Friday, October 23, 2020

The 417 ES

From Hanhart -

I was noodling around on Facebook this morning and discovered that there is a new chronograph from Hanhart.
This is the 417 ES.  It is a very handsome throwback to an iconic piece.
Courtesy of Hanhart

The 417 ES is a hand-wound, bi-compax chronograph. The case is of stainless steel and it measures 42 mm in diameter.

Courtesy of Hanhart
The movement is from Sellita, noted as the SW 510 M.
Courtesy of Hanhart

Hanhart has, over the past 8 years Hanhart has thrilled and disappointed in equal measures. A few bumps along the way, more than a few sets of hands on the wheel, and a few hops back and forth across the Swiss/German border. 

Courtesy of Hanhart

And hopefully this latest piece is going to be successful for them.

It is competitively priced at 1,744 Euro but you cannot order direct if you are from the US. Should you be in the US you will need to order from Hanhart's US distributor/sole retail partner.

Here are the pertinents -

Diameter 42 mm
Height with glass 13.3 mm, height without glass 11.55 mm
Stainless steel, satined/polished
Fluted rotating bezel, continuously rotatable, with red marking
Anti-reflective convex sapphire glass
High-domed sapphire glass
Screwed-down stainless steel case back
Continuous serial number
Engraving of the historical logo on the case back
Water resistant to 10 bar/10 ATM

Historical logo and bicompax layout
Historical font
Super-LumiNova® coated
Super-LumiNova® coated

Manual wound chronograph
Sellita SW 510 M
Symmetrical button arrangement
28.800 A/h, 4 Hz, 23 jewels
58 hours after full winding
Small second
30-minute counter
Bicompax Chronograph with central stop-second

Calfskin strap with Alcantara on the inside
Lug width 21mm
Black with white stitching and underlay
Dark brown with optional underlay
Light brown with optional underlay
Pin-buckle with historical logo

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Repeat - The Trolley Problem

So I had an interesting phone call with a brand owner this morning.  He first thanked me (I think sincerely) for the recent post about the pervasiveness of payola in the watch media.  He then asked (I also think sincerely) "Do you enjoy making enemies?"

Well, I don't expect my phone to ring with the COO of Outlet X begging me to join up anytime soon, so in for a penny - in for a pound.  Here gentle reader, is a repeat on one of my favorites -

The Trolley Problem

The Trolley Problem - As it applies to watch journalism.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
It would seem that the words watch and journalist are becoming more and more incompatible in the same sentence.  Brands work feverishly to sanitize who will receive their release and then monitor closely to watch the "Barium Meal" that is the press release that they sent out to see which "news" outlets will clap and bark like seals, and which ones will experience gastro-intestinal distress. For the watch journos out there who are members of the "clean plate" club and can swallow it all down and reveal the picture of Mickey Mouse etched across the top of their dish? They get a gold star, guaranteed access, paid travel and gifts of various description and best of all?  Advertising revenue!  For those that spend the time after disseminating a particularly foul smelling press missive with a visit from "Cardinal Chunder"?  
Courtesy of the BBC
Well, let's just say they will not find themselves on this year's Christmas list.

But let's get back to the topic at hand - the Trolley Problem.  The trolley problem is (at this point) an age old conundrum conceived to help inform and instruct on moral and/or ethical behavior.  If Wikipedia is anything to go by, it might have first been utilized by Frank Chapman Sharp at the University of Wisconsin to help instruct on moral or ethical thought.  Essentially, imagine that there is a runaway trolley (or streetcar, or tram if you are more familiar, or even a train).  Further down the line there are five people, very much alive, but immobilized and unable to move, and are directly in the path of the trolley, streetcar, tram, or what the hell, even a train... well you get the idea. BUT WAIT! Hallelujah! There is a switch lever, and you are standing right by it! Hooray! You can save the day!  

But wait -

If you choose to divert the trolley, tram, street car, train (you get the idea) to this other line, it will then head down the track and run right over your infant son who you left in his stroller on what you believed to be a disused stretch of track while you went to grab a six pack at the off-license.  Yes, this is why your partner does not trust you alone with the kids ; )

So now you have a real dilemma - do you act, and by acting sacrifice your son for the greater good of the 5 strangers?  Or do you do nothing?  I mean, it's not like you put those five people there on the tracks in the first place, you just wanted to get some beers.

In the "normal" world, and I use the word normal cautiously because we are living in very abnormal times, but in the normal world, if you report on fact, or offer opinion (not slander, defamation, or falsehoods) but fair and balanced opinion, you should not be afraid to do so.  But we are not living in normal times.  And curious to relate?  The watch and luxury business has been trying to run a somewhat authoritarian press bureau for some time.  Step out of line, you are left in the cold.  And in all fairness, there are a fair number of people out there trying to make a living, and not necessarily willing to throw that switch lever and watch their child (or in this case, their media outlet) get mowed down.

Recently with the triumph in court of Vortic, there was a real opportunity for several owners of large press outlets to do the right thing and actually speak up. These are outlets with deep staffs, and a fairly secure revenue stream (at least by comparison to others), with truly large readerships. They all chose to remain silent publicly.  And this is a shame. Because in trying to stay on the "good list", they collectively took a shit on a very deserving, very sincere brand that has struggled nobly forward for many years, and frankly? Deserved a hell of a lot better than what they got. And what I find so frustrating in all of this is that I KNOW these media outlet owners. They were once in the very same spot as the brand owner. They were not always so "mighty", and I have shared more than one dreadful lunch at BaselWorld with several of them over plates of over-aged open faced liverwurst sandwiches and tap water trying to conceive of an alliance of our then much smaller blogs and outlets to come together so that we all might make some money.  
Editors note - the alliance never really fully materialized.  2 of the outlets became big time, one of the bloggers now runs a magazine, I chose to remain a solo act.

And on one level I get it - we all have to eat, we all have bills to pay, and fortunately for me, I am not dependent upon Tempus Fugit, and therefore not dependent on brands writing me checks.

But on the other hand, whether we all admit it or not, nobody needs watches. More particularly?
Nobody really needs watch magazines or blogs. We like them, we enjoy them. But the outlets should also all be willing to offer honest opinions without fear of losing advertising revenue.

Because ultimately? The watch press should be much more than simply an extension of a brand's pr and marketing office. Because when the line is as blurred as it currently is? It is no longer actual reporting. It is just candy floss.

The UR-220 All Black


Courtesy of URWERK

URWERK UR-220 “Falcon Project”

All Black edition limited to 25 watches


Calibre UR-7.20, developed by URWERK

Manually wound

Swiss lever


28, 800 v/h - 4 Hz


Energy source:
Single mainspring barrel


Power reserve:
48 hours

Baseplate in ARCAP P40, 3D minutes pointer in aluminium with bronze counterweight; central spring in steel. Hours satellites in aluminium; carrousel and screws in grade 5 titanium.

Decorative finishes:
Power reserve bridge and module circular-grained in black.
Power reserve subdial shot peened in black.
Vertically brushed satellites with polished bevels.
Carrousel and its cage finely sanded with a circular satin finish. Rhodium plated in black.
Satellite cam finely sanded with a circular satin finish.
Painted SuperLuminova markers: white glowing blue for the power- reserve indicator; yellow glowing green for the hours and minutes; red glowing blue for the 60 minutes marker and the end of the power reserve scale. 
Polished screws.


Wandering hours on a satellite complication ( URWERK patent).
3D retrograde minutes hand.
Double power-reserve indicator.
Oil change indicator on two rollers on the back showing the accumulated running time of the movement in months.


Steel and titanium with black DLC.

Width: 43.8mm; length: 53.6mm; depth: 14.8mm

Clear sapphire crystal

Black DLC on titanium and sapphire crystal glass.

Water resistance:
Pressure tested to 30m/3 ATM

Decorative finishes:
Black DLC on shot-peened and sanded crown;
Matt sanded logo;
Black DLC on sanded crown guard;
Caseband in black DLC on stainless steel.
Back: black DLC on sanded caseback;
Pin: satin finished body with sanded engraving, polished hand; Tinted sapphire crystal;
Polished screws.

Leather with a titanium buckle.

CHF 130,000. (Swiss francs /excl. tax)