Monochrome Watches
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The New, More Compact Habring² Doppel38 Split-Seconds

Maria and Richard combines "less is more" with "small is beautiful"

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |
Habring² Doppel38 Split-Seconds Chronograph

Austrian independent watchmaker created by couple Maria and Richard Habring, also known as Habring², has been building a variety of watches/movements, most of them with a little twist for the display – such as a deadbeat seconds or a foudroyante seconds. Yet, their most emblematic model is, without a doubt, the so-called Doppel, or split-seconds chronograph. Offered in various generations, the latest being the Doppel-Felix, it has always been a rather large model. But, after finding out the “small is beautiful”, the watchmaking couple has decided to come back more compact, following the current trend for downsizing. And the result is this appealing new Habring² Doppel38.


The story of the Habring² Doppel starts in 2012, with the Doppel 2.0 watch… the concept; using a well-known mechanical base (a 7750) and modifying it with a rattrapante (or split-seconds, or doppelchronograph) function, yet with a price that was closer to a standard chronograph. A year later, Habring² introduced the Doppel 3.0 (see here for the review) with some major technical improvements, including the move from a classic pusher layout to a more appealing mono-pusher style.

Habring2 Doppel-Felix split-seconds doppelchronograph - review
The classic Habring² Doppel-Felix in a 42mm case

But towards the mid-2010s, Maria and Richard decided to go deeper into their watchmaking independence. The result of this new strategy first took the shape of a rather sleek watch, the time-only Felix model, which came with the brand’s first in-house conceived and assembled movement. 2016 saw the launch of the brand’s second in-house movement, using one of Habring² signature displays, the Erwin with Jumping Seconds. The same strategy will then be applied to the Felix Foudroyante and the Chrono-Felix (in 2018). But more interesting for today’s context is the 2017 Doppel-Felix, a watch that took Richard’s acclaimed split-seconds concept and merged it with the brand’s in-house chronograph movement – the calibre A11R.

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Habring2 Doppel-Felix split-seconds doppelchronograph - review
The classic Habring² Doppel-Felix in a 42mm case

For long, Habring² has offered its Doppel watch in relatively large cases – in this instance, with a central case of 42mm, and an even larger bezel. However, as we’ve seen with the recent (and quite glorious) Chrono Felix Perpetual, the brand has decided to move towards more compact models. And here we are today, with something I think is very good news, a compact edition of the brand’s DoppelChronograph, the new Doppel38.

The new Habring² Doppel38

So, what’s to know here… Basically, we’re still talking about the same base movement but now integrated within a more compact case, with a streamlined look and cleaner dials. As explained by the Habrings, “the trend towards downsizing can be hardly overlooked even in the watch world,” and the demand today is surely moving back to more wearable, more discreet watches. The new Habring² Doppel38 is thus housed in a case that measures 38.5mm (central case) and 41mm (bezel) in diameter – and no, this isn’t small and such dimensions have in certain periods of time been considered oversized. The new Doppel38 is just accommodating the desire of the brand’s collectors for more compact watches.

Habring² Doppel38 Split-Seconds Chronograph

Volumes have been reduced on all aspects of the watch, with now an 11.5mm (excl. sapphires) or 13mm (incl. sapphires) height, which is about 1mm less than the Doppel-Felix. The case combines brushed surfaces on the sides with polished elements – top of the lugs, pushers and bezel. It’s framed by sapphire crystals on both sides and is water-resistant to 30 metres – a bit light, if you ask me, but also the result of the downsizing process. It is worn on a 20mm strap, available in a variety of styles.

Habring² Doppel38 Split-Seconds Chronograph

Talking about styles, the Habring² Doppel38 will be available in 4 different dial designs. All share the same wish for simplification and sleekness – in fact, the dials are much cleaner than that of the Doppel-Felix. The basics are a pair of central hands for the time, two central seconds for the rattrapante function, a sub-counter at 9 o’clock for the running seconds and a sub-counter at 3 o’clock for the 30-minute totalizer. All models feature a slopped inner flange with a precision seconds track.

As said, 4 editions are offered right from the introduction of this new Doppel38:

  • silver-coloured, granular texture, black printings, matching sub-counters, blued steel leaf hands and chronograph hands
  • silver-coloured panda, brushed texture, white luminous Arabic numerals, black sub-counters, silver/white luminous hands, blued chronograph hands
  • silver-coloured panda, brushed texture, beige luminous Arabic numerals, black sub-counters, silver/beige luminous hands, blue and red chronograph hands
  • salmon-coloured, brushed texture, white luminous Arabic numerals, matching sub-counters, silver/white luminous hands, blued chronograph hands

Under the hood, it’s a familiar movement, which has been conceived and assembled in-house by Habring² using self-made parts or components sourced from local suppliers. We’re talking about the same base mono-pusher chronograph movement as the Chrono-Felix (and our MdS 1 for that matter) on top of which is the all-important split-seconds function. The movement runs at 4Hz, is manufactured and finished manually and has multiple improvements over the classic 7750 architecture – even though it still relies on its tried-and-tested cam system. This movement comes with an amagnetic escapement with Carl Haas balance hairspring, a KIF shockproof device and a tangential screw fine adjustment. It’s decorated all around, with brushing, perlage and bevelling.

Habring² Doppel38 Split-Seconds Chronograph

Availability & Price

The Habring² Doppel38 is now available for orders (not limited) and is priced at EUR 9,250. And while I can’t call that accessible, it remains a proper “value proposition” watch considering the complication inside… It surely is one of the most accessible rattrapante watches on the market – and one that has a distinctive movement (not a generic calibre) and the soul of independent watchmaking.

More details at

4 responses

  1. Stunner. The reduced pushers are a marked improvement, and the inclusion of leaf hands as an option pleases me greatly – I think they work well on Habring’s dials, give them a classical look.

  2. If it measures 41mm at the bezel then it’s a 41, not a 38.

  3. Let’s say the truth : habring2 watches are ugly in all ways. First, they are ugly because they are big and they have bad proportions. The thickness is because of the movement, and it’s a common attribute of all watches with movements based on 7750. Also, please note that there are no pics of their watches from profile. Then they have ugly dials. In this case, for a 9k watch you get a printed dial. It’s true, this dial is among the best out of their watches, but still ugly. Finally, their movement is ugly. Just look at it, it’s so unrefined. They’d have better done it the Rolex way and cover it up. Overall, you get what you pay for : at an accessible price a technical watch, but not an object of art.

  4. I really don’t get the 41mm bezel on a 38mm mid case. Is it a design choice? Won’t the watch be a bit mushroom-like? Need more side-profile photos.


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