In 2007, in co-operation with Sincere Haute Horlogerie Singapore, Habring² created SHH-Chrono 2007, a limited series of chronograph watches equipped with historical movements.
Maria Kristina and Richard decided to base their chronograph on an historical movement that is no longer produced. This movement had to be equally as robust as any modern movement. The result is a limited series of the SHH-Chrono 2007 with Valjoux 7733, the Valjoux 7734 or the Valjoux 7737 movement.
With the SHH-Chrono 2007, Maria Kristina and Richard have succeeded in creating a modern chronograph with loving attention to technical finesse and tradition. The Chrono SHH is reminiscent of the elegance of classic chronographs without being a mere copy. The size of the small indicator dials makes them easy to read. The customer has the choice of three different models, each with different dial-colour: galvanic black with orange luminous, transparent brown or galvanic blue. All three variants have applied rhodiated hour-markers which are coated with Superluminova in order to ensure easy legibility in the dark. The polished, rhodiated (rhodium-plated) baton hour and minute hands are also fitted with Superluminova.
Although – or perhaps because – Maria Kristina and Richard opted for an historical chronograph calibre, they wanted to be sure that the owner could wear his watch practically all the time and everywhere. This entailed a very careful selection of the necessary components at the development stage. The large three-part stainless steel case of the SHH-Chrono 2007 guarantees adequate protection for the movement. The doubly sealed massive stainless steel crown and the push-buttons are easy and safe to operate. And as Maria Kristina and Richard deliberately chose to do without screw-locked buttons, it is possible to stop the time of any event at all times without any lengthy preparations. The sapphire crystal, reflection-free both inside and outside, ensures excellent legibility in all light conditions. A massive stainless-steel back is standard on the SHH-Chrono 2007.
If Maria Kristina and Richard present a chronograph for everyday use, it must above all be robust and reliable. It is therefore only logical if they revert to an old chronograph caliber, a particularly robust and reliable movement, for their SHH-Chrono 2007. Their decision to use the reputed Valjoux calibre 773-serie, which especially valued by experts for its quality and dependability, was understandable not only because of its excellent time-keeping qualities but also for its outstanding technical specification.
The cam-shift mechanism
A bone of contention for many collectors is the so-called “Kulissenschaltung”, or cam-shift mechanism. In spite of its poor reputation, this mechanism is not only inexpensive to produce and to assemble, it also functions faultlessly, precisely and reliably. With this mechanism the function of the column wheel is replaced in the 7733 by a specially shaped cam-disc below the hammer, the so-called “Kulisse” or cam-shift. In technical terms, it fulfills the function of a curved cam-disc although it does not rotate but simply swivels slightly around its arbor. Precisely calculated curves create protruding cams and pits into which the various levers of the chronograph mechanism engage. This determines whether the chronograph is activated, de-activated or stopped. In the Valjoux 7733 this cam-shift is riveted from below to the hammer and thus supports the function of the cam-disc. The hammer is shaped in such a way that it controls the function of the clutch by means of a small hatchet-shaped extension.
The great advantage of the cam-shift mechanism over the pillar wheel is of a mainly technical nature. Whereas the pillar wheel must be milled with great precision and almost always requires subsequent machining, the cam-shift can simply be stamped and so can be manufactured in quantity with constant precision and quality.
The tolerances are so minute that no subsequent machining is necessary. Should any deviations arise, they can easily be compensated by adjustment through the eccentric screws. Production costs can be further reduced by the springs which in most cases can also be pressed rather than having to be formed in a complex operation. Seen against this background it is clear that the development of the 7733 was a step in the right direction: wristwatches, including chronographs, were never status symbols, but timepieces.
The 773 caliber family was by no means a completely new construction. The roots of this chronograph caliber are to be found with Venus SA, a firm which also belonged to the Ebauches SA. This manufacturer of watch movements specialized in the production of large-volume chronographs. Venus was taken over by Ebauches in 1966 and closed down. But some of the Venus calibers continued to be produced by the Valjoux SA firm, also part of the Ebauche group. In that way the modern Venus caliber 188 lived on as the Valjoux calibre 7730. With the introduction of the Valjoux 7733, the movement underwent constructive modernization.
One technical detail of the caliber 7730 was maintained. It retained its classical amplitude of 18 000 A/h. Chronograph experts may well be surprised at this decision since at about the same time the much more traditional pillar-wheel caliber Valjour 23 and Valjoux 72 were adapted to 21 600 Ah. Nevertheless, in spite of the comparatively slow beat of 2.5 Hertz, the Valjoux 7733 keeps remarkably good time.
The 7733 and 7734 calibers had a standard 30-minute register but they could also be supplied with a 45-minute register. Two of the three HABRING² SHH-Chrono 2007 are available with the 45-minute version. The advantage of this version is that the wearer can make better all-round use of his chronograph. For example, the football fan can stop a whole half of the match. He can then read off the added-time without having to make any calculations. The version with the rare 7737 – which used to be designed to carry a 15 minutes count-down function for sail races – underwent a major modification at Habring² and turns out in it’s new version with a digital 30-minutes counter at 4h position.
– 50 Meter water resistant stainless steel case with 42mm diameter, consisting of three parts, slightly domed and double side antireflective coated sapphire crystal.
– Hand wound movement with a power reserve of approx. 44 hours, adjusted to chronometer specifications.
– Individually numbered 01/06-2006 to 06/06-2007.
– The hand-cut and hand-sewn strap made from Austrian”saddle-leather” is closed by the stylish stainless steel buckle.