Hanhart Revisits Their Roots With New 417 ES 1954

We saw the return of the 417 ES from Hanhart last year in this killer Red Lion limited edition, and this year, Hanhart is returning to that original formula with the non-limited 417 ES 1954. What makes the original formula so great? A 39mm steel case paired with a hand-wound mechanical movement, along with a slick coin-edge bezel and bund style strap all come together in a way that works as well today as it did in 1954 when the watch was first released. The original pilot watch flavor is captured effectively here by Hanhart, and will make its debut into the growing Pioneer collection on a permanent basis. 

The “ES” here stands for ‘Edelstahl’, the German word for steel. The moniker exists currently in the 417 ES, a rendition of the same watch produced in a more modern 42mm case. The ES 1954 returns the watch to its original 39mm, and replaces the single ‘shockproof’ label at 6 o’clock with the OG ‘antimagnetic shockproof’ lockup. The ES 1954 will live alongside the ES, giving enthusiasts the choice to bring the same iconic style to their wrist in maximum comfort.


The 417 platform served as the first wrist bound timer for the German armed forces, and would go on to supply the Bundeswehr for nearly 10 years before Hanhart moved their focus to stopwatches. The design has proven timeless, with two small sub dials displaying the running seconds at 9 o’clock and a 30 minute totalizer at 3 o’clock. There’s a quaintness to their execution here that remains as charming as ever. The numerals have been slightly revised but are very much in character for the reference. 

A big part of that character is of course the Bund-style strap that’s made of black calfskin with an Alcantara lining. The pad under the watch will provide a bit more visual heft, so don’t expect this to wear small given the 39mm diameter. That doesn’t mean uncomfortable, however, as we’ve discussed before.

Hanhart is using the manually wound Sellita SW510 providing 58 hours of power reserve. It’s the same movement found in the larger 417 ES, and if that’s any indication I would expect thickness to be around the same 13.3mm. 

The 417 ES 1954 is available as of today from Hanhart and is priced from €1,980. Hanhart

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life 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 Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.