Panzera is an Australian brand that makes an interesting selection of watches at accessible prices, including this great pilot’s watch, Panzera Hornet Special Flieger 46. It is large at 46 mm diameter, and has looks of personality generated by the original chunky skeletonized hands and the bold numerals and indices. It is undoubtedly pilot’s, but also original and innovative.
Hornet Special Flieger 46 dial
The matt black dial provides contrast with the hands and hour markers, which are coated with luminescent paint. The pilot’s watch appearance is reinforced by the triangle and two dots at 12 o’clock. The date window is understandably not at the edge of the dial, as the watch is much larger than the movement. This provides an additional advantage in that in many watches the date window replaces the 3 o’clock numeral or index, whereas in the Hornet Special Flieger 46 it is closer to the centre and so leaves the 3 o’clock index undisturbed. The Panzera desigers have opted for the altimeter-type vertical window. In my opinion this aids legibility, making the date more evident even when you are getting older and your eyesight is not so good (regrettably I am an expert on this subject). Even if you can’t actually read the numbers precisely, you can recognize the shapes of the successive dates.
Display caseback and water resistance
You get a good idea of the size of the watch from the caseback view. The circular window revealing the movement has a very wide frame, including a turbine-inspired inner ring. The stainless steel case has a screw-down caseback and a screw-in crown, giving it a water resistance of 50 metres. This bonus on water impermeability with respect to the conventional 30 metres makes it a practical, everyday timepiece. The crown is large, cylindrical and knurled. Different strap options are available: leather, silicone rubber, or NATO nylon. You can also choose the case finish, between polished and brushed natural steel, or matt black IP (ion plating, I think it’s the same as PVD, physical vapour deposition) finish.
The NH35 movement is made by Seiko in Japan. It is 27.4 mm in diameter, it runs at 21,600 vibrations per hour, and provides the stop-seconds function.
Panzera Hornet Special Flieger 46 price
The Panzera Hornet Special Flieger 46 costs from €233 + VAT, inclusive of free delivery. Panzera’s watches are made in Sydney, Australia, and Lugano in Switzerland. Each watch undergoes a 5-day testing procedure, and each has its own serial number laser-engraved onto the caseback. Panzer have service agents in most countries to support the two-year guarantee. Read more about the watch on the Panzera website, where you can also purchase online.