Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?
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  1. #1
    Member Will_f's Avatar
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    Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    I apologize if this subject has been beaten to death, but I am looking at two similar German watches and would appreciate hearing from those of you who are more knowledgeable about these watches than I am:

    Damasko DA36
    Sinn 556

    Price wise they're similar at around $1k, with the DA 36 running about 20% higher. My selection criteria is as follows in approximate order of importance:

    Comfort (my wrist size is about 6.75" to 7")
    Ability to hold value
    Aesthetics (I know this is very subjective, but it will be a general purpose work watch with occasional duty with a suit)
    Durability
    Accuracy

    I'm willing to consider other brands too, but the DA 36 is pretty much at the top of what I want to spend.


    Sincerely,


    Will
    Owner of a bunch of cool watches.


  2. #2
    Moderator German Watches Forum
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    Hello Will,
    Quote Originally Posted by Will_f View Post
    I apologize if this subject has been beaten to death, but I am looking at two similar German watches and would appreciate hearing from those of you who are more knowledgeable about these watches than I am:

    Damasko DA36
    Sinn 556

    Price wise they're similar at around $1k, with the DA 36 running about 20% higher. My selection criteria is as follows in approximate order of importance:

    Comfort (my wrist size is about 6.75" to 7")
    There has been some discussion here on the subject.

    The size is a matter of taste. both the 40mm DA36 and the
    38.5 mm Sinn 556 will look fine and sit comfortably on your wrist.

    Ability to hold value
    Unless you are buying below market, in other words a dealer,
    watches are not an investment. We do not recommend buying
    a watch you can't afford to lose.

    Still, both the Sinn 556 and Damasko DA36 do not have inflated
    "MSRP". In good condition they sell pretty well on the sales forum.

    Aesthetics (I know this is very subjective, but it will be a general purpose work watch with occasional duty with a suit)
    The appeal of a watch is a matter of personal taste. Choose the
    look you like better.

    I am not from your part of the world. Do men wear suit coats in
    Alaska? I think either of these watches would match the occasion.

    Still, I think the DA36 is one of the best watches for quickly reading
    the time. In that goal I think the DA36 is far ahead of the minimalist
    Sinn 556.

    Durability
    Most of us have worn mechanical watches in active, somewhat
    hazardous environments and had them keep running for years.
    Still, I suggest wearing a quartz watch if you are planning abuse.

    The Damasko cases are bead blasted and through hardened. After a
    few years in a pretty active lifestyle mine still looks new.

    The Sinn 556 case is brushed stainless and looks shinier. While not as
    resistance to scratches as the Damasko case, I would not consider
    it fragile. Stainless is forever.

    Accuracy
    Both watches use the same movement. They are reasonably accurate,
    but not as accurate as quartz movements.

    I'm willing to consider other brands too, but the DA 36 is pretty much at the top of what I want to spend.
    To reduce the price you could consider used watches on the sales forum.

    Sincerely,


    Will
    Thanks,
    rationaltime
    Janne, mitadoc and davidtsee like this.

  3. #3
    Member Punkling's Avatar
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    I also considered both these watches at one time. I chose the DA36 and don't regret it for one minute.
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  4. #4
    Member Lawe's Avatar
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    You really can't wear the Damasko DA36 with a suit (too tall, too rugged and the yellow second hand makes for a very casual watch). The Sinn is a little more versatile but the Damasko is much more watch for the money...

    What about a DA37? The black and white dresses up a little better than the DA36.

  5. #5
    Member Will_f's Avatar
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    Thanks for the responses folks. Some feedback:

    Rationaltime: I can afford to lose the watch and I prefer to buy new. The holding value criteria is a measure of perceived value in the marketplace. Buying new watches definately is a bad investment strategy. Alaska is a pretty informal environment. My profession requires wearing a tie occasionally, but most of the time I wear a Navy officer's uniform. I have my rolex for formal occasions, a moderately priced diver for the rough conditions and a cheap Seiko kinetic for the conditions that might destroy a watch. Consider the watch application as office casual and weekend play consisting of hiking, camping, skiing, etc, but I don't want it to look completely out of place with a dark grey sports jacket and tie.

    Punkling: I'm leaning towards the DA as well because of the durability of the case, but is the movement as good, and does that even matter? I know the Sinn uses a top grade movement, not sure the DA does. Also, while it will generally be an office casual / weekend watch, I'm not going to pack a bunch of watches when I travel and would prefer a watch that can be worn with a suit in a pinch.

    Lawe, I'll think about the DA 37, but I generally prefer black faced watches. Looks better with my khaki colored uniform. Is the 36 way too casual for occasional suit duty? We're talking about dinner at a nice restaurant, not meeting the president or attending a funeral.
    Last edited by Will_f; September 19th, 2011 at 02:21.
    Owner of a bunch of cool watches.


  6. #6
    Member senna89wc12's Avatar
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    I have a DA36 myself. Its dial layout, the yellow central second hand, and the ice-hardened case (gives it a dull and toolish color) hint that it is a tool watch. I however think that with a simple black or brown leather strap it still can become a very good dress watch. The Sinn 556 is way more dressier due to its brushed finish and its case thickness (10mm vs. DA36's 12mm). Now my views about your categories:

    Comfort: The DA36 is very comfortable to wear and it should fit your wrist very well. The 12mm thickness of the case is not too thick at all. The Sinn 556 should be very similar.

    Ability to hold value: Both Sinn and Damasko should hold onto their value well. I would say the Damasko should fair better because its ice-hardened case makes the watch very scratch resistant and the watch should remain new. No scratches on my DA36 so far after countless of strap changes. The Sinn's brushed case is softer and will be more prone to scratches.

    Aesthetics: With suit the Sinn will be a better choice. However, if it is a watch for general purpose for your navy officer's uniform/office causal and causal smart wear during weekend the Damasko will be a good choice.

    Durability: Both watches are very well-built. If you are talking about the durability of the case then look no further than a Damasko. It's 4 times harder than the 556's case.

    Accuracy: The ETA 2824-2 (Sinn) and 2836-2 (Damasko) are both well-proven work horses and accuracy should not be a problem.
    Last edited by senna89wc12; September 19th, 2011 at 03:12.

  7. #7
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    I would choose the Sinn. Lovely piece with a better movement in my opinion.

  8. #8
    Member Will_f's Avatar
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    Thanks for your input Senna and Karlstad. From what I can gather, the Sinn does use a higher grade movement, but Damasko gold plates theirs. I thought long and hard about both watches last night, with no firm conclusion reached. I did realize a few things though: I don't actually need a tool watch or a dress watch, having one of each already- that allows me the freedom to choose whatever appeals the most. Also, I thought about Rationaltimes's comment regarding buying from the forums- I saw a Minty DA 36 less than 3 months old that was very tempting, so I might actually go that way. Finally, I have reached the realization that I prefer metal bracelets. This tilts the equation towards the Sinn, but I'll have to wait until the 556A hits the market or find a nice used 556.

    Still dithering I guess.
    Owner of a bunch of cool watches.


  9. #9
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    Will,
    Don't get me wrong, both are excellent pieces with established track records and tons of fans. I have owned a few Sinns and loved them. never owned a Damasko so I can't personally speak to their "fit and feel". I do, again, firmly believe that the 2824-2 is a better and more reliable movement than the 2836. I also feel the Sinn is a better looking piece, which, of course, should be a big determining factor. You are, after all, the one wearing the watch! :)

  10. #10
    Moderator German Watches Forum
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    Re: Which would you buy: Sinn 556 or Damasko DA36?

    Quote Originally Posted by karlstad View Post
    ... I do, again, firmly believe that the 2824-2 is a better and more reliable movement than the 2836. ...
    You can believe what you want, but perhaps you could explain or provide data
    for the rest us us. Except for the added day wheel the movements are the same.

    Thanks,
    rationaltime

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