Flieger Friday: Hanhart Pioneer One LE

Hanhart is based in Germany’s Black forest, in a small town of Gutenbach and is best known for its vintage pilot watches. The company can be dated back to 1920s when it began to enter the market with mechanical stopwatches. Currently, the brand offers mid-priced pilots, rally car, and diver watches with vintage appeal.

Last week Hanhart introduced the Pioneer One Limited Edition, a three-hands watch developed in cooperation with Watchbuys, their exclusive reseller in the U.S.  The watch is limited to 150 editions.

Hanhart took inspiration from its iconic model from the 50s, the 417 ES Flyback (Cal. 42). This is the first time Hanhart used the combination of a sandblasted stainless-steel case with a three hands design.

The Hanhart Cal. 42, a ratchet wheel calibre with flyback function and manual wind, was introduced in the 50s and was an evolution of the Cal. 40 and 41. The design of the hands and numerals of the PIONEER One LE are based on this iconic model. The caliber was installed in the Hanhart Chronograph 417 and 417 ES (the stainless-steel version), which were originally produced for the Air Force of the German Federal Armed Forces. For this reason, the watch is also known as “Bundeswehr chronograph” among the connoisseurs. There were about 500 pieces made of brass and 500 pieces in stainless steel during the 1950s. They are a rarity today and therefore hard to find. Hanhart flieger chronographs were often an aesthetic model for the design of numerous military and aviator watches by renowned watch manufacturers.

The Hanhart Pioneer One LE case is 42 mm with a medium height of 12 mm. It is has the trademark Hanhart fluted rotating bezel with the red mark at 12’o clock.  The massive crown is easy operate even with thick winter gloves (adapted to modern use of gloves).  The automatic Sellita SW 200 base caliber has central seconds functions true to the fliegers of past.  The numbers and hands have a faux vintage lume, which seems to be a trend in 2017 with several brands. The leather strap with stainless-steel rivets underlines the vintage character of this watch.


The Pioneer One LE is a very good entry level watch in the Hanhart flieger lineup and is exclusively available on Watchbuys website for $1,170 USD.

Photo Credit: Hanhart Team

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