Strong and reliable. Great casework and trusted movement. The U1 can be easily maintained and can be a great beater.
There are too many U1 variants and limited editions. Sinn's strategy to milk the U1 design may be counterproductive. Legibility of the dial display is a concern for those who want a real dive watch.
Sinn releases a new limited edition to 500 pieces camouflage edition of the popular U1 collection. The popular German submarine theme watch brand is well known for its military associations. In particular, the brand was made famous by the use of submarine steel and its tough watch demeanour. The nomenclature also alludes to German submarines, the U-boat. Other collectible variants in the U1 collection also includes the limited edition U1-D sand dune, with a black case and sand coloured lume markers.
The Sinn U1 Camouflage is cased in stainless steel and sized at 44 mm. The rugged looking watch is in every way a tough tool watch, with a sand blast finished case made from the same material as German submarines. Water resistant to 1000 m, the dive watch is also fit with the usual dive watch features, a minute bezel and an accessible crown. Accessible in that it is suitably sized and well grooved for better grip and turns.
The Sinn U1 Camouflage is powered by a Sellita SW200 movement, similar to eta based movements in terms of performance, the movement offers approximately 40 hours power reserve and a date function, with indicator at 3. As far as the watch goes, it is essentially the same U1 that made the market years ago, with a cosmetic upgrade. However, while Sinn has always been renowned as a brand that prides itself in functionality and practicality, this U1 Camouflage negates this earlier brand image. Tool watches, especially the pilot and diver variants should have higher standards of legibility on the dial. While we understand that this variant tries to be more stealthy, we find that the trade off in legibility on the dial is a big detriment.
The black Super-Luminova adds a nice touch to the watch in terms of aesthetics, but is nonetheless a lesser than ideal choice for a dive watch. While the lume still glows in the dark, it is less bright as compared to the usual white or green lume. When taken down for a dive, where light is scarce and visibility of the dial is a huge plus, the watch would undoubtedly fare poorly. Nonetheless, our qualms with the legibility of the dial is purely in the spirit of upholding some traditional elements of tool watches. For those, or the many who would only do desk diving, then the legibility of the dial is no issue at all.
Priced at US$2160, the limited edition U1 Camouflage is available in green rubber strap with a deployant clasp. The full set also comes with a khaki zulu strap, for an interesting change in colour that still matches the camouflage patterns. As usual, the watch is well executed and built to last. It is tough and a suitable candidate as a beater timepiece. That said, some say that it is one variant too many, and perhaps not a very significant one in the library. In our opinion, the U1-D for the Hourglass is the better of the two.