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Sinn 356: Valjoux7750 or SellitaSW500 Help & Thoughts

  1. Jwit Not a doctor, but plays one on ΩF Jul 22, 2017

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    Hello everyone!

    I have had my sights set on a Sinn 356 Flieger for a while now and I was hoping to get some opinions from you guys on which route to take.

    Aesthetically I love this watch, it is everything I love about a chronograph and exactly what you would expect a tool watch to look like. It's incredibly legible, in a perfectly sized case(38.5mm) and is very versatile. However as I have been saving up for it I have found myself questioning the path I should take regarding the movement.

    In the not too distant past Sinn stopped using the Valjoux 7750, and put a Sellita SW500 inside instead. I'm still not sure of the reason for the change. Here are some of the questions I have, and I am hoping some of our watchmakers(@Archer @ChrisN @Tmorehouse51 @JimInOz ) can chime in as well if they have any experience with both movements.

    -Do you guys think the Sellita is as reliable and accurate as the Valjoux?
    -Are there any known issues with Sellita I should be aware of?
    -Is the quality of the movement the same, or does one stand out from the other in terms of quality?
    -Do you think this movement fits in with Sinn's reputation for making the ultimate tool watch?

    I have not decided whether to buy new with the Sellita or hunt down a like-new one packing the Valjoux yet, still saving for it. Of course other opinions(and thread drift) are welcome.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    Here are some pictures found online (because we always need pictures)

    -Jake
     
    IMG_3259.JPG IMG_3260.JPG IMG_3261.JPG IMG_3262.JPG IMG_3263.JPG 5018C303-D0EA-4FCB-81DF-BC2C195929EC-2431-000001C0F691E283.jpeg EBD44110-F924-476C-BD1C-B85D293932B6-2431-000001C10456D625.jpeg 31C82C72-D202-4E77-836C-A0A3369A8E6B-2431-000001C10B74B58C.jpeg
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  2. Uniqez Jul 22, 2017

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    Nice looking watch Jake. I have no information on Sellita movement, but if you would hunt for the one in the good shape with Valjoux, would be a win win for you. You are not going to pay MSRP for it, plus you would get movement you know.
    Does it have a sapphire crystal?
     
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  3. Jwit Not a doctor, but plays one on ΩF Jul 22, 2017

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    Part of the problem I am having deciding if I want to buy preowned or new. It's a watch I plan to keep for a long time so I New would be great to have my own history with it etc.

    It comes in a couple variations. The first is a solid caseback with acrylic crystal, second sapphire front and back crystals (and different dial options), and then the tegimented cases all have sapphire. I would like the acrylic personally. Awesome distortion, warmth, and the ability to polish out scratches in the future.
     
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  4. Uniqez Jul 22, 2017

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    I like that matte case finish. And I'm sucker for a black dials. If you want to "make" your own vintage, definitely should go with new, unless you can find one in un-worn condition.
    Cool watch from all angles.
     
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  5. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jul 22, 2017

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    Sinns are junk, stop buying them so they can come down in price and I can get more. :whistling:

    In all seriousness Sinn seems to keep playing with models and silently updating them to improve them over the years. Sometimes they have additional letters in the model names that never get published and update with the changes, sometimes not.

    I trust Sinn and their keeping with Helmut's philosophy to keep improving the watches incrementally over the years, to perfect them in a very uniquely German way.

    I'm going to guess both movements are good, I'd prefer the valjoux for irrational reasons.

    Sinn are very hunt able on US eBay, finding the right variation at the right price can be very enjoyable.
     
  6. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Jul 22, 2017

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    1) ETA announcing new Swatch only sales policy
    2) Invicta saying Valjoux but actually using Selita scandal.
    3) overall resistance to change by Watch Community
    4) selita as sub to ETA for mods to 7750 so they are quite capable of making their own.

    This is what I just pulled from Web. I'm sure the Sinn will stand behind their product and that the movement has been in use long enough for any bugs to be gone.
     
  7. Jwit Not a doctor, but plays one on ΩF Jul 22, 2017

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    @Foo2rama I completely understand the irrational reason for wanting the Valjoux, this exact type of irrationality is what has made me start this thread. I've also put a lot of thought into where I want to go with my collection(full details in upcoming 1 year at OF thread).

    I also agree that Sinn wouldn't put a movement in that doesn't meet their standards, and they would modify it as needed. Maybe it's just a case of trying to stick with what is already known and trusted and resisting change as Larry suggests.

    @Larry S thank you for the key points, and that seems to be the general concensus for these changes. I may be overthinking it and forgetting about Sinn's reputation and commitment to their products and customers
     
    Edited Jul 22, 2017
  8. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jul 25, 2017

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    I'll start by saying I am a fan of the brand, and have owned a 356 Flieger II in the past - now owned by another OF member...

    [​IMG]

    The other watch in that photo is my wife's 456 with blue MOP dial - she loves that watch and still has it. I didn't sell my 356 because of any problems with it, but simply because I have a Speedmaster and so I was not really wearing the Sinn much anymore. I do miss it sometimes though...

    [​IMG]

    So having said all that, and having serviced a number of Sinn watches, and a number of watches with Sellita movements, I'll give you my thoughts:

    1 - I've not worked on an SW500 just yet, but have worked on other Sellita movements in the past. I can only use those as a comparison, and in my experience the Sellita movements have not been as accurate and reliable as the ETA counterparts. More on this in a minute, but I often cite the 7750 as the most accurate movements I work on - they generally take very little effort to get running VERY well, so they set a very high bar to begin with.

    2 - Yes there have been in the past. Again I can't speak to the SW500 specifically, but having seen a bunch of damaged SW200's and the "fixed" SW200-1's, they have had reliability issues as a brand.

    3 - Seems like you are asking the same questions in different ways...so again I'll just say that the 7750 typically sets the bar very high.

    4 - This is subjective so I can't really answer that...

    It is often stated on watch forums that these Sellita movements are "identical" to their ETA counterparts. From a collector point of view that may be right to a degree, but from a watchmaker's point of view it certainly is not. Most people refer to the envelope dimensions and functionality, rather than specific details. Let's look at some comparison shots to see what differences there are between these movements.

    Here are two barrel bridges - calibers they are from are noted on the photo:

    [​IMG]

    You can see at the red arrows that one has pins on the underside of the bridge, and the other has holes. These are to locate the bridge on the main plate of the movement. Not saying one is better than the other, but this means that all bridges and main plates can't be swapped between the ETA and Sellita movements. This may seem minor, but the result is that you need specific parts for the Sellita - ETA parts often simply can't be used, and supplies of Sellita parts are far less widespread than ETA parts are - only last year did my local supplier start to carry Sellita parts.

    Burt the differences go deeper than that - different tooth profiles on the ratchet wheels:

    [​IMG]

    Tooth profiles on a lot of parts are simply not the same, and this means they are not compatible again, but it also has implications with how smoothly wheels are driven, and how robust things are.

    Another example are the reversing wheels - different pinions on them:

    [​IMG]

    To illustrate what sort of impact design decisions like tooth profiles can have, here is a screen shot of an old SW200 technical guide - note that this information has been removed from the current versions for whatever reason:

    [​IMG]

    So as the text explains, the SW200 has many cases of the ratchet wheel teeth shearing off under use, so they beefed up the tooth profile in an effort to solve this problem. It required changing all the parts that this wheel interacts with also. So the SW200-1 is the "improved" version of this...

    [​IMG]

    Note the broken ratchet wheel teeth, and the version of the movement...SW200-1. So saying that because they assembled movements for ETA means they can make a movement of the same quality is an assumption that history has proven to be incorrect, at least in some fashion anyway.

    I'm not here to bash Sellita, and I have seen many accounts from people who have watches with their movements in them, and they report that everything is fine. I'm just showing you what I have personally experienced with these movements as they come across my bench, and hopefully illustrating that these are far from being identical to the ETA movements they replace.

    I'm not saying they will blow up on you, but you should be aware that they have had issues in the past, and not only are parts for these not as widespread as the ETA movements, they are also quite a bit more expensive. Just one example - part 1488 reversing wheel for an ETA 2824-2 is $12 - same wheel for an SW200-1 is $41 from my local supplier...

    Personally if it were me making the buy, I would get the 7750 version.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  9. Jwit Not a doctor, but plays one on ΩF Jul 25, 2017

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    @Archer thank you very much for taking the time to give such a detailed response. This is exactly the kind of information I was hoping to learn through this thread. I am also quite surprised at the visible diffence in machining quality.

    I am flip flopping back and forth a bit trying to decide which movement to go with and now I am definitely leaning back toward the Valjoux. Even if it somehow costs more to purchase one it seems that I will save on parts during service in the long run.

    Thanks again Al!
     
  10. Superfunk Aug 30, 2017

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    had the 7750 and loved it , great watch
     
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  11. jerryct Aug 30, 2017

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    I love Sinn and I had the opportunity to own the sinn 103 with the valjoux 7750. I currently have the sinn 356 with the SW500 movement. The reason I went for the SW500 sinn356 is simply because one with good price came up on the 2nd hand market and I just got it. I do know that the one with valjoux 7750 commands slightly higher price on the 2nd hand market.

    I haven't owned them long enough to see the difference but so far I haven't had problems with the SW500. Sinn is well built and like what many had said, they have a reputation to keep. I'm sue they had ensure that SW500 is reliable enough before replacing the valjoux 7750. Then again it is too early to say whether one movement is better than the other.

    My personal voice is the most basic version, with sealed caseback and acrylic dome crystal. I highly recommend going for the acrylic as it gives the watch and dial a warm feel and an added dimension to the watch. Sapphire crystal appears flat and just doesn't distort the dial the same way as the acrylic dome. But this remains a personal choice ;)
    If you can, get one with the H-link bracelet too. The feel and finishing of the bracelet is amazing. I have the bracelet but I prefer to wear my watches on strap more.

    Good luck for your hunt!

    Here's some photos for you:
     
    IMG_9048.JPG IMG_9001.JPG IMG_8938.JPG
    Edited Aug 30, 2017
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  12. Jwit Not a doctor, but plays one on ΩF Aug 30, 2017

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    Thank you for your input! Your model is the exact one I want. I would love a sapphire caseback but in reality i would only look occasionally. The Acrylic done is what attracted me in the first place. I have actually found a retailing that sells the basic model (with the Sellita) on a bracelet for slightly less than the US distributor. As much as I would love the Valjoux I have decided to go new with the Sellita under warranty.

    Btw welcome to OF! I've been following you on IG for a bit now, glad to see a familiar [watch]face. :thumbsup:
    Only delay in the new acquisition is the sale of my 556i:whistling:
     
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  13. jerryct Aug 30, 2017

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    Haha! Send me a DM on IG so that I know which one is you. Nice to "meet" you on OF.

    You would not regret this watch. Trust me.
     
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  14. citizenrich Metal Mixer! Sep 24, 2017

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    Reading some of Al's comments = going to college for free. As always: thank you, homie!!
     
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  15. citizenrich Metal Mixer! Sep 24, 2017

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    I don't have a Flieger but I've one of the cousins: a 7751 and it's hands down one of my favorite watches. I never thought I could put up with all those complications but as long as you wear faithfully, it's a pleasure.

    I feel like I stole this watch. 900 US and I don't think she was worn for more than 50 or 60 hours before I got my grubby paws on it. Sinn : count me in(n)
     
    IMG_2441.JPG IMG_2404.JPG
    Edited Sep 25, 2017
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  16. pdxleaf May 31, 2021

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    (Blast from the past) Happy Monday, or Happy Memorial day in the USofA.

    The reason for the bump is I am liking this Hanhart 417 ES that uses an SW510. Your original comparison to the ETA was based on the SW200-1, which was because you hadn't serviced the SW500 yet.

    Question for you this fine day, since this original post, have you had the opportunity to service an SW500 series and if so, would you say they have improved over the earlier SW200-1?

    Cheers,
    Dave

    A picture from the Hanhart website:

    hanhart-417-es-2020-2-1-1024x853.jpg
     
  17. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jun 1, 2021

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    I can only service what people ask me to, and so far no one has asked me to service any of the Sellita 7750 clones, so I don’t have any information to add there.

    Cheers, Al