Swiss-German watchmaker Hanhart brings back a much-loved pilot’s chronograph it made for the German Air Force in the mid-1950s. The reissue of the 417ES chronograph is a modern chronograph that channels the looks of the original that was famously also worn by Hollywood star Steve McQueen.

The 417ES reissue has a 42 mm case

Established in 1882 in Diessenhofen, Switzerland, Hanhart made pilot’s watches for the Luftwaffe during WW2. In the mid-1950s and right up to 1963, they produced the 417ES, a robust chronograph for the West German armed. The watch was available in steel (ES is Edelstahl in German) and 417 (chrome-plated brass). Caliber 42, a manual-winding column-wheel chronograph, powered these watches. Hollywood style icon Steve McQueen was spotted wearing his personal 417 (or 417ES) on a bund strap in a Life magazine photoshoot in 1963. He also reportedly wore this watch in the 1962 WW2-caper The War Lover.

The watch sits well on the wrist and is paired with a bund strap

While the original case was 39-mm-wide, the reissue is a more modern 42 mm, but the proportions remain the same. Now water-resistant to 100 meters, the case is framed by a bi-directional fluted bezel with a red marking at 12 o’ clock and is topped by a domed sapphire crystal. The case has a satin-brushed finish and a profile of 13.3 mm.  

In a nod to the original, the watch retains the same fonts and vintage Hanhart logo (also seen on the crown) as the original. The chronograph has a bi-compax layout with a 30-minute sub-dial at 3 o’ clock and a running seconds hand at 9. The hands and hour-markers have cream-colored Super-Luminova and legibility is excellent against a matt black dial.

The watch uses a manual winding SW510 chronograph movement

This watch runs the manual-winding Sellita SW510 chronograph movement. This is a cam-operated chronograph movement with a power reserve of 58 hours, a 4 Hz escapement, and hacking seconds function. It is presented on a black calf-leather bund strap with an inner Alcantara lining. However, there are two more regular leather strap options as well. The watch is priced at €1,744.87 and is available on the brand’s website now.