Hanhart Pioneer Collection : The MonoControl, The TwinControl & The TwinDicator

At the Baselworld 2011 watch and jewellery fair, Swiss German watch brand Hanhart is presenting three new models from its Pioneer collection. In terms of their design and the technology used, the MonoControl, the TwinControl and the TwinDicator are based on the brand’s legendary chronographs, thus carrying on the company’s long tradition and maintaining its high level of expertise while implementing these qualities in a contemporary way. With the hour counter integrated into the small seconds and the displays positioned right on the edge of the dial, the Pioneer TwinDicator in particular is a highlight of the collection.

In the first half of the 20th century, the Swiss German watch brand Hanhart was a key pioneer in the development of highly functional precision chronographs. For safe navigation and precise timekeeping in the air, on the land and on the sea, these instrument watches had to meet incredibly strict criteria. They had to be absolutely reliable, extremely precise and robust. Their design had just one purpose to fulfil: perfect, flawless readability day and night along with easy operation – with or without gloves. Hanhart’s chronographs have always satisfied these high standards and continue to do so today.

Pioneer MonoControl
The Pioneer MonoControl is reminiscent of the first mono-pusher chronograph produced by the Gütenbach manufactory. In as early as 1938, the company designed a mono-pusher precision chronograph for naval officers which featured Hanhart’s own “Calibre 40” movement with column wheel and flyback function. All of the chronograph functions on this unconventional wristwatch – start, stop and zero setting – are performed by the same button, and they always follow strictly one after the other. Unlike its two-button equivalent, the seconds hand on this chronograph cannot be restarted from the point at which it is stopped; the next press of the button invariably results in a jump to the original starting point. This is the perfect technology for navigating and measuring distances at sea, ruling out any possibility of faulty navigation by dispensing with the need for an addition stopping function.

The technical design with a single pusher is also the trademark feature of the Pioneer MonoControl. This meant that the automatic calibre used had to be redesigned slightly in Hanhart’s own workshops. The crank, which sits directly beneath the button that would normally be positioned at 4 o’clock, has no function. A large shift lever is therefore responsible for the third strike on the chronograph cam. This cam has also been modified by Hanhart so that it has an additional tooth on its lowest level. The shift lever can thus control not two, but three positions.

Technical details
Model: PIONEER MonoControl

Pioneer TwinControl & Pioneer TwinDicator
The Pioneer TwinControl and the Pioneer TwinDicator, each with two pushers, are inspired for their part by Hanhart’s first pilot chronographs, the “Calibre 41” from 1939. Just as their predecessor aided navigation on the water, these chronographs enabled precise navigation in the air and thus played an integral role in the safe and successful outcome of every flight. However, these instrument watches were exposed to far harsher conditions in flight than at sea: strong vibrations, huge variations in temperature as well as magnetic influences. The Hanhart pilot chronographs soon became a constant companion for the pilots of the time.

The TwinDicator in particular has become the exclusive highlight of the Pioneer collection. This is thanks to the extraordinary way in which the characteristic design of the display has been realised in terms of technology and aesthetics, with two auxiliary dials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The exclusive and complex conversion of the automatic calibre enables both of these displays to be placed right on the edge of the large dial, which is housed a case measuring 45 milli-metres in diameter. The centres of these displays, together with the digits 2 and 4 as well as 8 and 10, form a straight, vertical axis, resulting in a symmetrically balanced presentation.

The clear and minimalist design of the dial adds to the harmonious appearance of the chronograph. In addition, the small round display at 9 o’clock is not simply reserved for the small seconds, as would normally be the case, but at the same time accommodates a practical 12-hour counter. As a result, although the Pioneer TwinDicator remains true to the bicompax type of display, it nonetheless comes with all the functions of a tricompax chronograph.

Technical details
Model: PIONEER TwinControl

Model: PIONEER TwinDicator

In addition to the unmistakable bicompax design of the display, the three new Pioneer models – MonoControl, TwinControl and TwinDicator – are all distinguished by the typical characteristics of a Hanhart chronograph. The upper chronograph button, positioned asymmetrically towards the lug, is especially striking and is a feature unique to this watch manufacturer. In order to achieve this button arrangement, Hanhart integrates a specially designed lever into the case in its own workshop. This redirects the force from pressing the button located at 2 o’clock by the required number of millimetres.

No less striking is the red reset pusher, located above the crown on the Pioneer MonoControl and below the crown on the two-button models. Legend has it that a young pilot, as he was putting on his Hanhart watch one morning, discovered that his wife had painted one of the buttons with red nail varnish so that he would always think of her and return home safe and sound. This distinctive red button became the trademark feature of the watch brand from 1939 onwards. It deterred pilots from inadvertently resetting the stopped time and going off course as a result.

The new Pioneer models are instantly recognisable as Hanhart chronographs for other reasons, too. The large, easy-to-handle crown with a deep bevelled edge guarantees safe and simple handling. The bezel is available in either a thin design which can be rotated in either direction and which comes with a fluted, slip-proof finish and red marking, or in an elegant and plain design with a smooth surface.

The silver-coloured, off-white or black dial provides flawless readability in any situation thanks to its large, glow-in-the-dark Arabic numerals and the distinctive hands, which are likewise coated with Super-LumiNova®. These features are enhanced by clear subdivisions throughout and a clearly laid out display. The original pilot’s models were produced with a case,which at 40 mm was unusually large for watches at the time, and they also had a matte finish to ensure that the pilot would not be blinded by any dazzling polished elements during a flight. In contrast, the Pioneer MonoControl, TwinControl and TwinDicator highlight their exclusive character with elegantly contrasting satin-finished and polished surfaces.

To guarantee maximum water-resistance and robustness, the three models are, like the archetypal models on which they are based, fitted with a sealed, screwed-down case back which includes three indentations for the case key. The riveted strap made from firm, hard-wearing calfskin together with a high-quality pin buckle offer a secure fit on the wrist.

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