Pilot’s watches have been present in the cockpit since the very beginning of aviation. Most pilots used to navigate with the help of pocket watches, because wristwatches specially designed for flying were a rare occurrence.

A legend is born

The first pilot watch built by Hanhart in 1938 was the one-button chronograph “Calibre 40” with black dial, luminous numerals and the small distance between hands and dial in order to guarantee quick and unimpaired reading of time in bright lighting as well as in the dark. Followed by the legendary models “Tachy Tele” and “Calibre 41” in 1939, these watches came with a rotating bezel, luminescent hands and numerals, and red painted button with asymmetric position of the buttons for supreme ease of operation. The variant with only one chronograph button allows only one timer action and the reset. 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).


The bezel with its red marking was aligned with its minute hand to record a given flying distance. It was also possible to obtain second precise time intervals up to 30 minutes with the chronograph function. However, the watches did not display any military markings.

The wristwatch chronographs of the Gütenbach-based manufacturer Hanhart were mainly produced for Stuka pilots and Navy officers and were available in several case varieties. The chronographs came with an extremely reduced design; the dial was clearly organised and took inspiration from the cockpit instrumentation of contemporary aircrafts.

PIONEER MonoControl

Hanhart upholds the tradition in producing legendary pilot watches and unites the clear instrument inspired design of its predecessor from 1938 with the outstanding modern technology. In both form and function, the PIONEER MonoControl is a virtually perfect example of a classic pilot’s watch. The black or silver-coloured dial with luminescent indices is reduced to essentials: legibility is a top priority.


Compared with its predecessor, the stainless-steel case has increased by 2 millimetres to 42 millimetres. Also worth mentioning, the contemporary modified date window at 6. The watches, which are water-resistant up to 10 bar, are powered by a modified chronograph movement HAN3911 and have a 42-hour power reserve. In terms of precision and robustness – and like all its predecessors – the PIONEER MonoControl meets the full schedule of requirements for professional Pilot’s Watches “Made in Germany”.

The PIONEER MonoControl is reminiscent of the first mono-pusher chronograph produced by the Gütenbach manufactory in 1938, which featured Hanhart’s own “Calibre 40”. All chronograph functions of this unconventional wristwatch – start, stop and zero setting – are performed by the same button, and they always follow strictly one after the other. In order to obtain the mono-pusher conversion, the automatic chronograph movement, which is based on calibre ETA Valjoux 7750, is redesigned and modified in Hanhart’s own workshops in cooperation with La Joux-Perret.


More information can be found here.