After two collaborations with Habring², Massena Lab has just taken the covers off its third joint project with the Austria watchmaker. Strikingly different from the earlier “sector” dial editions, the Erwin Lab03 is a step up in terms of dial decoration.
Doing away with the printed sector dial of earlier editions, Massena Lab recruited American guillocheur J.N. Shapiro to create an engine-turned bronze dial with classical Roman numerals and Breguet hands.
Having three variations of one Habring² model in as many years might seem a lot, but Massena Lab has made each version distinctive, each is different enough to bear little resemblance to the stock Erwin.
At the same time, the Erwin has appeal. It’s wearable and compact while having an interesting complication, a jumping seconds.
Perhaps more elegant than the earlier Massena Lab Erwins, the LAB03 distinguishes itself from the typical guilloche-dial watch. The salmon colour is faddish, but the extra-large Roman numerals and absence of hour markers make the watch stand out from most Breguet-inspired watches.
The highlight is definitely the hand-crafted dial. It’s made by Joshua Shapiro, a self-taught independent watchmaker and engine-turning specialist best known for pulling off the extremely intricate guilloche pattern of his own creation. At the same time, Mr Shapiro’s rising reputation certainly adds to the appeal of LAB03.
Priced at US$9,450, the Lab03 is the most expensive Erwin from Massena Lab to date – as it should be, given the quality and craft of the dial.
The central portion of the dial features a basketweave guilloche created on a hand-operated, straight-line engine that repeatedly engraves lines to form the intricate geometric pattern.
While not as delicate as Mr Shapiro’s proprietary Infinity Weave pattern – comprised of repeated, nested basketweave – the quality of the guilloche is high. In fact, the guilloche appears to be as good as that found on Mr Shapiro’s own watches, which are more elaborate but also more expensive.
The rest of the the dial is separated into two rings, one for the hours and the other for the minutes, both brushed and printed with blue markings to match the hands.
Visible through the back is the A11S, Habring²’s proprietary movement. Though derived from architecture of the ETA 7750, its parts are unique to the calibre and not interchangeable with the 7750.
Equipped with a secondary escapement for the jumping seconds, it is mechanically identical to the standard A11S, but has the bridges and base plate coated in pink gold to match the dial colour.
Key facts and price
Habring² x Massena Lab Erwin LAB03
Diameter: 38.5 mm
Water resistance: 50 m
Dial: Guilloche bronze by J.N. Shapiro
Features: Hours, minutes, and jumping seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours
Strap: Dark blue calfskin with pin buckle
Limited edition: 66 pieces
Availability: Directly from Massena Lab, with deposit of US$3,000 and delivery in batches starting January 2022
For more, visit massenalab.com.
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