World exclusive – Watchmaking history in the making
Habring2 by Benzinger 5 Minute Repeater – Engine for Define Watches
When Peter Petzold, owner of Define Watches, conceived the idea of creating a Limited Edition Collection of 5 Minute Repeaters that combine technical handmade horological perfection and aesthetic beauty – at an affordable price, two names instantly came to mind: Habring2 for the technical know-how and skill of owners Richard and Maria Habring and Jochen Benzinger, renowned master ennobler.
Upon initial presentation of the idea, both parties were apprehensive, given the polar opposite of their approach to watch making and design.
Richard Habring, co–developer of IWC’s patented Doppel Chronograph, is an absolute purist with regards to the technical functionality of a watch. At Habring2 even an engraving on a crown is seen as an unnecessary complication on a mechancial timepiece. Habring2’s watches are strikingly understated, clean, clear lines and exceptional functionality underlie each tiempiece produced by Maria, Richard and the small team at the manufactory in Austria. The prospect of an affiliation with a watch ennobler was both novel and challenging for a company that has built its reputation on understated design and technical functionality but both Richard and Maria rose to the occasion and realised that their core competence was exactly what would underpin the collection.
Jochen Benzinger, world-renowened watch ennobler having worked for such companies as: Lange & Söhne, IWC, Original Glashütte, and Chronoswiss was enthralled with the potential of the project and design opportunities. Jochen’s work is painstakingly produced by hand on vintage machines that facilitate the creation of his highly bespoke designs. Each piece Benzinger creates is unique and truly hand-made, no CAD, no laser-cutters just artistic genius and hand-drawn sketches. Whether he is refining a 100 year old Piaget or engraving an exclusive Grieb & Benzinger ($200,000+) Jochen devotes months to each project to ensure the end result is as aesthetically perfect and balanced as it is functional.
So, despite the differences of execution, the philospohy of excellence unites the two and makes for a very exciting collection of FIVE 5-minute repeaters created and built by Habring2 and ennobled by Jochen Benzinger. Such collborations between independent watchmakers are not common and do rank themselves worthy of mention in the world of Horology.
Define Watches take great pleasure in presenting their 5 piece Limited Edition of Habring by Benzinger Five Minute Repeaters.
Collection: Define Habring by Benzinger 5-minute repeater
Edition: 5 pieces worldwide
Movement: Habring2 in-house manual calibre A11 and a Dubois Depraz Repeater Module
Ennobling: Hand skeletonised, hand engraved and guilloched by Jochen Benzinger to order
Case: Grade 5 Titanium, matt finished case, polished bezel, 5 bar water resistance. 42mm diameter. Specially designed & manufactured pusher and crown
Hands: Manually flame-blued by Maria Habring
Features: Due to the hardness and quality of the titanium case the tone of the repeater is crisp and clear enough to allow the case to be sealed (normally cases must be left unsealed to allow the tone to resonate). This has allowed Habring2 to seal the case and provide a 5 bar water resistance – unusual for a Repeater and another point of excellence and note.
Design: The design of each timepiece is individual and produced individually.
- Engine design (more contemporary and technical): $54,300
- Floral design (more classical and filigre): $55,250
Availability: The first pieces are in the Floral and Engine designs are sold. Piece 3 is finished in the Technical Design and available immdeiately. Pieces 4 & 5 can still be customised in either design and are still available, allow approximately 6 months for finishing and delivery.
Watch shown on a 180mm / 18cm wrist.
What is the art of Guilloche?
Guilloché (or guilloche) is a decorative technique whereby a very precise, intricate and repetitive pattern is mechanically engraved into an underlying material. It was developed between the 1600-1700s as part of the “royal craft” of art-reversing. From these princely beginnings, the watchmakers of the 18th and 19th century developed the beautiful Guilloche machines, with which, for example, Breguet cut its unique dials. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the court jeweller of the Russian Tsar, Fabergé, brought the art of Guilloche to its fullest perfection. He used the guilloche technique as a base for his famous enamel work, which culminated in the renowned Fabergé eggs. Today, thanks to the renaissance of mechanical clocks and watches, a limited number of high-quality manufacturers are still offering their products with hand-guilloched dials, which are still unmatched in their classic appearance. Jochen Benzinger is a master in this field.
What is the art of engraving?
Engraving is as old as mankind itself. People used cutting tools at all times to decorate jewellery and utensils. The engraving art in Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries reached its climax when armour and weapons were artfully engraved. In the sixteenth century, Albrecht Dürer brought this work to a new heyday when, using the same tools as Jochen Benzinger uses in his studio today, he cut the copper-printing blocks for his famous prints. Nowadays there are very few specialists who know the techniques of this craft. Hand-engraving in horology is a highly valued attribute on any timepiece. Benzinger watches feature this finish with flourish and skill.
What is the art of skeletonising?
Skeletonising is a refinement method for giving a new, individual character to closed movements. Parts of the movement are removed by a goldsmith’s saw to reveal the direct view into and through the mechanical movement. The view of the movement is made possible by a sapphire crystal, exhibition case back in all models. The imbued creative energy of Jochen Benzinger is brought to the fore in his bespoke skeletonising creations. Each piece is skilfully crafted to highlight the beauty of the mechanical movement beating within – a pleasure to observe and a privilege to wear.