Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement
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  1. #1
    Member Dennis Parris's Avatar
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    Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    I made a passing comment a couple months ago (during the brief snafu when Sinn attempted to not disclose their movement manufacturers) that there was more motivation than ever for Sinn to design and produce an in-house movement.

    Reports keep coming from customers dissatisfied with the Sellita movements in their watches. It's reasonable to believe that Sellita is struggling to ramp up production and meet demand as Swatch continues to tighten their grip on ETA and Valjoux movements, and that eventually they'll sort out the issues and start putting out reliable and accurate movements at a large scale. I also believe that Sinn puts more effort into inspecting and regulating the movements they buy than any other brand at their price point.

    Nevertheless, as some owners here can attest, a few lemons have managed to sneak through. For a brand that prides itself on functionality above all else, even one mechanical issue is too many. Cosmetic flaws, squeaky bracelets-- fine. But professionals rely on these watches to function. The prospect of repair service being covered under warranty is little consolation if your watch fails when you need it most.

    All this is to say that to secure the future of their brand, Sinn should seriously be considering an in-house movement. The cost is enormous and the risk is huge. When a Sellita movement fails, we can blame Sellita. When an in-house movement fails there's nothing to hide behind! But, Sinn has unique advantages compared to other potential movement manufacturers. They already have a large amount of knowledge, technical skill, and machinery in place for their Diapal and SZ-01 modifications. They would hardly be starting from scratch.

    So, a few questions for the members here:

    1. Do you think Sinn should go in-house?

    If so:

    2. Would you be wiling to pay the higher costs that would inevitably be associated with in-house?

    If not:

    3. Is there a potential here for an intermediary step, where Sinn continues to use Sellita but modifies ALL of their mechanical movements to ensure reliability? (E.G. Diapal across the line).

    4. Is there a potential here for more quartz calibers? When properly constructed, mechanical watches are robust enough for professional use (as demonstrated by the 756 on the wrist of a crash test dummy!). But quartz undoubtedly has the edge for shear functionality. I think many of Sinn's customers feel no romance for mechanical and would gladly take a quartz option.

    5. Is there a potential for Sinn to start using Japanese movements, and would you be willing to purchase them? Seiko, and more recently Miyota, certainly make robust movements. Even the lowly 7S26, the Honda Civic of mechanical movements, is famous for going up to a decade without servicing. On the higher end of what Seiko offers, surely Sinn could find a movement that meets or exceeds their requirements.

    Lots to think about. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    I personally would not be a fan of Miyota movements inside a Sinn. Nothing against higher end movements though.... if for example they started using GS movements I'd certainly be fine with that (although I don't see why GS or Sinn would do this). I think Sinn going in house would be very interesting although I'd be afraid to see what the prices started to look like.... I already find Sinn to be getting a bit pricey. In fact I think they're beyond pricey.... they're overpriced IMO these days, seeing as how the more expensive models seem to struggle to sell on the second hand market. SO I think Sinn needs to come DOWN in price, not go up.

    As for Sinn's current movements, I love the brand of course as many of you probably know. But I've had my own share of movement problems with Sinn chronos... and let's just say if I were a professional I certainly wouldn't trust my life to a Sinn chrono....

  3. #3
    Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    I think in-house movements are a ridiculous needless inefficiency and fad in the industry. It's like if UPS lost a few packages so a clothing manufacturer started their own delivery service, just doesn't make sense. (kind of ironic as I suppose that sums up mechanical watches in general)

    ETA / Sellita is an artifact of the quartz armageddon and the Swiss government helping to revive the industry: ultimately this resulted in a Swatch owned business having to supply movements to its competitors which doesn't make sense, and now the industry has to unwind that ... so to speak.

    The best way to do that is to let market forces do their work until we get highly reliable mass market movements - for most buyers, the movement is a commodity and we're really buying the innovations around it.

    I'd much rather have a healthy set of companies that focus on case design and adjacent innovations, than 100 companies who all waste their resources creating the exact same indistinguishable thing

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  5. #4
    Moderator Spring-Diver's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    I’m fine with my Sellita, Soprod & ETA Top Grade movement’s. They all run in the +1 to +6 SPD range. An IHM would add to much cost and make servicing a costly experience, sending back to Germany. I would definitely be interested in more quartz options with the UX movement, without the oil.

    No Japanese movements needed, unless it was a regulated 8L35 ;)

    Cheers
    Shannon
    My Seiko's: SBDB001 SD600M, SBDX001 Marine Master, SRP777, SRPA21 PADI,

    Casio: ProTrek 2500-A1

    My Sinn’s: EZM9, EZM14–T1, EZM14-T1B, U1 Professional, 836

    Want

    Aquadive: Bathyscaphe Poseidon GMT 100

    Sinn: U2C, UX S, 857 S, 900 S

    Seiko: SNR031J1, SNR035J1

  6. #5
    Moderator Spring-Diver's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    Duplicate ;(
    My Seiko's: SBDB001 SD600M, SBDX001 Marine Master, SRP777, SRPA21 PADI,

    Casio: ProTrek 2500-A1

    My Sinn’s: EZM9, EZM14–T1, EZM14-T1B, U1 Professional, 836

    Want

    Aquadive: Bathyscaphe Poseidon GMT 100

    Sinn: U2C, UX S, 857 S, 900 S

    Seiko: SNR031J1, SNR035J1

  7. #6
    Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Spring-Diver View Post
    I’m fine with my Sellita, Soprod & ETA Top Grade movement’s.
    I'd love to know Damasko's numbers on their German-made IHM in terms of reliability, service costs, sales numbers, etc ... that would probably tells us market-wise what Sinn's experience would be.

  8. #7
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    Seems to be a complicated issue.

    As a customer, I find that reliability and ease-of-repairability, along with cost and time-needed-for-service, are the important factors. Whether it’s an in-house movement or not is not a factor of consideration.

    But I can easily see Sinn wanting to move upmarket or wanting to control quality/access to movements as primary considerations.

    I would only say to be careful about moving upmarket too quickly as they can price themselves out from the current base of customers.
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  9. #8
    Member Dennis Parris's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by zetaplus93 View Post
    Seems to be a complicated issue.

    As a customer, I find that reliability and ease-of-repairability, along with cost and time-needed-for-service, are the important factors. Whether it’s an in-house movement or not is not a factor of consideration.

    But I can easily see Sinn wanting to move upmarket or wanting to control quality/access to movements as primary considerations.

    I would only say to be careful about moving upmarket too quickly as they can price themselves out from the current base of customers.

    Definitely a complicated issue!

    I wouldn't want to see them move upmarket. Rather, I'd like to see them secure their current market position by, as you say, controlling the quality of their movements and their access to them. Sinn becoming a little more expensive for increased QC would be tolerable, but becoming a luxury brand wouldn't make much sense.

    Other than waiting for Sellita to sort themselves out, I see a reasonable path forward that doesn't require going fully in-house:

    First would be to go all-Sellita for their mechanical models, and devote a little more time and energy to stripping down the movements, adding a few in-house components, and making every adjustment that's necessary to make the watch truly functional and reliable. Sinn could balance out the increased cost (to both customers and themselves) by adding a quartz option to each of their major lines. Even if they charged less for the quartz models than what they're currently charging, their profit margins for quartz would almost certainly be greater. My instinct looking around the forums is that there are folks who would buy them, especially at a slightly more attractive price. The folks who really want mechanical but aren't convinced by Sellita might well pay a bit more knowing that Sinn has taken apart the movement and added some nice touches. With this path, every model becomes more reliable, and we split the difference in terms of cost.

    I'd also like to hear more opinions about the Seiko 6R (and 8R for the chronographs). The 6R comes in a 4hz variant and has a great track record. Of course, I don't know how difficult and costly it would be to transfer the Diapal and SZ-01 modifications over to the Seiko movements. If it's possible and cost-effective, and Seiko is willing to sell them (like they're doing with the 4R series) I would celebrate that collaboration. Those are solid movements.
    GrussGott likes this.

  10. #9
    Member Mr Auto's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by egwatchfan View Post
    I personally would not be a fan of Miyota movements inside a Sinn. Nothing against higher end movements though.... if for example they started using GS movements I'd certainly be fine with that (although I don't see why GS or Sinn would do this). I think Sinn going in house would be very interesting although I'd be afraid to see what the prices started to look like.... I already find Sinn to be getting a bit pricey. In fact I think they're beyond pricey.... they're overpriced IMO these days, seeing as how the more expensive models seem to struggle to sell on the second hand market. SO I think Sinn needs to come DOWN in price, not go up.

    As for Sinn's current movements, I love the brand of course as many of you probably know. But I've had my own share of movement problems with Sinn chronos... and let's just say if I were a professional I certainly wouldn't trust my life to a Sinn chrono....
    I agree! Miyota definitely wouldnt be an option! Sinn is considered a luxury tool watch and Miyota doesn't have that kind of rep (yet). Then there's that unidirectional rotor....it rattles like crazy and would totally take away from that solid Greman feel that we're used to from Sinn.

    An in house movment although cool is unnecessary and would push what I would consider overpriced watches up even more. The watch would also have to be sent back to Germany for servicing/repairs more headache for them and the customer.

    I think HAQ would be a great option for Sinn. better accuracy, thinner cases and lower costs (presumably) Same goes for the other tooly brands like Damasko.
    farmerboy likes this.

  11. #10
    Member Dennis Parris's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity for a Sinn In-House Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Auto View Post
    I agree! Miyota definitely wouldnt be an option! Sinn is considered a luxury tool watch and Miyota doesn't have that kind of rep (yet). Then there's that unidirectional rotor....it rattles like crazy and would totally take away from that solid Greman feel that we're used to from Sinn.

    An in house movment although cool is unnecessary and would push what I would consider overpriced watches up even more. The watch would also have to be sent back to Germany for servicing/repairs more headache for them and the customer.

    I think HAQ would be a great option for Sinn. better accuracy, thinner cases and lower costs (presumably) Same goes for the other tooly brands like Damasko.


    The 7750 has a unidirectional rotor...

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