Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II
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  1. #1
    Member robi516's Avatar
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    Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    As you can see in my signature collection, I mostly collect dive watches. However, I have recently become interested in durable "explorer" type watches (e.g., Seiko Alpinist; Halios Tropik B), and would now like add a similar style watch with a UTC/GMT complication. I have been lusting over the Rolex Explorer II for quite some time, however, the ~$7k price tag is really tough for me to justify. I recently discovered Sinn watches and have been learning about their various models. It appears that the Sinn 856 UTC Tegimented is comparable in many ways to the Explorer II. They are both built for rugged outdoor use, and both have the second time zone complication. However, they differ stylistically quite a bit, and there is roughly a $5k cost differential which is very significant.

    I would appreciate any responses regarding personal experience with the Sinn 856 with respect to quality, durability, value, ease of use, U.S. dealers, customer service, etc. In addition, if you have any thoughts or opinions on how the 856 compares to the Rolex Explorer II, sharing them would be helpful to me.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.Name:  sinn856bracelet_2176_detail.jpg
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    Last edited by robi516; November 29th, 2013 at 18:33. Reason: add pics
    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits"

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  2. #2
    Administrator CMSgt Bo's Avatar
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    At the risk of sounding like a traitor, I say save up for the Explorer II. The Sinn is a phenomenal watch but if it is your second choice it will always be your compromise watch. In the end you won't be happy until you have your first choice. That being said, for me the Explorer is easier to read the GMT function at a glance and the Explorer can track 3 time zones, where the Sinn is only good for 2. Also the Explorer dresses up easier where the Sinn is more casual.
    Last edited by CMSgt Bo; November 29th, 2013 at 22:56.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    Neither. You mentioned the Halios Tropik B. I got that watch last week, and it's absolutely stunning. Both of the watches you have above are nice, but I find the Halios to be more attractive than either of them. Don't be fooled by price -- a $700 watch can look nicer than a $7,000 watch.

    Get the Halios, and you'll be a very happy man.
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  5. #4
    Member gr8sw's Avatar
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    the 856 is an excellent watch for the $ imho... quality is great, they are a perfect size and the thin profile and superb Sinn bracelet make it very comfortable to wear...

  6. #5
    Member robi516's Avatar
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefalope View Post
    Neither. You mentioned the Halios Tropik B. I got that watch last week, and it's absolutely stunning. Both of the watches you have above are nice, but I find the Halios to be more attractive than either of them. Don't be fooled by price -- a $700 watch can look nicer than a $7,000 watch.

    Get the Halios, and you'll be a very happy man.
    I already own the Halios Tropik B, and it is very nice. However, my OP was asking about a similar watch with a GMT/UTC (second time zone) complication. The Tropik is just time/date.
    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits"

    Rolex Polar Explorer II
    Omega Seamaster Pro Ceramic
    Omega Speedmaster Pro Moon Watch
    Doxa 1200T Mk-II Caribbean
    Damasko DA36
    Seiko Sumo Blue
    Seiko Prospex Solar Chrono

  7. #6
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    I can't speak about the Rolex, but the 856 is excellent. I've had mine for 18 months and there is not a mark on it; this might not be true for the Rolex. They aren't even close in price so it's hard to see how choosing is difficult. If you have Rolex money, get it. If not, the Sinn won't disappoint. Once have your first Sinn, you will probably want to look some other models with the cash that you didn't spend.

    One point that may be important to you: the Sinn is not a 'true UTC' watch. If you adjust the hour hand the UTC moves with it, and you then need to reset the UTC hand to its original time. I <believe> that the Rolex allows hour hand adjustment without moving the UTC. Perhaps somebody who knows can comment.

  8. #7
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    Quote Originally Posted by robi516 View Post
    I already own the Halios Tropik B, and it is very nice. However, my OP was asking about a similar watch with a GMT/UTC (second time zone) complication. The Tropik is just time/date.
    You are correct, sir -- my apologies for not paying attention.

    In that case, go with the Sinn. They're well-built, attractive watches.

    Then again, I don't like Rolex and wouldn't wear one, so I'm biased.

  9. #8
    Sinn Moderator gaopa's Avatar
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    I'm a fellow "SINNer" with a pair of U1's ( U1 T and U1 SDR ). I had a Sinn 857 UTC and never warmed up to it as I decided the dial was just too busy for me.

    For several years now I have owned and enjoyed a Rolex EXP II (my only Rolex and the only one I want). It is a classic as far as I'm concerned. Mine is the last generation 40mm model.
    Cheers, Bill P.


  10. #9
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    Same here - I wore an Exp II for about ten years and it's excellent.
    The hour hand flicks between hours when adjusting without stopping or changing the minutes, this doesn't affect the 24hr hand. So when entering a new timezone, just adjust the hour hand and the 24hr hand remains on the original time (which is normally set to 'home' time when I used it).
    You can get three timezones out of the GMT IIs due to the rotating bezel, but only two (main time and 24hr hand time) on the Exp II as its bezel is fixed.

    Out of the two I'd go with the Rolex for the slightly better/easier way it does things, I'd go for white dial as this goes perfectly in any situation, and I'd go for the previous model as that was the best execution I think (except perhaps the McQueen - even though this followed the original concept of the Explorer which slaved the unadjustable 24hr hand to the main hour hand).

    Last edited by andy_s; November 30th, 2013 at 19:55.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Sinn 856 vs. Rolex Explorer II

    Quote Originally Posted by andy_s View Post
    Same here - I wore an Exp II for about ten years and it's excellent.
    The hour hand flicks between hours when adjusting without stopping or changing the minutes, this doesn't affect the 24hr hand. So when entering a new timezone, just adjust the hour hand and the 24hr hand remains on the original time (which is normally set to 'home' time when I used it).
    That makes it far superior to the Sinn as a travel watch. Unfortunately, Sinn haven't implemented an independent hour hand on any of their watches.

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