SINN Spezialuhren of Frankfurt am Main, manufacturer of high-quality mechanical watches, is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of chartered engineer Lothar Schmidt's leadership of the company.
When the pilot and blind-flying instructor Helmut Sinn, who founded Helmut SINN GmbH in 1961, sold the business to Lothar Schmidt on 1 September 1994 for age reasons, a new era began for the company. From this point on, still shaped by the founder's philosophy of offering the best-possible watches at the lowest-possible prices while maintaining a clear focus on functionality, the company evolved to become the in thing among those in the know.
At the time of the handover, the company stood at a crossroads: the SINN brand was technical in orientation, concentrating mainly on pilot chronographs and cockpit clocks which were manufactured in Switzerland and sold under the SINN brand name.
Lothar Schmidt thus enjoyed good foundations on which to develop his own ideas. However, the company was still a good deal smaller back in 1994. In those days, the company occupied just one and a half floors of its headquarters on the Frankfurt street of Im Füldchen, and employed a grand total of three watchmakers in the service department.
A mechanical engineer by training, Lothar Schmidt had already gained extensive experience in watch technology during his time working for the Swiss firm IWC Schaffhausen. From 1990 to 1993 he was also in charge of rebuilding the production technology and logistics for the resurgent A. Lange and Söhne GmbH, at the time a subsidiary of IWC.
While Lothar Schmidt was preparing for the takeover, he had already become a freelancer for Helmut Sinn GmbH in 1993. Plenty of thought had been put into the decision to take over the running of Sinn Spezialuhren: Lothar Schmidt had realised the company's potential and invested in putting it on a sound footing for the future. He expanded the range of models and set new standards through the introduction of new, partly patented technologies which increased the durability of the watches and their suitability for everyday use. And with his very first model he introduced a theme which continues to resonate to the present day: magnetic field protection. The solid titanium model 244, featuring both magnetic field protection and a freely oscillating suspended movement, laid the cornerstone for the high quality standards for which SINN watches are renowned today all round the world. Ever since then, functionality, durability and suitability for everyday use have stood at the heart of our research and development work. A great many patents and technological developments have emerged from these research efforts, for instance DIAPAL, Ar-Dehumidifying Technology, HYDRO, TEGIMENT and Temperature Resistance Technology.
Sinn Spezialuhren has not only made huge strides as a company in technological terms, it has also greatly expanded its workforce. At the Frankfurt am Main headquarters alone, over 100 people demonstrate their great skill and expertise each day in the development and production of robust, durable and precise timepieces. Together with Managing Director Lothar Schmidt, the course has thus been set for a successful future - true to his motto: "most of our development work still lies ahead of us".