Sinn’s 1800 S Damaszener, steel with a twist

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November 2015

Sinn has released a new timepiece made of Damascus steel, a rare material you are more likely to find in a museum than on a wristwatch, placing high demand on the 100 piece limited edition release.

For Sinn Spezialuhren, the functionality of a watch defines its design. It’s a straightforward way of doing things that some brands tend to forget some of the time, privileging form over function. That is why since its establishment in 1961, the Frankfurt-based company has become known for its functionally robust mechanical timepieces, which are a favourite for pilots and divers alike.

Courtesy of „Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH“
Courtesy of „Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH“

But the new Model 1800 S Damaszener offers something distinctly different, while at the same time combining a traditional sense of its functionality and advanced mechanical solutions. This model in particular is made from Damascus steel, incorporating a highly traditional material and making its appropriate for watch case design to the point where it enhances its special allure.

Damascus steel has fascinated humankind for centuries. Defined by an organic pattern of alternating bands of light and dark, the material almost looks like the rings around a tree that make it appear stronger and more stately with each passing year.

Sinn's 1800 S Damaszener, steel with a twist

Europeans were first introduced to this unique form of steel by the 4th century, in the ancient trading centre of Damascus, located in present-day Syria. And until not too long ago, the craft of making this form of steel was through to be a lost art. You were more likely to see it in the form of a steel blade or sword dating back to the 16th century in a museum, rather than wrapped around the wrist.

Sinn has now brought the characteristic textures of Damascus steel to the forefront of watchmaking, by forging the dial and central part of the case of the 1800 S Damaszener from a complete steel block. The result is truly remarkable, as the Damascus pattern on the dial continues across the entire case to create a fascinating and impressive whole.

Sinn's 1800 S Damaszener, steel with a twist

The effect is achieved through a very elaborate process that combines different types of steel, layered to create the aforesaid surface design. First, different types of steel are layered and forge-welded together. Then they are ‘folded’, meaning they are halved while still glowing hot and layered together again. The Damascus pattern is made visible in the final stage of production through surface etching, which forms the typical light and dark nuances. Each watch is therefore extraordinary unique, as the flow of lines cannot be physically manipulated.

The design is something that immediately draws the eye, producing a solid and clean timepiece that adds elegance to the Sinn collection. But what about that famously Sinn functionality?

Sinn's 1800 S Damaszener, steel with a twist

Well, the brand has applied many techniques to ensure to quality and readability of the timepiece, as one might expect from them. Actually, the use of Damascus steel in the making of watch cases is particularly challenging with regard to corrosion resistance. Ever the problem-solvers, Sinn adapted recent developments in materials engineering, combining the different steels using powder metallurgy to technically optimise the material. The use of Tegiment Technology and the application of an additional Black Hard Coating also ensure a durable timepiece that displays the wavy pattern in a subtle way, ensuring good readability.

The new Model 1800 S Damaszener displays a uniqueness that is immediately reflected in its design and appearance. And it also proves that when the right kind of functionality is in mind, the resulting design can be something special, too. Expect the limited release of 100 watches to go fast.