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Guinand Chrono-Automatic 40.50.02 shares more than one common gene with Sinn watches. Helmut Sinn, since acquiring a long term supplier to his previously owned company Sinn, has maintained his long standing commitment to producing timepieces of exceptional quality and superb dial clarity. In addition to this, the watch I purchased (and I am sure others that Guinand sells, as well) are all steeped in best value-for-money philosophy.

The Chrono came minimally packaged - sufficiently wrapped in a UPS soft envelope with brown packaging tape, in which lay a nondescript brown 4-inch-cube cardboard box. As you open the box, you are greeted with packing peanuts covering a faux-aluminium box with a faux blue velvet interior. The watch is covered in a soft plastic shrink wrap that protects the crystal on a long Atlantic voyage over 6 days. Despite the high cost of 'insurance and shipping' of about Euro 90 - expect custom clearance hold-ups etc that all add up in terms of time and cost to you. I paid a $33 on top of all this to UPS as UPS brokerage fee (only they know what it is - although I have an idea). All-in the cost of this watch to the US is around $1,250 (given current Euro/US$ Fx) and it is an amazing value for money option over Sinn 103.

The Bezel, crystal, strap, and case

Hard anodized aluminium non-clicking bezel with black top and sides sits on the dial perimeter. The bezel is marked with markers every hour with a triangle at 12-o-clock. This triangle has a luminescence dot in the middle that glows in the dark. The crystal is slightly doomed without any AR coatings. I find the set up to simple and effective. Clicking bezel with lumed markers would have been nice. AR coating probably is the most I miss on this watch. The entire bezel is black - personally I think having the sides of the bezel match in color and material to the case would likely be better. I am sure all this would add to cost. The strap is black leather I ordered - good quality and pliable. The buckle and tang are brushed steel which match the case color and name on it. Pictures below show a Maratac Nato I put on it (Desert Tan color). The case color is grey, akin to light titanium and the finish is flawless - so much so that it seems to be made of plastic - but surely isn't. The lugs have beveled edges that somehow lend to this plasticky impression (at least to me) although others that have seen this watch have said "wow" to the case. I like it enough to not have given it another thought thus far. The pushers are hard and a definite click is heard when pressed. Pull out crown is nice with a "G" marked on it.

The dial and movement
The vertical walls from the crystal to the dial, inside the watch, is a near-polished steel ring with slight brush marks (or turning marks) that are only visible on very close inspection. It has a raw, recently turned metal quality to it. It reflects some light but not as much as a full polished version may...but a little more than a brushed steel would. At the outer circumference of the dial have hour markets which have been further graded into 5 equidistant markers, which have been further graded into one-fifth of a second markers. This feature, which lends to visually attractive feature to me, also gives the impression of precision (and yes, I know - that is why I used the word "impression"). The font of hour marks is uncommon and 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11 are shown. Of these 8, 10, and 11 have been part cut off due to sub-dials. At 3-o-clock position is a day and date window. Watches shipped outside of Germany come with day-ring with English, but if you wanted one in German, I am sure Mr Hassler would be more than happy to assist. The day-date window is boxed with white lines and the brand name Guinand appears on top of the window, and the word Automatic is written below it. I believe the window without any white boundaries would probably be better. I also think the word Automatic could be in a different color (say red) to further increase legibility and add some color to the sterile dial. The 3 sub-dials are ridged below the dial surface just a tad to give relief and this provides some texture to the dial. Sub-dial at 9-o-clock is a continuous running second hand, 12-o-clock has a 30-minute dial, and 6-o-clock position has a 12-hour sub-dial. Right below the 6-o-clock dial are the words Swiss Made. All markers, sub-dial hands, fonts and words on the dial are in pure white color. The minute and hour hands are in white with a slight tinge of yellow/green that comes with layering of luminescence paint coats that are applied. The lume is probably a 4 or 5 on a scale of 10, with 10 being Sinn U1 or Stowa Flieger lume. This is another area where I think they could make some improvement. The movement is Vajoux and you can find more information on this site.

So enough said. Final thoughts -- a great value for money watch - eye catching dial - every attractive. Dial clarity and legibility is great. Technical watch feel. Two things that could be different - AR coating and Lume - other than that - for this price, this is as good as it gets.

Buying experience - Mr Hassler is very helpful - he takes calls directly, responds to emails within hours and it a amazingly helpful. Despite the pain it seems to have money wired, it's not really as bad. One day, with sufficient volumes Guinand may be able to justify the paypal mode of payment. Till, then ..... this Guinand joins the German stable with Stowa Flieger, Junkers, Sinn U1 and Stowa MO. IWC, and some other ones aside...

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Thank you for writing the thorough review.

The lugs have beveled edges on the 103 case, as well as the first of the
EZM series watches. Most people report happiness with those watches,
and I think it looks right. I think it is all right if Herr Sinn continues in the
103 tradition.

Congratulations on getting a fine watch.


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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Nice pics and a great collection!
Your post has convinced me that my 2013 new purchase will be a Guinand.
Perhaps I can request red chrono hands.
Enjoy your new Guinand.
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Greg - I would highly encourage you to get the red hands for at least one sub-dial (maybe one at 9-o-clock one) and see if they can substitute the that dial hand with ones in 60-series watches as seen at 12 or 6-o-clock sub-dial. Then you break the sterility and a olive nato will look superb. Just my 2 cents...
 

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Congratulations on the beautiful watch. My 40.50-03 says hello. I would like to confirm that Mr. Hassler is a joy to work with. He answered all emails promptly and was more than happy to provide me with the modifications I wanted. The more I wear the watch the more I fall in love. I am already saving for my next Guinand.
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Very nice watch wear it in good health.

However I can't understand Mr Sinn's obession with "Swiss Made" in Guinand watches.This used to be on old Sinn models as well.

AFAIK his company offices are in Frankfurt,but maybe again his watches are outsourced in Switzerland
 

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Yep, just another one of the German companies, but not German Made watches that tend to show up on the German watch forum. I recently even saw a Rolex posted on the forum just because the founder was German. I mean, you can't get more Swiss than Rolex, yet..... Again German Made and German owned gets confusing to some people for some reason.

Very nice watch wear it in good health.

However I can't understand Mr Sinn's obession with "Swiss Made" in Guinand watches.This used to be on old Sinn models as well.

AFAIK his company offices are in Frankfurt,but maybe again his watches are outsourced in Switzerland
 

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Let's ask Mr. Sinn himself. What does he say ?

About GUINAND: This Swiss company was founded in 1865 by the Guinand brothers in Les Brenets in the Jura Mountains, and has been under my ownership since 1996. GUINAND came to be known through the production of the first chronographs and split seconds chronographs. I have worked together with Guinand since 1953, when they started producing all Sinn watches up until 1994. GUINAND was well-known for its complication-watches and produced watches for many reputable watch companies in Switzerland.
 
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