When we talk about value, one region of the world always comes to mind; Germany. German-made watches continually offer incredible build quality, remarkable tech and even in-house movements all at fair prices. Not cheap, but fair. The brands, which are typically not available at retail, usually command prices that take a commitment, but for watches that deliver far beyond what their Swiss counterparts would. From Archimede to Sinn, Damasko to Nomos, Stowa to Junghans, there isn’t a brand that manufactures in Germany that has disappointed us. Today, we are going to take a look at a brand that is new to worn&wound, but has been in existence for over 100 years, Hanhart.
Founded by Willy Hanhart in 1882, the brand was originally based in Switzerland and then moved to Germany. In 1924 Hanhart created the first affordable mechanical stopwatch for use in track and field. In fact, they to this day, produce many varieties of mechanical stopwatches, including split-seconds and flybacks. In 1938 they released their first chronograph wristwatch with a mono-pusher movement called the “Caliber 40”. This watch and similar models that followed became widely used by the Luftwaffe in WWII and then were officially issued by the West German Airforce in the 1950’s. One small claim to fame is that Steve McQueen was a fan of the brand and wore a model called the 417.
Now based in Gutenbach, Germany, which is in the Black Forest region, Hanhart is continuing to create very impressive chronographs and stop watches. With lines that are based on their historical models as well as new designs, they are doing things with chronographs that few brands are, such as mono-pushers, stacked sub-dials, sub-dials that are pushed farther out from the center, flybacks and a mix of all those various things. Featuring Swiss movements based on ETA platforms developed with La Joux Perret, a high end complication manufacturer, and German made cases, these small batch watches represent a value you wont find elsewhere.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the Hanhart Pioneer Monocontrol. This mono-pusher chronograph is based on their watches from the 30’s and 40’s, but takes things in a slightly different and perhaps more modern direction. It’s a luxury watch if I’ve ever felt one, with exceptional build and detailing, yet a price tag of $2,490. That’s not to say that is inexpensive, hardly, but for what you are getting, it’s a value and a fair price. The watch features a sapphire crystal, 100m WR and an automatic chronograph movement you wont find elsewhere, so let’s take a closer look.