- EINSATZZEITMESSER -
Featuring the Lemania 5100 movement
This watchs history:
The year 2005 will be the last year for collectors of automatic
chronographs to obtain a watch with the Lemania 5100 movement. Production ceased somewhere
in 2003/2004, and in 2005 Sinn Specialuhren zu Frankfurt am Main will use the last 500
Lemania 5100 movements in a limited serie 142 Chronograph, model D1.
So as a enthousiast of automatic chronographs, I decided that I had to have at least one with the Lemania 5100 movement. There were 3 models on my short-list.
I came across a Sinn EZM1 in very good condition, and bought it.
Brand and history:
For more info about Sinn, and it's former owner and name-giver Helmut Sinn, I refer to the reviews of two other Sinn watches I own(ed).
Sinn produces 4 types of so called Einsatzzeitmesser watches. They are simply called EZM1, EZM2, EZM3 and EZM4. The EZM's were designed to be used for those people whose job can bring them in a situation where time or time measuring can mean the difference between life and death (for instance policemen, firemen, and border patrols). So it is no surprise that all the EZM watches are extreme tool watches, where readability of the actual time or elapsed time is extremely important.
On the top left is the EZM1, subject to this review.
Top right is the EZM2, a divers watch, for perfect readability under water the watch is filled with silikon-oil. This also allowes the watch to be waterresistant up to any depth. It is rated as waterresistant to >500 Bar...The crown is positioned on the left side. This is a quartz watch.
Lower left is the EZM3, this watch is filled with Argon. This gas keeps the oxygen away from entering the case. The automatic movement is less prone for magnetic influences (this watch is protectec up to 80.000 A/m), the crown is positioned on the left side. This watch will work in temperatur that ranges from -45degrees celcius up to +80 degrees celcius.
Lower right is the EZM4, the watch especially made for firemen. This watch also features the Lemania 5100 automatic chronograph. The elapsed chrono minutes can be read immediatly because of the central pointer, so typical for a watch with the Lemania 5100 movement. The green and red area indicates whether it is still safe or not for a person with a compressed air breathing device to be in a burning building. Also there is a pulsimeter scale on the dial.
The EZM1 is technically an impressive watch; Let's have a look at all the special features.
The EZM1 was designed with special task forces in mind. Readability was important, all other aspects were irrelevant. This is why the date function of the EZM is very discretely placed at the "4" o'clock position, it is very small and printed in red. All other printing on the dial is also done in red, so not to distract from the readability. The elapsed chrono minutes can be read very quickly because the minute pointer is placed central of the dial. This is a typical feature of the Lemania 5100 movement, and this is also one of the main reasons why this movement is so popular with a large amount of people. Also the Lemania 5100 movement is very robust, and can withstand heavy side-impacts and high G-forces.
The bezel is bi-directional and does not show, like on most watches, the elapsed time, but it is used here as a count-down timer. You can quickly synchronise the normal-time minute hand with the number of minutes you want to count down from, once the normal-time minute reaches the triangel or "0" on the bezel, that number of pre-installed minutes have passed.
Like the EZM3, the case of the EZM1 is filled with the gas ARGON. This gas "pushes" the oxygen out of the case. Less oxygen means less water molecules in the case, and thus should lead to longer service intervals. At the 7 o'clock position on the case is a capsule filled with "Kupfersulfat" (Copper sulphate??) crystals. This extracts water from oxygen that has entered the watch despite the Argon filling. From the colour of the capsule one can tell how much water has been extracted (it turns from almost white to deep blue).
The case of the EZM1 is made out of Titanium, a very light weight material.
The sapphire crystal is slightly domed, helping the watch to give it a 30BAR waterresistance rating (300 meter). The crown is screwed, the pushers are not. Further more the EZM1 is more than average shockresistant and antimagnetic.
The chronograph function can show a maximum elapsed time 1 hour. There are no sub-dials showing the elapsed hours. This would only distract from readability.
A good night visibility is also important on this type of watches. And the Sinn EZM1 is no exception to this.
Reported problems with the EZM1:
I've read many reports from EZM1 owners (or any other Lemania 5100 based watch) that they encountered some problems with this watch. First is the fact that many Lemania 5100 based watches seems to have problems with the powerreserve. It would not live up to the 48 hours it should. I cannot say so for my watch.
Other owners have problems with the resetting of the chrono minute hand. It is true that the Lemania 5100 needs firm use of the reset pusher in order to reset the minutye exact back to zero. If one does not succeed in the first, a second firm push on the reset button will reset it back to zero.
The EZM1 came with a few different markings on the dial:
Top first on the left is the sign of the german Zentrale Unterstützungseinheit Zoll (ZUZ).
Second on the right on the dial is the sign of the german Zentrale Technikgruppe Zoll (ZTZ) . Only 10 watches are made with this logo on the dial.
Up untill 2002 the regular EZM1 had the Tritium indication 3H on the dial. (Bottom left)
In their last years of production the dial beared the Ar (Argon) indication on the dial.
End of production:
Bad news for the watch-loving community came in 2003. It was rumoured that the Swatchgroup (ETA/Lemania is part of this colossus) now definitive would cease production of the Lemania 5100 movement. The rumours were true, and late 2004, early 2005 the very last Sinn EZM1 was sold from the Sinn factory in Frankfurt.
The Lemania 5100:
First some technical data:
Production started 1978, production ceased in 2003/2004. A 13,75 lignes movement. 31mm in diameter, 8,25mm in height. 17 jewels, 28800A/h, and a power reserve of 48 hours.
On the net a lot of information can be found of the Lemania 5100 movement. I will not repeat here what has been said many times and much better on various sources on the net. For more information I recommand the following sites:
The Lemania 5100 movement is subject to much controverse. It is known that Chronograph specialist (and Chronoswiss founder) Gerd-R Lang dislikes this movement a lot. As do many purists. On the other hand there are the lovers of militairy watches who adore this watch, and the ones (and I count myself to this last group) who likes the central minute hand of the Lemania 5100 movement.
If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to e-mail me.