Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot

Combat Ready – Angus Davies reviews the Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot with live images, specification and price.

Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot

Most watch brands look to employ some form of symbolism when marketing their timepieces. The very name of this latest horological offering from Hanhart Watches conjures up thoughts of ‘stealth’ and ‘military operations’. Moreover, the green tones of the strap and dial reinforce the ‘action man’, testosterone-rich imagery.

Hanhart has a rich history of making pilots’ watches and, in particular chronographs. The brand based in Gütenbach, Germany has played to its strengths with the PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot, a pilot’s watch equipped with a stopwatch function.

However, beyond the symbolism I was keen to establish whether this watch possessed any virtues of note and chose to appraise the specification of this moss-green aviator’s tool.

The dial

The dial is described as bronze green and exhibits a mainly green hue most of the time except in certain light conditions where the watch evinces a bronze cast. The chosen colour scheme exudes masculinity together with an air of military chic.

Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot

Save for noon, all hour markings are of the baton variety and smoothly coat the surface of the dial. The bold indexes on the flange echo the hour markers on the main dial plane and feature short strokes in between. At noon there is a triangular index on the flange, reaffirming the aeronautical credentials of this timepiece. All markings are luminous, proffering an abundance of green emission in dim light conditions.

While the watch contains a modified ETA 7750 movement, the dial layout is bi-compax instead of the customary tri-compax design. The subdial at 3 o’clock is a 30-minute chronograph register, while opposite a second subdial displays small seconds. There is a robustness to this watch both in reality and also implied. The framework surrounding the subdial is seemingly affixed with screws. Whether the screws are real or faux is impossible to tell, but the impression they present is one of robustness.

Another theme which is repeatedly employed is the use of open-worked hour and minute hands, together with similarly-styled chronograph hands. This design trait proffers a sense of lightness which is in stark contrast to the design of the stout case.

The readability of the dial is superb with the chosen colour-scheme, design and the scale of all details proffering ease of read-off.

The case

The black DLC would reinforce the ‘stealth’ symbolism if it were not for its high gloss appearance of the lugs and bezel. Nevertheless, the glossy black surfaces add to the aesthetics, looking stylish and adding a touch of luxury.

Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot

The lugs are articulated and secured with an Allen key bolt. The flexing action of the lugs facilitates a comfortable wrist-fit, making the 44mm case ideal for a broad cross-section of society.

A sublime element of the case is the glossy black, crenellated bezel. It glistens with the faintest hint of ambient light and proves supremely smooth to touch. At noon, there is a slither of red metallic detail which matches the red push-piece at 4 o’clock (reset).

The crown and the pushpieces have the merest touch of glossiness interspersed with semi-matt treatment. The crown has a fluted grip and the pushpiece button at 2 o’clock (stop / start) is semi-matt in appearance.

The olive green textile strap brims with quality. It is partly quilted along its form, features metal eyelets and includes a black DLC folding clasp with release buttons.

Adorning the rear of the case is an exhibition case-back. This is unusual for a pilot’s watch as they invariably come with solid case-backs. While traditionalists may mourn the addition of a pane of sapphire crystal, I personally appreciate the dorsal view of the movement within.

I found the case to be of high quality and was impressed with its tactility.

The movement

Hanhart has used the ETA 7750 fitted with a La Joux-Perret module. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 28 jewels. The spring barrel provides a minimum of 42 hours of autonomy.

Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot

The oscillating mass is open-worked and embellished with the brand’s nomen. The rotor eschews the conventional blued screws and Côtes de Genève motif, instead employing ebulliently gleaming highly polished metal. The resultant finish of the movement is very agreeable.

Closing remarks

Germany is synonymous with producing high quality items and this Hanhart watch proves no exception to this stereotype.

The dial of this timepiece is simple to read, owing to its scale and intuitive markings. However, beyond its practical virtues, it is also exceedingly handsome and abundantly stylish.

The case is constructed to a high standard especially considering the modest asking price, and the articulating lugs ensure a comfortable fit for a broad array of wrist sizes.

Overall this is a stunning timepiece worthy of consideration.

Technical specifications

  • Model: Hanhart PRIMUS Black Ops Pilot
  • Case: Stainless steel with DLC coating; diameter 44mm; height 15mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; chronograph; date.
  • Movement: ETA 7750 with La Joux-Perret module; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve minimum 42 hours
  • Strap: Green textile strap with DLC coated stainless steel folding clasp
  • Price: £2,585 (RRP as at 8.6.2017)

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank Page and Cooper for kindly providing this watch for evaluation

Related links

http://www.hanhart.com/

Angus Davies

Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.