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.
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.
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.
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.