Hans Noll came to Biel in 1961, following a broad-based commercial career, and took over the European sales management responsibility for a mid-sized watch factory. In 1963, following a management changeover, he left this company to set up his own business with his wife. As sufficient capital was not available to buy a brand for himself, he used his imagination and blended the founder’s name Hans Noll with the word Watch, giving birth to the brand name Hanowa.
Already after only a few years, watches were being produced under own management, giving Hanowa right from the outset a reputation for fantasy watches (ring watches, pendant watches, clip watches, watch sets and much more). For the past 15 years, the company has adapted itself to the changing market trend and converted its production over to sports watches. Thus the “hw Swiss Military” brand was born. Soon afterwards sister brand “Swiss-Eagle” followed, appealing to the same target audience but offering special, exclusive models.
A flash of color against clean steel makes the Swiss Military Hanowa Men’s Sealander 316L Stainless Steel Silver Dial Watch quite the eye-grabbing timepiece. Sturdy stainless steel makes up the large case, featuring a dark green bezel marked with thick white lines and Arabic numerals at five-minute intervals. The white dial hosts thick black-lined hour and minute hands ticking above a black subdial featuring the seconds in white lines and numerals. Light green lines sit just below blocky black Arabic numbers at each hour mark, while the red and white Swiss Military cross appears for the 12 o’clock. A small calendar display near the three o’clock hour gives the date. The green inside both hands and the lines gives a soft glow in the dark, allowing you to tell the time regardless of where you and your watch are. The band consists of tightly linked steel pieces for a close fit and smooth feel, closing with a fold-over push-button clasp. Water resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters), this bold timepiece boasts the reliability of Swiss quartz movement.
As Victorinox is known for their Swiss Army watches and their Wenger line are known for their Swiss Military line. But another company that has the Swiss Military designation is Swiss Military HANOWA. Their trademark is HANOWA very fashionable, well-priced watches and is created by Hans Noll (HANOWA is the shortened word for HAns NOll WAtch).
Among there more popular watches is their Navy Line which the Sealander is part of and my eyes lit up when I saw it for sale during the holidays. And I figured that it was a good time to give a Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander 316L a try!
So, I went for the 316L (06-5095) which features a stainless steel silver dial, a black subdial for the seconds, a dark green bezel and sporting Arabic numerals with a small calendar at the 3:00 section and red Swiss logo on the 12:00 position.
Upon receiving the Sealander, the Swiss Military HANOWA watch comes in a pretty smooth leather box with an embossed steel “Swiss Military” on top of the case. There is no instructions when I opened the box but then again, I figured Swiss Military HANOWA feels the watch is easy and self explanatory.
Upon trying on the watch, it fit perfectly but at the same time, that was a surprise as most watches, I have to take a link or two out to get that perfect fit. So, it’s important to note that if you have a big wrist, you may want to check the bracelet size as this one is 22 mm. I really like the watch and its look. The bracelet is very nice and love the push button, security clasp. The case is a very shiny, well-done stainless steel case with a screw back to make the watch water resistant.
Pull the crown out from the side to set the watch and to set the calendar date. I like how the Swiss symbol is on the crown but it is very important to screw down the crown for better water protection.
As for the movement, Swiss Military HANOWA uses Swiss made quartz movements and according to their website, HANOWA uses leading producers ISA and Ronda and for mechanical, they use ETA, TechnoSablier or Claro movements.
As for the watch, I love the look of the watch. The newer 5096 is a chronograph watch but I have enough chronograph watches that I wanted something simple, elegant, cool and the seconds clock dial in black at the 6:00 position was all I need. The dial utilizes a Superluminova numbers and dots. The hands were easy to see in the dark, as well as the Swiss cross on the top. The dots could glow but were not as bright as the hand or cross.
The watch is a little heavy but I like that because you can tell it’s the case and watch is sturdy but because it’s uses a mineral glass for its dial window, I wouldn’t want to mess around with this watch and drop it as it may crack.
Although a Sealander and party of HANOWA’s Navy line, according to the specifications, this watch can be submerged up to 660 feet (200 metres). Because there are no instructions, there is important information that can be found on the HANOWA website:
Any watch that is regularly immersed in water should be inspected for water resistance ability every year. Watch cases and bracelets should be rinsed thoroughly in fresh water after being in salt water.
Watches should never be put in a sauna or a hot tub since the exposure to heat can easily make the gaskets lose their shape and decrease their water resistance. Watches should not be worn in the bath/shower. The soap reduces surface tension of the rubber gasket in the watch, which allows water to get in. The soap can also damage the seal itself. Swiss Military-Hanowa highly recommends you do not bathe with your watch.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this watch. I typically do not buy quartz and opt towards automatic, I was still pleased with the overall quality of the watch. I love the look of the dial, love the polished steel of the case and bracelet. And it’s an awesome watch! I have read a few reviews from owners who messed up their watch because they didn’t screw down the crown all the way down but this is very important and you can easily damage your watch if you don’t follow the instructions. And this is where the caveat is with the watch, I’ve read others who didn’t get instructions with their case.
For those who purchase a Sealander as a first watch, people need to know this and its important that HANOWA at least includes a printout or something to let these people know about the screw down crown.
Other than that, I really enjoy the Swiss Military HANOWA Sealander 316L. Definitely recommended!