Article contentAs my trip to Basel 2010 drew to an end, I was kindly invited by Richard & Maria Habring to join them and several other friends, watch industry veterans, a Purist or two...We arrived in the restaurant to mingle for a 10 minutes or so, while everyone assembled. We were able to view some of HABRING² most recent offerings, the new Time Only, with it's sub second hand at 9 o'clock, for me a preferred position.
It sports a movement that Richard and Maria have conceived to offer a wonderfully priced self-winding or manual watch by a leading Independent Watchmaker, in a classic 42mm cased timepiece.
The back of the Time Only:
The other piece I loved was the Foudroyante or "Flashing second" as HABRING² likes to refer to the second seconds indicator at 9 o'clock, together with central Jumping second hand. It has a life all of it's own, that rapidly revolves 8 times a second.
Some might find it distracting, however I think it is a wonderful use of the caliber's natural motion. Driven directly off the escape wheel that has, in a 28,800 vph caliber, 8 motions a second.
Here again though not moving on my wrist!:
In other words, as the escapement releases the escape wheel 8 times a second, the little hand at 9 o'clock shows this motion; normally hidden deep in a watch caliber and revealed occasionally with an exhibition back, Richard has shown true movement of a basic horological nature. Quite ingenious, and possibly my most favoured of HABRING² offerings to date.
Another couple of HABRING² pieces an Automatic Jumping seconds and a steel COS chronograph:
I was able to view several other of the Automatics with Jumping Seconds, sporting several complications, such as a triple date moonphase, the second timezone and also a world timer. The wonderful Chronograph COS in a brushed Titanium case and grey dial with silver sub zones for running seconds and 30 minute chrono counter. Richard developed a clever mechanism to operate the chrono functions using the crown, by twisting it, in order to start, stop and reset. Doing away with the traditional chrono pushers at 2 and 4 o'clock, a clean look is created for the case.
HABRING² has set out on a path that I admire immensely. Responsible for several huge industry firsts, he has shunned the big watch brands massive advertising and marketing avenue. In it's place the world's possibly smallest manufacturer has embarked on a mission to create and provide watch lovers with great value and very exclusive watches. Only making relatively minute amounts annually, the buyer of a HABRING² watch is assured of a great experience owning one of these timepieces. The chance of bumping into another collector wearing one is small to none. Gaining an appreciation of Maria & Richard's philosophy makes for a compelling desire to own one or more of their creations.
A wrist shot of the Foudroyante "Flashing Seconds":