Habring² x Massena LAB
Habring² was founded by husband and wife duo Richard and Maria Habring, creators of relatively under-the-radar watches from the small town of Völkermarkt, Austria. Richard Habring is known for developing several notable complications during his formative years at IWC, including the split-second Doppelchronograph. The timepieces that leave the Austrian manufacture are known for being attractively priced and cleverly constructed complications.
This piece is the result of a collaboration between Habring² and Massena LAB, founded by William Massena. Massena is a veteran of the watch industry, having been a retailer in Miami and New York City, before acting as the Chief Operating Officer of Antiquorum in Geneva. Respected by his peers, he's also served as the Managing Director at Timezone and is a jury member of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Known for his long-standing passion for watches, the creation of Massena LAB was his way of supporting and collaborating with some of the artisanal, independent watchmakers that he admires. As such, he chose to work with Richard and Maria Habring on a small number of pieces, combining their horological skill with his experience as a long-standing admirer and collector of independant and vintage watches.
The Erwin LAB02
Following the Erwin LAB01, the Erwin LAB02 was released privately to "friends and family", in a limited series of 50 pieces, all of which were individually numbered. It combines a stainless steel case with an attractive, two-tone sector dial. The design is based on a vintage Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 96 from the 1930s, which was captured by John Goldberger in his referential book Patek Philippe Steel Watches (pages 80-81).
The two-tone sector dial combines gold and silver tones, with various textures found throughout. The rose gold-plated chapter ring has a subtle concentric pattern, while the silvered portions are vertically brushed. The numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock are raised and finished in rhodium, adding depth and contrast to the design. Meanwhile, the remaining hour indexes and a cross at the centre of the dial are executed in midnight blue ink, helping with overall legibility. The leaf hands are made out of polished steel, with a blued central seconds hand bringing an added touch of colour.
The 38.5mm stainless steel case takes its aesthetic cues from early 20th century wristwatches, most notably those from Patek Philippe. It features a stepped bezel and springbar holes on the side of the case, with a mix of polished and brushed surfaces found throughout. The oversized crown once again acts as a nod towards vintage pieces, whilst also helping with winding and setting the watch. The "50/50" serial number is engraved on the caseback and after "01/50" (typically reserved for William Massena) this is perhaps the second most desirable number. The watch is fitted with sapphire glass, coated with anti-glare, on both sides, allowing admiration of both the dial and movement.
This Erwin LAB 02 is powered by the Habring² A11MS movement, which is entirely developed, manufactured and assembled in Austria. The architecture of the movement is based on the Valijoux 7750, though the display-back reveals many technical and aesthetic refinements applied by Richard and Maria Habring.
The key feature is the patented, deadbeat seconds mechanism, which ticks in one-second steps, driven by a gilded wheel and click-spring, visible in the centre of the movement. It features 21 jewels, an amagnetic escapement with Carl Haas balance spring and KIF shock-proofing, beating at a rate of 28,800 vph, with a 48-hour power reserve.
This Erwin LAB02 is accompanied by its pine box and papers, alongside its Italian-made grey grained leather strap and stainless steel buckle. It also comes with one of our taupe grained leather Zürich straps.