Continuing with the vintage-inspired aesthetic that has informed many of its recent models, Habring² is elaborating upon its single-button chronograph. Now the brand’s flagship model, the Chrono Felix Perpetual is self-explanatory – a hand-wind Felix chronograph with a perpetual calendar module.
As is typical for Habring², the Chrono Felix Perpetual (CFP) approaches the double complication in a practical and affordable manner. It’s powered by the brand’s own A11 base movement, while the calendar is the familiar and reliable Dubois-Depraz module.
The CFP is making its debut in two variants: a “salmon” dial with Breguet numerals as well as a striking black-and-silver version for Massena Lab.
Although Habring² introduced a split-seconds chronograph with perpetual calendar three years ago, the CFP feels like an all-new product. And it is, in fact, new in most tangible respects. The case is smaller while the movement has been dressed up and even incorporates an in-house escapement and balance assembly.
The CFP is a handsome watch with surprisingly compact proportions. In fact, the CFP will feel like the standard Habring² Felix chronograph, since they share the same case middle with the CFP having a thicker bezel.
While both versions of the CFP have the same dimensions, they are aesthetics opposites despite both being vintage inspired. Habring²’s edition is a warm, pleasing “salmon” with elegant numerals, while Massena Lab’s black-and-silver iteration has a classical formality.
And like all Habring² watches, the CFP is competitively priced. At about US$25,000, it is likely the most affordable manually-wound chronograph with perpetual calendar on the market.
Despite its double complications, the CFP has surprisingly compact dimensions. The case is 38.5 mm in diameter, the standard for most Habring² watches, but more crucially, it is a relatively thin 13 mm thanks the clever construction of the base module as well as the thinness of the calendar module.
Both dial types are well matched to the vintage-inspired case. Habring²’s dial is a metallic pink with Breguet numerals and leaf-shaped hands.
Massena Lab, on the other hand, has gone for a monochromatic black and silver. According to Massena Lab, the stark dial was inspired by a black-and-white photo of the Patek Philippe ref. 1518. Even the moon phase disc has inverted colours, showing a black moon and stars against a silvered disc.
The movement of the CFP is the A11CP, which is made up of the A11 base movement and a Dubois-Depraz perpetual calendar module.
A tried and tested module used for decades by dozens of brands – ranging from Vacheron Constantin to Montblanc – the Dubois-Depraz module is a lever-based mechanism with a complete calendar display that includes the leap year and moon phase. Like most calendar modules of its era, it has a traditional layout with four sub-dials and relies on pushbuttons to adjust each calendar indicator.
The A11 base is more interesting than the module. Though its architecture is borrowed from the ultra-reliable Valjoux 7750, it has been heavily reengineered by Habring² and improved to such a degree that most of the components in an A11 are not interchangeable with those of a 7750.
Most notably, the A11CP is equipped with Habring²’s own escapement. What that means is that Habring² designed the parts of the escapement and then turned to specialist suppliers for the constituent parts of each element, namely the balance staff, balance wheel, hairspring wire, roller, roller pin, pallet fork, and escape wheel. The constituent parts are then adjusted and assembled by Habring², a process that includes cutting and forming the hairspring from raw wire – an impressive achievement for a niche brand.
Key facts and price
Habring2 Chrono Felix Perpetual
Diameter: 38.5 mm
Height: 13 mm
Water resistance: 30 m
Features: Hours, minutes, chronograph, and perpetual calendar
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle
Limited edition: No, but Massena Lab edition will be limited to ten watches per year in 2023 and 2024
Availability: Standard version from Habring², while Massena Lab edition only from Massena Lab
Standard edition – €23,500 including 20% VAT
Massena Lab edition – US$24,995 without taxes, with deposit of US$7,500 due at time of order (price only applies to watches scheduled for delivery in 2023)
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