Introducing the Habring2 x Massena LAB ERWIN LAB03By Felix Scholz
Ever since William Massena — industry veteran and consummate connoisseur — launched Massena Lab in 2018, the collaborations have been released on a regular basis, with a diverse range of makers such as Ming, Unimatic and Habring2. In fact, the Erwin LAB01, a bronze dead-beat seconds made with Habring2, was the first watch Massena Lab released, followed by a stealth release of the second edition in 2020. Today we get our first look at the third instalment in the series, and this time around, one of the most exciting independent makers, Joshua N. Shapiro is along for the ride.
Bronze is still a key element in the Habring2 x Massena LAB ERWIN LAB03, but it’s moved from the case to the dial. The solid bronze dial is the work of J.N. Shapiro, and the warm salmon tones are the perfect way to show off the fine basket weave guilloché that occupies the centre of the dial. Each dial has been engine-turned on Shapiro’s 80-year-old straight line guilloché. Further keeping it traditional, each dial is hand-grained using a Water of Ayr stone, a fine-grained grey stone prized by watchmakers for fine honing that have long since been mined out from its Scottish homelands.
The technical characteristics of the dial are notable enough, but the strong design really makes it sing. With classic blued Breguet hands and blue Romans printed at 3,6,9 and 12, the design could easily come across as exceptionally classical, but the spacing, layers and fine circular graining and the clean, modern font used for the numerals adds up to a dial that gives a healthy hat-tip to the greatest traditions of watch-making but stands on its own. Of course, the same can be said about the rest of the watch, too — the 38.5mm case offers classical proportions, and the movement inside is Habring2’s own A11MS, a hand-wound calibre with 48 hours of wind and dead-beats seconds. In another novel touch, this watch has been certified as a chronometer by the Horological Society of New York as part of their new certification program.
Massena Lab has a proven track record in creating smart, attractive watches that play to the strengths of all involved parties, and ERWIN LAB03 is no exception. All the elements of this watch sing together in beautiful, ticking harmony, proving why — sometimes — hype is justified.
Movement: Manufacture in-house Caliber A11MS hand-wound movement, 48 hours power reserve, hours, minutes, dead-beat seconds
Case: Stainless steel, 38.5mm, water-resistant to 50M
Dial: Bronze guilloché dial by Joshua N. Shapiro
Strap: Dark blue deer leather strap with stainless steel tang buckle
Price and availability: USD9,450; limited to 66 pieces available exclusively from massenalab.com