Habring2 Jumping Second: Great Looking And (Relatively) Affordable Haute Horlogerie
by Martin Green
Having friends is great; having friends with great watches is even better. Especially when their choices are a bit off the beaten track – which is how I see it when somebody is wearing a Habring2 Jumping Second.
Austria’s only watch manufacture is still a hidden gem, and I always get the idea that Richard and Maria Habring, owners and founders of the brand, like it that way. They’re also familiar with the side of the industry that produces in larger volume as Richard’s rise to fame initially came from his work at IWC.
Richard Habring developed IWC’s innovative split-second chronograph based on the Valjoux 7750, the first time that this complication did not have to rely on column wheels to operate properly. He was later also responsible for creating the mechanical depth meter for the GST Deep One.
For the past 17 years, Richard and Maria Habring have been creating watches together with great success as Habring2. No less than four Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards stand on their mantel, but Richard and Maria are really motivated by the happy responses that they get from their clients.
Habring2 Jumping Second: functional elegance
One of the most important things that the Habrings have created is a very distinct style that I like to refer to as functional elegance. The designs seem to be straightforward, but every detail has been thought through.
This Jumping Second model from a few years ago is a great example of this. Legibility is key, and the time can be read at a glance, but small things make the difference. Habring2 opted to place four very elegant Arabic numerals in combination with bold baton-shaped hour markers, both in blued steel. Even the railroad track has blued five-minute markers shaped like triangles, which point at the hour markers, visually drawing you deeper into the dial.
All these details result in a very elegant watch with a utilitarian touch that is both practical and minimalistic.
Then there is the power reserve indicator, which is nothing but a straight hand and two small words – “auf” and “ab” – which indicate in German whether the mainspring is wound or not. Nothing more is required so nothing more is added. Which is why this Habring2 model makes such a powerful impact.
Habring2 Jumping Second: a nod to its spiritual ancestor, the Valjoux 7750
The Habrings’ history is intertwined with that of the Valjoux 7750, and they embrace this fact within their own manufacture.
The Jumping Second is powered by a manual-wind movement based on the Valjoux 7750’s gear train. Looking through the sapphire crystal case back, we note the finishing is sober with an industrial touch.
This is a good match with the watch’s overall design, cleverly underscoring all the manual labor that the Habrings put into creating such a movement, also firmly elevating it above its modest heritage.
The movement’s true enticement is not so much its finishing but a more technical matter. Always the innovator, Richard Habring wanted to incorporate a jumping seconds “complication” into his watches and ended up redesigning the whole mechanism.
He did this by going back to basics and limiting the parts to the absolute minimum required to support the function, thereby increasing not only its precision and reliability but also making servicing a breeze.
This achievement did not go unnoticed as in 2013 the Jumping Second Pilot won the Petite Aiguille prize for watches costing under CHF 7,500 at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Even after all these years, the dead beat second hand hasn’t lost any of its charm. Knowing that it ticks so precisely from one second marker to the next because of a mechanical movement lends it an undeniable cool factor for a watch aficionado.
A strap makes a difference
One of the things I like about my friend is that he wears his watches. Despite owning some rare and rather valuable pieces, there are no safe queens in his collection.
The Habring2 Jumping Second is no exception to this, and while in good condition it is not pristine with some minor scratches indicating that it has been enjoyed on the wrist. As a result the alligator leather strap needed replacement.
Having owned the watch for quite some years now, my friend felt that while the alligator leather strap looked great with the watch, an even better match could be made. For that, he turned to Manufacture Jean Rousseau.
While Paris-based Jean Rousseau is mainly known for its exquisite leather straps, it also knows its way around high-tech fabrics. The strap on this Habring2 Jumping Second is from the Compass collection, which combines a fabric upper with rubber details.
The strap is made in the same way as leather straps and even features remborde edges, meaning that the fabric is pulled over the edges and tucked underneath the lining. Its blue stitching is a nice match with the blued markers on the dial.
Overall, the strap gives the Habring2 Jumping Second more the look of a sports watch. And the strap shows off the versatility of the watch and its design.
For more information, please visit www.habring2.com/en/collection/jumping-second.
Quick Facts Habring2 Jumping Second
Case: stainless steel, 42 x 12.5 mm
Movement: manually wound Caliber A11MS (based on ETA Valjoux 7750), customized with in-house dead beat seconds module, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, dead beat seconds; power reserve
Strap: Manufacture Jean Rousseau Compass collection
Price: $5,300 (2011)