Last year HABRING² — a small Austrian independent brand spearheaded by Richard Habring, creator of the Valjoux 7750-based rattrapante complication for IWC, and his wife, Maria — won the Sports Watch of the Year award from the Grand Prix d’ Horlogerie de Genève for its Doppel 2.0 timepiece. Not content to rest on his laurels, Habring’s upped the ante with the Doppel 3 (~$8,800), a limited-production gem.
Whether you want to call it a rattrapante (French), doppelchrono (German), or split-second chronograph, this complication has two seconds hands, one superimposed over the other. Both seconds hands move together until the split button is pressed, which stops one hand while the other main hand continues on as normal, allowing the wearer to measure the “split” time. Press the split button a second time, and the additional hand jumps back to its place under the main hand to move once again in tandem.
This was once a complication found mainly in very high-end chronographs, but Habring developed a relatively simple way to add this function to the common Valjoux 7750 movement, allowing IWC to produce a more affordable split-second chronograph. Now applying his talents to his own marque, Habring has tuned the 7750 into what is best described as a mono-pusher split-second chronograph, since all of the standard chrono functions (start/stop/reset) are controlled by a single pusher, and the second pusher is used only to split the time.
The case and dial of the Doppel 3 are simple, clean and very well finished; our favorite design cue of the watch is the bullhead pusher layout, which gives the watch a look similar to an old mechanical stopwatch. HABRING² has a very small production and only expects to produce 20 pieces of the Doppel 3 a year, making this a very good value for a limited watch from one of the best independent watchmakers.