"Big, Chunky, Legible, Indestructable."
Verified Owner Comments: I bought this watch about 2 weeks ago. If you're looking at the specs and photos thinking it's just a big, heavy, chunky beast, you're exactly right. This is a tool watch through and through. Nothing delicate about it.
After two weeks of daily wear (and I am hard on my things) it shows absolutely no signs of wear, not even on the clasp where I tend to pick up scratches on my other watches. While I'm admittedly a desk diver and haven't put it through its paces in the deep, having it in hand gives me confidence using it in every facet of life without thought to 'should I take my watch off?'. While I would likely not survive a trip to the bottom of the ocean, or a nuclear explosion, this watch will keep ticking happy as a clam. Maybe happier.
The dial is stark white with black hands and markers all around so it's super legible. The bezel has good clicking action - I haven't counted the clicks, but it feels super sturdy. Admittedly for the date quick-set, getting the watch into second position can be a little bit of a challenge, but the it works great once it's there. The crown screws down which is unsurprising for a diver, but thought I'd mention it. I think it was an interesting choice for them to put the lume on the black parts of the dial and the black hands.
The black absorbs some of the light so it's not as bright as some of my other watches in the dark. I'd expected (and think it would be cool) if they'd lumed the whole stark white dial and left the black stuff black for a fun inverted effect (think Timex Indiglo sort of vibe, but on an automatic). Sadly that was not the case. If you're interested in a big, chunky, basically indestructible dive watch, look no further.
A note on Watch Buys: The team kept in touch with me the whole time and were super helpful. And out of the box there actually was a scratch on the bracelet. I have zero ideas what did it or how that could possibly happen, but Watchbuys sent me some replacement links and I was good as new (better actually) within a couple of days.
"A Tough Watch with A Unique Visual Style and Flair"
Verified Owner Comments: I ordered the U2 W LE when it became available in mid-March and couldn't be any happier with this watch.
Customer service is excellent – transparent and responsive. I placed the order in the evening and in the morning I received a call confirming the order and notifying me it would soon be shipped. Watchbuys kept me informed throughout the process from the U2 leaving the inventory to being shipped and the morning of delivery.
I am appreciative of having the peace of mind knowing that what I ordered was in transit and the exact day of delivery to ensure no porch pirates would get their hands on this special limited edition model.
My daily is a Reverso so putting the U2 on initially was like going from SL Roadster to a G-Class Wagon. It definitely felt like a hunk of German submarine steel was on wrist. However, as I continued to wear the U2 over the course of the day I no longer noticed the weight. The watch wears comfortably. The U2’s size belies how light and comfortable the watch really is.
A 44 mm case diameter and 50 mm lug to lug, the U2 does not disappear on the wrist it pops on the wrist. The U2 W LE is hard to miss. Each time I walk pass the German Embassy in Washington DC, I wonder if the security cameras zoom in on this remarkable example of German engineering. Visually, the dial and bezel seem to take up most of the space to the point where it seems there is only a mm on each side from bezel to lug.
Given its striking aesthetics, it’s a great thing. I would rather see more dial and less lug. Despite the U2’s case and lug to lug size and its height, the U2 does wear under the cuff of a dress shirt. I am able to wear the U2 with cuff links and while wearing a blazer or a suit jacket with no issues. I expect to wear the U2 at the office on rainy days and snow days when the Reverso is babied.
The stark minimalist black and white dial drew my attention immediately and is the type of dial I was hoping Sinn would offer in their U Diver and EZM lines. I am the type who likes the hours in Arabic, index, or squares and circles but not as a combination. For example, some other models have hour indices but also with Arabic numbers adjacent to the indices and other models have Arabic numbers at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 positions and indices for the remaining other hours.
I prefer a clean look that follows one style. A 44 mm dial means a lot of white on the dial with bolts of black indices emanating at the periphery. The bezel is black with white indices which provides a balanced counterpoint and frames the dial. The black Tegimented bracelet completes the U2’s striking minimalist aesthetics. Each time I admire the U2’s dial it brings to mind Two-Tone second wave ska, Bauhaus (the band), the Misfit’s Fiend Skull logo (would have been great to get 138/150), the Black Flag logo, and for the German angle, Hamburg era Beatles.
When buying a Sinn, it’s not about the guilloche but about its function and mission in the field. For those who create spreadsheets to compare specs of watches, the U2 W LE checks all the boxes – pressure resistance to depths few of us will ever go, seawater resistant, Ar-Dehumidifying technology of copper sulphate capsules and an inert gas (Nitrogen), functional at extreme low and high temperatures, and certified by the DNV GL for peace of mind that this watch is a true diver that meets the European standards for diving equipment and not a fashion accessory.
Furthermore, the U2 W LE includes the usual standard Sinn features of being anti-magnetic to 4,800 A/m and shock resistant. The base movement is a Top Grade ETA 2892-A2. Given the Swatch Group’s control over ETA movements, it’s great that Sinn was able to incorporate this movement which will make any emergency servicing more accessible. So far, the U2 has been accurately keeping time. I occasionally check the NIST official U.S. time website to compare the U2 and Reverso against the atomic clock and I am happy to report that the U2 is within 3 seconds over the course of a week.
For me personally, I am looking forward to standing in goal with confidence that the U2 will be functioning each time I jump, dive, and fall while my son takes practice shots with the soccer ball. I am also looking forward to wearing the U2 while at the beach, at an amusement park, a water park, and days when my son plays soccer without worrying about the weather’s impact on the watch. Water resistance is no joke on anything mechanical I learned that the hard way with a Leica when photographing Coney Island on a an extremely rainy day.
Based on all the specs and boxes checked I expect the U2 to be functioning and not skipping a beat as I accumulate memories, nicks, and a few bruises with the family.
Only the indicator on the bezel above the 12 is sensitive to capturing natural and indoor light. The indicator does glow each time I enter a dark room. The indices and hands do not capture overhead indoor light. One does need to put the watch directly under a house or desk lamp to charge the lume on all the indices and hands. Personally, it’s not an issue.
I am not doing anything that would make me dependent on how bright the lume is. For those who need to check off every possible box and put a premium on lume, there are other Sinn models to consider. What Could Be Improved The bracelet clasp. The U2 W LE is my first Sinn. A common comment among purchasers and wearers is that the clasp could be improved. The clasp needs to be improved. Given how much R&D and attention Sinn devotes to the dial and its functions and safeguards, the clasp needs some attention by the R&D team as well. Other brands with their steel sports watches have gliding clasps to make the necessary micro adjustments to ensure that the watch is snug on the wrist to adjust for changes in temperature and how wrist size can change over the course of a day.
For a brand that prides itself on manufacturing watches that are mission specific and meant to be worn in the field and not stored in a safe or to be flexed at the golf course, Sinn should be able to out-engineer the other brands with a clasp that is easily adjustable and secure. A sliding clasp to make micro adjustments with more than just three holes is more useful in the field since the user can make adjustments on the fly with just a pinch of the fingers without having to fumble through a utility belt and use a tool to make micro adjustments which is the current situation. Making those micro adjustments have not been easy, especially when one wants to try each slot to determine the best fit those pins fly off and are tough to reinsert through the holes.
Just because the watch is tough doesn’t mean that the user experience has to be tough as well. Instructions on how to adjust the bracelet can also be improved. I had no prior experience adjusting a Sinn bracelet and the written instructions did not convey what needed to be done. I had to watch two separate YouTube videos before I was able to deduce how the provided tools work.
It took two adjustments before becoming proficient with the removing and adding links. Perhaps a video tutorial on the Sinn website can enhance the user experience, especially for first time buyers. Despite the clasp’s shortcomings, it has not deterred me from pre-ordering the U1-T DS (my intended stealth diver to wear when I travel and don’t want to bring attention to myself) and 144 ST Black Jubilaeum II (my intended all weather chronograph to time my son when he runs cross-country and track since the meets go on despite the rain). Final Impressions For me, the U2 W LE is the Sinn model that matches my mission profile - a watch that can take a beating from sports and family recreational activities with a unique visual style and flair.
While working at home, the U2 is getting equal time on the wrist as the Reverso, and I am extremely happy with the U2. The U2 W LE is not for everyone its spare black and white dial of indices and a date is not for those seeking a 24 hour GMT dial, a moonphase, or dials for a triple date and power reserve.
If you need a watch that tells the time and date while being all weather and resilient regardless of the activity, the U2 W LE is a watch I highly recommend.