Slideshow = 13 photos to see this watch from all its angles
+ a video to admire the mad race of the foudroyante hand, as well as the jumping of the deadbeat seconds!
Habring², a young Austrian company created by watch enthusiasts Richard and Maria-Kristina Habring, has been producing models since 2004 with a very interesting alternative to the more classic production of the major brands.
The production of these watches relies largely on the deep technical knowledge of Richard Habring in the field of movement designs, the same Richard Habring who earned his stripes first at IWC, and then A. Lange & Söhne.
Their small and limited production process gives them the opportunity to work very closely with their clients, who can choose, among other things, the style of finish for the case or the dial of the watch they are ordering.
The Habring² strategy with regards to its movements is also somewhat unusual.
The concept is based on an existing standard caliber, which is then modified to have one or more original complications, and then completed with a classic look.
This strategy translates into the limited production of interesting and unique pieces available to collectors, while still being affordable!
For those who like to look at watches
Since it is at the heart of this model's concept, let's begin the review of this Habring² Foudroyante 2010 with its movement.
At its core, we find a Valgranges A07, a modest caliber based on the concept of the Valjoux 7750, with the same robust nature, but slightly larger size.
That base is then customized by Habring² with the addition of two complications, one deadbeat seconds, and one “foudroyante”.
The deadbeat seconds allows the seconds hand to move in one second increments, similar to the tick a quartz watch, while the foudroyante (or jumping seconds) counts in 1/8th of a second intervals on a sub-dial situated at 9 o'clock.
This technical modification is achieved very simply, but very efficiently: the foudroyante is a reflection of the functioning of the escape wheel while a yoke ensures the second-by-second jump of the seconds hand.
The technical attention and focus mixed with the robust nature of the caliber makes it possible to ensure the overall reliability of the watch.
Now that we've taken a look at the hidden side of this Foudroyante, let's put the technical aspect aside for a moment.
These two complications are obviously unnecessary - almost contradictory - but the result is still captivating!
The jumping seconds gives the dial a calm and appeasing appearance, while at the same time, the foudroyante moves frantically and without interruptions!
Our attention is thus focused altenately on one hand, and then on the other...
Very few dials are susceptible to so much contemplation...
This Habring² is undeniably designed for those who like to admire their watch before reading the actual time on it!
A classic case
How does one enhance a rare movement?
Habring², no stranger to contrary action, chose a classic and discreet design.
A simple dial, railtrack-style minute circle, contrasting sub-dial, rhodium-plated hands, and a 42mm diameter polished case with straight flanks.
But this simplicity deserves a closer inspection.
The dial's perimeter has a railtrack minute circle, rhodium-plated hourmarkers, and a circular brushed finish.
In the center, the brush is vertical, leaving room for three small but elegant appliqué numbers: 12, 3, and 6.
Finally, a white guilloche subdial enhances the foudroyante.
The different finishes give the dial a variety of appearances depending on the angle of the light.
Once again, it a true pleasure to the eye.
The solid back might be the only neglected part of the concept for this Foudroyante 2010.
Given the movement's unremarkable architecture, one can understand the solid back.
Still, a more meticulous engraving would have been a plus!
With the production of this watch being limited to 12 units a year, with 4 different dials and the possibility of several options of materials for the case, this is truly a remarkable watch which will undoubtedly get the attention of those in search of originality and uniqueness. - or simply those who cannot resist love at first sight!
If you still need to be convinced that this watch and its company operate somewhat outside of the norms, we can add a few words about its packaging. While it is a bit austere with its small wooden box, it does include a few goodies that are rather unusual in the standard watchmaking world: 77 replacement parts allowing one to do a complete overhaul of this Habring² Foudroyante 2010!
Continuing its tradition of going against the grain, this Habring², with its deadbeat seconds and foudroyante, along with unique complications in a classic case, definitely merits careful a closer look.
At a time when innovation in the watchmaking world is usually synonymous with the mixing of technical and often expensive materials, this Austrian brand offers us a watch of great originality - the Foudroyante 2010 is absolutely fascinating!
- the improbable association of two contradictory complications
- a general concept allowing for a reasonable price
- a delight to the eye
- the case and its back somewhat under par relative to the rest of the watch
- tester's wrist size = 17.5 cm
To admire the mad race of the foudroyante hand, as well as the jumping of the deadbeat seconds (or go HERE if you cannot play the video):