Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Hi there, first ever post. I have been reading this and other forums extensively, as well as visiting some local ADs, to help me decide on my first proper mechanical watch (for my 40th birthday). I am looking for a versatile watch that can straddle the casual/business environments, is not too large (38-41mm), is fairly minimalist in design, and is auto with a display back. I initially was looking at Swiss but became increasingly drawn to German makes as they seem to have great value, quality and look fantastic. In the end I couldn't decide on one watch and so have a wish list of two: the Sinn 556i and the Nomos Tangente 38mm.

    I think these would make an awesome, versatile and stylish combination of watches to last me many years. Only problem is that I can't afford both at the moment (even for a 40th birthday!) and think that the Sinn will make a better initial watch as it seems more versatile on its own (both sporty and dressy, looks great on different straps). So, I have started looking at the Junghans Max Bill 38mm quartz as a stop-gap for a year or two while I save for the Nomos.

    Before pulling the trigger I had a couple of questions that I'd appreciate some advice on these watches:

    1 - For the Sinn 556i, should I get it on metal bracelet? I am not normally a bracelet guy, and it is over £100 more expensive than leather, but I'm not sure if it is a watch where buying it now makes sense. Conversely, I like the look of the leather. Any owners with some advice on either strap or bracelet and whether it is worth the extra for metal even if I swap it for leather straight away?

    2 - Max Bill quartz. I'd prefer the hand-wind but its too small (34mm) and the auto is too expensive so I'm happy enough with the quartz as it still looks fantastic. I appreciate the dial both with and without numerals but something keeps telling me that with numerals is more distinctively Max Bill. Without looks a tad more generic. Do you think that the Max Bill with numerals is still sufficiently dressy for work (business casual)? Would it work with a suit? Should I reconsider the dial without numerals?

    3 - Am I right that the Sinn + MB would make a good combination if I had only two watches? Similarly for the Sinn + Nomos that I am eventually looking to get? (Note, I am also looking to maybe get a diver for sports/weekend/beach/travel etc in future but not right now)

    Thanks for any help, even if it is just some reassurance that I'm not making any horrendous mistake. These watches are a lot of money for me so I'm taking my time with the decision. The wealth of knowledge on the forums has already helped enormously to narrow down my choices.

    Unfortunately, I cannot post any images as its my first post

  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Welcome. The 556 plus MB or Tangente is definitely a versatile two watch combo. The 556 would be the first to get as it can just about do it all. I rarely wear OEM straps and would get it on bracelet and buy a quality aftermarket strap.

  3. #3
    Member imaCoolRobot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Vancouver, BC

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    I faced the same decision for my 40th Birthday and ended up with this.
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    “If we could be satisfied with anything, we should have been satisfied long ago.”
    ― Seneca

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  5. #4
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    It's a pretty good combo.

    Yes - get the bracelet. Great looking and very comfortable. Certainly worth it over the leather.

    The Max Bill is certainly dressy enough for any office environment I've worked in (or been to meetings at).
    MediumRB likes this.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Frankly I'd avoid the Max Bill quartz (which will be tough to sell) & wait for the Nomos that you really want.

    I also had the Sinn 556 & flipped it. Nice watch but the rotor kept falling off & I had to send it in for a lengthy service 3 times. Probably just bad luck, but there are plenty of other German fliegers in the same price range to choose from - maybe Damasko, Archmede. or Stowa.

    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.

  7. #6
    Member Jacob E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Let me go against the grain here.

    This is definitely a perfect combo, in the sense that I personally wouldn't want either, especially at anywhere close to what they sell for. Main reason being that both watches are ridiculously small, in my opinion, even for my 7" (albeit flat) wrist.

    Secondary - I wouldn't feel any better paying a premium for a "forum darling", which accurately describes both of these brands, than doing so for an alleged "mall watch". Which, if you're inclined to believe some of participants here, describes pretty much anything, including Fortis, for instance (while we're on the subject of fliegers).

    PS: By "forum darling", I mean Sinn and Nomos, obviously - not the Junghans. The term "ridiculously small" applies to all 3.
    Last edited by Jacob E.; December 30th, 2015 at 21:31.
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  8. #7
    Member MediumRB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Sinn on bracelet. What about a Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 for your dressier watch? Automatic, affordable, attractive, and versatile.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGT035, Credor Node GCAT996, Grand Seiko 5641-7000 (1972), "Ashtray Tuna" 7C46-6009 (1987), 6139-7069 "Blue Eye" chrono (1974), Bell-Matic 4006-7012 (1971), King Quartz 9223-5000 (1981), Seikomatic J13044 (1963), 6119-6400 UFO (1974), King Quartz 5855-5000 (1977), Silverwave 8221-5020 (1980), Majesta 9063-5020 (1984), SKX399K "Philippines"

  9. #8
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Middle of the Middle West

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Welcome to the forums! Get the bracelet, add a strap later if desired. Hold off on the Max Bill until you see how the Sinn treats you.
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Minnesota, USA

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Life is too short to buy watches you don't want. I would start with the Sinn on a bracelet and wear it awhile. Maybe get some straps that can extend the range of wearability. Only after some period of time would I think of getting the next watch. Maybe by then you would have saved enough for a Nomos--or something else.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Bulova 1973 Deep Sea Chronograph "B"
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  11. #10
    Member Joshivan26's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: Sinn 556 + Max Bill = perfect combo? Advice for a newbie

    Sinn 556i is a good choise, I agree you should choose bracelet. It is relatively easier to find leather strap in market later :)

    For the MB, I don't have it to be honest. But, i would suggest to be patient and carry out research for your next purchase and target. There are plenty of times to come - for now just enjoy your first watch!

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