140/2: questions about new vs old PVD + other stuff
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Thread: 140/2: questions about new vs old PVD + other stuff

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  1. #1
    Member johnnylarue's Avatar
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    140/2: questions about new vs old PVD + other stuff

    Howdy y'all,

    I've been eyeing a Sinn for quite some time now--I fancy the Spacelab models in particular--and had some questions for anyone with some first-hand experience.

    Specifically, I'm wrestling with the age-old debate between picking up a vintage bargain or holding out for a lightly used newer model with Sinn's in-house modified 7750 movement.

    The Movement Issue: the Lemania 5100 is quite highly regarded for its ruggedness and durability, but repair costs can be nasty and even the least used examples of these are 10+ years old now. The SZ01/02 are theoretically a lot less frightening for being based on the widely known, eminently repairable 7750 and for having considerably less mileage on them. (That said, the collector in me still feels drawn to the 5100 as I don't yet own a watch with this iconic movement.)

    The PVD Issue: I can't help but being drawn to the all black tactical look of these over the more utilitarian stainless/titanium versions. From what I gather, vintage pieces tend to exhibit roughly the same amount of wear as the classic 70s Porsche Design chronos and their variants--that is, the PVD coating is often considerably worn off in many areas, especially on the crown/pushers and bracelet. Conversely, when I visited the outlet store in Frankfurt last year, both sales-dudes were wearing contemporary PVD watches (a U1 with the vintage lume and, I think, an 856) and they were spotless. As any good sales-dude would have done, they were quick to vaunt the merits of tegimentation, assuring me that today's finishes were much more resilient than those of decades past. (Thing is, all science aside, this is a claim that can only truly be verified with several years of wear.)

    In a way, I'd rather own an imperfect vintage watch and not have to worry about being the one to put that always-traumatic first scar on a brand new one, but if the new PVD stuff is as robust as it's made out to be--and it won't wear down from sleeve rub, desk diving, incidental knocks against dull edges and smooth surfaces--then maybe I'd shell out a bit more for a shiny new thing.

    In any case, I'd love to hear from anyone who has thoughts about these very pressing First World Concerns. ;)

  2. #2
    Member Barnstormer's Avatar
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    Re: 140/2: questions about new vs old PVD + other stuff

    Well, it's been a big couple weeks for me and Sinn, so I've got at least a couple data points for you. I am far from a purist, I don't mind things showing their age, and I love a bit of authentic wear.

    First, I found this older PVD cased 144 (don't mind the dial, that's another story). It's an early 80's era case, probably from when Sinn was getting / sharing (?) parts with Heuer. I've seen watches from Sinn, LeJour, Heuer and others with the same case. So, it's definitely old school PVD. It has worn to what I'd call a nice warm gray color. There are some nicks that go through the PVD and show the stainless beneath, but overall I'd say the finish has held up reasonably well for ~30 years, and I think it suits the age of the watch. On this watch, I am pretty sure the crown and pushers were never PVD.
    I can't say how this compares to modern PVD.
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    Then, with a new found appreciation of Sinn, I was shopping around locally and found this 90's era 142 St D1. Lemania 5100 (just a year out of a full overhaul at the factory) and just enough wabi that I don't feel at all bad about wearing it.
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    Personally, I am loving the 142. The movement, the history, the design... being a nerdy teenager in the 80's, I loved the Space Shuttle. For me and space watches, the Speedmaster always said "Apollo", the Pogue says "Skylab", the Sinn says "Shuttle"- especially the original, with the 5100. So, it's the space watch for me! (until I go to space myself, and then we'll see what I'm wearing!)

    and of course from Sinn itself...

    "The chronographs of the series 140 and 142 belong to our most illustrious timepieces."
    Last edited by Barnstormer; February 13th, 2019 at 12:36.

  3. #3
    Member CGSshorty's Avatar
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    Re: 140/2: questions about new vs old PVD + other stuff

    They only get better with age.



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  5. #4
    Member johnnylarue's Avatar
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    Very nice watches, fellas. I’m definitely feeling the love for the vintage pieces—these being legit tool watches, I’m reminded that the patina doesn’t detract from their looks at all. (I even like that modded 144!) That said, Sinn’s new watches do project an aura of indestructibility that’s appealing in its own way.

    I guess my move will be to track down an older piece with a known service history, or just roll the dice on a non-services one from a reputable seller.

    Living out my 80s nerd fantasies describes me to a T, by the way. Just biding my time before I can buy myself that Porsche 928 I’ve been wanting for 35 years... 😉
    dukerules likes this.

  6. #5
    Member Barnstormer's Avatar
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    Re: 140/2: questions about new vs old PVD + other stuff

    FWIW, a nice 142 is cheaper than the cam belt service on a 928.

  7. #6
    Member johnnylarue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnstormer View Post
    FWIW, a nice 142 is cheaper than the cam belt service on a 928.
    Oddly you’re not the first person to mention that! 😉 I’ll start with the watch and work my way up.

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