Get up to Speed with Hanhart’s Racemaster Series
Our brief summary of the Hanhart collection was so well received, that we couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to bring you a more in depth analysis of their widely admired Racemaster Series.
You see, these instrument watches, the Hanhart Racemaster GT Chronograph, the GTF and the GTM, are very successful reinterpretations of Hanhart’s original racing chronographs; each sharing a classic modern look, while offering different features that are powered by a movement unique to each model.
Across the board, their red hands contrast pleasingly with the anthracite-tinted middle section of the dial. Their ring-shaped minutes scale is white on the Racemaster GT, light blue on the GTM and orange-brown on the GTF. Each hue symbolises a legendary race car from the 1960s and 1970s at a glance, while showcasing Hanhart’s meticulous attention to detail.
You’d expect nothing less from the exceptionally talented Hanhart watchmakers tinkering away in Gütenbach, in the German Blackforest. Ellis and Andy produce just 1,000 limited edition timepieces a year. Frankly, rival manufacturers with an output of sixty to seventy thousand watches annually simply can’t compete with Hanhart’s diligence or exactitude.
Coming out of Germany in such low quantities as they do, these Racemaster watches are rare and therefore highly sort after by collectors. Let’s take a closer look.
All three watches in this collection exhibit a traditional chronograph layout. The Hanhart Racemaster GT has a thirty minute counter chronograph on the right and a dual-purpose subdial on the left. Consider, if you will, the level of engineering prowess Hanhart are exhibiting with that second dial, recording seconds with the white hand and up to twelve hours with the red as it does.
To achieve this sophistication, they modified the robust and reliable Valjoux 7750 movement to become a Hanhart 4011 movement to suit the specifications of the GT alone.
There’s another reason why they were forced to do this, and it becomes most apparent when you wear the Racemaster GT; its pushers are asymmetric, with the stop/start button positioned up high, closer towards the lug.
Hanhart’s meticulous shines also shine elsewhere through the dial. From the applied indices with Super-LumiNova insets, also seen on the red hand, to the beautifully detailed silver subdials and the tachymeter on the outside.
All three Racemaster Models have the same, exquisitely finished watch case, which happens to be as exemplary as the rest of the timepiece. It’s 45mm diameter with a short lug-to-lug distance of 53.7mm, and an overall depth of 16.3mm. These cases, with convex sapphire crystal and anti-reflective on both sides, sits neatly on the wrist, with eye-catching polished and brushed finishes.
Better yet, their closed case backs are always engraved with the iconic Hanhart propeller and two chequered racing flags surrounded by an edge curb, representing the race track.
As the case backs are quick to tell you, with ‘HDSPro®’ engraved upon them, these are the first Hanhart-produced watches made of HDSPro® scratch resistant steel. According to the manufacturer, this makes the Racemaster series 100 times more scratch-resistant than traditional stainless steel; keeping your Hanhart Racemaster showroom fresh, even after you’ve taken a butter knife to the silver case; if that’s something you like to do to your watches.
Despite the numerous similarities between the watches in the Racemaster collection there are some key differences, as you’d expect. For a start, a different movement beats within each model. The Hanhart Racemaster GTF, for example, has the Hanhart 4312 movement. And it’s also a Fly-back; with a function that allows you to instantly reset both chronographs for more immediate timing capacity. It’s a complication that’s becoming ever more difficult to source for a reasonable price like this, and the GTF is the only Fly-back in the Racemaster collection.
As far as comfort goes, Hanhart have again considered the smallest things to make it sit beautifully on your wrist. The Racemaster GTF’s top pusher is set right up against the lung, so that you don’t catch it on your hand.
Of the Racemaser Series’ three watches, the GTM is the only monopusher; with just one red anodised aluminium pusher on the top right of its case. And that’s not the only big difference between this watch and the other pair. The GTM’s left subdial deals purely in seconds, while the GT and the GTF measure 12 hours as well. Originally, these simplified timepieces enabled pilots to accurately measure short periods of time fast, without fiddling with various pushers and chronographs.
Another crucial differentiator, aside from the blue hue on the GTM dial, is its Hanhart 4212 movement; again, Hanhart modified a Valjoux 7750 to suit this watch’s single pusher.
The Racemaster timepieces are set on beautifully designed rally straps, complete with racing holes, red lining on the underside and Hanhart buckles; with an engraved ‘H’ initial on their left-hand corner.
Whether you opt for the GT, the GTF or the GTM, your Hanhart Racemaster will be made-to-order, and protected within a leather Hanhart travel wallet. These watches are incredible value for money, given the detail, the Swiss or German-made modified movements and a symbol of car racing history in the 1960s and 1970s.
Hanhart are a niche manufacturer with a wonderful history and stunning timepieces, it’s a privilege to be their sole UK dealer.
We are more than happy to talk watches so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to find out about any of the Hanhart watches mentioned in this post.
For now, feel free to enjoy this video review of the Hanhart Racemaster series…