Dear WUSers and fellow Sinners,
This is my first real post!
I recently got my hands on a Sinn 356 PILOT acrylic on black leather strap. I had been lusting after one for so long and now it's here. I thought I'd write a short review of it so here it goes.
I had been looking for a mechanical pilot's chronograph and was seriously considering the 103, 356, 358, and 104 (not chrono but still pilot's watch). As much as I loved all the other models, I decided to go with a 356 because (1) I have come to love smaller watches despite having a 7.5-7.7 inch wrist, and (2) prefer a slightly less sporty non-bezel model that I can wear at work (teach at a college).
I fell in love with the watch as soon as I took it out of the box. Sinn really do make quality watches and that extends to all the boxes and manuals as well. Those who have more expensive watches will disagree, but for someone who has always had entry-level Japanese watches (e.g., my beloved Seiko SKX009), the leap in quality is very visible.
I love the rugged timeless design, gorgeous Sinn branding above the day-date complication, legibility of the 38.5 mm case, lume, and the syringe hands. Overall, I am very happy with my 356 and wouldn't change it for the world.
However, there are a few minor annoyances I have noticed that should be mentioned as well. I noticed the bottom pusher wouldn't reset the totalizer hand to 0 after a few hours of wearing the watch (to be fair I was playing with the buttons the whole time). After three attempts, this problem went away and the bottom pusher works flawlessly. I'm guessing it was probably due to new/stiff pushers and seals.
The crown feels a bit stiff and sounds like it's grinding on a piece of foam (if that makes sense) when I wind it manually. I'm not sure if that's due to seals/parts being stiff or something else. I am not too keen on hand-winding the watch in any case.
As others on the board have mentioned, I, too, noticed that the chronograph second hand doesn't have a smooth sweep. My watch suffers from the famous Valjoux 7750 stutter but it does count time exceptionally well. I tested the timer with my iPhone's stopwatch app when I went on a food run. I set and stopped the watch and iPhone app at precisely the same moments and the watch was scary accurate; down to 0.3 of a second! I guess the Sellita SW500 movement suffers from the same issues that the Valjoux 7750 suffered from as well. I also feel the wobble and zipping sounds as the movement winds itself.
The watch has been running at +6 seconds a day, which is acceptable to me (my Seiko runs at +10-12 seconds a day). I am still testing and getting used to it and hope to have a better idea of how it will perform in the near future.
If you are a current or past 356 owner, please let me know how you like yours and if this model has any quirks or kinks that should be adjusted.
Here are some pics: