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Hanhart presents the PIONEER One in an exclusive bronze version. The special edition, limited to just 150 pieces, is meant to expand the PIONEER collection. I was allowed to test the bronze timepiece for you before the release. In the following, you will learn everything you need to know about Hanhart’s latest model!

The most important key data of the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze on release

In the1950s it was a time of new beginnings for Hanhart, a watch manufacturer based in Gütenbach in the Black Forest. The company, which had still equipped pilots with pioneering pilot watches during the 1940s, now took on this task for the now newly founded German Bundeswehr. Simply called 417, the pilot’s chronograph already combined state-of-the-art manufacturing technology with good design in the mid-1950s. Trademarks are, in addition to the simple dial, the fluted bezel with the red marking typical of Hanhart.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
Bronze and Hanahrt – does that fit? Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze, whose distinctive external features are rooted in the design of the 417, is now set to follow in these storied footsteps. Perhaps the most important element of the new special edition, however, is missing when you look at the 417. It’s the warm bronze case that makes its first appearance on a watch in the PIONEER collection, one of Hanhart’s most popular ever. Only 150 units are made by the manufacturer from the Black Forest.

The reason is clear: this watch is supposed to be a very special timepiece that stands out noticeably from the rest of the model range. This is also noticeable in the color scheme of the dial. “Black Forest Green” is what the Hanhart connoisseur would christen it. In any case, the officially titled olive green is strongly reminiscent of the color that also adorns the Hanhart PIONEER Mk II 80th Anniversary Edition, which is a distant relative.

Fresh olive green and trendy bronze. That seems to fit. Like more and more manufacturers, Hanhart has also recognized the current bronze trend. The warm hue of bronze is a welcome change from the stainless steel from which most watch cases are still made. The characteristic appearance is provided by the tin and copper components that make up bronze. Over time, however, this appearance changes. Depending on when, where and how often you wear the watch, bronze oxidizes at different rates and to different degrees. It is safe to assume that the 150 units of Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze will look unique and distinctive over time. It is this distinctiveness of the watch that is so well received by customers.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

However, bronze alone does not make a good watch. What the pilot’s watch with the brown saddle leather strap and the green dial offers, I found out for you even before the official release date of the watch….

The first impression of the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze

It is actually the first watch with borrowings from a pilot chronograph that I get to test in bronze look. So far, it were mostly divers that I have worn on the wrist. There derivation was quickly explained. Historical diving helmets were made of bronze, so the watch also wore the alloy. This Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze, on the other hand, is excitingly different at first glance.

The distinctive fluted bezel shimmers in a bronze hue, a color which I liked right off the bat. The red marker and historical lettering below 12 o’clock immediately reveal which company designed and manufactured the watch. Add to that the olive green dial with its dimples and playful numerals and a rustic saddle leather strap. The feeling of the 50s quickly becomes tangible.

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For me, the wristwatch is on the one hand something completely new, but on the other hand also typical Hanhart. At first glance at least, they seem to have found a good combination of new and familiar elements. Silhouette and shape the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze shares with its series version, the common PIONEER One. Only a date window is missing, which makes the vintage look seem perfect. I’m still not quite sure about the classification. The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is a three-hand watch. The genuine pilot chronographs often have totalizers like a Small Seconds or a tachymeter on the rehaut. However, Hanhart has deliberately dispensed with these. “By reducing it to a three-hand watch, the unique charm of the 1950s is brought back to life in a modern way,” says the manufacturer.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
Its Design reminds of the historic Hanhart 417. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

This makes the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze a watch for enthusiasts – and with a revived retro look.

Hands on! The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze on the wrist

At 42 millimeters, the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is a medium-sized watch. It roughly corresponds to the dimensions that the historical pilot chronographs also had. With this diameter, it fits almost any wrist. At least it looks good on mine, as the mirror tells me. If you wear bronze on your wrist, you stand out. That should be obvious to everyone. Among all the stainless steel chronographs with their stainless steel bracelets, the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is something special. It knows how to dominate an outfit – quite positively.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
The Hanahrt-h on the crown. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

Meanwhile, I also notice that the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is already oxidizing in some places on the bezel and case. After all, the good piece has been with me for some time. The slight discolorations will later become the so-called patina, which will make the watch look unique among the other 149 units. Until then, I would like to put the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze through its paces. A look at the details shows whether the good first impression can be confirmed

The case: made of bronze and stainless steel

The round case measures just 12 millimeters in height with a diameter of 42 millimeters. That’s surprisingly thin, if not downright sporty for an automatic watch, which after all has to accommodate a Sellita SW 200 caliber in its case.

The round case measures just 12 millimeters in height with a diameter of 42 millimeters. That’s surprisingly thin, if not downright sporty for an automatic watch, which after all has to accommodate a Sellita SW 200 caliber in its case.

You can recognize the Patina. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

Typical for Hanhart: the fluted bezel

The design element par excellence, however, is the bezel of the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze. With its fluted surface, it gives the watch its typical distinguishing feature, which I don’t know from any other watch manufacturer. It is also made of bronze and has a red marking at 12 o’clock. The bezel of a watch, which is supposed to remind of pilot chronographs, differs fundamentally from comparable diver bezels. Unlike the latter, it can be rotated on both sides instead of unidirectionally. Moreover, this is done steplessly, i.e. without engaging “clicks”. When turning it back and forth, the good haptics are noticeable, which underlines the value of the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze. The fluting is not only nice to look at, it also provides a pleasant grip during operation.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
Hanhart has its characteristic bezel. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

Sapphire crystal is the material that must not be missing in a noble and high-quality material selection with bronze and stainless steel. It doesn’t get any harder and thus more resistant than sapphire! The sapphire crystal has a slight curvature that suits the vintage vibe of the watch. The inside has been treated with an anti-reflective coating, which noticeably improves the readability of the dial.

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Hanhart specifies a maximum water resistance of 10 bar for the case of the PIONEER One Bronze. This would theoretically even allow dives to a depth of 100 meters. However, I strongly advise you not to do so! The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is not a diving watch! But water splashes when washing your hands are no problem.

The details of the case back

The caseback of the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is all about functionality. Many watch companies are spoiled for choice when it comes to the design of the case back. Should it also be made of bronze and thus blend in even more harmoniously with the design, or should it be primarily functional? Hanhart chose stainless steel for its special edition watch – in my opinion, a very good decision. Stainless steel is much more pleasant to the skin than bronze. It avoids unsightly marks on the surface of the skin that can occur when bronze comes into contact with it. Since you rarely see the case back anyway, the omission of bronze is not a problem from my point of view.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
The caseback, made of stainless steel. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

In terms of design, the Black Forest manufacturers have come up with quite a few ideas here. On the edge of the back, I as the wearer recognize the production number of my limited bronze watch. In this case, it is number 003/150. But the center is more striking. There the playful historical “h” is emblazoned, which is now rarely seen. It is neatly engraved in the center of the caseback.

And it’s not just in this spot that you’ll find it. The surface of the crown is also adorned by the historic Hanhart “h”. The crown is made of bronze to match the case and is fluted like the bezel – and functional, too. Its considerable size and fluting make it extremely easy for me to operate when setting the time.

Equipped with an SW 200: the Swiss automatic movement.

The heart of the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is a Swiss automatic movement. The caliber comes from Sellita. It is a SW 200, which is generally recognized as very reliable, accurate and robust. The power reserve of the automatic movement is more than 38 hours at an oscillation frequency of 28800 vibrations per hour, which is absolutely sufficient. Also the rotor features the Hanhart logo.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
The dial during night… Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

Olive green and functional: the dial

What good is the most beautiful bronze watch without an equal dial? After all, this has to fulfill a wide variety of conditions. Hanhart lovers appreciate the great functionality of the dials, which takes precedence over everything else in the design of the watch. Also important are a good contrast to the bronze case as well as a pinch of vintage feeling – excellently finished, of course.

Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
…and day. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

With the color scheme, Hanhart has taken a bold step. Sure, we already know the unmistakable green shade, which reminds us of the Black Forest as well as camouflage colors of the German Bundeswehr from other models of the manufacturer. But combining the olive green with the trendy bronze color is more than bold. And innovative – the color combination is unique and deserves special praise. Bronze and olive green, it just fits!

Illuminated in the dark

Shape and size do not differ from the series model. The connoisseur will have thus quickly recognized the special model as PIONEER One. As described above, only the rectangular date window is missing, which the normal PIONEER One has at 3 o’clock. Thus, the design is more similar to the big model, the historical 417. The embedded index ring brings structure in the surface, which clearly structures the dial and shows off the Arabic numerals. Its 50s design is one of the most stylish highlights of the watch for me. They are so big that you can read them perfectly even from some distance. And this is further enhanced. At night, modern Super LumiNova C3 luminous material illuminates every single digit. The luminous material is exceptionally strong and impressive!

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Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze
The SuperLumiNova is strong and impressive! Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

It also makes the three hands shine. A neatly printed minute track is located on the rehaut. Below 12 o’clock, the historic Hanhart lettering in white on olive green catches the eye. That’s about it, though. There are no totalizers with small hands like on the original 417. The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is a classic three-hand watch. It doesn’t claim to show a pilot important data like airspeed by a tachymeter. But the design is functional, which is in the foreground here.

Saddle leather for a rustic feel

The iconic vintage look is completed by the strap. Hanhart has opted for the classic look of a dark brown saddle leather strap. The rustic look perfectly matches the bronze case, which will also wear the “used” look over time. It is decorated with lovely details. The Hanhart lettering on the dial, for example, is echoed as a brand mark in the leather. At the bump end, the leather strap is refined by a triple latch seam. A V seam decorates the tip of the strap. This not only looks good, but also feels comfortable.

I love that rustic style. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

As soon as you put the watch on, you can feel the high-quality material selection of the leather strap. The wearing comfort is extremely good from the first minute. It often takes time for the skin to get used to new leather on the wrist. That was not the case here.

A classic pin buckle, coated in bronze PDV to fit into the overall look, makes the degree. Even here, the lettering is engraved! The good hold of the buckle adds to the wearing comfort.

The pin buckle has a nice finish. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

My conclusion about the Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze: a watch for real enthusiasts

Do cult material bronze and Hanhart’s functional watches in aviator design fit together? After several days and extensive testing, the answer could not be clearer for me: yes, definitely! The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful bronze watches I have ever held in my hands and had the pleasure of wearing on my wrist. The watch company from the Black Forest has managed to reinterpret its series collection PIONEER One – with an exciting material and new colors. Since the old familiar silhouette with the fluted bezel and the typical red color accents remains, there is still a familiar feeling.

A watch for real enthusiasts. Photo © 2021 by WATCHDAVID®

According to Hanhart itself, its own claim consists of “functionality, quality and timeless aesthetics.” The bronze watch is made of these core values through and through. The Hanhart PIONEER One Bronze impresses with its simple handling. The design of the dial is subordinate to the perfect readability. Last but not least, the best materials, components and technical workmanship ensure robustness, reliability and precision.

Finally, there is the question of which target group the watch addresses. The focus is on real watch lovers who appreciate the quality of such a watch. For Hanhart fans, the bronze timepiece is a must-have anyway. Hanhart’s recommended retail price is 1190.00 euros. From experience, the strictly limited 150 pieces are quickly sold out. The watches will be delivered from February 15.

More about Hanhart 1882 and its PIONEER One Bronze

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Hanhart 1882 at WATCHDAVID

Watch Manufacturer Hanhart 1882 – a Portrait

Technical Details

NameHanhart PIONEER One Bronze

Reference number 762L.390-5110

BrandHanhart

Categorybronze watches / pilot watches / retro watches

Price from1190 Euro

Warranty2 years

Case Material316L stainless steel / Bronze

Diameter42.00 mm

High12.00 mm

Watch Glassanti-reflective coating / Sapphire Crystal

Watch TypeAutomatic

Waterproof10 bar (100 m / 330 ft)

Movement NameSellita SW 200

Power Reserve38 hours

Functionshour / Minute / second / Stop-second

Dialgreen

Indicesarabic indices

Special FeaturesSwiss Super-LumiNova®

Bezelbidirectional / bronze / fluted

Bracelet Colorbrown

Bracelet MaterialLeder

Clasp316L stainless steel / Bronze / pin buckle