Hanhart 417 ES Welcomes Return of Flyback Movement

Hanhart continues to iterate on the modern rendition of their iconic 417 ES, which they brought back in earnest in 2020, with the release of a proper panda dial this week, and the introduction of a new handwound Sellita AMT base flyback chronograph movement. The new releases celebrate the 140th anniversary of Hanhart in a fitting manner, embracing their heritage in a modern way. The new watches will join the 417 ES family as regular production models, with both the 42mm case and the 1954 39mm case sizes being represented, each getting both black and white dial colorways. 

The new watches are of course based on the watch officially issued to German pilots, the 417 with flyback function utilizing their own caliber 41, which they produced until the ‘60s. The latest variants come equipped with the AMT5100 M, a relatively new unit from the AMT arm of Sellita. The movement has been used within the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback chronograph previously, and now makes its way into the Hanhart at a bit more of an approachable price point. The movement is relatively new, and represents something of a step forward in terms of capabilities for Sellita.

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The AMT5100 ditches the cam operated chronograph for a column wheel equipped version with flyback capabilities, a combo previously absent from the Sellita catalog. The movement is an exciting development for the manufacturer, and could be the first step in a new generation of slightly higher end movements. Given the reputation Sellita has built since the early 2000s I’d give this movement a leg up over similarly new offerings from other manufacturers, but ultimately time will tell just how many kinks will need to be ironed out, if any. According to this interview with Dr. Sébastien Chaulmontet by Chrono24, the brand’s movements are “nearly 100% on par with ETA.”

Finishing looks on par with the highest grade Sellita offerings, though you’ll only find an exhibition caseback on the 42mm model. The 39mm variant gets a closed caseback with anti-magnetic properties (up to 16.000 A/m), which would otherwise be within the case itself, causing a thicker overall measurement. Both the 39mm and 42mm case options clock in at 13.3mm in total thickness, while the former measures 46mm from lug to lug, and the latter measures 49.75mm.

Our favorite details of the 417 ES are the dial design and coin edge bezel, and both are preserved with these new models. The dial welcomes a ‘true panda’ look, with filled sub dials that contrast with the base dial color, meaning the white dial gets solid black sub dials, and the black dial gets solid white sub dials. This brings a huge amount of character to the watch without losing an ounce of the appeal inherent in the design overall. The red notch at 12 o’clock remains on the bezel for the perfect amount of colorful contrast to the otherwise hue-less affair. 

Okay so this watch represents a relatively big leap for a watch like this, and a welcome move back into the brand’s roots, and perhaps most impressively the price for these flyback models has risen just $320 over the existing 417 ES, coming in at $2,560 for the both the 1954 (39mm) and the 42mm examples. Now, you’re not really gaining a practical benefit here, but I’d say you’re getting your money’s worth in complexity and historical significance to this particular watch. Plus, it’s just that much more fun than your bog standard chronograph. More on the new 417 ES Flyback chronographs from Hanhart

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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