MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription 1
Since the foundation of MONOCHROME in 2006, the motto "dedicated to fine watches" has been our guiding light. Today marks a milestone in MONOCHROME's 15 years of history with the introduction of our first watch collaboration: the MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription 1.
For our very first collaboration watch, we turned to one of our favourite brands, Habring, an independent Austrian watchmaking atelier created by Maria and Richard Habring in 2004.
The MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription 1 is limited to 33 pieces and will be sold via subscription, a process that will sound familiar to those with some knowledge of watchmaking history.
An Indie watchmaker and 1940's chronograph inspiration
Our Montre de Souscription 1 reflects our love for historical and contemporary horology. By teaming up with an independent watchmaker, this first Montre de Souscription also embodies an important element of MONOCHROME's editorial policy and its focus on the independent watchmaking scene.
Working with Maria and Richard Habring, who are as passionate about beautiful mechanical timepieces as we are, was a perfect match for MONOCHROME. The result is a watch that subtly blends tradition and modernity.
The base for the MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription 1 is the compact and elegant Habring² Chrono-Felix watch, a cornerstone model in Maria and Richard's collection equipped with a technically advanced monopusher chronograph movement developed and assembled internally by Habring².
One of our goals was to give the watch a distinctive vintage twist. The dial, which recalls the dials of some of the most attractive chronographs produced in the 1940s, features a sector layout, precision railroad tracks and a telemeter scale. As an all-time favourite of the MONOCHROME team, the two-tone salmon colour dial was unanimously approved.
The MONOCHROME "Montre de Souscription" by Habring²
The compact case of the Montre de Souscription watch is made of stainless steel. The retro look of the timepiece is consolidated with the presence of a stepped bezel and our petition for hand-brushed surfaces throughout. Another critical factor for us was size. Purists will be happy to know that our Montre de Souscription 1 has a restrained diameter of 38.5mm and a height of 12mm; to be more precise, the height of the case is 11mm with an additional millimetre for the slightly domed crystal. Lug to lug the watch measures just 46mm. The drilled lug holes give the watch a slightly more instrumental look and also make it easier to change the strap.
Departing from the characteristic minimalism of Maria and Richard Habring's watches, we designed a dial that evokes the dials of some of the most magnificent chronographs produced in the 1940s. The central sector features bold hour markers and stylised Arabic numerals for a touch of modernity. The dial is finished with a two-tone process in a warm galvanised rose gold (salmon) colour that contrasts with the cold tone of the stainless steel case. The hour chapter ring is decorated with a concentric pattern, while the central part of the dial and the peripheral track display a vertically brushed surface. An ode to vintage watches, both the sub-counter indications and the minutes are relayed on the precision railroad tracks and there is a telemeter scale on the periphery of the dial.
Another of our specifications for the MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription 1 was a clean yet captivating dial. As such, it is a classic two-register chronograph with small seconds at 9 o'clock and a 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o'clock. And, obviously, no date. The stainless steel leaf-shaped hour and minutes hands and the small seconds hand are polished. To differentiate the indications at a glance, the two hands for the chronograph function are made of thermally blued steel.
A Beautiful Hand-Wound Monopusher Calibre
Under the sapphire caseback is an exceptional movement. The presence of a monopusher - one push button to start, stop and reset the chronograph hands - differentiates it from more conventional two-pusher chronograph watches. But there is far more to the calibre A11C-H1 than its single-pusher architecture. It is a compendium of Richard Habring's background combined with 20 years of continuous evolution and optimisation cultivated by Maria and Richard at Habring².
Richard Habring is known, among other things, for the development of an ingenious and pragmatic split-seconds module adapted to a Valjoux 7750 ébauche. Saying that Richard knows this movement like the back of his hand would be an understatement. The construction of the A11 family of movements results from years of work on the 7750 base, perfecting and optimising its architecture. Although the A11C-H1 might initially look similar to the tried-and-tested Valjoux, most of its components have been upgraded and are now produced in-house or by independent suppliers.
No parts are sourced from ETA anymore. Maria and Richard's idea with the A11C-H1 was to improve every aspect of the movement. It is conceived to be robust, easy to service and repair, and is mechanically and visually superior to the Valjoux. Another notable factor lies in the construction of the movement. All the components of the chronograph - the cam, the blocking lever, the operating lever - are manually assembled with separate parts secured with pins and not welded. This means that the Calibre A11C-H1 is entirely assembled and adjusted using traditional watchmaking techniques. As a result, the pusher responds smoothly and decisively when actuated.
Having control over parts production - which are mostly milled or laser cut instead of being stamped - means that tolerances are smaller, and thus precision is enhanced. Some other improvements concern the regulating organ, which is now equipped with a tangential screw regulator index. The movement, which runs at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), delivers 48 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Moreover, it is equipped with an anti-magnetic escapement with a chronometer-quality Carl Haas hairspring and KIF shock protection, a demonstration of the extensive work undertaken by Habring² on this movement.
Thanks to its refined finishings, the movement is also very pleasing to the eye. In addition to the optimised components, the Calibre A11C-H1 is finely decorated by hand. The bridges are finished with circular brushing and bevelled edges, while the mainplate is decorated with pèrlage. Blued screws and gilded components add a lively touch of colour to the scenery.
The same attention to detail has been applied to the parts composing the chronograph mechanism. For instance, the cam is heat-blued, and most of the levers are straight grained with polished bevels.
The subscription and what's in the package
We will offer the watch for subscription for a maximum duration of two weeks, or until all 33 pieces are sold. A EUR 2,000 down payment will be requested upon order. This amount is non-refundable and does not include VAT. Working with an independent artisan watchmaker means we can scale production while maintaining exclusivity.
When pre-orders are closed, Maria and Richard Habring will start working on the first watch that MONOCHROME has ever offered to its readers. Habring² will assemble the entire watch in Austria, sourcing most parts from small, high-quality manufacturers.
First deliveries are scheduled for September 2021.
- Stainless steel 3-part case, brushed by hand
- 38.5mm diameter x 12mm height x 46mm lug-to-lug
- Spherical sapphire crystal
- Double-sealed crown, one pusher at 2 o'clock
- Sapphire crystal caseback
- Water-resistant to 30 metres or 3 ATM
- Two-tone galvanised rose gold-coloured (salmon) dial, vertically brushed centre and telemeter scale, concentric pattern for the hour chapter ring, snailed sub-counters
- Black printed sector track, Arabic numerals, railroad track, telemeter scale on the periphery
- Polished stainless steel leaf-shaped hands for the hours and minutes
- Polished stainless steel baton hand for the small seconds at 9 o'clock
- Blued stainless steel baton hand for the central seconds and blued stainless steel arrow-shaped hand for the 30-minute counter
- In-house Habring² calibre A11C-H1
- Hand-wound mechanical
- 180 components, including 25 jewels
- 30mm diameter x 6.5mm height
- 48h power reserve when fully wound
- 28,800 vibrations/hour or 4Hz frequency
- Tangential screw fine adjustment, anti-magnetic escapement with a Carl Haas hairspring in chronometer quality, KIF shock protection in compliance with DIN and NIHS standards
- Most parts are custom-made by independent suppliers according to Habring² specifications
- Elaborately decorated by hand with polished edges, decorative engravings, brushed surfaces, pèrlage, heat-blued screws and heat-blued chronograph cam
- Central hours and minutes, small seconds at 9 o'clock
- Monopusher to start-stop-reset the chronograph function
- Central seconds and 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o'clock
- Watch strap
- Handmade taupe nubuck leather strap with contrasting cream-coloured stitching, MONOCHROME light-blue leather lining, stainless steel pin buckle, quick-release spring bars
- 7-row beads-of-rice stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp, adjustable for wrists up to 19.5 cm
MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription 1
The price of the MONOCHROME Montre de Souscription is EUR 5,950 (excluding taxes) including a 7-row steel beads-of-rice bracelet. The price also includes free insured shipping to your desired location and a 3-year warranty by Habring².
You can order the watch, by paying the (non-refundable) deposit of EUR 2,000 (excluding taxes) and the remaining amount will be charged when the watch is ready to be shipped.
VAT or taxes will depend on your local Value Added Tax (no clue what kind of value your government will provide for the VAT, but it's something we can't avoid.)