Today we’re going to review a very special watch. It is a double chronograph, with a single-pusher chronograph function and an additional pusher for the split-seconds function. This alone sounds interesting, however if you consider that the watch is made by Habring², and also consider that Richard Habring played a major role in developing IWC’s Doppelchrono, the importance of the Habring² Doppel 3 might become evident. It was evident enough for the jury of the prestigious Grand Prix de Horlogerie de Genève, to award its predecessor with the Sports Watch Prize in 2012.
The Doppel 3 is an evolution of the Doppel 2, which won the sports watch prize at the 2012 GPHG. While the Doppel 2 was operated by three pushers – two for the chronograph and one for the split seconds function – the Doppel 3 takes it a step further. It is actually a single-pusher (or mono poussoir in French) chronograph with two central chronograph second hands. One of the hands is to measure an event, the second hand makes it possible to time another event or to measure lap times. This complication is called Chronograph Rattrapante (French), Double Chronograph or Split-Seconds Chronograph (English) or Doppelchrono (German). And now Habring² removed one of the chronograph pushers, I actually don’t know what to call this… Let’s keep it on the name that Maria and Richard Habring gave it: the Habring² Doppel 3.
Habring² is more than Richard Habring; the square stands for Richard and his wife Maria. Together they run the watchmaking company since 2004. There are many things very unique about Habring², for instance that every timepiece is made-to-measure, meaning that they will have extensive contact with the customer, before the watch is made. All the Habring² timepieces are produced by hand, again one of those things that not many watch brands can say these days.
The first impression we got from the Doppel 3, is that it’s a nice sporty watch. Not too fancy, not too sporty, a very nice a classy sports chronograph. Although on a second look you’ll notice the missing chronograph pusher at the 4 o’clock position and you’ll start looking more closely to find out a rather odd chronograph pusher at the 10 o’clock position. When you’re familiar with Habring², their history or at least Richard’s history with IWC and their doppelchrono, you can figure out the reason for that weird pusher at 10 o’clock.
The Doppel 3 somehow came across as a very nice and very well-build classy and sporty chronograph. Until you look closer and find out that there’s so much more to it. And that makes this a very interesting and understated watch. Really cool!
The Doppel 3 has two main features, being the rattrapante and the single pusher chronograph. A factor that also counts as a feature in my opinion, is the fact the Richard Habring played a large role in developing the IWC Doppelchrono back in the early 1990’s and now the patents have ended, he is able to use and improve his own creation again. And now with his own name on the dial.
What is a double chronograph, split-seconds chronograph, Doppelchronograph or rattrapante?
These four words actually all mean the exact same thing. While the watch industry usually speaks French, the word rattrapante is used mostly by people from the industry. For customers that is different and we’ve seen all the four versions being used.
A split-seconds chronograph has two central second hands and if you didn’t know there are two hands stacked on each other, you wouldn’t notice without taking a close look.
When the chronograph is started, the two hands start simultaneously. The pusher at 10 o’clock makes it possible to stop the split-seconds (or rattrapante) hand. The ‘normal’ chronograph second hand runs on and so do the chronograph counters (in this case only a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position). By pressing that same pusher again, the split-seconds hand catches up with the ‘normal’ chronograph second hand and they continue to run in tandem.
The other feature is the single pusher or in French mono poussoir. This simply means that all chronograph functions – and I’m NOT referring to the rattrapante function! – are being operated by one single pusher. A normal chronograph is started and subsequently stopped by one pusher, while a second pusher serves to reset the chronograph registers. With a single pusher chronograph or mono poussoir, all these functions are operated by one pusher / poussoir.
Silver, black or grey with black, silver/white sub dials for the continuous running seconds and the 30-minute chronograph register and stick markers for the hours, except at 12 and 6 o’clock. That’s the condensed description of the dial. The inner circle on the dial, that touches the hour stick markers, is something you will see on most timepieces from Habring² and so is the minute/second rail track around the dial.
The hands are straight polished steel hands, with a very fine line of SuperLuminova for extra legibility. And of course there are two superimposed central chronograph second hands, as we already described. The normal chronograph second hand is red, while the rattrapante hand is in polished steel.
- Silver, grey or black galvanised metal dial with rhodanised numbers and hour indexes with Superluminova coating
- Polished, rhodanised, thread hands with Superluminova coating
- Oxidised counter hands, lacquered chrono seconds hand and split-seconds hand
Depending on the angle you look at the Doppel 3, or on the lighting, the dial of the grey/black version that we had for this review, can almost have a brownish look.
The case is in stainless steel and measure 42 mm in diameter (without crown or pushers). Something that is almost impossible to describe, but immediately apparent when you put the Doppel 3 on your wrist, is that you can feel the quality. No sharp edges, smooth and nicely finished. The crown has a firm grip and the pushers protrude enough for easy access.
The position of the chronograph pushers is quite remarkable and almost reminds of 1970’s bull-head chronographs, or, as Habring² says, it remind of pocket watch stopwatches of yesteryear.
The Doppel 3 comes on a very supple brown calf leather strap, with red stitching. The side of the strap is painted red. On a first look, with the watch in your hands and not strapped on the wrist, the red stitching and painted sides might just be a tad too much. However, once on the wrist, the red doesn’t stand out that much anymore and really becomes part of the watch as a whole. It blends in and looks very good, even adds a bit of a classic touch.
- Stainless steel, three-part case, with screwed case back, 42 mm diameter
- Water-resistant to the depth of 50 meters (5ATM)
- Concave sapphire glass, non-reflective coating on both sides
- Double-sealed crown
- Engraved selective serial number between the lugs at 6 o’clock
The movement is called A08MR-MONO. Of course we love those last four characters, however it has nothing to do with our online magazine. It refers to the single pusher or mono poussoir chronograph of course. For the rest this movement is the same as Habring² used in the Doppel 2 that was introduced in 2012 and featured two chronograph pushers and one rattrapante pusher. This movement is a reworked and modified ETA/Valjoux 7750. The same as Richard Habring used for the IWC Doppelchrono, and of course a movement that is known for it rugged and robust properties.
Habring² A08MR-MONO movement:
- Hour, minute, small running seconds
- Stop-seconds hand and 30-minute counter, split-seconds hand
- Manual winding
- Triovis fine adjustment
- Escapement parts in chronometer quality
- Shock-proof in accordance with DIN and NIHS
- 23 rubies
- 48-hour power reserve when fully wound
- 101 service-relevant individual components
For the first time for a review, we used a Witschi watch tester device to measure the performance of a review watch. The Doppel 3 showed a good rate that is well within COSC specifications.
- Mean value: +4.48 seconds per day
- Beat error: 0.0 ms
- Amplitude: 300.2º
Verdict – pros/cons
This is a very simple verdict. We love the Habring² Doppel 3. It looks good, and honestly, it really looks best on the wrist. Like with the red stitching. On the photo it is very prominent, on the wrist it blends in. On the photo I’m not the biggest fan of the bull-head pushers, however on the wrist it actually looks very good. Wearing the Habring² Doppel 3 was a surprisingly pleasant and convincing experience. The look, and also the feel of quality. It seems like everything has been done with the utmost care of two people, husband and wife, who together run their own business.
Until now I haven’t mentioned the price. That is not because it is shockingly high. It is because the price is so incredibly good that it’s almost unbelievable. The Habring² Doppel 3 is available for € 6.750 Euro and I find that a very competitive price.
My contact with the Habrings, wearing the watch, everything has been such a great experience. If you want something special, made by two great persons, that is of really outstanding quality, than I have just one advice for you. Visit the Habring² website and get in touch with them -> www.habring2.com