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In the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in space and our history exploring the greatest reaches of the unknown. To enlightened collectors, watches worn by astronauts have long been a small but interesting niche. While recent events (Read: The history-making Christie's Speedmaster Auction in December of last year) have brought a lot of focus to Omega, there are other, less talked about watches that deserve to be a part of the conversation.
The Sinn 140S is one of those watches.
In 1985, a black PVD 140S donned the wrist of German astronaut Reinhard Furrer during the Spacelab D1 mission, the last successful mission of the Challenger, the shuttle that was tragically destroyed on its very next mission on January 28th, 1986.
Sinn championed their involvement in the space program, clinging to the claim that they were the first automatic chronograph in space. Savvy watch-o-philes will recall that this title actually belongs to Seiko and the 6139 Chronograph that accompanied astronaut Col. William Pogue during the Skylab 4 mission in 1974. Still, Sinn was able to capitalize on their presence in NASA's history, growing their visibility as an elite manufacture of robust and very reliable wristwatches - fully justifiable in our opinion!
As a timepiece, the Sinn 140 deserves considerable accolade. The substantial, beveled case is as pleasing to observe as it is to wear, its heft shielding the automatic chronograph unit from shocks and fluctuations in pressure and temperature. Inside, the Lemania 5100 drivetrain powers an array of highly useful fucntions; the most notable feature of the 5100 is the sweeping minute totalizing hand (usually denoted by the arrow tip) which allows for an accurate and easy read unlike smaller sub-dial minute counters. In addition, the 5100 offers an hour counter at 6:00, a running second at 9:00 and a 24-hour indicator at 12:00 - incredibly handy functions for any purpose-built chrono. The day/date window at 3:00 with quickset functionality (engaged by pulling the crown out to the first stop and rotating - clockwise for the date, counterclockwise for day) is a practical addition for daily wear and the internal rotating bezel (operated via the crown at 10:00) provides auxiliary time recording functionality.
The 140S is most often spied in a stainless steel case, making the PVD variants a pleasing alternative, especially in excellent condition, as is the case with this example. Further, the inclusion of the exceptional original PVD-coated NSA bracelet with signed expanding clasp is coup de tat for collectors.
With more and more enthusiasts catching NASA fever, and prices for Apollo-era Speedmasters on the rise, it is the perfect time to capture an incredible space watch that lurks subtly below the radar... for now.
Steel PVD-coated case is approximately 43mm (excluding the crown). Lemania 5100 Automatic Chronograph movement. Mid 1980s.
Overall Condition: The watch is excellent condition over all with no noteworthy blemishes or scratches to the PVD coating. The matte black dial is in exceptional condition with no signs of discoloration. Luminous material on dial and hands has aged evenly. Handset is similarly excellent condition. Pushers engaged chronograph functions crisply and quick-set setting function perfectly. Internal bezel rotates smoothly. Signed crown and screw case back.
Includes 20mm PVD-coated NSA bracelet with signed expanding clasp (with extra links!) and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.