"What you see is what you get!"
Verified Owner Comments: SIZE: At 44mm, this is obviously not a small watch. And since it has a slim fixed bezel, the watch visually appears larger than a similarly-sized one that would have the traditional wider rotating bezel. Due to the mechanism, this is not a slim watch either. But with a height of 15 mm, it is not very different from comparable timepieces, such as the Sinn EZM 1.1 (16.5 mm) or the Sinn 757 (15 mm). That said, the articulated lugs make the watch wearable by practically anyone with a wrist of 7 inches (± 17 cm) or more.
CONSTRUCTION: The case is impeccably built. No corner has been cut. Nothing wobbly or flimsy. A great attention to details. The lugs are 24 mm wide. This is worth mentioning only because many of Hanhart other watches (Pioneer Monocontrol - 21 mm / Pioneer Monoscope - 23 mm / Pioneer TwinDicator - 23 mm / Racemaster - 23 mm) have an odd width instead of an even one — thus overlooking the fact that all aftermarket watchbands only exist in even sizes (20 / 22 / 24). No details are provided on the magnetic resistance of the watch. This would be useful information for a toolwatch from a company whose image essentially relies on technical proficiency. DESIGN CHOICES The hour and minute sword hands are large, simple and highly effective. They are infinitely more appealing than the baroque cathedral hands used by Hanhart in its Pioneer line.
The red pusher located at 4 — which echoes the red indicator on the bezel — not only helps balance the extremely austere look of the bead blasted matte case but actually serves a useful purpose by reminding the user to not touch that button before the chronograph has been stopped through the upper pusher. A date function is not necessarily something that one wants on this type of watch. However, Hanhart found a clever compromise by providing a date window and making it practically invisible — thereby equally pleasing (or equally irritating) both the pro-date and the anti-date camps. Aesthetically at least, this date-without-a-date is a brilliant solution. All watches in the Primus collection have a transparent caseback. This can be seen as entirely inconsistent with the logic of a toolwatch and a particularly poor design decision.
People who are into toolwatches will certainly never abstain from buying a timepiece because it has a solid caseback, but they may well hesitate to do so if it has a transparent one. Properly designing an industrial object involves various types of psychological considerations, some easier to identify and handle than others. For instance, having a gaping hole at 3 to insert a huge date window ruins the symmetry of a watch (what could be referred as the missing tooth issue). The fact that many people do not seem to care about this does not change that fact. Other considerations are infinitely more subtle but nonetheless very real. An object has its own logic flowing from a large number of factors, including the physical and emotional relations of users with it.
BMW has on staff musical experts who spend their days experimenting with the sound of the cars' various warning systems. The sound of every system must of course convey a message (such as fasten your seatbelt), but it must do so in a way that is not irritating and that is consistent with the overall image of the brand. To put it more simply, BMW's warning systems simply cannot sound like those of a Toyota. Obviously, watchmakers have not reached such a degree of sophistication. If they had, they would realize that a toolwatch does not need a transparent caseback anymore than a Porsche 911 needs a see-through hood.
The watch has a water resistance of 100 meters. This is more or less the norm for chronographs. However, it must be mentioned that other manufacturers do much better: Sinn chronographs as well as the Guinand 361 are water resistant to 200 meters. This should not be a problem in practice, since one is unlikely to go swimming with a heavy chronograph. But it demonstrates a poor sense of priorities on the part of Hanhart: they prefer to provide a superfluous transparent caseback instead of focusing on meaningful factors such as magnetic resistance, water resistance and power reserve.
Incidentally, if one compares the Watchbuys-influenced features of the Pioneer One Special Edition watch with the regular edition of the same watch, it would seem that, on design matters, the Watchbuys team has better judgment than the manufacturer itself. Night-time and day-time legibility of the watch is unparalleled. The lume of the Primus is positively exceptional. Even with minimal daylight exposure, the indexes and hands will keep shining all night. It must be noted that far too many watches have extremely poor luminosity. It is hard to understand why manufacturers who produce high quality timepieces would skimp on lume, but the fact is that they do.
OVERALL: The Primus Pilot is exactly what it appears to be: a wonderfully-machined industrial-looking made-for-action instrument that makes no effort to be low-key. It is most definitely a watch with an attitude. As such, it is not for everyone. But if you are attracted to that type of watch you will no doubt be pleased with the Primus. Design-wise, Hanhart has with the Primus Pilot managed to successfully walk the extremely thin line aggressiveness and gaudiness. A remarkable achievement.
Overall, the Primus Pilot is a rugged and sophisticated watch from a company that has a well-deserved reputation for quality but frequently demonstrates an inclination to outsmart itself.