The Pioneer is a flashback to one of the very first mono-pusher chronographs that Hanhart gave us in the early part of the 20thCentury. Unlike most chronographs the Hanhart team decidedly reduced the clatter on this timepiece and went with a mono-pusher instead of the double button. This required some innovative redesign work and the result was a resounding success.
Fluted Bezel and Single Red Button
The two most prominent features of this piece are the fluted bezel and the red button. The fluted bezel has a red marker on it and has a bidirectional rotation functionality. The bezel has a satin finish and the rest of the case is styled in a brushed stainless steel. The back of the case is polished and has some contours around a smartly placed Hanhart logo in the centre. There is also a single red line on the top end of the back to mark the red button style.
This piece was made to be worn comfortably and regularly with a diameter of 42mm so that it doesn’t become a nuisance. The 28 jewel automatic movement runs at 28 800 vibrations per hour and has a 42 hour power reserve.
The red single pusher is a unique feature of the Hanhart and was originally designed this way so that pilots wouldn’t accidentally reset the time. The red button has a romantic history based on a lover painting a pilot’s chronograph button so that he would never forget her and return home safely. There surely can’t be a gift for a significant other that tops this.
The black dial has circular grooves around the edges that encompass the Arabic numbers. The circular theme is in line with the aesthetic of the rest of the piece. One of the other two dials has the same grooves around its edges. There is a second dial at 9 o’clock that replaces the number index and, replacing the 3 o’clock index, is the smaller grooved dial with a 30 minute timer sporting a red arrow hand to match the single red pusher and time marker.
The hanhart brand logo is found just below the 12 o’clock in small flowing letters with the incredible founding date of 1882 just below it. Replacing the 6 o’clock index is the small aperture displaying the date. In keeping with its historical models the Pioneer features cathedral watch hands. The chronograph hand is also tipped with a red mark which classifies it as a part of the timekeeping team along with all the other parts of the process. The indexes and watch hands are coated in Super-LumiNova which has a remarkably clear display in the dark.
Crown and Strap
The crown is quite the monolith and can feel a slight bit imposing once you notice just how big it is. It is made to blend in with the bezel with its ridged polished finish. The sign of the true craftsman is displayed with the hanhart logo and the lip around it on the top of the crown.
The strap has riveting along the sides and a button near the top of each strap. The pin buckle is stainless steel and is brushed with no extra branding on it. The strap takes some time to break in but it is comfortable and can be worn daily.
This timepiece is a classic and once you put it on you feel the luxury immediately. It is comfortable in size and feel to wear daily and at this price point you will want to wear it daily. The Pioneer was made to be worn for formal or smart casual occasions and even though it has a 100m water resistance rating you are going to want to look carefully after this piece so that it can be kept for many years.
The sapphire crystal is coated with an anti-reflective coating on both sides so it gives a clear view of the dial at all times. The crown is quite large which is a bit of a downside for me because it looks like it needs its own name and model number altogether. With Hanhart you are buying more than just the watch, you are buying into a watchmaker that has been delivering reliability and perfect German engineering for over a century. The unique features of this timepiece make it one for the high end collectors display cabinet.
To have a look at Hanhart’s entire collection of watches visit their official website here.