidifying technology designed to address a basic issue with mechanical watches: the aging of oils due to moisture in the air inside or passing into the watch. The Sinn 140 movement is consequently mounted in a virtually moisture-free atmosphere thanks to the three technical elements. A proprietary Ar-Dehumidifying Technology drying capsule, EDR seals and protective gas filling. The combination prevents any chance of fogging due to sudden cold - an extremely useful feature when you consider that the temperatures outside the ISS range from +121C to -157C.

Sinn140The Sinn 140 St Space Chronograph Watch - Image credit WatchGecko.

 
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So how do each of these clever elements work?

The drying capsule is filled with copper sulfate, which absorbs moisture. This substance turns blue as water saturation rises, and the system features a small reference viewing window of sapphire crystal glass built into the case lug.

The Sinn 140 only uses Extreme Diffusion-Reducing (EDR) seals. These seals allow the passage of only 25% of the moisture normally permitted to enter a superior manufacture chronograph.

Finally, the 140 is gas-filled, which produces both a barrier to ingress and a perfect environment for the dehumidifying mechanism to operate optimally.

Sinn140The Sinn 140 St Space Chronograph Watch - Image credit WatchGecko.

 
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The watch is powered by the in-house Sinn SZ01 movement. This is based on the bulletproof Valjoux 7750 and boasts 25 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. The biggest change to the standard 7750 is that the SZ01 has a 60-minute register on the chronograph that's tracked from a hand at the center of the dial. This makes it much easier to see elapsed minutes than in a traditional small sub-dial.

Build quality is outstanding, with the watch feeling robust on the wrist. This sensation is backed up by the 140, offering shock resistance compliant with DIN ISO 1413 and anti-magnetic capability in conformity with DIN 8309.

There is no doubt that the Sinn 140 is a highly complex machine, yet the dial belays this with a beautifully clear and logical layout. Legibility is outstanding and operational use is enhanced by critical tools being coated in bold red and the entire dial having a generous application of Super-LumiNova. Given the requirement for a watch in space to deliver accurate information immediately, without any misinterpretation, the Sinn totally delivers as a standout watch in this genre.

Sinn140Close-up dial shot of the Sinn 140 St Space Chronograph Watch - Image credit WatchGecko.

Richard's Personal Thoughts

I lived with the Sinn 140 for a week and was left hugely impressed by the model. As a Speedmaster Moonwatch (and Bulova Lunar Pilot) owner, I was very keen to get serious hands-on with this more unusual space watch.

At £4395, the 140 is by no means cheap. However, when you consider its technical prowess and the fact that a base-level Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch starts at £6100, the Sinn presents more than a compelling case. If you are minded to expand your space watch collection (and who isn't), this unique item demands serious consideration.

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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