Introducing the Hanhart Bronze 417 Chronograph Edition No. 2 "Copperhead" For Revolution & The Rake

With an all-new case that is identical in size to the vintage watches, the new Hanhart Bronze 417 Chronograph Edition No. 2 “Copperhead” For Revolution & The Rake taps into the authentic spirit of the model.

When we launched our Hanhart Bronze 417 last year, we didn’t realize how popular the watch would be. We had no clue that this cool functional pilot’s chronograph rendered in quick patina bronze would end up selling on the secondary market for a considerable premium. So, first of all, I want to thank everyone who bought the watch and shared it on social media and supported the project.

When it comes to special editions, our philosophy has always been to make the watches we want to wear. But, at the same time, it is important that we tap into the authentic spirit of a brand or a model. With the 417, the project was very special because when we first broached the idea to Felix Wallner, Hanhart’s co-managing director, it didn’t exist in the brand’s line-up. Felix had seen the buzz that had built up around the original watches, and he could see that there was a strong desire from the collector’s community. So, amazingly, he agreed, and we began our 417 adventure that ended up taking several years.

Why? Says Wallner, “The first thing that we wanted to do was recreate the original proportions of the 417. That meant, first of all, a relatively thin case. This took a lot of effort as we wanted to incorporate a more practical hand wound chronograph movement, the Sellita SW510. The next thing was to get back to the historic bezel which was actually very thin and featured very fine fluting. Then we had to source the right domed sapphire to replicate the look of the original watch. We went through many designs, working off our original 417 watches so that when you place the new watch and vintage one next to each other, they look almost identical.”

But, of course, there was one area in which the new 417 was different from its ancestors. This was related to its case size. So, it was remarkable to me when I received a phone call from Felix Wallner to discuss a follow-up to our Bronze 417 and the first thing he said was, “Let’s do an all-new case that is identical in size to the vintage watches. Let’s do it in a case diameter of 39mm!” I loved this. Because here was the head of a watch brand proposing to go a more difficult, labor-intensive and execution. To me, this speaks volumes of the type of guys that run Hanhart: dudes with real integrity.

But we didn’t just stop at changing up the watch’s diameter, which required the construction of an all-new case. For some time, I had been fascinated with the idea of executing this watch with a brown sunray dial. Where did this idea come from? It’s actually pretty simple. My favorite watch, and the one that will be strapped to my wrist when they light my Viking funeral pyre to immolate my alcohol- soaked corporeal form and hopefully send me to Valhalla to feast at the right hand of Odin and drink mead out of the skulls of my vanquished enemies, is my Patek Philippe 5970. But this watch is a special execution version that features the most beautiful watch dial I’ve ever set eyes on, which is brown bronze in color with an amazing sunray finish that is radiant under direct sunlight. While I know a pilot’s watch is supposed to have a matte black dial to absorb sunlight and probably the least practical dial is one that reflects light into your eyes, let’s also agree that no one buying one of these is using it to dogfight other biplanes over the Atlantic. So, for me, the bronze dial is a homage to my beloved 5970.

All the print on the dial is rendered in stark white with BGW9 Super-LumiNova for higher visibility. The hands are executed in bronze, and we’ve lumed the hour, minute and even the chrono seconds hands with C3 Super- LumiNova to harmonize with the dial and case. Why did we lume the seconds hand? Well, because that’s what they did back in the day with the 417 ES, made between 1956 and 1958, that inspired this watch.

This time around, the words “Shockproof” and “Antimagnetic” appear on the dial just like on the original watches, which means that there is a soft iron cage inside to protect the movement from magnetic fields. But we didn’t stop there. Wallner and I decided that with this beautiful dial, we should select an alloy of bronze that would patina less aggressively, so we decided to use aluminum bronze CuAl10Ni5Fe4, instead of bronze CuSn8 which we had used in last year’s watch. Finally, we decided that while the 417 should still have a Bund strap, we should render it in chocolate brown to better match the dial. I think the result This year’s brand new Hanhart 417 Chronograph Edition No. 2 “Copperhead” for Revolution & The Rake expensive route rather than the easy one of just reusing the 42mm case from last year with a different dial is something quite stunning. We will make this watch in a limited edition of 200 pieces with a price of USD 2,050.

Contributor

Wei Koh

The Rake's Founder & Editorial Director.

Published

November 2021

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