For some time I have been looking into the production dates for Hanhart and Tutima flieger chronos. I'm particularly interested in the beginning of production. I have always been skeptical of the traditional dating used by sellers and collectors. They tend to date Hanhart very early in the war 1939 and Tutima in 1941. I think there is enough evidence to suggest that both chronographs are in fact much later. I have gathered information about dials and serial numbers. Some dials (not all) are dated, particularly those made by Weber & Baral in Pforzheim. I would like to share some of this info below.
Hanhart Eindrückerchronograph mit Pointerlunette (Zifferblattaufdruck “Hanhart”) #1227 - dial date 13 November 1942
Hanhart Doppeldrückerchronograph ohne Drehlunette #14776 - dial date 10 April 1943
Hanhart Doppeldrückerchronograph ohne Drehlunette #23403 - dial date 24 September 1943
Tutima gold movement #2076 - W+B date 28.11.1942
What do we learn from this?
From 13 Nov. 42 to 10 Apr. 1943 Hanhart produced 13549 watches in 147 days, an average of c. 92 watches/day.
From 10 Apr. 1943 to 24 Sept. 1943 Hanhart produced 8627 watches in 167 days, an average of c. 51 watches/day.
Production could not have started earlier than October 1942 given the rhythm of production. Looking at the serial numbers and types of cases and movements from this excellent article below, we clearly see that the Eindrückercker was produced until c. April 1943 after which the Doppel was produced until the end. All the cal. 40 Hanhart watches were produced between October 1942-April 1943 so in the space of 6 months.
Militärische Armbanduhren- und Armbandchronographen aus der Kriegszeit
Dies ist der Versuch einer Klassifizierung der bekannten Hanhart Militäruhren. Im folgenden werden die Uhren nach ihren wesentlichen Merkmalen eingeordnet. In der Praxis gibt es eine weitaus größere optische Vielfalt durch unterschiedliche Applikationen. So sieht man z.B. diverse Zifferblattvarianten wie das Tachytele ZB, das Telemetrische ZB oder das ZB mit 1/100 Einteilung usw.. Auch…
Another important point is that most Hanhart chronos were produced in 1943, I vaguely remember Frank Roesky saying that in his experience Hanhart tend to have a 1943 date on the dial, so this seems to be absolutely correct. Even with production of c. 50 watches a day towards the end of 1943, looking at the serial numbers below by 1. January 1944 Hanhart should be at least at serial 28000, so Hanhart produced c. 28k watches in about one year. We suspect that wartime cal. 41 can be found until serial 33000 or so. In conclusion production slowed down significantly in 1944 probably with bombing of Pforzheim, Hanhart factories etc.
As far as the start of production for Tutima we see something very similar - a very early Pointerlunette with gold plated movement from November 1942, so here as well I would say that production started in Autumn of 1942
In conclusion, Luftwaffe fliegers Hanhart and Tutima did not exist before the Autumn of 1942. Up to that point pilots probably used 1930s Swiss fliegers like Helvetia, Doxa, Zenith and the dozen more known by collectors.