Sinn Introduces the U1 DE

For 30th years of German reunification.

Sinn’s latest limited edition commemorates two events – one inextricably linked to the other. The overarching theme of the U1 DE is the 30th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, explaining the dial done in the colours of the German flag.

Without German reunification, the second event would have been impossible – the partnership between Sinn and case maker SUG (short for Sächsische Uhrentechnologie GmbH Glashütte), which is based in the watchmaking town of Glashütte in the former East Germany. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Sinn first began working with SUG in 1999, before taking a majority stake after the 2002 floods inundated Europe and hit SUG hard.

Initial thoughts

The U1 is a likeable watch because it is affordable, incredibly robust, and solidly functional. Though it is a large 44 mm, the U1 does not feel as big as it measures. Its only downside is the Sellita SW200-1 movement within, which suffers from a short 38-hour power reserve.

The U1 DE isn’t that much different from the standard all-black U1. Essentially it’s a little different on the dial and hands, along with the extra-large Sinn and SUG logos on the back – which really look too big.

Ordinarily, limited edition iterations of standard watches are not interesting. But the U1 is an excellent watch, and the U1 DE doesn’t cost that much more than the standard version; the premium is about 15%. That’s a fair deal for something that looks different, while still retaining the no-nonsense style of the U1.

Red, black, and gold

The dial has been gently tweaked to incorporate the colours of the German flag. The gold-plated seconds hand is the most obvious detail, although the hour and minute hands also have black centres, instead of the usual red.

The name of the limited edition is also inscribed in oversized letters above six o’clock

The back features more commemorative markings, including the two companies’ logos. SUG is highly regarded for its high quality work – it even makes cases for very expensive A. Lange & Söhne watches – but the size of the logo on the back is questionable.

The rest of the watch is identical to the standard model. The 44 mm case is made from the same corrosion-resistant steel used for certain submarines operated by the German navy, but further enhanced with Tegiment surface-hardening treatment as well as a scratch-resistant, black-ceramic coating. All of that makes for an extremely resilient case. And inside the submarine-steel case is the tried and tested Sellita SW200-1 movement that is low tech but solid.


Key facts and price

Sinn U1 DE
Ref. 1010.0241

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 14.7 mm
Material: Submarine steel
Water resistance: 1,000 m

Movement: Sellita SW200-1
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Rubber strap or steel bracelet

Limited edition: 300 pieces
Availability: At Sinn retailers
Price:
€2,740; or 5,030 Singapore dollars (bracelet)
€2,650 (rubber strap)

For more, visit Sinn.de.


 

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An overview.

Rolex Introduces the Submariner 41 mm

Better proportions and new-generation mechanics.

Rolex last did a major revamp for its iconic dive watch in 2012, when it introduced the ceramic insert bezel and beefier case. Eight years later the Submariner is once again refashioned and upgraded. It still retains the classic look that has changed little since the 1950s, but in typical Rolex style the new Submariner 41 mm boasts many incremental improvements, across the case, bracelet, and movement.

The Submariner 41 mm is making its debut with eight different models, ranging from the no-date base model to the all-gold version, all powered by the cal. 3235 (except for the no-date that has the cal. 3230 inside).

The Submariner ref. 124060 “no date”

Initial thoughts

The most monumental change – albeit one that is more obvious on paper than in person – is the upsized case. Forty-one millimetres is a first for the Submariner, with the preceding models having been being 40 mm for decades.

However, the increase in size was not executed in isolation. The rest of the case was remodelled to fit, as was the bracelet, resulting in a pleasing, well-proportioned watch that doesn’t look as large as it sounds, and actually feels slimmer than it is.

New movements

Although everything about the new Submariner is new, arguably the most substantive change is the movement. The new models are the first Submariners to feature the current-generation cal. 3235 for the first time, although Rolex has been progressively installing new movements across the range for several years now.

The cal. 3235 includes all of the brand’s recent innovations, including a Perachrom blue hairspring, Chronergy escapement, and optimised gear train, resulting in superior timekeeping over the extended, 70-hour power reserve.

Nips and tucks

As is Rolex’s philosophy, every new model is technical improvement over its predecessor, while keeping the same styling. The new Submariner has been improved inside and out.

The increase in case size is accompanied by a reshaping of the case in ways that are cumulatively substantial. The lugs, for instance, have been slimmed, as have the crown guards. The result is a more fluid and curvaceous case, losing the bulkiness of the earlier generation.

And to complement the larger case, the new bracelet is slightly wider at the lugs but tapers towards the clasp, allowing the bracelet to flow more seamlessly into the case.

At the same time, the dial has been improved. Most notably, the hands have been elongated, improving legibility and aesthetics. Now the minute hand, for instance, reaches the minute track. Add to that the repositioned indices and text, and overall the new dial feels cleaner and better laid out.

Shuffling the deck

The new line of Submariners also sees a rearrangement of the usual colour and metal combinations.

All of the steel and two-tone models remained largely unchanged. The green bezel model remains, but the matching green dial has been done away with; it’s now black.

The luxe versions in yellow gold continue to be available with both black or blue dials.

Arguably the most novel is the white gold variant, which now matches the blue bezel with a black dial, creating an unusual contrast and surprisingly refreshing look.

The ref. 126619LB in white gold


Key facts and price

Rolex Submariner 41 mm
Ref. 124060 (steel, no date)
Ref. 126610LN (steel, black bezel)
Ref. 126610LV (steel, green bezel)
Ref. 126613LB and 126613LN (steel-gold, blue or black dial)
Ref. 126618LB and 126618LN (yellow gold, blue or black dial)
Ref. 126619LB (white gold)

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 300 m

Movement: Cal. 3235 (cal. 3230 in ref. 124060)
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date (Cal. 3235); Hours, minutes, and seconds (Cal. 3230)
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Oyster bracelet

Availability: Already at Rolex retailers worldwide
Prices
Ref. 124060 (steel, no date) – US$8,100; or 10,880 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126610LN (steel, black bezel) – US$9,150; or 12,290 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126610LV (steel, green bezel) – US$9,550; or 12,850 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126613LB and 126613LN (steel-gold) – US$14,300; or 19,190 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126618LB and 126618LN (yellow gold) – US$36,950; or 49,640 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126619LB (white gold) – US$39,650; or 53,310 Singapore dollars

For more, visit Rolex.com.


 

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Rolex Introduces the New Oyster Perpetual (in Bright Colours Too)

Revamped, and in five sizes.

A direct descendant of the first waterproof wristwatch that debuted in 1926, the Oyster Perpetual has long been the most straightforward offering from Rolex, a fuss-free, time-only watch that still retains the brand’s quintessential technology and design.

Rolex has revamped the Oyster Perpetual – now available in in 41 mm, 36 mm, 34 mm, 31 mm, and 28 mm – giving it new dials, including colourful lacquer in candy pink, turquoise blue, yellow, coral red, and green, as well as the latest generation movements for the largest sizes. But not that all colours are available in every size; candy pink for instance is available only for the 36 mm and 31 mm models.

The Oyster Perpetual 36 in the new colours

Initial thoughts

It is heartening to see the return of fun, brightly-coloured dials on affordable models, especially in solid colours instead of being combined with quirky patterns such as the concentric decoration found on earlier generations. The bright-colour dials on the largest 41 mm model in particular make for a lively look that is very different from the usual conservative style of the Oyster.

More sedate dial colours – namely metallic silver, blue, and black – are also available, but it’s the silver the stands out. In fact, the silver dial is as interesting as its colourful counterparts. The use of gilded hands and indices on silver dial in a steel watch is unusual. Add to that the pale champagne wash over the silver finish, the result is a warm look that is sensational.

Colours and sizes

The two larger sizes of the new Oyster Perpetual are powered by the cal. 3230, a latest-generation Rolex movement that features various technical innovations like redesigned going train and paramagnetic escapement, as well as a longer, 70-hour power reserve.

Broadly speaking, the 41 mm model is available in more masculine colours – metallic silver, black, and blue, plus the glossy lacquered finishes in green, red, yellow, and turquoise. The 41 mm size replaces the 39 mm version that was available before.

The 36 mm is offered in the same colours, plus the addition of pink.

The 41 mm model in silver and black

The 36 mm in lacquered pink

The Oyster Perpetual 34 mm, 31 mm and 28 mm are all powered by the smaller cal. 2232 that is brand new and making its debut this year. It’s equipped with a Syloxi hairspring made of silicon and has a 55 hour power reserve.

The 34 mm is only available with metallic dial finishes in silver, blue, copper, and black, while the 31 mm is available in the full range of dial colours, both metallic and lacquered. And the smallest, 28 mm is available only in metallic finishes, just like the 34 mm.

Design unity

All sizes of the new Oyster Perpetual share the same dial design that is clean and minimalist, making the line-up coherent across the different sizes.

While the previous-generation Oyster Perpetual 36 had numerical five-minute markers, the new dial has a straightforward minute track with squares every five minutes, something only found on the 39 mm model of the previous generation.

Even though the Oyster Perpetual is an entry-level watch, it is still fully kitted out with the brand’s proprietary features, making an affordable yet a complete Rolex package.

All size of the Oyster Perpetual have a bracelet that incorporates the EasyLink extension in the clasp that offers an on-the-go adjustment of up to 5 mm – a useful feature when one’s wrist size changes with ambient temperature.

The luminescent material on all versions is now blue Chromalight, rather than green as on its predecessor


Key facts and price

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 and 36
Ref. 124300 (41 mm)
Ref. 126000 (36 mm)

Diameter: 41 mm and 36 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 3230
Features: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet with Easylink extension

Availability: Already at Rolex retailers worldwide
Price:
US$5,900; or 7,910 Singapore dollars (41 mm)
US$5,600; or 7,490 Singapore dollars (36 mm)


Key facts and price

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34, 31, and 28
Ref. 124200 (34 mm)
Ref. 277200 (31 mm)
Ref. 276200 (28 mm)

Diameter: 34 mm, 31 mm, and 28 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 2232
Features: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 55 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet with Easylink extension

Availability: Already at Rolex retailers worldwide
Price:
US$5,300; or  7,060 Singapore dollars (34 mm)
US$5,200; or  6,920 Singapore dollars (31 mm)
US$5,100; or 6,780 Singapore dollars (28 mm)

For more, visit Rolex.com.


Correction September 4, 2020: Candy pink is only available for the 36 mm and 31 mm models; and not 34 mm as stated in an earlier version of the article.

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