While Habring² is certainly famous for its impressively simplified take on the DoppelChronograph (split-seconds), something Richard Habring developed while working for IWC, there are more displays that are dear to the brand. This includes first a precision display, the jumping seconds or dead-beat seconds. Another one that Habring² has often used in the past is the foudroyante, or flashing second hand, an exotic complication where the second hands in a very dynamic way. With the Felix Foudroyante, the brand combines both. First launched in 42mm and automatic, this watch made its debut recently in a smaller case, with a hand-wound movement. And if that wasn’t already super-attractive, it now comes in a great-looking salmon dial version.
The Foudroyante itself made its debut at Habring² in 2010. The star of the show has always been, as indicated by its name, the foudroyante complication. What is it exactly? This function, also named “flashing seconds”, is a direct indication of the rotation of the escape wheel, showing every single oscillation of the regulating organ, as the “flashing second hand” or “foudroyante hand” rotates once per second on a sub-dial around its own axis. It creates a very dynamic impression on the dial of such a watch. That small hand rotates 86,400 times per day, while a normal seconds hand makes 1,440 rotations per day. This suggests the stresses of the movement, however, Habring² has managed to create a reliable and stable function.
While the original design was based on the use of aluminium to produce the ultralight wheels involved, Richard decided to change the material beginning 2017 (before the introduction of the Felix Foudroyante). Since then, the main foudroyante wheel is made of silicium while the small wheel is nickel-phosphor and highly skeletonized, and made with LIGA-technology. From the words of Richard, the idea was mostly to study the technology and its possibilities, more than to benefit from a technical improvement. Note that this is the only Habring² watch where silicium is used, and the brand doesn’t intend to expand its use over the rest of the collection.
Aside from this superfast foudroyante indication, Habring² pushed the concept even further by adding one of its signature complications, the jumping second or dead-beat second, positioned here on the central axis. On the contrary of a classic seconds hand that has a sweeping motion, here, as soon as the small foudroyante hand has rotated its own axis, the central hand makes a jump to precisely indicate the seconds. Both combined, it makes an impressive choreography – as you can see in the video on top.
This very cool display is powered by the hand-wound calibre AM11F. Using the same base as the classic Felix, this movement has been developed and designed by Habring² with parts produced in-house or by long-term suppliers from Austria, Germany or Switzerland. Some of the most complex elements, such as the escapement or the terminal curve of the hairspring, are done internally. For reliability reasons and because most of the complication modules developed by the brand were driven by a 7750 base, the AM11 base calibre retains some similarities with the Valjoux, even though nothing is supplied by ETA anymore. The decoration of the movement is typical to Habring², with a combination of perlage, circular brushing, polished bevels and blued screws.
First launched in a 42mm case, with an automatic date movement or a hand-wound no-date display, the Habring² Felix Foudroyante has been launched in a new version this summer, with a smaller 38.5mm case and a hand-wound movement only. More refined, more compact, more elegant too, this watch was until recently available in silver with blued hands and in black with a silver sub-dial and silver hands. The collection has been enlarged with a new and very attractive edition, featuring a salmon-coloured dial, with silver-coloured markers and numerals, as well as polished steel hands.
The Habring² Felix Foudroyante Salmon is now available for orders directly from the brand and its retailers. It will be priced at EUR 6,550. More details at www.habring2.com.