2017 GPHG Petit Aiguille Category Finalist
Austere and refined in its minimalist design, the Erwin watch from Habring² demonstrates that small can be beautiful, and a rival for the might of the establishment brands.
Two years ago in this same Petit Aiguille category, it was Habring² who quite spectacularly took the honours with its Felix watch. What made that award so special was because this little Austrian company is a true David against the industry Goliaths, and for what is little more than a husband and wife team to win such a prestigious accolade proved emphatically that these awards were not the exclusive reserve of global brands.
The Habring² Erwin features only the very essentials, with hours, minutes and central seconds on a grained silvery dial. Its hands and markings are unfussy yet defined, and the result is an aesthetic simplicity which belies the complexity of what is a very challenging watchmaking complication; because the seconds hand on this hand winding mechanical watch do not sweep around as one would expect, but instead jump precisely from second to second like a quartz watch would.
That's because inside the watch, beats a lovely piece of independent watchmaking and the Habring² proprietary A11S movement, which is almost exclusively manufactured, in house. by the company's small team of watchmakers and finishers.
Among the six preselected finalists for the GPHG 2017 Petit Aiguille award, I think that once again Habring² can have realistic hopes for a repeat of the 2015 celebrations, considering what you get for the outlay in this price limited category, but by no means would I think it anywhere close to being a foregone conclusion, as I think that Tudor and Seiko will be there in the final reckoning.
The Watch Press prediction
A very strong contender, but I don't think it will win. Not because it doesn't deserve to win, because I would actually like it to, as I appreciate what it must take for an independent atelier to achieve such a technical piece at such an accessible price (CHF 5'950), but I can just see Seiko clinching this category.
CASE: Stainless steel
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Hand winding mechanical. Power reserve: 48 h, 28'800 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Jumping Seconds
SIZE: ø 38.5 mm
THICKNESS: 9 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 50 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: Est. c. CHF 5'950