June 16, 2016
A few years ago, owner of Australian retailer Define Watches, Peter Petzold, envisioned a five-minute repeater watch that would take advantage of the utmost in technical mastery while displaying an equal dose of old-world craftsmanship that is so often overlooked in the digital age. His vision led to the collaboration of Habring2‘s Richard and Maria Habring and Jochen Benzinger, world-renowned watch engraver and decorator. With two vastly different approaches to horological creation, the result is a fascinating combination of restraint and sophistication in the form of the Habring2 Benzinger 5-Minute Repeater for Define Watches.
Richard Habring, the man behind the IWC Doppel Chronograph, partners with his wife Maria in creating understated pieces from their manufacture in Austria (that we visited here). I should also mention now that he and his wife are part of a five-person team that creates their own in-house movements. With an approach in style that leans toward the minimalistic, you may think it odd when paired with the work of Jochen Benzinger, known for his work with brands such as A Lange & Sohne, and his Benzinger watches. With a style that is extremely ornate, Jochen is a master engraver who chooses to work with vintage machines that showcase his skill and artistry. His work stands out in an age where the majority of engravings and guilloche are etched with lasers rather than by hand.
The culmination of these great minds’ collaboration is the Habring2 Benzinger 5-Minute Repeater watch. Offered in three different designs, the Repeater comes in a 42mm Grade 5 Titanium case that features a matte finish. Due to the unique quality of the case, the tone of the minute repeater resonates so efficiently that they are able to seal it and offer a 50-meter water resistance – unusual for a repeater. The hands are flame-blued by Maria Habring, while the engravings, guilloche, and skeleton aspects are handled by Jochen according to the customer’s wishes. The first design, the Engine, is what Habring calls “contemporary and technical” while the Floral is described as being more “classical.” The third is a variation on the Engine design and is dubbed the Technical.
The movement is a Habring in-house manual Calibre A11 that beats at 28,800vph. Again, it is great to see an in-house movement from such a small team. The minute repeater is a tried and true Dubois Depraz Repeater Module that dictates the time when initiated by the wearer. Hours are indicated by single “dings” while the passage of five-minute segments are expressed as double “ding-dings”.
Since it is a limited 5-piece run, the first two designs, the Engine No. 1 and the Floral No. 2, have already been sold. The third piece is the No. 3 Technical variant, while numbers 4 and 5 can be custom ordered in any of the styles. You can customize your selection with ennobling style, dial, as well as aspects of the movement. You should allow six months for your customization to be complete and Jochen is ready to create your masterpiece.
This is definitely a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gain an amazing watch that speaks to your style personally while owning a piece that masterfully combines two distinct artistic approaches. Available through Define Watches, pricing for the Engine variant is AUD 54,300 and AUD 55,200 for the Floral. habring2.com ・ jochenbenzinger.de