The independent watchmaking duo formed by Richard and Maria Habring, working under the Habring² name, are close to our hearts for various reasons. First, as you’re probably well aware, because of our first-ever Montre de Souscription and the unique piece we auctioned for charity earlier in the year. Besides that, and probably far more relevant for you all, is the fact Habring² does things in a very cool, original way. Renowned for the split-seconds chronographs based on the Valjoux 7750 architecture, developed by Richard Habring while working for IWC in the 1990s, the brand is capable of much more. They also like to play around with the seconds indication, as it is one of the few brands to offer both a Jumping Seconds and a high-speed Foudroyante seconds complication. Habring² now adds a third second-based indication to the collection with the new Chrono-Felix Top Second.
Before we get into the details of what a Top Second really is, let’s go over the basics first. The exterior of the Chrono-Felix Top Second is the familiar 38.5mm size stainless steel case with a fully brushed finish. This adds a tool-ish utilitarian look to the Top Second, befitting the overall vintage theme of the watch. The case is fitted with a sloped bezel that steps up to align with the sapphire crystal on top. It comes with a knurled double-sealed crown and a monopusher for the chronograph just above it.
The rather clean and harmonious dial is finished in black, with a grained texture to give it a retro military charm. The hour numerals are printed in white and paired with a minute track also in white but with beige luminous dots at every 5-minute interval. The cathedral-style central hour and minute hands also have a beige Super-LumiNova finish, just like the hands for the chronograph. This is split between a central chronograph hand and a chronograph 30-minute subdial at 3′. The Chrono-Felix Top Second’s ‘party trick’ is revealed through the hole in the 9 o’clock numeral. Once every 2.5 seconds, this will flash red, reminding you that the movement is running. This complication was first developed by Mondia in the 1960s but had vanished since Mondia was bought by Zenith in 1969.
Visible under the sapphire crystal caseback, the in-house produced Habring² A11FC movement shows Richard Habring’s typical design aesthetics. Although based on the architecture of the Valjoux 7750, it has been reworked to such an extent it’s a proper in-house movement with only minimal similarities to the original base movement. What sets this one apart from other Habring² movements, though, is the two-blade propeller nestled underneath the dial at 9 o’clock. Sort of replacing the regular running seconds indication, this rotates once every 5 seconds and shows a flash of red every 2.5 seconds underneath the “eye” of the 9 o’clock numeral. The movement runs at a rate of 28,800vph and has a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound. The finishing includes various types of brushing, perlage, blued components and more.
The new Habring² Chrono-Felix Top Second is not limited per see, but the brand only has production capacity for a few hundred watches. Each piece is individually numbered between the lugs and comes on a khaki green NATO-style textile strap with stainless steel hardware. The price is set at EUR 8,050, incl. VAT (20%, according to Austrian taxes).
For more information, please visit Habring2.com.