Not long ago, we reviewed a watch that many collectors and watch aficionados love (and for good reasons), the Habring² Doppel-Felix. Also, we took a closer look at the “simple” 3-hand version named Felix. The common thread running through them? The same pared-down design and the same base movement manufactured in-house (quite an achievement for such a small company). But what if you take these two watches and try to find one that will stand right in the middle? Well, the answer is the Habring² Chrono-Felix.
It always surprises us to see a company such as Habring² display such a high level of creativity – not only design-wise but also in terms of technical innovations. Surprising because Habring² is actually a true family business, founded by a couple – Maria & Richard Habring. With two employees they manage to produce around 200 watches per year… But no generic cases with outsourced movements. What they do are truly in-house-developed watches (design and movements). Well, when you think about it, it isn’t that surprising knowing that Richard was a top-developer at IWC (he’s the man behind the DoppelChronograph).
In order to obtain complete independence from industrial movement manufacturers and to have enough freedom when creating complications, Habring² introduced in 2015 its first manufacture calibre – the A11 – and the Felix range of watches (to mark the company’s 10th anniversary). The A11 has since evolved to become the driving force behind well-known complications such as the jumping seconds hand, the lightning second (foudroyante) and the Rattrapante chronograph. The latest evolution results from the work done on this Doppel-Felix, yet with one function removed to become a more traditional chronograph.
The new Habring² Chrono-Felix appears to be a “simple” chronograph, with small seconds and a 30-minute counter. However, as always with Habring², things are slightly more complicated. The new calibre A11C-H1 is a so-called monopusher chronograph, as all the interactions with the complication are executed via a single pusher located at 2 o’clock – which operates the start/stop/reset functions. This requires a more complex mechanism that a standard two-pusher chronograph.
The A11C-H1 is otherwise traditional for the brand. It is based on the 3-hand A11 with an integrated chronograph (not a module later added). It is still hand-wound. The movement ticks at 4Hz and boasts a 48-hour power reserve. It comprises several interesting parts, such as proprietary escapement components, balance hairspring in chronometer quality and anti-magnetic properties. The movement is elaborately hand-finished with polished edges, decorative engraving, perlage, blued screws and the usual circular graining on the bridges.
As for the watch itself, the Habring² Chrono-Felix follow the path set by the other opuses of the Felix series. The overall design is clean and refined, with reasonable proportions. Indeed, on the contrary of multiple chronographs, Chrono-Felix remains rather small (38.5mm diameter) and pretty thin with a height of 10.5mm. The steel case shares the same shape as the 3-hand Felix and the silver-white grained dial, with minimal inscriptions and markings, as well as super-sleek hands, is also in the same vein.
The Habring² Chrono-Felix is now exhibited at selected Habring² partners and at the manufacture in Austria and retails for EUR 6,250. More details and orders at www.habring2.com.