Habring² was founded in 2004 by husband and wife Richard and Maria Habring. Based in Austria, this small, independent manufacturer has received industry accolade being awarded several times at GPHG, the Oscars of watchmaking, including two “Petite Aiguilles”* – The first time was in 2013 for a jumping second watch. The second time was in 2015, with Felix, the first Habring² powered by an in-house movement, the A11. The news that the Austrian duo presents its first jumping second based on the A11 calibre sounded like something to look forward to. Erwin, their latest creation does live up to the promise.
* The ‘Petite Aiguille’ is awarded in a category comprising watches with a retail price of under CHF 8’000.
For a longtime, Habring² has been relying on outsourced industrial movements often associated with unique, smart complications to ensure their production. As a one of the entry level independent watchmakers, Habring² earned recognition for its pure designs and interesting products, offered at great value for money. A few years ago, when Swatch Group decided to cut the delivery of movements, assortments and certain parts to third-party brands, Habring² decided that creating a worthy replacement themselves was a relevant option. What seemed logical to Maria and Richard Habring was a bold move and a challenge for a small independent brand. In 2011, they launched the development of their proprietary movement, the A11 and subsequently developed their manufacturing ateliers together with a network of suppliers, mostly based in Austria and Switzerland.
The Habring² A11 manual movement, in its central jumping second version. 30mm in diameter and 5.7mm in height (vs. 4.2mm for the A11 of Felix), it offers 48 hours of autonomy. The escapement vibrates at 28.800vph (or 4Hz) and can be adjusted with a tangential fine adjustment screw.
Felix – their first watch powered by the A11 – was born in 2014. Felix is a classic, stylish dress watch with a small seconds at 9. Price at 4’450 Euros, it is a superb deal for such an exclusive production with in-house movement.
Naturally, the vision of the Habrings was to design the A11 as a platform for several evolutions. Grafting their signature “jumping second” on their in-house movement seems a logical step and Felix now has a brother dubbed Habring² Erwin.
Watch collectors and aficionados are used to looking at the nearly continuous sweep of a second hand around the dial to distinguish a mechanical timepiece from quartz watches. In a mechanical watch the second hand moves forward in increments of a fraction of a second depending on the frequency of its balance. Yet, jumping second watches (also called dead beat second or “seconde morte” in French) mark the second with discreet jumps between them, just like quartz watches, however with a strong mechanical content. To learn more about this smart, mechanically sophisticated functionality that Habring² has been proposing since 2007, read our article, A Technical Perspective, here.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The Habring² Erwin is a clean, understated round watch with pure and classical style. Like Felix, it is 38.5mm in diameter. However, it is slightly thicker at 9mm because of the addition of the complication module (Felix was only 7mm). The case is manufactured in Austria from raw material of famous steel specialist Böhler of Kapfenberg. The dial comes in two different versions. The first one has a fine-grained silver-white dial with minimalist baton style markers and black oxidised hands in thread form. The second one features a discreet brushed metal finished with red gold plated hour markers and digits, complemented with dynamic and elegant matching hands.
With Erwin, Habring² is also introducing a new 18mm folding buckle proposed with a choice of calfskin and ostrich leather straps. It retails at 5,450 Euros, which is impressive value for money for an in-house jumping second, specifically from a small independent manufacturer.
The new dial style introduced by Habring² for Erwin (right) is also proposed for Felix (left).
Technical specifications of Habring² Erwin
- Case: 38.5 mm x 9.0 mm – Stainless steel – sapphire crystals – 30m water resistant
- Movement: manual winding, Habring² A11S – 30mm x 5.7mm – 48h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – hours, minutes and jumping seconds
- Strap : calfskin with folding buckle
- Price: 5’450 EUR