German manufacturer Hanhart has just introduced the new 417 C Flyback watch in collaboration with Chronos – German sister magazine WatchTime. The manual-winding flyback chronograph has some particularly interesting features. We’ve had the opportunity to wear the watch before, but before we dive into our experience, let’s explore a bit of its fascinating historical background.

The origins of the 417 date back to the mid-1950s when the newly formed West German Bundeswehr required wrist chronographs with a flyback function for its pilots. This function allows starting a new measurement while the stopwatch is running. It eliminates the need to stop and reset the stopwatch before restarting, a significant advantage for specific flight maneuvers, such as maintaining a consistent length on a triangular or shaped flight path. Oval.

Hanhart has been supplying these watches to the German armed forces for about a decade. Notably, actor and racer Steve McQueen used this chronograph at many motorcycle races and even featured it in the 1962 movie “The War Lover.” Today, these Vintage 417s are sought after by collectors, often achieving impressive prices at auction.

The original model came in two versions: the 417 in nickel-plated brass and the 417 ES in stainless steel. The design of the new Hanhart 417 C limited edition is inspired by the unique characteristic developed in older models, where the nickel plating had naturally worn off due to frequent use of the pushers, crown and bezel. rotate, revealing the yellow from underneath. brass.

The novelty here is to achieve this classic look using case components made of steel and bronze. This effort was remarkably successful. Combined with classic luminous material, gold-tone hands and high-domed sapphire crystal, it creates a beautiful classic design. The dial with its double-sided layout and historically accurate Hanhart logo contribute to its authentic vintage charm. Retaining the original 39mm diameter and featuring a signature calfskin strap with contrast stitching and optional leather lining, the watch maintains its nostalgic appeal.

A removable leather lining ensures the watch stays comfortably centered on the wrist. The pin buckle adds a classic aesthetic and has a satin finish that matches the edges of the case. An interesting option is the possibility to choose the strap length when ordering from Hanhart or upgrade to a steel strap for an additional 200 euros.

With the presence of a column wheel in the movement, our expectations regarding operating comfort are very high. Indeed, the stopwatch’s start-stop button operates with smooth precision. However, the reset thruster requires a little more force. Luckily, the screw-down crown makes day-to-day winding a breeze for hand-wound watches. The finely ribbed crown is easy to hold and turn. Another convenient feature is the substantial 58-hour power reserve, which ensures the watch continues to run reliably even after two days without being wound.

The 417 C’s bezel is marked in red and can rotate smoothly in both directions without obstruction, proving useful for measuring additional intervals or marking specific times. It was originally designed with flying in mind: when planning a flight based on visual flight rules (the main method before satellite navigation), pilots would plot their path on a flight map fly and note the timing between prominent terrain features such as rivers or railways. This information helped them navigate during the flight.

The case is decorated with beautiful details, including alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces and meticulously crafted mushroom-shaped pushers. Notably, during our wear test, no patina formed on the watch’s bronze parts. Hanhart’s use of aluminum bronze in this model is generally more resistant to aging than other copper alloys. Despite its relatively slim size of 13.3 mm, the 417 C can withstand water pressure up to 100 meters and benefits from Hanhart’s exclusive motion dampers, which help protect against impacts.

An attractive feature is the sapphire crystal caseback, which allows viewing of the movement. The new AMT5100 M caliber is sourced from the AMT Manufacturing division of Swiss movement specialist Sellita. As a hand-wound movement, it lacks the rotor commonly found in automatic watches, providing a clear view of the complex mechanism. Highlights include the blue column wheel, elegant striped finish on the plate and blue screws. The movement has 23 jewels and operates at a modern frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Considering the complex and rare movement with flyback function and column wheel, limited edition of just 150 pieces and sapphire crystal, the price of $2,860 is extremely reasonable.

In short, the Hanhart 417 C is a meticulously crafted classic timepiece with a captivating history, exceptional craftsmanship and an impressive movement. The combination of steel and bronze not only looks great, but also adds character to the watch without overpowering it.

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