28 August 2013 | Watch Reviews

Habring2 - bespoke watchmaking...from Austria

Vienna, the forest quarter with the royal & imperial "clock metropolis" of Karlstein/Thaya and in particular the region around Graz counted among the clock-making centres of Europe during the 19th century. Clocks from this era – mainly large clocks but also many pocket watches – are much sought-after by international collectors. The increasing industrialisation during the second half of the 19th century displaced the manufacture of clocks in many areas of Europe, causing the last Austrian clock-makers' guild in Graz to close its registry in 1890. The list of historically documented names certainly includes some who achieved world fame, for instance Josef Thaddäus Winnerl - born in southern Styria and later a chronometer manufacturer in Paris - who is said to be one of the instrumental inventors of the chronograph. Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who was taught by Winnerl, and the inventor of the tourbillon, Abraham Louis Breguet, returned to Glashütte in 1845 and founded the town's clock-making industry.

The beginnings

Established in 1997, the company is still growing continuously after a number of relocations and capacitive expansions. Despite its relatively small size the company today represents the perfect synthesis of development capacity, manufacturing competence and high-quality watch assembly for limited series.

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Habring Uhrentechnik OG

Habring Uhrentechnik OG is located at Hauptplatz 16 in Völkermarkt in Kaernten, halfway between Vienna and Venice, in a light-flooded 242m² studio on the fourth and fifth floors with views of the surrounding lakes and mountains. This is where Maria & Richard Habring – husband and wife and equal partners in the business – and their four employees find the peace and muse to slip into the microcosm of precision mechanics every day.

Habring² – 6 model ranges, 12 units per model and year

The first Habring² was presented in 2004; around 100 units of the watch so coveted by collectors were manufactured during 2012. The watches made by Habring² are available from selected partners in, among other locations, Australia, Bern, Dresden, Leicester, Luxemburg, Philadelphia, San Diego, Singapore, Tokyo and, of course, from the atelier in Völkermarkt.

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Maria & Richard Habring see themselves as bespoke tailors of the art of watch-making. The unique modular system of the Habring² invented by them enables the fulfilment of customer wishes that no other manufacturer can grant – very much in keeping with the premise that "everyone deserves their own very special and unique timepiece". Exclusiveness and technical perfection are not the only things they hold dear: they are successfully fighting the all-powerful throwaway society with their exclusively mechanical watches and minimum lifetime warranty of 30 years. Whether an individual piece or a mini-series manufactured in cooperation with partners, every Habring² is made to order. Customers appreciate in particular the personal attention lavished upon them by the lively and creative couple. The focal points among the products are the tourbillons, the much-copied jumping second and the chronographs. All share the classic, timeless design and are characterised by reliability and suitability for everyday use. Every year Habring² proves that the development of the mechanical watch is far from over by introducing clever, innovative detailed solutions such as the "Crown Operation System" (COS – a watch that does completely without push-buttons), or the "Foudroyante" introduced in 2010 - the first ever combination of a hand and a foudroyant second hand. A true bombshell bestowed previously unheard of attention on Habring² in 2012: the chronograph with a split-seconds hand (rattrapante) – bearing the name Doppel 2.0 – introduced in that year brought the international watch Oscar (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève) to Austria for the first time. The international jury of experts gave the Doppel 2.0 preference above the products of world-famous brands.

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It was both an honour and an incentive for the young brand to achieve further milestones: after all, nothing less than complete self-sufficiency will mark the first small anniversary in 2014. Basic movements and highly complex sub-assemblies such as the escapements (regulators) will then be produced independently with the assistance of small family-run businesses in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Six model ranges and a price spectrum from € 1.950 to € 34.500 enable Maria & Richard Habring to offer the passionate watch collector a hand-crafted product that sets new standards with regard to exclusiveness and quality.

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Horbiter - Watches & Luxury

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