Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl

This detailed review of the Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl includes live images, specification and pricing.

Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl silver dial - bicompax chronograph with monopusher

Last weekend, I visited a car dealership researching my next automotive acquisition. Whilst sat in the driver’s seat of a Bavarian thoroughbred I marvelled at the array of switches laid out in front of me. The numerous buttons proved bewildering.

Likewise, the problem with watches equipped with several complications is that they often feature additional push-pieces or correctors set in the case-band and flummox the uninitiated. The Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl employs merely one red push-piece for the stopwatch function and a conventional winding crown at 3 o’clock. There is no risk of confusion, everything is simple to understand.

Hanhart was founded in 1882 and has subsequently gained a reputation for its chronographs. As I have stated previously on the pages of ESCAPEMENT, my favourite complication is the chronograph and therefore it seemed inevitable that I would ultimately appraise one of this brand’s timepieces.

The dial

The dial is described as silver, but evinces a beige tone from certain angles. Luminous poire-style hour and minute hands communicate the prevailing time.

Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl silver dial - bicompax chronograph with monopusher

Each hour is proclaimed with Arabic numerals, save for 3, 6 and 9 o’clock where various indications take precedence. The hour track is snailed, granting a fascinating texture to the dial vista.

The black central chronograph seconds hand features a red tip which bends downwards near the periphery of the dial, mitigating any risk of parallax error.

Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl silver dial - bicompax chronograph with monopusher

The bicompax layout confers a balanced aesthetic. A 30-minute chronograph register is positioned at 3 o’clock and a small seconds display resides at 9 o’clock. Both subdials sit below the main dial plane, proffering a delightful play with depths and heightening visual interest. Each subdial features a railroad track and there is a comely circlet of snailing around the 30-minute chronograph register .

A date aperture is positioned at 6 o’clock. I did find the scale of the date display too small albeit this did little to mar my enjoyment of this watch.

Encircling the dial is a minute track. The track features ¼ second markings, proving ideal for the precise measurement of elapsed time intervals.

Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl silver dial - bicompax chronograph with monopusher

Hanhart has cleverly used depths and texture to deliver a sublime display. Furthermore, the sparing use of colour heightens the appeal of the dial. Everything, save for the date, is clear and simple to read. Moreover, beyond the notable functionality of the dial there is an aesthetic beauty which I find most endearing.

The case

The 42mm stainless steel case is incredibly complex. The satin-brushed bezel is concave and sits high above the dial. Indeed, once again, Hanhart has masterfully played with volumes to glorious effect.

Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl silver dial - bicompax chronograph with monopusher

The scale of the case should suit a broad array of wearers. The crown is sizeable and simple to manipulate. Neither the crown nor the monopusher impair free movement of the wrist or chafe the skin. Indeed, I personally found the watch accorded a very comfortable fit.

Beneath the bezel is a narrow slither of gleaming metal. It proffers contrast and sits adjacent the satin-brushed case-band and lugs. This mixture of finishes works well and bestows much eye-appeal.

Each element of the case is baby-soft smooth and free of any sharp edges or unwanted traces of machining. The lugs taper sharply downwards, commanding the strap to encircle the wearer’s wrist.

Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl silver dial - bicompax chronograph with monopusher

The underside of the lugs and the peripheral area of the case-back brilliantly shine in polished splendour. Meanwhile, the main area of the case-back is satin-brushed and engraved with various details, including the brand’s logo.

The thick brown strap features riveting and exudes a high quotient of quality and tactile delight. Both the strap and the stainless steel clasp augment the pleasure of wearing this chronograph.

The movement

An automatic movement, the Calibre HAN3911, powers this impressive chronograph. The movement features a ‘rotor with a skeletonised Hanhart logo’. It was not possible to appraise the quality of the finishing owing to the solid case-back.

The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 28 jewels. The movement has sufficient power to deliver a minimum of 42 hours of autonomous operation.

Closing remarks

The Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl is a handsome timepiece. The German company has skilfully used differing depths, various textures and judiciously applied soupçons of red detail to great effect. Indeed, the dial provides an optimal mix of readability and style.

Measuring 42mm in diameter, the case should appeal to a large group of prospective purchasers.

The lone red push-piece starts, stops and resets the chronograph function and proves intuitive to use. Indeed, the sole red button makes for an easy life and should provide a source of inspiration for those car makers wishing to supply technophobic watch journalists with user-friendly cars.

Further information


Technical specifications

• Model: Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl

Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres).

• Functions: Hours; minutes; date; small seconds; chronograph

• Movement:Calibre HAN3911; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.

• Strap: Brown calfskin strap with stainless steel pin buckle

• Price: €2,950 (RRP as at 20.12.2017)