Unless you’ve been living in a cave without access to the outside world for the past few months, it is impossible that you’ve missed the trend for bronze watches. They are all over the place. And some look pretty cool. Still, there’s one important thing to know about bronze: it ages (that thing brands name patina). Some like it, some don’t. What if you want the taste of bronze without patina developing on the case of your watch? Well, Hanhart might have an answer, with its latest take on the modernized Flieger watch, the Primus Nautic Pilot Bronze Chronograph.
Hanhart is one of those brands with a long and rich history, respect from a small but knowledgeable community without having become too mainstream. This watch brand was founded in 1882, in Switzerland by Johan A. Hanhart, before relocating in Germany in 1902. The brand has had quite an impact on the industry, especially as one of the first to distribute reasonably priced stopwatches, and a pioneer in the development of the wrist chronograph. The brand is now mainly known as it supplied pilots and naval officers with chronographs during the Second World War – with watches such as these, named Flieger, which inspired the current Pioneer collection.
Nowadays, while continuing the production of Flieger-inspired pilot’s chronographs, the brand is also involved in aviation and motorsport, expressed by the more modern Primus collection – a watch that relies on some of the brand’s codes, with a much more contemporary take on the concept. Something we’ve explained in our review of the Primus Black Ops.
The Hanhart Primus Nautic Pilot Bronze
The Primus is a watch on its own. It is bold, robust, uniquely designed and stands out from the crowd. It is a watch with a strong personality but also a certain coolness. Today, the brand introduces a new version, playing on the trend for bronze but with a unique take on this material… Simply because it isn’t made of bronze.
As mentioned, bronze watches will age, change colour, gets some patina – in other words, copper rust will develop. It can be cool for some enthusiasts, but others prefer their watches to remain in pristine condition. With the Primus Nautic Pilot Bronze, Hanhart offers a watch that combines the resistance and coolness of bronze. How? By having a case made of stainless steel, then PVD-coated with bronze. Best of all, this case offers a much higher resistance to wear, as it has a hardness of 1,300 Vickers – compared to around 220 Vickers for regular steel.
The case of this Primus Nautic Pilot Bronze is identical to the previous editions. Meaning: large, robust, heavy and unique in its design. With its 44mm diameter and 15mm height, this watch is not discreet. The case retains some typical Hanhart elements, such as the fluted bezel with a red marker (non-rotating) or the red reset button for the chronograph. What really stands out about the watch are the lugs. As a large watch, Hanhart has opted for articulated lugs, which helps that case and strap to hug the wrist – see our recent and highly debated article on the lug-to-lug issue here.
Combined with this new bronze-coated case, Hanhart has chosen a Royal Blue dial and textile strap to evoke a nautical theme. The dial and its layout are as bold and functional as the case, with oversized hands and markers. Highly legible and contrasted. One small complaint concerning the anti-reflective treatment of the crystal, which could be a bit more efficient.
Powering this watch is a Sellita SW510, a bi-compax version of the Valjoux 7750 architecture. The movement beats at 4Hz and boasts 48 hours of power reserve. The movement, with a special rotor, is visible through a sapphire crystal.
Price & Availability
The Hanhart Primus Nautic Pilot Bronze is limited to 300 pieces and can be ordered now at retailers and on the brand’s website. It will be priced at EUR 2,950 (incl. taxes). More details at the dedicated page on www.hanhart.com.