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Hanhart Goes Racing

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Pioneer_Racemaster_GTM_737-670-001

Today we’re taking a look at a German brand I only recently became aware of – Hanhart.  This is actually a pretty storied brand, with an interesting tale behind one of their prominent design features.

The model we’ll look at is Pioneer Racemaster GMT (product page), which is a throwback to when they had tighter racing ties in the 60s and 70s (man, what company didn’t have ties to auto racing in that era?).  To that end, you’ve got a chronograph feature, a leather strap that looks like it was made from a driving glove, and a color scheme that’s almost reminiscent of Gulf livery to me.

But back to that chronograph – you’ll notice that there’s only a single pusher in place.  This is because the watch is powered by an HAN4212 automatic bicompax chronograph movement.  From what I can tell, this is likely a modification of the Valjoux 7750 (we’re seeing a lot of those as of late), but modified to just have a single pusher.

Hanhart_Pioneer-Racemaster-GTM_737.670-001_Ad1

And as to that pusher – it’s red on all the models in their lineup.  While there’s a practical reason for it (to help pilots keep track of which pusher is which), there’s actually a more “legendary” reason for it. Rather than rephrase it here, I’ll just direct you to Hanhart’s page for the story.

The case is a larger 45mm (16mm thick), made of a proprietary steel alloy that is supposed to be 100 times more scratch resistant than regular stainless steel (seems like a good thing, no?).  This in turn houses the domed (and double AR-coated) sapphire crystal and screwed-down case back; once everything is locked into place, you have a water resistance rating of 100m.

The one detail I can’t tell you at this point is the pricing (but I’m looking into that).  At $8800, this is definitely a high-end piece.  Should you like the design, but not the particular color scheme, there are three other models (shown here; pricing ranges from $8600 to $9900)) that are part of this new family.  All in all, I like what I see, as well as the mono-pusher twist.  Looks to be another interesting variation on the 7750 foundation.

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