Helmut Sinn: a Legend Becomes 100

The pilot and watch entrepreneur celebrates his 100 birthday even with a flying chronograph.

He was very passionate about flight instructors and rally drivers before he founded his first own watch company in the mid-1950s. With his often idiosyncratic and innovative ideas, he has strongly influenced the watch. On September 3, 2016, Helmut Sinn celebrates his 100 birthday.

With Helmut Sinn one combines watch history–technical developments, self-designed wristwatches, Frankfurt companies. But the Helmut Sinn, who was born on September 3, 1916 in Metz and grew up in the Palatinate, was first and foremost a pilot. He wanted to fly as a little boy. Early on, he liked planes and went to a flying school. The conclusion coincided with the beginning of the Second World War. The young pilot Helmut Sinn was used as a reconnaissance aircraft by the Luftwaffe. He just wore it hard. He wanted to fly, but not at war. He had 1942 landing and was injured in a mission in Russia. After that he trained as an instrument and art instructor pilot mainly on the Ju52 and the Ju88. Around 15,000 starts and landings he has laid down in his life. He also worked as a rally driver and became a Porsche-motorized VW Beetle 1953 class winner at the Algiers-Cape Town rally. At that time, he was already working on time instruments for motorsport, especially with rally car-board clocks.

After the end of the war, Helmut Sinn first founded a watch wholesaler before he 1961 his own watch brand under his name. He developed numerous technical novelties for his self-built mechanical wristwatches, which he was extremely innovative in direct sales to the end customers for those circumstances. A decisive development especially for clocks was the own caliber HS 58 with a central minute counter towards the end of the 1950s. This caliber has been used extensively since 1957 in Lufthansa machines, in some Junkers and until several years ago still in many airplanes of the Bundeswehr. Sense watches made it to the universe. 1985, the German physicist and astronaut Reinhard Furrer carried the 140 s on the wrist during the Spacelab mission D1. Thus he proved that a mechanical sense watch with automatic movement also works in weightlessness. During the Mir-92 mission 1992, the astronaut Klaus-Dietrich Flade flew with the 142 s of Sinn through all and 1993 was the meaning of 142 in Mission D2 aboard the Columbia. In professional circles, Helmut Sinn is considered one of the forerunners of pilot clocks. His timepiece showed high functionality and a very typical design language with a high recognition value.

1994, the already 78-year-old decided to retire from the operative business. He sold the company “Helmut Sinn special watches” to his successor, Dipl.-Ing. Lothar Schmidt, who came from the IWC and already worked in the company. Helmut Sinn hoped to be able to continue to work in the now as a sense special watches GmbH, company. But there was controversy. Helmut Sinn moved to court and lost. Sometimes he is still bitter about it today.

For a long time, however, the busy inventor and entrepreneur did not stop in retirement. 1995, he took over the shares of Guinand SA of the Guinand family and founded the company “Jubiljara watches Inh” in the following year. Helmut Sinn “in Frankfurt am Main. The connection to Guinand ranged back to the founding years of his first company. Since 1960 until the 1990s, the Swiss manufacturer made a large part of the clocks for meaning.

By the company “Jubiljara watches inh. Helmut Sinn “initially two models were offered at Guinand in Switzerland: Jubiljara for fashion pocket watches and Chrono-series for classic pilot clocks and aviator chronographs. In the following years the production of the own lines Guinand, Chrono and Jubiljara then came to Germany. From “Jubiljara watches inh. Helmut Sinn “was finally the company Guinand watches Helmut Sinn GmbH, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. During this time, Helmut Sinn developed a significant world clock with a hand-wound, which displayed four other time zones in addition to the local clock–completely independent of each other, but driven by only one movement. The senior is still particularly proud of this development today. Until 2014, Helmut was the owner of the company, since the change of the year to 2015 it is now dipl.-Ing. Matthias Klüh. The native of Frankfurt will continue the watchmaking production in the tradition of Guinand, and “the assortment will continue to bear the handwriting of the watch pioneer Helmut Sinn”, he assures, “just as his direct sales will remain”. At Guinand, Helmut Sinn is a welcome guest.

For his 100 birthday, Guinand launches the chronograph HS100 in a edition limited to 100 copies. This is a tribute to the enthusiastic pilots for a watch. It is based on a model from the 1960s/1970er-Jahren, when the collaboration between Helmut Sinn and Guinand began. On the dial, White Totalizerss stand out from black ground. Two red hands and the black-red-white look of the scales take reference to Frankfurt am Main, the present location of the former Swiss-based brand Guinand. The dial also bears the addition “Frankfurt am Main” below the Guinand logo. In addition to the chronograph functions, which derives from an automatic caliber ETA-Valjoux 7750, the HS100 also offers a rotatable airplane bezel made of light metal for short-time measurements in both directions. The 40.6 mm wide and up to 20 bar pressure-proof housing made of stainless steel carries sapphire crystal above the dial and in the ground. The Chronographendrücker are sealed like the screw crown with double O-rings. The limitation number and the model name are engraved between the bands. The Guinand HS100 1,499 euro. Mari

Tags: automatic clocks, chronograph, date display, German watch manufacturer, stainless steel watches, aviator watches, Guinand, Sinn special watches, sports watches, pocket watch, watches up to 2,000 euro, Valjoux 7750, World time Clocks