PRIMUS Pilot – a contemporary take on legendary pilot’s watches
2009 saw the legendary Swiss-German watch brand Hanhart launch an exclusive collection of mechanical chronograph wristwatches which builds on the tradition and expertise of the own-brand watch manufactory and combines this with the latest technology and progressive design. The collection is called Primus, and the Pilot model, which is a contemporary take on legendary pilot’s watches, is the ideal watch for precision timekeeping in the air.
The Swiss-German watch brand Hanhart is known for its high-precision and 100% reliable instrument watches for use in the air, on the land and on the sea. It combines cutting-edge Swiss and German knowledge and skills with the long-standing tradition and expertise of its own manufactory, which has its origins in the watch business established in 1882 by Johann Adolf Hanhart in Diessenhofen in the Swiss Canton of Thurgau. The company, which remains the leading manufacturer of premium stopwatches to this very day, not only launched the first affordable mechanical stopwatch in 1924, but it also began manufacturing wristwatches at an early stage at its production site in Gütenbach, southern Germany. These included the single-button “Calibre 40” chronograph, primarily used by naval officers, as well as the legendary “Calibre 41” and “Tachy Tele” pilot’s chronographs, which date back to 1939. These chronographs are steeped in history, and today their replicas have become coveted collector’s pieces and connoisseur’s items for those with a penchant for fine precision watches.
Reflecting on core competence
Working in close collaboration with the brand’s own manufacture workshops in Gütenbach and highly specialised suppliers from the Swiss watch sector, a new, progressively designed collection of mechanical chronographs was developed under the name “Primus” and unveiled for the first time in 2009. It represented a sign of the times: an exclusive range of sporty chronographs with a progressive design which combines historical features with state-of-the-art technology. The Pilot, Racer and Diver models meet the highest quality standards and are all based on the brand’s traditional core competence.
Committed to tradition
Reminders of the watch manufacturer’s tradition are deliberately made clearly recognisable: one of the brand’s distinctive features, the red rest button, under-lines the relationship between Hanhart’s first pilot’s chronographs, its mechanical stopwatches and the new collection. It has been a distinguishing characteristic of Hanhart watches since 1939 and was previously intended to prevent pilots from unintentionally resetting the stop time. For the models featured in the Primus collection it has been finished with anodised aluminium. The thin, distinctive fluted bezel with inlaid red marking is also reminiscent of the design of the watch manufacturer’s legendary chronographs. Because pilots previously operated the crown of their wristwatch whilst wearing gloves, it had to be as large and slip-proof as possible, as today on the Primus Pilot.
Top functionality, ease of use and maximum readability
In order to ensure safety and ease of use for the measurement of time intervals or for air and water navigation, or when using a stopwatch to measure interval times and end times or distances on dry land, the first priority was to ensure maximum functionality, ease of use and outstanding reading precision. There was no need for unnecessary gimmicks or design features on the case and dial, and Hanhart continues, as always, to stand by this maxim. To ensure an accurate time display and precision chronometry, the models in the Primus collection are equipped with an automatic calibre modified to a bicompax display, featuring a rotor with a skeletonised Hanhart logo. This allows the small seconds to be clearly positioned at 9 o’clock and the 30-minute counter to be arranged at 3 o’clock – a configuration which Hanhart has customarily used from the very beginning. Perfect readability is guaranteed not least by the clear, generously proportioned design of the Arabic numerals, indices, the universal minutes counter and hands. In the case of the Primus Pilot, these are also clearly visible even in the dark thanks to a yellow-coloured or black Super-LumiNova® coating.
A new level of wearing comfort
The solid, elegant and high-quality stainless steel or black DLC-coated stainless steel case highlights the sporty, contemporary aesthetic of the Primus chronographs, while the flexibly screwed lugs ensure optimum wearing comfort on all wrist sizes. The black, brown or silver-coloured dial is encased by a convex, internally anti-reflective sapphire glass, while a screwed-down sapphire glass case back allows the wearer to see the fascinating interplay of the movement and the rotor. The Primus Pilot is finished off with a leather strap made from the finest calfskin with contrasting top-stitching and a practical, easily adjustable folding clasp with inlaid red marking.
Overall, as representatives of the latest generation of Hanhart chronographs, the models featured in the Primus collection set new standards in contemporary design.
Movement: HAN3809 modified automatic chronograph movement (bicompax), based on the Valjoux 7750 calibre; 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hz; 28 jewels; rotor with a skeletonised Hanhart logo; power reserve of min. 42 hours
Functions: Small seconds at 9 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, date display at 6 o’clock
Case: Stainless steel or black DLC-coated stainless steel; anodised aluminium red reset button; fluted bezel with inlaid red marking; convex, internally anti-reflective sapphire glass; screwed-down, internally anti-reflective sapphire glass case back; large screw-in crown; flexible lugs; diameter 44 mm, height 15 mm; water-resistant to 10 bar/100 m
Dial: Brown; with Super-LumiNova®-coated, luminous Arabic numeral, index marks and hands
Strap: Calfskin; folding clasp with inlaid red marking (anodised aluminium) made from stainless steel or black DLC-coated stainless steel