Sinn. NOS Black PVD Chronograph with Day and Date
Lemania 5100 automatic movement, black dial, luminous baton numerals, luminous hands, outer minute divisions, inner raised bezel calibrated to 60 units, central orange chronograph hand with space shuttle wings, three subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 12 hour register and 24-hour indication, double window at 3 o'clock for day in German and date, black PVD bullnose-shaped case, two screw down chronograph buttons in the band, screw down crown, button in the band at 10 o'clock for rotating inner bezel, stainless steel screw back engraved for Erste Deutsche Spacelab Mission and 1st Automatic Chronograph in Space, black PVD Sinn bracelet and deployant clasp, case dial and movement signed
Sinn Watches began in 1961 by Helmut Sinn, a former World War II pilot who wanted to produce navigation and flight chronographs. In 1985, astronaut Reinhard Furrer wore a Sinn automatic chronograph on the Space Shuttle Challenger mission, which was the last successful mission of the Challenger. Known as the Spacelab D1 Mission, it was the first to have German mission management. Furrer’s example, in black PVD, was thought to have been the first automatic chronograph in space. However, this was not the case – it was later determined that the Sinn model was actually the second automatic chronograph in space, the first being the Seiko “Pogue”. Despite this, the Sinn model remains sought-after as a “space watch” for its proven durability and appealing design.
While Furrer likely wore the Sinn 140 chronograph, the model had been replaced by the time Sinn began advertising that their automatic chronograph had gone to space. These newer models were produced in both steel case with either a matte polished finish or a matte black PVD coating, and featured a chronograph (with central “concord” hand), day and date registers, and an inner rotating bezel. The movement was a Lemania 5100, which contained some parts made with nylon, an incredibly innovative and cost-cutting decision at the time. This movement allowed the watch to have both day and date windows, and a 24-hour register.
The present watch is an new old stock example of the rare Sinn 140/42 black PVD chronograph. Engraved on the case back with the D1 logo and “1st Automatic Chronograph in Space”, these watches are sought after by collectors for their importance to the history of aerospace. Even though the model was not actually the first automatic chronograph in space, it did prove that the self-winding mechanism of a wristwatch works even in weightless conditions. The present model, with its black PVD case and bracelet, appealing dial design with bright orange “Concord” chronograph hand, and useful complications, is the perfect combination of durability and aesthetic.