Sinn 356 Pilot Sa Chronograph Collection Review
 

Sinn 356 Pilot Sa Chronograph Collection Review

4 min read
Charlotte Harris

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Sinn

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Charlotte Harris

Brands

Sinn

Categories

Reviews

If there’s one thing Sinn are known for doing right, it’s the pilot’s chronograph and as you’d expect, there’s a rather large number of these designs in the German watchmaker’s portfolio. Of them all though, there’s one that is considered the perfect sub-40mm daily beater, and that’s the Sinn 356 Pilot Sa Chronograph. So, I thought I’d put this to the test… 

Sinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph WatchSinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph Watch

Sinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph WatchSinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph Watch

 
Regular price
£2,205.00
Regular price
Sale price
£2,205.00
Sinn 356 Pilot Watch Automatic Chronograph - Acrylic / Black Dial - Solid Bracelet
Sold out
Regular price
£2,800.00
Regular price
Sale price
£2,800.00
Sinn 356 Sa Pilot Watch Automatic Chronograph - Black Dial - Solid Bracelet
Regular price
£2,850.00
Regular price
Sale price
£2,850.00
Sinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph Watch - Salmon Dial - Solid Bracelet

Before I begin my review of the Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph, it’s probably worth just quickly mentioning some of the history and the inspiration behind this model. Sinn was founded in 1966 by former World War II pilot and flight instructor Helmut Sinn who utilised his knowledge of aviation to engineer navigation clocks and pilot’s chronographs. As we mentioned, the latter is something of a speciality by Sinn. 

Over the next few decades, Sinn launched some remarkable pilot’s instruments including one known as the 256 pilot’s chronograph. This model was created exclusively for the Japanese market during the 1990’s and offered a Valjoux 7750 movement, 38mm case, domed acrylic glass and bright orange accents on a classic black dial. It is this design that inspires the newer 356 chronograph. 

The Case 

Sinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph WatchSinn 356 Sa Pilot II Automatic Chronograph Watch - Credit WatchGecko

Starting on the outside and working out way in, let’s begin with the case of the Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph. The dimensions stay fairly faithful to its predecessor measuring to 38.5mm wide, 15mm tall and with a lug-to-lug width of 46mm. While compact in its width, it is a rather thick watch, but to be fair, much of that comes from the tall domed sapphire crystal glass placed on top. Because of this, it still wears comfortably but has a notable presence on the wrist. 

The case is machined from stainless steel and has been entirely satin-brushed which gives it an almost matte, utilitarian-like finish. It elects a screwable crown with crown guards and two piston-shaped chronograph pushers on either side. There’s also a screw-fastened case with a sapphire crystal glass insert for a view of the moment inside. Around the window, there are some simple engravings depicting the watch’s 100 metre water resistance and model number. 

The Dial 

SINN 356 PILOT Klassik AnniversarySINN 356 PILOT Klassik Anniversary - Credit Sinn

At the moment, the Sinn 356 Pilot Sa Chronograph collection is home to three models. The first is the most classic, opting for a matte black dial with silvered hardware, white printing and plenty of green coloured lume. The counters are also black and kept smooth for a clean look. 

The latter two models are a little more dressy in their execution. The Sinn 356 Sa Pilot II is a personal favourite, electing a gorgeous light-coloured copper guilloche dial that has been electroplated with a distinctive wave pattern. The subsidary dials are also salmon-coloured and snailed. The whole dial still provides easy legibility thanks to generous amounts of lume and black coated hands and numerals. 

The Sinn 356 Sa Pilot III is similar to its copper-coloured counterpart in that it hosts black Arabic numerals, luminous syringe-shaped hands and snailed counters. Instead, the entire display is crafted from silver electroplated guilloche.  

The Movement 

Powering all three Sinn 356 Sa Pilot Chronograph watches is the Sellita SW 500 self-winding movement. It arrives with the classic 6-9-12 layout, placing the running seconds at 9 o’clock and the chronograph counters for the 12 hours and 30 minutes and 6 and 12 o’clock respectively. The Swiss made movement also delivers hours, minutes and chronograph seconds at the centre and a date and day of the week display at 3 o’clock. It has an approximate power reserve of 56 hours and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph.  

The Strap 

The Sinn 356 Sa Pilot Chronographs can be ordered on a variety of different strap options; from black calfskin leather bands to vintage brown cowhide, rubber, textile and of course, metal. Personally, I think the H-link stainless steel bracelets are the best match. Not only do they help balance out the thickness of the case, but they add even more visual heft to the overall look.  

Price & Availability  

I can see why the Sinn 356 Sa Pilot Chronograph has become such a staple for so many collectors. It’s incredibly affordable at £2,850 and you definitely get a lot of specification for this price. It ticks all the boxes of a military-inspired tool watch: you have clear, easy to read chronograph dials, robust cases and vintage-esque domed glass.  

All in all, I’m very impressed with the Sinn 356 collection, but if I was to choose one for myself, it would be the salmon-coloured model. The guilloche detailing is stunning and gives the tool watch a dressier vibe.  

You can shop the Sinn 356 Sa Pilot Chronograph collection for yourself at Watch Gecko here.  

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Charlotte Harris

About the Author: Charlotte Harris

Writing and watches are two of my biggest passions in life so being able to unite them on a daily basis is a wonderful thing. I hope through my writing that I can bring a fresh, feminine perspective on the watch space and encourage more men and women to get excited about all that’s happening.

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