Havid Nagan is a new brand in the growing higher-end microbrand space. This is an interesting sub-category of watches that we’ve noticed taking shape in a meaningful way the last few years, populated by small brands making watches in limited production numbers at a price point that has them competing with traditional, heritage luxury brands. Sartory Ballard, Holthinrichs, and even Ming come to mind here, but there are many more, and indeed we continue to discover new brands at a rapid clip. Havid Nagan came to our attention via Instagram recently and the apparent attention to detail in the design belies their current modest follower count, which currently sits just under 1,000. That speaks to the competitiveness of the market they find themselves in, as well as the difficulty and investment in time needed to grow a significant following and to make some noise in a space that’s already pretty loud (their first social media post was only about a year ago). Regardless, we’re quite taken with their debut watch, the HN00, and think it’s well worth spotlighting.
We see a lot of new watches from start-up brands that seek to make a single aspect of their watch unique and special, and it’s dealer’s choice as to whether it’s the dial, case, or movement. It’s a smart tactic for a brand to choose one thing to do really well if they’re looking to hit a competitive, entry-level price point, but if you want to entice customers who might be cross shopping brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre or IWC, it makes sense to invest in all three, to the extent that it’s possible, and Havid Nagan has done a nice job of distinguishing themselves in multiple ways with their debut watch.
We’ll start with the dial. The HN00 will be available in three bold colors (blue, jade, and plum) and the dials feature a traditional Grain d’Orge pattern, a complex and visually striking type of guilloche with circular waves emanating from the dial’s center. The guilloche pattern is stamped, but Havid Nagan applies a lacquer finish which they claim accentuates the dial’s inherent ability to play with light. We’re glad to see a new brand warmly embrace color in a debut watch, and also appreciate the clean, no date layout that lets the dial’s texture take center stage.
The case is made from grade 5 titanium and measures just shy of 41mm in diameter and is only 11.6mm thick. The case was inspired by modern architecture and is meant to present a contrast to the dial’s classicism. The hooded lugs accentuate a contemporary, “integrated” look, and we imagine that this one will wear quite easily given the lightweight material and what appears to be a short lug-to-lug span for a case of its size.
The movement is the Schwarz-Etienne ASE200, with finishing that has been customized by Havid Nagan for this release, including vertical Geneva stripes and an NAC treatment (essentially a ceramic coating) on the mainplate and bridges. This is a micro-rotor movement with 86 hours of power reserve and profile thin enough to allow for the HN00’s sub 12mm case height. We’re seeing more micro-rotor movements being deployed at all price levels, and it’s a trend that we hope continues into 2022.
The HN00 is expected to retail for $8,000 when it launches in the second quarter of 2022. Obviously, that’s not inexpensive, and watch collectors have an enormous amount of choice at this price point, and we haven’t seen this watch in the metal. But some optimism is warranted based on these early photos and the thoughtful and unique design, and we look forward to hopefully getting a chance to see one in person next year. Havid Nagan