Sinn is known for making dependable, well-built tool watches usually at an affordable price point. The latest watch in the 103 chronograph line, the Sinn 103 St Sa E seris replica watches are no exception. With a chronograph, bi-directional countdown bezel, day-date indicator, and crown-guards, this is a watch built to be a functional and trustworthy daily wearer in the group I’d call ‘vintage-inspired pilot chronographs.’ The 103 has been a staple of Sinn’s product lineup for years now – in one form or the other. This latest variant embraces its vintage roots with the use of faux-patina lume on the markers and hands.
Collectors familiar with chronograph movements will recognize that the Sinn 103 is powered by the Valjoux 7750. The biggest giveaway is of course, the dial, which has the three-dial layout with sub-dials at 12:00, 6:00, and 9:00. Of all the modern chronograph movements still in production, I believe the Valjoux 7750 is the only one with this specific sub-dial layout. This is an appropriate movement for a tool watch as it is automatic, time-tested, reliable, and familiar to watchmakers and hence, easy to maintain and service. The Valjoux 7750 in the Sinn 103 is shock-resistant, has anti-magnetic shielding, and provides 42 hours of power reserve.
With case dimensions of 41mm wide and 17mm thick, there’s no escaping that the Sinn 103 is a chunky watch. Though, considering the use of a display caseback in a 200m water resistant case along with the domed sapphire crystal on the dial, it shouldn’t be too surprising. Still, this watch is considerably thicker than many mechanical chronographs and you’d find tucking it under a sleeve pretty tough. Moving on, the case is machined from stainless steel and is polished all over. I believe the bezel is made from steel as well and some collectors may find this disappointing as more advanced materials like ceramic would’ve provided better longevity.
The crown and pushers are both screw down and large enough to be easy to use and not too fiddly. Despite its large size, the Sinn wears comfortably on the wrist. I don’t see it fitting in quite well with formal office wear but with jeans and a t-shirt or if you happen to have a non-desk diving job, the Sinn 103 should fit right in and not be too conspicuous. The watch is available on a rubber or leather strap, or Sinn’s solidly built H-link bracelet. While I am personally a fan of Sinn’s fine link bracelet, I think the H-link version is better suited here given the larger case size.
As a pilot’s replica watch, the dial on the Sinn 103 St Sa E is matte black with contrasting text and indices to maximize legibility. The hour markers are Arabic and painted on the dial with the faux-patina lume that is a signature to this variant. The syringe hands are also filled with the same lume and takes the vintage feel of the entire watch up a notch. The faux patina maintains the high contrast with the dial required for the legibility that pilot watches are known for.