(that 4 tho...)
When I started getting serious with my watch nerdery about 10 years ago, the Leonidas/Heuer aviator watches quickly became an obsession. The combination of the chronograph functionality, beautifully simple timer bezel, and clear arabic numerals with that gorgeous curved-back 4 in particular... I can't explain it... I just absolutely loved it. Function as form, with a real story to go with it. I briefly considered going all-in on one very early on, then backed away (really wish I had now, thinking back to 2008 prices).
Learning of Helmut Sinn's assumption of the Bundeswehr torch (in a sense), the 156 was next on the must-find list, evolving the classic dial design with the amazing 5100 functionality. Only problem was, I found myself usually flipping 42mm+ watches after a few weeks because they just felt too big. The newer Sinn 356 and 103's, while having great dimensions with the 7750, were going more in the Breguet XX design vein. Nothing wrong with that, but I really latched on to the 156's modern high-contrast orange/red chrono hands paired with the classic Bund dial type treatment. And that's when I found out about the perfect middle ground 256. Of course, they were long out of production and rarely seemed to come up for sale (and when they did they were either overpriced or beat - I love my preowned watches to have a bit of a story to them, but... they have to... work.)
Kept an eye out on and off over the last 3 years or so, but just never found the right one. Earlier this year, a promising lead on Ebay slipped thru my fingers, but popped back up in the forums shortly thereafter (at a premium, of course). Still, I figured at this point it's just worth it to go for it. Good direct communication with the seller up front, then he'd disappear for a week or two. Came back, sounded like we were on the same page again and ready to go, then he went completely AWOL for a month. Multiple unanswered emails, then the watch was mysteriously listed as sold with no notice whatsoever. Maybe he just decided to keep it?
Figured it was back to square one, maybe another one would surface after a few months, then BAM... out of the blue one hits at literally half the price I was getting ready to pay, in fantastic shape (minus the boxes/manuals - but watches are for wearing, no?) Excellent seller, arrived last week even better than described... haven't taken it off yet. The design, the functionality, the shirt-cuff-friendly dimensions... smooth but firm friction on the bezel... and I just can't stop staring down at the dial, fixating on the gorgeous curved-back 4.
If I'm dead honest, it's about 1.5mm smaller than what I'd consider perfection... and I do still love the center-seconds chrono and 24h subdial of the 5100... so a 156 is still on the horizon, but this surely isn't going anywhere - and I'm happy my first-ever Sinn is one with a bit of heritage to it.