Last year a small Austrian watchmaker by the name of Habring² celebrated its 10th Anniversary with the launch of a simple looking watch called Felix. At the time I remembered thinking ‘ten years is a pretty significant milestone, surely they want something a little more flashy to mark the occasion?’ The thing is, the husband and wife founders of Habring² don’t really do ‘flashy’. Instead, they prefer something a little more substantive. How refreshing is that?
Getting To Know Felix
Described by the brand as its new ‘starter’ model, Felix offers a surprisingly sophisticated entry point into the world of mechanical watchmaking. Novices will appreciate its clean lines and minimal design, whilst more seasoned aficionados will undoubtedly be impressed with the hand-wind A11 movement that was developed completely in-house and then manufactured by Habring Uhrentechnik OG with the assistance of a handful of small partners in Switzerland, Germany and of course Austria. More on that in a minute.
What I love best though is how this watch looks on the wrist. At just 38.5mm it is suitable for men or women and looks equally good on either, which will make justifying it as your next purchase to your significant other that much easier. In keeping with the highly refined theme Felix is also only 7mm thick and sits nice and flat. The modern aesthetic is well-suited to pretty much any occasion and looks just as good under a shirt cuff as it does with a polo and shorts.
As I alluded to before though, the thing that really got the hardcore enthusiasts talking is the new movement. Now, as you may or may not be aware already, Habring²‘s founders – Richard and Maria Habring – are themselves highly accomplished and awarded watchmakers, the former having created the Doppelchronograph for IWC when he was under their employ many years ago.
Although nowhere near as complicated as that, Felix still represents a significant turning point for the brand. You see, up until now Habring² has taken a modular approach to watchmaking, using Valjoux/ETA 7750/7760 units as the base and then modifying them extensively.
The A11 marks the end of this module system as Habring² shifts its focus to developing its own components in-house. And whilst the movement may share the same base as its siblings it also features a balance wheel and hairspring, gear train, escapement, adjustment mechanism and winding mechanism that have all been developed in Austria, making this a true manufacture movement. And let me tell me you, despite its relative simplicity, it is gorgeous to look at.
There are two dial designs available: with either an Arabic or Roman “12” and if you prefer you can also request that your Felix is made without the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock, although personally I think that would make the watch just a little too plain. There are also several strap variations to choose from so you can inject a bit of your own individual personality into the watch.
Available now you can add your very own Felix to your collection for a very reasonable EUR4,450 (approx. US$4,850).
Check out Habring² for more information.