Style Watches

This is not a drill: The Swiss Military Hanowa

These watches from Switzerland are built for heavy-duty, rugged outdoor use
Paolo Vergara | Aug 29 2018

Last summer, in UP Diliman's College of Human Kinetics, selected members of the press together with Rajiv Mehra, the regional director of Swiss Military Hanowa, took part in an outdoor, multi-tier obstacle course co-prepared by coaches from the Philippine Athletics Federation and Association and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

This is keeping in spirit with the principles behind the design and function of the Swiss Military Hanowa watch, first produced in 1990.

In 1963, Hans Noll and his wife Elisabeth acquired a watch factory in Biel, Switzerland, launching the Hanowa brand—an abbreviation of “Hans Noll Watches.” Twenty seven years later, more focus was given to the classic, rugged design of the watches and a second brand, Swiss Military Hanowa, was launched to focus on sports, performance, and lifestyle timepieces.

In 2015, Hanowa joined the ranks of Swiss Confederation licensee companies, an “official licensed product of the Swiss Confederation,” where brands are authorized to commercialize the “Swiss Military” brand name and Swiss cross logo both owned by the Government of Switzerland.

Four models from three lines are currently available in the Philippines.

All available watches are certified Swiss-made, utilize quartz crystals, and maintain a 44mm diameter case. True to their performance focus, all models are water resistant up to 10 atmospheres of pressure, making them ideal for swimming and snorkeling.


The red-border strap Black Carbon. Blue and yellow border variants are also available. Photo by Swiss Military Hanowa

The Black Carbon and Ace Chrono models hail from the Challenge line. The first model is, as the name implies, made from carbon fibers for an elegant finish. It also employs a revolving bezel and silicon textile strap in red, yellow, or blue options. The Black Carbon watch also tracks the date.


The red-strapped Ace Chrono is the variant currently available locally. Photo by Swiss Military Hanowa

Billed as one of the top-quality models, the Ace Chrono is superbly sturdy, encased in stainless steel with a sapphire crystal surface, all carried by a leather strap. Aside from tracking the date, this chronograph watch contains multiple features with the precision for time-attack activities: totalizers, a 30-minute display, and a tachometer.


The Patrol. Note its rotating bezel. Photo by Swiss Military Hanowa

The sporty Patrol model hails from the Navy line and comes with seven color schemes to choose from. Complimenting such designs are silicon straps that combine style with durability, holding up a watch with a sapphire crystal case. Patrol watches can also keep date. 


A Chrono Class contains additional dials for added functions.


For a sleek, elegant look, and additional functions such as analog timers, one can opt for the Chrono Classic, one of Swiss Military Hanowa’s latest models. It comes in 12 design schemes, some metallic, others with a more retro feel. Three auxiliary dials include an analog date display, 30-minute timer, and timer for seconds.

Swiss Military Hanowa watches are locally distributed at Swissgear and Wristpod shops, selected SM and Robinsons Department stores, as well as selected L Timestudio boutiques.