The Austrian Watchmaker
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 attractively priced, cleverly constructed complications. Despite their relatively small operation, the Austrian watchmaker’s work has been recognised by the wider horological community. Impressively, their watches have been nominated multiple times for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Their Doppel 2 Chronograph, based on an improved version of the Doppelchronograph Richard Habring designed, won them the Sports Watch of the Year award in 2012.
A vintage-inspired design
The monopusher chronograph is a complication long-revered among horological aficionados. With all the chronograph functions controlled through a single pusher, it usually requires a more complex mechanism than a standard two-pusher chronograph. With vintage examples from the likes of Patek Philippe or Longines having become particularly sought-after by collectors, it seems a natural choice for Habring² to offer a limited edition of their monopusher, integrating design cues from the past.
The dial design is that of a two-register chronograph, with a vertically-brushed silver dial and indications printed in black, including desirable Breguet numerals. Reminiscent of chronographs from the early 20th century, the design features a telemeter scale on the outer-section of the dial and snail-shaped tachymeter scale in the central portion. A darker, silver chapter ring and the concentric circle finishing of the sub-dials lends further texture and depth to the design. The feuille hands are blued steel, matching the central seconds hand and sub-dial hand.
The stainless steel case is unassuming and utilitarian, with a stepped concave bezel and polished lugs. The three-piece construction gives the watch a distinctively vintage feel. Sized at 36mm, the case is smaller than some of the watchmaker’s other chronographs, in order to fit the tastes of Japanese collectors.
Arguably its most compelling feature, the watch is powered by the calibre A08-MONO. Based on the robust ETA Valjoux 7750, the construction and design have been heavily modified, improving both its technical qualities as well as its aesthetics. Diving into an almost identical calibre from the Austrian watchmaker, SJX comments on,
“The tremendous improvements Habring² has made, creating a calibre that essentially boasts all of the 7750’s qualities but none of its weaknesses.”
While its construction was derived from the 7750, nearly all of the movement’s components are produced by independent suppliers, with nothing being made by ETA. Having made been introduced in 1972, the Valijoux 7750 was developed as a robust, utilitarian movement in the midst of the Quartz crisis. Richard Habring’s connection with the calibre is a long one, considering he designed the condensed rattrapante mechanism that sits on top of the 7750 for the split-seconds Doppelchronograph, while at IWC.
The multiple modifications made to the movement improve its functioning, long-term serviceability and aesthetic properties. Arranged in a reworked layout, the bridges are finished with a circular graining and bevelled edges, while the base plate features perlage. Most of the chronograph levers are straight-grained, with their edges bevelled and polished. The use of blued steel and gilded components further reinforces the visual appeal of the watch. A series of modifications that truly elevate the A08 Monopusher movement.
This Habring² Chronograph Monopusher Japan Edition retailed exclusively through Shellman, comes with its original box, papers, Habring² strap and unused deployante buckle. It also comes with an additional brown strap, Milanese bracelet and a Beads of Rice bracelet.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.