Every owner of a Habring² can be certain to own a durable and sustainable product in times of mass consumerism. High-quality mechanical watches in particular fulfil to a high degree the ecological demands of today that many other products have yet to achieve. Given certain preconditions, a high-quality mechanical watch can virtually last forever. Even if it were returned to the material cycle, there is not one component that would require special disposal.
Every metal used in the watch is recyclable - the sapphire glass and ruby bearings consist simply of aluminium oxide. And all this is supplemented by an appropriate Habring² environment. Its packaging is made from renewable and untreated wood. Environmentally friendly tanning methods are used to make the leather for the straps. Each watch is delivered with a set of replacement parts to guarantee its independence in any event and helps avoid unnecessary transportation.
First and foremost: no mass product, in spite of the most discerning demands on quality! Limited capacity and a variety of possible variations mean that many of our watches are unique timepieces. Despite their exclusivity every Habring² is a reliable companion for every day and comes with a three-year guarantee on possible manufacturing defects conditional on an annual inspection for water-tightness.
Each Habring² is a timeless, high-quality, reticent and highly individual product at an attractive price. Its purchasers benefit from a total absence of advertising measures and a direct sales routes. We benefit from customer proximity by accumulating interesting ideas and feeding them into the development of other Habring² models.
They are always available from our studio in Völkermarkt. Of course, we cooperate with partners abroad who take care of international sales and are contact points for technical matters such as service issues. In some regions we also cooperate with accredited specialists - service watchmakers in whom we trust - to help avoid long transportation routes. Please see our website for specific addresses.
Experience has shown that the lifetime of a high-quality wristwatch with a high-quality movement can be virtually unlimited. The only prerequisites are the regular inspections by the manufacturer mentioned previously. Renowned manufacturers guarantee the availability of replacement parts for around 30 years - they can then become difficult to source - which makes regular inspections all the more important.
This can prove somewhat difficult for non-watchmakers. The most reliable indicator is the amplitude of the balance wheel. However, this is basically only detectable using measuring equipment and is thus an important role played by the watchmaker. A reduction in amplitude is sometimes accompanied by a change in the movement's speed. The watch speed can start to vary, making it either too fast or too slow. This is a sure sign for non-watchmakers that something in the movement has changed.
It is not unusual for movements to keep reliable time for much more than five years. Personal wearing habits, environmental influences and many other factors each have an impact on the movement. We may advise against a premature service under certain conditions if it is deemed unnecessary. Our intention is to draw attention to the possibility of wear. A watch movement bears a basic similarity to a combustion engine: insufficient oil lubrication over an extended period can bear the risk of engine damage whose repair would cost disproportionately more than a small inspection and regular oil changes. The main concern is to prevent secondary damage.
Similar to common aviation practice, each functional unit of a mechanical watch - in our case the movement in particular - should be completely dismantled and checked for any signs of wear every five years. The forces within the movement are transferred via many axles, with each axle pin running in mainly low-friction ruby bearings and lubricated with the finest oils. Despite ongoing technological advances, lubricating oils still have a limited lifetime - bearing friction increases when the oil's lubricating effect starts to deteriorate, resulting in the hazard of possible damage to the bearing pin.
If no signs of wear are detected, each component is cleaned in special media and then reassembled with fresh oils and the necessary care.
Worn parts are replaced before greater damage is sustained.
We recommend having an expert check the water-tightness of every Habring² once per year. The test usually only takes a few seconds and can provides information on the condition of the seals. It also gives the watchmaker an opportunity to check internal components for any signs of wear. Indications of wear signal the need for a general inspection, which is usually due every five years.
The rubber seals (bezel, base and crown/button seals) that protect the movement against water penetration may need to be replaced more frequently to guarantee water-tightness.
We base final adjustment on the inspections for chronometers and their respective requirements. A watch adapted perfectly to its wearer's wrist - and wearing habits - should have a slight advancement of between 0 and 5 seconds maximum per day.
Of course, one must take into consideration that this performance is only possible under ideal conditions. For instance, when the oils are still fresh and the watch is not subject to external influences such as magnetic fields or water penetration.
Regular inspections by a watchmaker usually rule out the latter.
In contrast to other manufacturers we do not order finished movements and simply put them into a shell. We usually work with so-called “ebauches‿, i.e. basic movements with no decoration whatsoever. Whether hand-made engravings as with the “Carinthian‿ or diversified decorative grinding - these are always applied after the components have passed the receiving inspection. Galvanising treatment such as gold plating or rhodium plating serves to protect the surfaces. We even grind screws by hand.
On principle, movements could be installed after these steps; however, we improve each subassembly in detail. This is achieved by replacing individual components with ones of higher quality. One example would be, for instance, the "Triovis" regulation-system which guarantees a far superior accuracy than the standard system. The balance wheel cannot be "studded", i.e. the spiral attached externally, before this component is mounted. Balance wheels and other parts of the escapement do not belong to the ebauche subassembly, neither do anti-shock components nor the winding spring. As a matter of principle, only the best quality of each particular component will find a place in a Habring². For instance, balance wheel, anchor and escapement wheel must be of chronometer quality.
Quality is improved continuously both during and after movement assembly. This process includes, among other things, optimising the endshake of each wheel or other components, adjusting the escapement, balancing the balance wheel, etc.
These are principally components requiring a high degree of specialised know-how: housing, dials, hands, and, of course, the straps and locks and the packaging.
In our case - as explained above - most of the movement components also derive from specialist suppliers. These could be movements from current production or factory-fresh antique movements.
Small family-run businesses with similar structures to ours receive top priority. Geographical proximity to our suppliers is also important to us - which is why no component from a cheap labour country will ever find its way into a Habring², even though lower purchase prices would be possible (given higher order quantities).
That depends on which particular meaning of the word one wishes to apply:
If meant in its classic form of “manu factum‿ - or hand-made - then yes, definitely, without a doubt! Each and every watch is made, adjusted and controlled exclusively by hand throughout a number of manufacturing stages. Guiding or helping hands are always involved, even when machines are used to manufacture components!
However, if confronted by the often-discussed opinion that “a manufacturer makes everything himself, down to the very last screw‿ then we would have to answer in the negative. Despite any number of functions, further developments and design variations, we want the Habring² to remain an affordable watch; there is no need to reinvent the wheel, even though some of our unique pieces require the most minute and finicky components to be made by hand.
At the end of the day the question is: can we achieve the same reliability with hand-made parts? If yes - then there is every reason to do so, especially in conjunction with unique pieces. Of course, cost always plays a certain role, although not the most important one.
We are only able to produce around 50 watches a year - or around one per week - due to limited capacity and the demand we place on ourselves to be responsible for each timepiece from start to finish. Each watch is manufactured by commission only. Furthermore, each model is limited to a maximum of 12 pieces per year.
A “normal‿ watch usually is developed with certain functions in mind - some quite simple, others more complicated. The so-called "target specifications" list every requirement the developers need to fulfil with the finished product. However, conventional target specifications are usually quite rigid.
Habring² is the first concept in the world that provides for later changes to the product. In other words: a Habring² can adapt to the changing requirements of its owner. This not only includes the decoration and customisation of housing or movement - even additional functions are adaptable. And all this is even downwards compatible - i.e. future improvements to watch movements, for instance, can be retrofitted to older watches.
Habring² stands first and foremost for reliability. Attributes such as precision, water-tightness and shock resistance in accordance with current standards are a matter of course.
We provide the system. - The appearance of the watch, its functions and its value are determined by the customer in close cooperation with us. The future owner is therefore closely involved in the creation process behind the watch and its history. In fact, more than just a few of our unique pieces were actually designed by their subsequent owners with a little help from us.
Habring² is actually not a brand it is purely the name of a product. This is the reason, why our logo "Habring²" - unlike many other watch manufacturers do - can be found only twice on our watches. Firstly on the dial and secondly - if there is enough space - on the movement. This used to be the historical way to sign a manufactured product.
At a Habring² watch there are no further engravings besides the serial number except the owner wishes that.
For us this is a way to respect the privacy of our customers. We do of course higly appreciate when our customers share their appreciation for our products - their watches - with others. But it is on their own.
However, Habring² simply stands for the two of us: Maria Kristina and Richard Habring - the probably smallest watch manufacture in the world.