Review: Sinn EZM12

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Designed for emergency rescue crew and medical personnel dispatched to save lives. For them, it is always a race to save lives and against time. The concept of a “golden hour” and “platinum ten minutes” are decisive in determining the course of action. This means that the patient should arrive at the hospital within an hour of the accident, and a critical patient should be treated and transported within the the first ten minutes. The Sinn EZM12 is specifically designed for such missions. We explore it, and see its use as a tool watch for general use, and for the horology enthusiast.


The Sinn EZM1 is a beautiful timepiece. Case is in special hardened TAGIMENT stainless steel, with a black bezel of the same material.


Sinn EZM12

The Einsatzzeitmesser (EZM, loosely translated to Assignment Measurer) series from Sinn have always stood for well designed tool watches targetted at specific industries. The first was the EZM1, which was designed for the German Border Patrol as a custom combat tool, the EZM2 which followed was for the Border Guard Diver Unit, and the EZM3 for the Police Special Force while the EZM5 for the Fire Fighting Rescue Unit. Each EZM is a special tool, designed with industry professionals, to meet their specific requirements.

Perhaps as a curiosity, these tool watches found their way to mainstream collectors. They offer a sneak, perhaps a fantasy of being in these special occupations requiring these specific tools. And the EZM series have become very cool tool watches. Tough, everyday watches. Capable of use in harsh and demanding conditions. The latest to the family is the EZM12.


The EZM12’s case is a elongated tonneau shape, with a massive, hardened black bezel.


The EZM12 is designed for the rescue operations. The watch is handsome, but tough, and feature easy to read markings, and special features for the specific mission.


The Case, Dial and Hands

The case is nominally 44mm, but with the top and bottom elongated to extend to the hidden lugs, making a tonneau shape when viewed from the front. The case is in TAGIMENT Stainless Steel, a special treatment similar to but different from DLC and patented by Sinn. The case has a dull grey matt finish, which is especially selected so that it is easy to keep clean. The bezel is also in the same TAGIMENT Stainless Steel, but blackened. Case is made by SUG in Glashütte, a company owned by Sinn.


The round case extends at 12 and 6 o’clock positions to form a tonneau shape. The lugs are hidden below the extension.


The dial markings are very clear, and easy to read under any lighting condition. The dial itself is matt black, and the markings coated with luminescent material. Sinn does not name the material, but it looks like regular SuperLuminova. The markings and luminous material are bold and clear, and glow bright in the dark. The hands all feature specific shape and sizes, so it is easy not to mistake one for the other, a critical feature especially in the high stress environment the Rescue Operations crew usually operate in.

The dial features a count-up inner rotating bezel allows emergency personnel to constantly keep an eye on the specified time frames. And a separate countdown outer rotating ring, operated by a second crown marked in orange like the ring enables e.g. the exact times for administering medication to be monitored.


The dial is a study in legibility and clarity.


The seconds hand – designed in the shape of a rotor, with four hands allows easy recording of the heart rate every 15 seconds. The pulse can be read on a arc marking on the dial.

Another special feature of the EZM 12 is the easy-clean watch and strap.


Removing the silicon strap is an easy operation of slipping it out of the bar ends and can be done without any tool. When locked in, it is secure and stays in place.


The silicone strap can also be removed without the use of tools. Just slip it over the bar ends, pull. It locks easily into place. To remove, turn to align the silicon end shaped like a J, and unhook to remove. Easy to attach and remove, and stays locked in position when installed. Brilliantly done!


The rotating bezel can be easily popped open with the supplied utility knife for easy cleaning and sterlisation.


The rotating bezel is removed using the large screwdriver on the utility knife provided. The knife is like a “Swiss Army Knife”, featuring several tools which are useful for the operations. And as Sinn has German origins, the knife is not Swiss Army, but made by an old German company Böker. This is easy to pop open and and easy to snap into place securely.

The design is called for so that the watch is easy to clean and sterlise, and to get the grime, blood, body fluids out of it after being deployed at the emergency site. The case is easy to disinfect alongside the rest of the medical instruments in the helicopter cabin following a trauma flight, simply by removing the strap and popping off the bezel using the multi-tool. Exposure to blood, and the requisite cleanup is a requirement demanded by first responder emergency crews.

The case meets the technical requirements for water proofness, as set out in standard DIN 8310 up to a depth rating of 200m and is also low pressure resistant.


Amazing design of a tool watch resulting in working in collaboration with the professionals who use the tool. The EZM12 is indeed a spezialuhren.


A dehumidifying capsule is installed to ensure that no water seepage is possible within the case, and in the event that it does, the capsule turns to a bright blue from a white original state to indicate that the inside of the case has high humidity and the watch should be sent in for service. This capsule is also used in other EZM watches, including the first EZM1 on the case side by the lugs. On the EZM12, it is housed on the crown at 2.

The Movement

The case back is solid, made of a single, flat, round piece of nickle free stainless steel to ensure hypoallergenic properties. The attention to detail is apparent that the entire case back is flat, and have no crooks and crannies which can retain dirt, and other contaminants which may find its way from the mission. The markings are made in very light engravings for the same reason.


Case back with engraving. The case back is nickel free stainless steel. Attention to detail calls for a case back which is flat, and markings which are lightly engraved. Again for the critical missions, to ensure little dirt and other contaminants are easy cleaned.


The movement is an ETA 2836-2, self winding, with 25 jewels running at 28,800 bph with hacking seconds. The movement is specified to meet shock resistance as per DIN 8308 and Anti-magnetic as per DIN 8309. The watch also features temperature resistance technology, functionally reliable at temperatures from minus 45 °C up to 80 °C and have a Magnetic Field Protection up to 80,000 A/m.

The Competitive Landscape

We are not aware of many watches specially designed for the purpose of an emergency rescue crew. Perhaps this is not a mainstream genre yet. Perhaps the only possible competition is the St Gallen Horology The Rescue (retail approximately US$ 1,380). (The site uses flash, so to see The Rescue, you have to navigate the menu bar, and we are not able to provide a direct link.). The watch is also designed for emergency response. It too is in steel, with an ETA 2824-2 movement. The watch is 42mm PVD 316L stainless steel, and is sterlisable, disinfectable. The watch also feature a large, cross shaped four handed seconds hands which functions similarly as a pulsometer read off a scale on the dial. In addition to the pulsometer, it also includes an easy to read method to count the number of respirations. It does have the easy to remove/attach strap but no a pop out/in bezel. It also does not feature a count up rotating bezel or a count down inner rotating bezel.

A version is made for the website PuristPro, the PuristSPro All Black Rescue (ABR) (limited edition of 178 pieces, all taken. Retail price was US$ 1,500 in 2009).

The Sinn EZM12 is more expensive, but features more premium material (TAGIMENT stainless steel), a longer warranty (3 years as opposed to 2 for the St Gallen) and in our view, a more beautiful case and dial. The EZM12 is set to retail at US$3,340 (about S$ 4,700).


Concluding thoughts

The Sinn EZM12 is a well designed watch. It made our Chief Editor’s select list of the Best Watches of Baselworld 2017. We are impressed with Sinn’s attention to detail, and the design of a tool watch which is done in collaboration with professionals in the selected field. Not some master watchmaker sitting in the Switzerland dreaming of what an emergency rescue team might need, Sinn chose to work directly with the German Air Rescue Service, which provide emergency response services while patrolling the AutoBahn in helicopters. As such, the needs of the emergency crew are well addressed.


On the wrist, it feels comfortable, even under bespoke cuffs. But over silicon surgical gloves in its native environment, the watch shines in its functionality.


And since, Sinn is also equally adept at tugging the heart strings with features which appeal to watch aficionados, the built it so that watch nerds fall in love easily with it. The tough, rough, do everything nature of this tool watch is extremely appealing. Is it the ultimate tool watch? Well, it depends on what you want to do with it. For the emergency rescue crew, it appears to be a near perfect tool. For the average watch enthusiast, we think it deserve a place on our wrist, as it wins the heart and the mind with its tough nature, interesting features, and good looks.