A Habring2 Doppel 38 “Sector” Dial for Hong Kong

A split-seconds with a "sector" dial.

Made for the 10th anniversary of its retailer in the city, the Habring² Doppel 38 Hong Kong Edition is a split-seconds chronograph sporting the brand’s signature “bullhead” pusher layout. With only 10 made for A Watch Company, the Hong Kong edition is essentially a standard Doppel 38 but with a dial almost identical to that on the Chrono-Felix Shellman 50th Anniversary

Initial thoughts

The basic Doppel 38 is probably the best value rattrapante on the market. It’s a manual-wind split-seconds chronograph with a smartly constructed movement for about US$12,000.

Functionality aside, the Hong Kong Edition is even more appealing, thanks to the refined dial design. Admittedly, it is not an original design since it’s clearly vintage inspired – and the “sector” layout has been done by many brands – but it is still a good look.

Priced at HK$89,800, or about US$11,500, the Doppel 38 is arguably an even better value proposition than the regular production model thanks to the styling.

A value proposition rattrapante

Highly regarded for value-minded timepieces, Habring² is Austrian brand run by husband and wife team Richard and Maria Habring.

Featuring the “bullhead” pushers at two and ten, the Doppel 38 has compact, elegant dimensions considering the complication, with the steel case measuring 38 mm by 11.5 mm. The case is mirror-polished on the bezel and tops of the lugs with satin brushing on the sides. 

The blued chronograph minutes hand has a retro, pointer-style tip

Borrowing from the limited edition made for Japanese retailer Shellman, the dial features gold-plated baton indices along with twin Breguet-style numerals at six and twelve. The chapter ring and seconds scale are finished with concentric brushing, while the centre sector is vertically brushed.

The leaf-shaped hands for the time, as well as the chronograph and running seconds, are gold plated to match. The split-seconds and minute register hands are in blued steel for contrast.

The A11R-H1 calibre is visible through the sapphire case back. It is a manual-wind, split seconds chronograph movement developed in-house by Habring².

Mr Habring formerly worked at IWC, where he invented a cost-effective split-seconds chronograph module intended for the Valjoux 7750. The A11R-H1 draws on his past work and is based on the A11, the Habring² workhorse that borrows from the architecture of the 7750 but is so thoroughly reworked that none of its components are interchangeable with those from a stock 7750. From the winding click to the Triovis regulator, the movement has been refined and improved in such a way that’s instantly recognisable as a Habring² calibre. 

The movement is decorated with perlage on the bridges and flame-blued steel parts, including the cam and split seconds bridge. All of the chronograph levers are straight-grained on top and bevelled along their edges.

Key facts and price

Habring² Doppel 38 Hong Kong Edition

Diameter: 38.5 mm (bezel 41 mm)
Height: 11.5 mm (excluding crystal)
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. A11R-H1
Functions: Hours, minutes, and split-seconds chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4Hz)
Winding: Manual-wind
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Leather with pin buckle

Limited edition: 10 pieces
Direct from A Watch Company Limited
Price: HK$89,800

For more information, visit Habring2.com


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When the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is More Than an Entry-Level Watch

The ref. 6098 "Galaxy" and ref. 6102 cloisonné "La Caravelle".

A no-frills time-only watch, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is now the brand’s entry-level model that’s available in a variety of dial styles and sizes, including the sought-after “Bubbles” dial. But Rolex has been making watches for long enough that the Oyster Perpetual from many moons ago is now a six- or seven-figure watch.

Two of these special Oyster Perpetuals figure prominently in Phillips’ upcoming Geneva auction. They are final two lots on the last day of the sale: lot 218 is the Oyster Perpetual ref. 6098 “Galaxy”, and lot 219 is the Oyster ref. 6102 cloisonné “La Caravelle” with bombe lugs.

The Oyster ref. 6098 “Galaxy”

The Oyster ref. 6102 “La Caravelle”.

Both are time-only watches with Oyster cases, but the opposite of no-frills. They date from the 1950s, when Rolex was experimenting with a diverse range of dials for the Oyster Perpetual (and perhaps the recent 1908 in platinum is a return to form?)

The “Galaxy” gets its name from the star-shaped indices on the glossy black dial, while “La Caravelle” refers to the cloisonné enamel dial made by a leading enameller of the period, Margueritte Koch.

Today’s Oyster Perpetual with the “Celebration” dial of coloured bubbles


Rolex watches with star dials are marvellous watches (which is why it was the inspiration for our Habring² Erwin “Star”). The most famous and expensive type of Rolex with such a dial is the ref. 6062 “Stelline” triple calendar. Less widely known but are the time-only Oyster models with similar star-shaped hour markers.

This is a ref. 6098 from 1953 in yellow gold with matching yellow gold-gilt hands and stars on a black “gilt” dial – the most desirable and uncommon combination for such a watch. Only four watches with a black dial featuring star indices are known. The same star indices can also be found on a white dial, which is substantially less valuable.

The combination of the gilt stars on a glossy black dial is particularly alluring with its high contrast and rich colours. Adding to the appeal is the condition of the dial, which is excellent.

The dial retains its glossy finish and markings. Though both the hands and luminous paint show obvious age, they do not detract much from the appeal of the dial.

And it helps that the rest of the watch is in good condition, with the case and bezel both well preserved.

This exact ref. 6098 last sold in 2015 for CHF425,000 including fees. And in 2017 a nearly identical ref. 6088 sold for CHF670,000. The ref. 6098 now carries an estimate of CHF150,000-300,000.

Cloisonné caravelle 

Featuring distinctive bombe (or sometimes “Bombay”) lugs, the ref. 6102 “La Caravelle” dating to 1953 has an exquisite cloisonné dial. Depicting a stylised scene of a viking ship on the waves, the dial was made by Stern Frères, the dial maker founded by the Stern family that now owns Patek Philippe.

But the dial wasn’t so much made by the company as it was by the artisan, which in this case was Margueritte Koch, one of the handful of enamellers making top-quality cloisonné dials for Stern at the time.

Dials in this style were not unique to Rolex. High-end brands like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin also created watches with similar dials during this period, as did less obvious marques like IWC and Omega.

These dials inevitably have a similar style, a simple motif rendered in multi-coloured enamel and particularly fine cloisonné work.

The “Caravelle” dial is typical of such dials in both execution and style. The gold wires that form the motif are exceedingly fine and elegantly formed, while the colours of the enamel are vibrant and nuanced.

Importantly, the dial is in excellent condition. Its slightly domed surface remains smooth and shiny, while the enamel is free of cracks.

The rest of the watch is also in fine condition. In fact, it even includes the original warranty card from Bucherer dated 1957.

The provenance is also known: it was first sold by the family of the original owner in 2006 at Christie’s, and then sold once again in 2015 at Phillips where it achieved CHF1.235 million with fees. The estimate is now CHF400,000-800,000.

Both of these Rolex watches will be sold on May 12. The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX takes place over two days on May 11 and 12 at the Hotel President in downtown Geneva (a change from the traditional venue of La Reserve). The full catalogue is available on Phillips.com.


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