This is not just a new watch, but also the launch of a new “brand” of sorts. Massena LAB is the creation of Mr. William Massena, a noted collector and industry veteran who you might remember from his episode of Talking Watches. Essentially he’s created a brand that will both collaborate with existing watchmakers to produce limited edition pieces and make watches of its own at some point. To kick things off, he has teamed up with Habring² to make a special Erwin that recalls classic dress watches of the mid-century, but with a few modern twists.
For some context, this isn’t the first time Massena has worked with Habring². In fact, he produced two watches with them when he was running Timezone, the second of which, the TZ21, served as the jumping off point for the Erwin-LAB01 that you see here. The Erwin-LAB01 starts with a 38.5mm bronze case that is both highly polished and shaped slightly differently from previous Erwin cases – the bezel has a different shape that really shows off the polishing of the bronze. The dial is a rich glossy black with gilt printing for the chapter ring and gold-filled markers at the hours that are highly reflective and recessed slightly into the dial. It’s hard to see it here, but the multi-layer effect is striking the moment you look at the watch. Even the hands are finished in bronze, to complete the look. The Erwin-LAB01 is available exclusively through Massena LAB online and is priced at $5,995.
I’m not going to mince words here at all – I’m super into this watch, and on a lot of levels too. First off, the idea of producing a bronze watch with a high polish and a high aluminum content to look more like yellow gold is a great idea. You get the aesthetic warmth of a precious metal, along with the aging characteristics, while still getting something that can take a little bit of wear-and-tear. The specific bronze alloy was chosen to minimize corrosion, so you’ll get a bit of patina, but this watch isn’t going to go full-on green or anything. Then there’s the dial treatment. This thing is slick. The glossy black reminds me of something you’d see in a mid-century Patek Philippe, and the combination of printed and inset gold numerals give it a ton of extra depth. It was pretty damn difficult to photograph as a result – reflections were everywhere – but I think I managed to give you a good sense of what this looks like in the metal anyway.
On the technical side, I’ve long been a fan of what Habring² have been doing, and to get a seemingly straightforward watch like this with a deadbeat seconds, and at this price point, is awesome. Finally, the watch just looks incredible – it’s definitely got a vintage feel, but it’s a thoroughly modern piece of horology that is going to serve its wearers well for years to come. All of this is to say, if you decide to add one of these to your collection, I think you’re going to be pretty happy.
Brand: Habring2 For Massena LAB
Case Material: Bronze
Dial Color: Glossy black
Indexes: Recessed and filled Arabic numerals and batons
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Leather strap with bronze tang buckle
Functions: Hours, minutes, deadbeat seconds
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Total Components: 126 (65 of which are considered “service-relevant”)
Additional Details: Fine adjustment screw, amagnetic escapement with Carl Haas balance spring at chronometer quality, KIF shockproofing
Pricing & Availability
Availability: Exclusively through Massena LAB online
Limited Edition: 50 individually numbered pieces