Independent manufacturers don’t come much more independent than a single Austrian husband and wife duo. Richard Habring was trained in the 1980s through Karlstein an der Thaya and was something of a prodigy, presenting a self-designed minute tourbillon in an incline movement by graduation. After meeting Maria and jointly deciding fully on a horological career, the two began making roughly 50 pieces per year. Their signature style is producing no-nonsense chronometers which will last a lifetime for discerning ‘everyday’ clients. What Habring² (get it?) lack in historical provenance they clearly make up for in sheer inventiveness and passion. A case in point is this Chrono-Felix which showcases just what levels of beauty are possible with a base 7750 architecture.
This 38.5mm case (damn perfectly judged) houses a lovely salmon dial with an Arabic 12 and applied indices. The highly finished dauphine hands are accented by a tapered chrono hand. The angled monopushed adds a classic styling element to an otherwise very modern aesthetic. Its steel and salmon silhouette is a thing of beauty. The 25 jewel caliber beats at a leisurely 28800 vph. The movement is constructed from a 7750 architecture with hand applied perlage. The result is a somewhat utilitarian beauty visible thought a sapphire display back.
What makes this a value? Consider the levels of hand-finishing, unique componentry, limited (by nature, not artificially) production, and sheer beauty. To get these benefits in any comparable level from another independent is not possible. The Habrings sought to provide value in their watches from the very start and they have accomplished their aim with absolute grace.
This example show very little wear at all. This a very modern piece with very attractive proportions, a rare hybrid. The case which makes that possible is unpolished and doesn’t even show surface wear from what I can tell. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded retailer in London.
Find this Chrono-Felix here from Kibble Watches for 4750 GBP.