Stop and Go
Watch Time|February 2021
A split-seconds chronograph is a rather rare complication. Sinn offers the 910 Anniversary model at a reasonable price. We tested this retro stopwatch with contemporary features.
Martina Richter

While Sinn offers various classic models, especially in its Frankfurt Financial District Watches collection, the Frankfurt-based brand is mainly known for its sporty watches and functional timepieces. Among these is also a remarkably elegant chronograph. The 910 Anniversary Split-Seconds Chronograph, our test watch, and is well worth mentioning and deserves a strong recommendation for aficionados and collectors. This model, available in a limited edition of 300 pieces, is a rather rare item in the world of watches: a column-wheel chronograph with a split-seconds function at an affordable price of $6,330.

Carrying Along and Catching Up Require Stable Movement Constructions

You can hardly find anything comparable except for the noteworthy Double Felix from the small but fine Habring2 manufacture in Völkermarkt, Austria. This model is equipped with a hand-wound manufacture caliber and is priced at €7,750. And at the upper end of the scale is the A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split for $147,000, which has a triple rattrapante and flyback function in combination with numerous other technical refinements.

A split-second chronograph, also known as a double or rattrapante chronograph, has two elapsed-seconds hands, hence the name “double” chronograph. These twin hands can be started, stopped and reset to zero independently of each other, thus enabling you to tally intermediate times. The German term Schleppzeiger, which is written on the dial of our test watch and means “drag pointer,” emphasizes one aspect of a split-second chronograph: the first elapsed-seconds hand carries the second one along until the latter is halted independently of the former, which continues to move. The French term rattrapante, which means “recapture,” refers to the other aspect of this horological complication: the momentarily halted hand can be triggered to catch up with its companion, which continues measuring a lengthier elapsing interval.

No matter whether the process is seen as “carrying along” or as “catching up,” a split-second chronograph requires a stable and flexible connection, which must also be economical with the limited supply of energy available to keep the movement running. The engineering difficulties begin with the extremely long shafts of the two elapsed-seconds hands, which must be painstakingly guided through the entire movement all the way up to the dial. The elapsed seconds hand is affixed on the dial side to the chronograph’s central shaft, which is connected to the rattrapante heart. This heart’s job is to allow the catch-up elapsed-seconds hand to hurry toward its companion and resume running in synchrony with it after having been briefly stopped so an intermediate time could be read. The task of halting this slender needle is entrusted to a spring. When this spring is released, the halted hand speedily rejoins its companion.

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