I’m a simple man. And I’ll tell you when I realised this: About a year ago I moved into a small (like 35 sq metres small) flat in South West London. Perfectly proportioned — but totally unfit for any over the height of 6 foot or larger than the average sized Homo Sapien. But the place houses my good self, my old pal from school and his hound — a charismatic, loving, energetic, and at times smelly black spaniel called ‘Ledley’ (dog lovers don’t worry — he has access to the park, just opposite). Beyond the obvious restrictions on social activities and having ‘your own space’ I had to come to terms with sleeping in a single bed. Now at 27 this is a problem (you can just imagine the conversations I have had to have). All I can say is that my current partner is extremely understanding. A great women. The bedroom would physically fit a double bed, and it has done in the past, but having one in there, there would be no space left to pass on either flank. Consequently, it meant I had to do a ‘burpee’ (a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise popularized when the United States Armed Services who adopted it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits when the US entered World War II )  at 2.15am to get to the toilet. So ultimately, it had to be a single.

Living in such a small space I have had to go through a process I like to call ‘aggressive curation’ — this meant selling almost everything I own (including watches that simply weren’t being worn) and refining my stuff down to just the important things – just the necessitates. And my appreciation for simplicity and only owning things that had function, became second nature. This deep appreciation has since spilled over into watches as well. Though, not technically ‘necessary’, they have to be simple and they have to be part of your uniform of basics for life. And no watch brand does ‘basic uniform’ with as much love as Habring2 — the small manufacturer in Austria. My watch of 2015 was without question, their glorious Felix — a simple time only watch, with sub-seconds. I wore it for a few weeks, and simply couldn’t take the thing off. So you bet I was excited to get my hands on their newest member of the family, Erwin. A dead-second, stainless steel beauty. I thought the best way to understand this watch would be to speak to Richard and Maria — the team behind Erwin — to let them tell us what we need to know. So here goes:

Maria, I loved Felix, it was my favourite watch of 2015. Talk us through the inspiration for Erwin?

Well, Felix was the first model in our line with a fully in-house movement. But, by respecting our possibilities of a small family watch brand, we had to keep Felix extra low profile. Less parts would not work. Erwin is now the younger brother who benefits — like in real life — from his bigger brother. Erwin shares Felix’s technical base and his style, ‎but grew immediately bigger than his brother so he did not need to carry Felix’s hand–me–downs.

What are the key differences between Felix and Erwin?

Erwin became a little stronger due to one of our signature functions — the dead beat second — which has been found in the Habring2-line ‎since the beginning. The thicker movement required a little more volume in the case so Erwin grew about 2mm compared to his elder brother.

Can you give us an insight into the technicalities of Erwin?

Well, the dead beat second device is the same we introduced in 2007. The first newly developed dead beat second device in the market. ‎However, after 10 years some detailed improvements seemed logical, both technical as well as anesthetic. Aside from that both brothers share absolutely the same basic movement, which redefines the word “manufacture” with its untypical percentage of manual work involved.

What were the difficulties in developing Erwin?

2mm does not sound much, but it is a lot if the diameter of the case must remain. Erwin led to completely new proportions compared with slim and ascetic Felix, but we’re happy with the result. ‎Both hiding perfectly under shirts cuffs without necessarily looking unhealthy on zero size models.

Have you had to expand the team as you have added new lines of watches?

No, both Felix and Erwin are replacing former models with similar functions. So far, our capacities remain absolutely the same. The team — after more than 10 years — does more Habring2 while we did products for other brands in the beginning. But with the about 200 pcs manufactured this year, we are slowly reaching our limits, given that we assemble our own pallet forks and measure the frequency of our balance wheels manually.

In your mind, who wears Erwin? What type of a man or lady?

Someone who likes understatement and simple elegance. Our customers are interesting personalities and as authentic as you and me.

How would you describe Erwin in three words?

Smart, down-to-earth and surprising.