Just yesterday we ran Thomas Calara’s ode to lume, and less than 24 hours later, we’ve got this seemingly radioactive release from Hanhart, the #fliegerfriday Night Pilot, an old school pilot’s chronograph with a dial that’s fully luminescent. We’ve seen a bunch of these fully lumed dials hit the market over the last year or so from the likes of TAG Heuer, Norqain, and others, and if you get them all together with some high powered flashlights, you could have quite the party. The new Hanhart gets in on the fun as part of their ongoing #fliegerfriday series, which asks the eternal question: What will it mean to name your watch after a hashtag a generation from now? That’s a problem for someone who might not even be born yet. For now, we can just enjoy the watch.
Hanhart is a brand with a highly specific focus that I’ve always found easy to appreciate. You won’t find a Hanhart version of a dress watch in their collection – they do tool oriented chronographs, and not much else. They’re particularly adept at flieger style watches, the types of timepieces that should be sold with a bomber jacket, and only to people who can do mechanical work on their own vintage planes. They are evocative of a time and attitude that is incredibly specific, aided in large part by the signature red pusher on the case flank that actuates the chronograph complication.
The Night Pilot is as stealthy as the name implies, and features a stainless steel case with a black DLC coating (really setting off the aforementioned red pusher). It’s 42mm wide and 15mm tall, with a lug to lug length measuring 51mm. A big watch by any measure, but this type of pilot’s watch is one of a handful of watch genres where a size in this range feels truly appropriate and true to historical standards.
The dial is the draw here. It has the appearance of a standard white dial, but is coated in C3 Super-LumiNova, so when it’s fully charged after some time in the sun or a hit from a flashlight, the dial will glow bright green. Hanhart has been thoughtful with the execution of their fully lumed dial, going for plenty of contrast where it matters. The subdials and numerals are black and perfectly readable in both normal daytime conditions, and in situations where the lume needs to be taken advantage of. My favorite detail is that the handset (a combination of a syringe for the minutes and a more ornate leaf for the hours) has been skeletonized, which brings to mind vintage watches that have long since lost their lume. Of course, normally the hands would be the most important component of a dial to coat with lume, so there’s a certain playfulness in Hanhart’s decision to keep lume out of the hands altogether, rather than give them a lume treatment that contrasts with the green dial.
The watch runs on the HAN3911 chronograph movement, which is a modified Sellita SW500. Those modifications are completed by La Joux-Perret, and allow for the conversion of a standard chronograph movement to the monopusher execution seen here. The caliber provides 42 hours of power reserve, and has a basic thirty minute counter that’s operated from that single red button at 2:00.
The #fliegerfriday Night Pilot has a retail price of $2,840. It’s a limited edition of just 100 pieces, and is sold out through the Hanhart website, but Hanhart notes that it can still be found through their authorized dealer network for the time being. Hanhart