Review of Hanhart Sirius Automatic Pilot’s Chronograph

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Model # 710-020A-00
 
Brand/Model:  Hanhart Sirius Automatic Pilot’s Chronograph
Movement:  Swiss automatic
Material:  stainless steel case, stainless steel bracelet or leather strap
Complications:  date display, chronograph timing in one-second increments up to 12 hours
Price:  MSRP:  $5,200 USD (watch has been discontinued)


Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 
Hanhart is not a watch brand that you hear about everyday.  The company was established in Switzerland in 1882 and shortly afterwards, moved to Germany.  Hanhart has been located in Gütenbach in the heart of the German Black Forest since the early 1930’s.  This town is a small 1,500 person hamlet that’s a destination as a health resort.  It’s also in the part of Germany known as the ‘watch highway.’  Gütenbach is famous for the production of cuckoo clocks and mantle clocks, so Hanhart is in good company.
Since 1924, Hanhart has made their mechanical stopwatches in Germany, the product the company is best known for.  They introduced mechanical chronographs for professional pilots in 1939, which has led to Hanhart being a modern producer of mechanical, digital and electronic stopwatches, time measurement devices and chronographs today. 
The mechanical chronographs that Hanhart produces are top-quality pieces that blend a vintage-inspired design with contemporary features that make these watches extremely useful, stylish and unique.
The Sirius chronograph starts with a fully satin-finished 316L stainless steel case that measures 40.2mm without the large screwdown crown, 45.5mm including the crown.  Case thickness is 15.1mm and lug spacing is 20mm.  The screwdown display back has a sapphire crystal and shows off the beautifully decorated movement with signed rotor.  The Sirius is factory rated at 100 meters of water resistance.
Fit and finish of the case, bezel, pushers, caseback and crown are first-rate.  The watch has a great no-nonsense look about it while still being approachable; it’s a fantastic look on the wrist.
The dial shines on this model, with a silver guilloche design (radiating circular patterning) adding a nice vintage look.  The hour and minute hands are black with inset lume and pointer tips.  The arabics are black and printed on the dial, very simple but effective.  A black 60-minute chapter ring encircles the dial at the outside edge.  Minimal and small dial printing consists only of the Hanhart name, ‘automatik’ and ‘1882’.
As the hour and minute hands are the only luminous features of this watch, you may find yourself wishing there was more lume.  I guess keeping only the hour and minute hands lumed fits with the overall simplicity and all-business approach of this watch, but more lume would be a bonus.  What lume there is of good quality; bright green that you can’t miss.
The subdials for the chronograph are inset slightly into the dial, with black hands (non-luminous, arrow style on the timing subdials) and feature simple black arabics and minute tracks.  The central chronograph seconds hand is a thin black stick with an arrow tip.
The subdial at the 9 position is the watch seconds hand.  The subdial at the 3 position is the chronograph’s 30-minute totalizer and the subdial at the 6 position is the 12-hour chrono totalizer.
An inset date window sits at the 4:30 position, with a black on white date wheel.  The date is fairly easy to read and alignment within the window is good.
The dial is capped by a slightly domed sapphire crystal, which doesn’t appear to have any anti-reflective coating on it.  An omni-directional coin-edge style bezel rotates smoothly in either direction, as there are no clicks to lock it into position.  A simple black hash mark on the bezel serves as the marker for timing purposes.
As mentioned earlier, the main time setting crown is nice and big and is easy to turn and use.  A unique design feature of the Sirius chrono are the asymmetrical chronograph pushers.  Both pushers are conventional in their look and feel, have small ‘locator’ points in their centers and function well.  The upper pusher (chrono start/stop) is spaced farther away from the crown than the lower pusher is (chrono reset).  This is done to ease chrono operation without having to either look at the watch directly and makes it easier to operate while wearing gloves.  A subtle but cool feature.
Another design element that is present is the rather thin look of the lugs in relation to the thickness of the case.  It’s not that they look wrong or out-of-place, but they are noticeably thinner than lugs on many other watch cases.
Powering the Sirius is a modified Valjoux 7750-based automatic chronograph movement, running with 28 jewels and beating at 28,800 vph.  Hanhart does a wonderful decorating job on the movement, with ‘fire’ blued screws, Cotes de Geneve detailing, perlage, high polished parts and a decorated and signed rotor.
The movement has turned in fine performance, running at -3 seconds over 24 hours and providing a long 51-3/4 hour power reserve.  Winding and setting operations work as they should and the chronograph starts, stops and resets crisply.
The Sirius is fitted with either a stainless steel bracelet or a leather strap.  My watch came with both and I prefer the strap.  The bracelet is a quality piece, a fully satin finish five-link design.  Links are solid, as are the end links and the clasp is signed and double locking with a machined deployant.  Four microadjustments are provided on the clasp.  The bracelet is continuous width, measuring 20mm from lugs to clasp.
The strap is a beauty.  A simple, somewhat thick, but soft and comfortable black leather, with a single rivet at each lug end.  Grey contrast stitching, a satin finish signed buckle and two keepers (one fixed, one floating) complete the strap.  The strap measures 20mm at the lugs and tapers to 18mm at the buckle.  The overall vintage look and feel of the Sirius is greatly enhanced by the leather strap.
Presentation is another bonus with this watch.  Inside an entirely plain cardboard box are the simple instructions (separate pamphlets in both English and German) and the main watch case, a hand-finished brown leather case with snap closure.  The leather box is horseshoe shaped and has a cotton duck type lining with watch pillow and a small pouch also finished in the cotton lining material.  The leather box would make a great travel case for this watch or others in your collection.
The Hanhart Sirius chronograph is a functional watch with some great design details that make it unique in many ways.  It’s a quality piece that you definitely won’t see on the other guy and that alone makes it a worthwhile get.
Pros:  true watchmaking heritage, beautifully decorated movement, legible, functional, no-frills to detract from its intended purpose
 
Cons:  could use lume on a few more places, case thickness in relation to lug thickness could bother some, hard-to-find in the marketplace, can be pricey
 
Verdict:  a super cool, great looking chronograph that you can wear practically anywhere and exude style and panache, knowing you have a watch that gets the job done

 
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.
 
Excelsior!
 
-Marc


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