Founded by husband-and-wife duo Richard and Maria Habring in the small town of Völkermarkt, Austria, seasoned enthusiasts and collectors will know that Habring2 is well known for producing some of the most creative, understated, and technically impressive timepieces on the market at relatively affordable price points, with a primary focus on chronographs and dead-beat seconds.
Among the myriad of watches produced over the years, there is one rare Habring2 that is arguably the most elusive and desirable among collectors, and it is almost similar to the watch we have on offer here today. Let us explain why.
This particular piece right here is quite a special one. On first glance, one would assume that this is the Japan Shellman edition that was originally produced and retailed exclusively through a well-known Tokyo-based retailer – Shellman, to which only a total of 20 pieces were estimated to have been made in 36.5mm. However, this particular example we see here today is actually a customised contemporary Chrono-Felix in 38.5mm, it has been fitted with the same black dial and polished metal hands we see on the Shellman edition. Because of its extremely low production numbers (estimated at approximately 4 – 5 pieces only), it is a watch you rarely see available in the secondary market.
Similar to the Shellman edition, this Chrono-Felix is also a monopusher. The monopusher chronograph is a complication long-revered among horological enthusiasts and collectors alike. With all of the chronograph functions being controlled via a single pusher, this would usually mean that a more complex mechanism is required in order to operate a watch with such functionality.
This Chrono-Felix is housed in an appropriately-sized 38.5mm stainless steel case which has a stepped concave bezel and polished lugs. Looking at the custom-fitted dial, you will find key design cues from vintage chronographs of the 1940s (e.g. Longines, Patek Phillipe), such as the polished leaf hands and the beautiful Breguet numerals. It also features two sub-dials on the 9 and 3 o ‘clock positions, a telemeter scale on the outer perimeter of the dial, and a snail-shaped tachymeter scale at the center.
The watch is powered by the proprietary hand-wound cal. A11C-H1, which derives from the robust and reliable Valjoux 7750. But crucially, Habring2 had modified the movement’s construction and design to a significant degree, which greatly improved its serviceability, technical qualities as well as its overall aesthetics. Ultimately, it was constructed by Habring2 to be far superior to the 7750 on several levels. Amongst other technical features, the 25-jeweled cal. A11C-H1 also boasts a respectable power reserve of 48 hours, a shock protection mechanism, and an anti-magnetic escapement with a Carl Haas hairspring that is of chronometer quality.
Overall, this Chrono-Felix is an absolutely stunning watch from Habring2 featuring a great balance of complication, visual appeal, aesthetics, technical prowess, and collectability. The fact that it is fitted with a dial from one of the most sought-after Habring2 models makes it so much more compelling to own and wear.