Hello Mr.Wallner, do you remember your first wrist watch?
Hi Mr. Schröder, actually I remember the first wrist watch that I really wanted very well. In kindergarten one of the children had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle watch, which had a cap looking like one of the action heroes from the TV series. The kid and his watch where the centre of attention for weeks. So already in early days I could experience the magic power of wristwatches.
Hanhart can look back on a rich history of producing Chronographs. But how do you manage to stay relevant and compete in the tough watch industry?
Staying relevant nowadays in a constantly developing industry definitely puts pressure on every watch company. Moreover the big brands have enormous budgets for marketing which makes it hard for niche brands like Hanhart to be visible for customers – even though we are convinced that we offer a great value for money. The watch demand is in general still very high and there is great growth potential for our brand.
From an historical perspective, Hanhart is indeed very interesting and has lots of stories to be told. Hanhart positioned itself as a strong brand and established new standards in the watchmaking sector since the very beginning. In 1924 for instance, Hanhart produced the world’s first reasonably priced mechanical stopwatch and quickly became the market leader in this segment. In 1938, Hanhart supplied first officers and pilots with precision timepieces, and during the seventies, while the watch industry endured the quartz crisis, Hanhart developed an in-house movement, which was sold by the millions.
The red button is a unique feature of the watches; please explain its origin and function.
“He placed a kiss lovingly on her brow as she slept before quietly leaving the apartment. As he looked at his Hanhart watch in the hangar, a smile flitted over his lips: she had painted the button with her red nail varnish so that he would think of her always and return safe and sound …”
The legend behind the red button, which is at the same time the distinctive trademark of Hanhart watches, had originally the functional purpose to prevent pilots from unintentionally zeroing the stop time.
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
Watches from Hanhart are designed with functionality in mind for professional use. They often take their inspiration from old drawings of the legendary pilot watches of Hanhart from 1938/39. After all, it is the respect for the watchmaking pioneers that guarantees continuity at the Gütenbach based company.
In creating the RACEMASTER line, Hanhart designers have taken inspiration from racing cars of the 1950s and ‘60s and combined it with a distinctive masculine design and technical approach.
The PRIMUS line builds on the tradition and expertise of the own-brand watch manufactory and combines this with the latest technology and progressive design. The collection pays tribute to Hanhart’s long history as the most important European manufacturer of manual stopwatches.
What movements are you using?
In 1938, Hanhart entered series production of pilot watches with the in-house manufactured single-button Calibre 40, closely followed by the legendary Calibre 41 and Tachy Tele. These watches came with a typical bicompax display format, a single-button or asymmetrical button arrangement that quickly became exemplary for reliable instrument watches made in Gütenbach, Germany. In the two button models, e.g. Tachy Tele and Calibre 41, the top button started the time measurement, which could be stopped and restarted again from this point. The bottom button instantly reset the indicator to zero during measurement (fly back function).
Today, Hanhart is working closely with great leaders of the watch industry to guarantee the best quality of high precision instruments. In order to achieve the traditional display format with greater distance of the totalisators, Hanhart modifies the reliable ETA Valjoux 7750 or the comparable Sellita SW 500 movements with a complex module from La Joux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH).
The single-button conversion of the chronographs PIONEER MonoControl, MonoScope and Mk I for example expends a considerable effort of our watchmaker to disassemble the movement and realign the cam. Each rotor is skeletonised with the Hanhart Logo, a signature of individualisation.
Where are the watches designed and assembled?
Hanhart is located in Gütenbach, Germany, in the Black Forest close to Glashütte the old heart of the German watch industry. Since 1882, this geographical location has fostered Hanhart’s philosophy of making exceptional timepieces of lasting value and a clear focus on development. Until today, the watches are designed and assembled upon request by highly qualified watchmakers in the own workshops in the Black Forest.
Hanhart takes great importance to harmonise form and function while staying true to the traditional trademark details, which have been unmistakable features of the brand since the start: the typical “bicompax” display format, the red button, the asymmetrical button arrangement, the fluted rotating bezel – depending on the model – with its red marking, and the striking riveted leather strap.
Where can we buy your watches and what is the price range?
Customers from Europe may buy Hanhart watches directly from our online-shop that we was launched in the beginning of this year or at selected jewelers.
Internationally, we are cooperating with exclusive distributors such as WatchBuys (US) and Page&Cooper (UK). You can find Hanhart dealers close to you here