The 2.0 in the name, stands for version 2 as well as the 20 years that he needed to wait to realize its creation. Limited only to 20 pieces, all  were quickly snapped up by collectors wanting a namesake creation from the acknowledged master. These 20 pieces, by the way are all there will ever be of the Doppel 2.0.

Fans of Habring and his work need not despair though. After completing the Doppel 2.0 and getting that off his chest, he set about to work on the Doppel 3.0, which was only recently released. This watch is better in many ways, and will surely become another signature piece from him. I will cover this watch at a later time, suffice it to say the most interesting feature of this watch is the reduction of three pushers to two. This enables a much cleaner look, and is without doubt a very unique implementation of the rattrapante. As a tip, in order to recognize a Doppel 2.0, look for 3 pushers on the case. For a Doppel 3.0, look for 2 pushers.

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How does he create the value in his watches then? Independent watchmakers offer many types of watches, but it is clear, that as a bare minimum, the quality of movement finishing is often one of the main selling points.

Richard however, in defiance of what the industry has come to believe, considers such a high level of finishing as a waste of time as it adds no functional improvement to the watch. He is capable of doing it, and will do so if a client requests it, but such a practice isn’t in line with his philosophy. And take it from me when I tell you that he answered me in a manner as straightforward as this when I asked him why the movement finish in his minute repeater looked a little rough.


There is really something quite remarkable about a watchmaker who is so secure in his ideas that he would make a stand for such a way of doing doings, especially so when I observed him saying this explaining his ideas in front of a group of confused collectors in Singapore. You have to give it to the man when he stands by his belief and makes no excuses for it.

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Ultimately then, value to the owner of a Habring watch comes with a well made watch with care for its function and purpose, with an interesting and delightful complication, all at a reasonable price. Furthermore in the journey of its ownership, should the mood strike you to change its complication, this can be achieved through the quite astonishing and unheard of (in independent watch making) modular system.


The system is designed in such a way as to allow the owner of a Habring watch to swap out movements at will, with case and movement sizes designed to ensure this possibility. Have a chronograph but feel the need for foudroyante, or maybe even a dead beat seconds? Within reason, if such a change is technically possible, it can be done, and it will be done. You, the owner of the watch are not subject to the draconian edicts that many brands impose on what can or cannot be done to their watches. With a Habring watch, you decide what you want with your property.

Add to this a fully transparent price list where you know what you’re getting (without the cloak and dagger pricing practices of retail)  and relatively quick turnaround (measured in months and not years), and you have a recipe that any watch aficionado can live with.

In all this, I would be remiss not to mention Maria Habring as well, and the source behind the “2” in the Habring2 name. As Richard has been at pains to make clear, Maria is not only his wife, but a co-owner of the business of equal standing. Equal parts office manager and watchmaker, she handles the aspects of the company related to marketing and order fulfillment, especially when Richard is in full concentration mode.  Having worked in the watch industry before, she also handles the assembly of watches, especially at times when the order books are full.

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Maria is no doubt a strong presence within the company, but the difference here is that Richard has chosen to give her importance equal billing, with a view to overturning conventions of women’s roles in the watch making industry.  It was a chance encounter on an S-Bhan train in Germany in 2001 when they met, and a year later they were married, sowing the seeds for a brand that would bear their name.

It is often said that family and career should not mix, but in this case, the partnership clearly works because their ideas on how people should live are the same.

Ultimately then when questioned whether money was their purpose in creating the brand. Maria replied: ” No, we want to make people happy and show what is important”. Clearly the brand could have gone down the same path as other independent watchmakers with high prices, extravagant finishing and a luxurious sheen, but it was not in their DNA to do so.

It is certainly something to think about when we as watch lovers look over the passing parade of ever more expensive watches that a large majority of us will never be able to afford, and been dismayed at the upward trajectory of prices, we stop to ask the watch industry why it has to be so?

Indeed it is a somewhat gloomy state of affairs that we live in a world where when a watchmaker asks the same question, you sit up and take notice. When that same watch maker then puts his money where his mouth is, producing a line of watches that mesh with this philosophy, and championing the mechanical watch for its sustainability rather than luxury, then perhaps things are not so gloomy after all.

Do check out the offerings of Richard and Maria Habring at their website at www.habring2.com, and if you’re a watch lover like I am, there will definitely be something on offer that will catch your eye!

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