The latest limited edition chronograph from Hanhart is a sober, handsome, and conservative tribute to the types of pilot’s watches that they made in the company’s early years, and, really, in every year since. Looking at Hanhart watches past and present, it’s striking that not much has changed, and while they’ve dipped into a more contemporary aesthetic at times, they always return to their bread and butter. These are tool-first pilot’s watches with a clearly defined design language that has stood the test of time over decades. The new 417 ES Red Lion is billed as a tribute to the watches that came to define the brand in the 1950s and 60s when they supplied chronographs to the German military, but in reality it’s as completely Hanhart as almost any other watch produced by the brand. This one, however, has a few small details that enthusiasts and longtime followers of the brand will appreciate.
The headline here is that the new 417 has the same diameter as the original reference 417 on which the new LE is based, coming in at 39mm with a lug to lug measurement of 46mm. In their press materials, Hanhart says this size will be well suited to smaller wrists, but readers know that around here we think 39mm is idea for just about anyone, at least for a watch in this style that prides itself on robustness, readability, and overall reliability – longtime tenets of the Hanhart brand. The watch runs on a hand wound movement, which keeps the case height to a relatively manageable 13.3mm including the domed crystal.
The dial design is a traditional two register layout with Arabic numerals in a shade that recalls vintage lume, which seems appropriate for a tribute watch. The hands are in a syringe style that is common to other Hanhart models, as well as similar aviation themed watches, particularly many that originated in German watchmaking. Hanhart’s trademark coin edge bezel with a red hash mark is present as well, as is the matching red pusher at the 4:00 position.
The watch runs on the Sellita SW 510 M, a manually wound caliber with 58 hours of power reserve. Credit to Hanhart here for going with a traditional hand wound movement rather than an automatic, which might have a broader appeal. As mentioned above, the manually wound movement keeps the case height down, but more importantly it keeps this watch feeling historically tied to the watches that inspired it.
The 417 ES Red Lion is limited to just 150 pieces, and is available now with a retail price of €1,940.00. Hanhart