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Hanhart celebrates the 80th anniversary of its PIONEER Mk II with an exceptional limited edition model. The original was considered to be one of the first pilot’s chronographs. Find out what makes this new PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum so special in our test!
A new edition in an unusual color scheme
“Black Forest Green” is probably what I would say if I had to give a name to the color combination of the German manufacturer’s new PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum. When I first take the watch out of the fine leather case it was delivered, the unusual color immediately catches my eye. Green watches are still very few on the market – far too few in my opinion. Watches with an original shade of green simply stand out. The Black Forest-based manufacturer has definitely chosen the right color for an 80th anniversary, the English translation for the German name
Visually, the Pilot’s Watch makes a high-quality and tasteful impression. I turn it, hold it up to the light and examine the green tone of the Hanhart PIONEER Mk II Limited Edition. It goes in the direction of olive and gives the chronograph a certain military look. That fits in every respect, since this is a new edition of one of the very first pilot chronographs. By the way, the design is very close to the original Mk II. For Hanhart itself, the introduction of this first chronograph was an important step. Until today, the company, which became famous for its stopwatches, stands for precision, functionality and quality.
And it’s not just the color that’s exclusive about this new edition. The special model is limited to just 200 pieces. Since demand is high, you can expect the chronographs to sell out quickly. My special model is number 11, as the engraving on the stainless steel caseback reveals.
The whole presentation gives the wearer of his new PIONEER Mk II Limited Edition to understand: this watch is exclusive. From the packaging to the leather case to the information brochure about the history of the watch – everything has been designed with great dedication and quality and therefore deserves extra praise!
The Hanhart PIONEER Mk II Limited Edition on the wrist
But the limited edition of the PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum has yet to prove that it is not just more appearance than reality. Hands on! On the wrist, the pilot’s watch makes a good impression. If you had any doubts about the unusual color of the watch at the beginning, I can reassure you. The watch goes surprisingly well with outfits (to my own positive surprise). It should be mentioned that a green watch on the wrist does not remain invisible, but stands out. The red pusher, which is so typical for Hanhart watches, does the rest.
Matte instead of glossy – the case
At first glance at the design of the case, it quickly becomes clear what the focus of the designers was: robustness and practicality. Precisely what was essential for pilots in the 1940s. Despite the compact diameter of 40 millimeters, the case doesn’t exactly look small. The fluted bezel, which immediately catches the eye with its robust design, certainly plays a role here.
Obviously, case has little in the way of high gloss. The stainless steel used here is matte and sandblasted; functionality simply has priority. To the diameter of 40 millimeters come 14.8 millimeters in height.
To protect the dial, Hanhart uses scratch-resistant and durable sapphire crystal. The top side is slightly curved, which gives the watch a classic look. The inside is anti-reflective. This allows for good readability of watch and stop time, especially in high sunlight.
There is one key feature whereby the viewer can immediately spot a genuine Hanhart. The characteristic red push-piece. This was also a central part of the design when the original model was introduced in 1940. Legend has it that the red color came from the wives of airline pilots, who painted their husbands’ watches with red nail polish as a keepsake. Today, Hanhart certainly doesn’t use nail polish on its pushers. They are made of robust HyCeram®. The asymmetrical pusher spacing is quickly noticed. This was also a characteristic of the first PIONEER Mk II pilot chronographs.
The crown in the center has a decent size, in addition to a fluted surface that matches the bezel. This makes setting the time particularly straightforward. It also features the matte blasted finish, which I like more and more as time goes on. The ground-out Hanhart ‘h’ gives the watch even more value.
Highlights on the case back of the Hanhart PIONEER Mk II Limited Edition
The screwed case back shows, that not only the front of the PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum impresses with good design. As you might expect from a good chronograph nowadays, the caseback is transparent. Here you can see and admire the ETA 7753 movement through the sapphire crystal.
Engraved into the caseback is the limitation number as well as the indication of the water resistance. 10 bar/ATM are theoretically possible. That doesn’t make the PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum a diver’s watch. But water splashes are no problem.
A reliable automatic movement
The glass caseback is new compared to the original. What was simply not necessary at that time, should show today, which fascinating mechanics are installed inside the PIONEER Mk II. In this case, it is the ETA 7753, which is a reliable, very accurate and robust automatic movement that is used in many higher-priced chronographs. The Swiss made automatic movement was elaborately decorated for the installation in the PIONEER Mk II. Among other things, it was provided with blued screws and a pearl finish (a circular pattern). But my personal highlight: the classic Hanhart lettering on the rotor.
Finally, some data about the movement: The caliber has 27 jewels, an oscillation frequency of 28800 vibrations per hour and a power reserve of 42 hours. In the original model from 1940, the case still contained the famous “Caliber 41” movement.
A dial in black forest green
The dial of the original 1940 pilot watch was black. This is where the most obvious change, at least, is located. Because instead of offering a black dial, Hanhart breaks with tradition and launches the watch in a bold green.
Overall, the dial is very tidy and thus easy to read. The good readability is ensured by numerals and indices with clean lines and no frills. After all, that used to be the most important thing in the field. Optimal readability is guaranteed even in the dark. This is made possible by the coating of the hands and numerals. So-called Super-LumiNova® greenline C1 is used here. The illumination is very strong and works good at night.
The two totalizers for the small seconds and the 30-minute display are slightly recessed into the dial, giving it a certain three-dimensionality. The central stop second hand is red to match the bezel marker and pusher. Otherwise, there is nothing on the dial besides the minute track and the Hanhart lettering below 12 o’clock – just the bare essentials.
The fluted bezel of the PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum is continuously rotating on both sides and has a red marking.
The bracelet – a lot of comfort and with good design
To match the green dial, Hanhart gives its PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum a green strap made of canvas. Canvas is used to make sails. More recently, however, more and more often to produce bracelets. Canvas has several advantages. On the one hand it is more resistant than leather in everyday life, on the other hand it is more durable than some fabric bracelets.
The bracelet used here particularly convinced me in the test due to its very good wearing comfort. Inside it is coated with Alcantara, which is very pleasant to the skin. A pin buckle, which picks up on the case’s matte design, ensures a suitable and secure fit.
My conclusion – more than a copy. The PIONEER Mk II Limited Edition
Hanhart has proven it once again: the company knows how to handle its heritage with dignity. In recent years, the manufacturer has breathed new life into several old watches from decades past. The new editions, whose models usually take up great histories, are not merely clumsy copies, but interpret the design in a completely new way.
This is also the case with the PIONEER Mk II80 Jahre Jubilaeum. The pilot’s watch manages the perfect balancing act between old and new. On the one hand, there is the attention to detail and the closeness to the original. The recessed totalizers, The fluted bezel and much more. And then Hanhart colors the dial not black, but green! In my opinion, this shows two things. First, they don’t just want to cling to history, but are confident enough to approach things in a new, different and fresh way. Secondly, the special tone underlines the exclusivity with which Hanhart wants to highlight the watch. One thing is certain, after all: there won’t be another watch in this unique color any time soon. Congratulations, Hanhart!
Hanhart makes itself pay well for such quality. The limited edition PIONEER Mk II 80 Jahre Jubilaeum available now for 2,037.31 euros, including 16% VAT. Next year, after the adjustment to 19% VAT, the price will be 2,090.00 euros.
For me, the Hanhart Pioneer Mk II Limited Edition is already the perfect Christmas gift – unique, tasteful and green like a christmas tree