There are collaborations, and then there are collaborations. This latest project from Massena LAB falls into the later category (we couldn’t even fit all involved parties in the title). The ERWIN LAB03 is a Habring production in partnership with Massena LAB, with a dial by Joshua N. Shapiro, and a chronometer certification by none other than the Horological Society of New York. It’s also quite a looker. This is the third Massena LAB X Habring watch, and it continues to build on a good thing, but there’s plenty to unpack here, including a few firsts.
The dial here is a collaboration within the collaboration, having been designed by Mr Massena, and produced by Joshua N. Shapiro of J.N. Shapiro in California. The dial itself is bronze, which provides the salmon color we usually see from copper plating. This is the first bronze dial to be produced by Shapiro, which receives his signature basketweave pattern at its center, each engine-turned individually on an 80-year-old straight-line guilloché machine. This old-school execution requires deft hand, and further receives a grained finishing using an elusive Water of Ayr stone.
Large Roman numerals appear at the cardinal hours only in a deep blue color. Blued Breguet style hands track against navy indexes at the dial’s perimeter, offering a sufficiently classic aesthetic to the watch as a whole. The dial is labeled Habring at the top and J.N. Shapiro at the bottom before placement in a 38.5mm steel case that’s been fully polished save for a subtle brushed bezel. The Erwin measures a scant 9mm in thickness and that carries through with the LAB03.
The Erwin uses the same in-house movement first introduced in the Felix in 2014, the A11, with the unique distinction of having a centrally mounted jumping seconds hand. The A11S gets taken a step further in the LAB03, receiving chronometer certification from the HSNY. The A11MS, as it’s called here, is the first movement to undergo the HSNY’s new testing protocols that exceed the standards outlined in ISO 3159.
The Horological Society of New York will now offer third party chronometry certification for fully assembled watches. The testing is done over a 15 day period, in which the watch is subjected to a range of temperatures (8°C, 23°C and 38°C) in 5 different positions. Watches that pass will have achieved a mean daily rate between -4 to +5 seconds per day, and a mean variation in rates less than or equal to 2 seconds per day. Each watch will come with its own certificate, with hand-written results and notes. You can read more about the new program from HSNY right here.
The trick new and improved A11MS is visible through an exhibition caseback here, which is a very good thing in this instance. It’s been plated in rhodium for durability and then another pass in 5N rose-gold for a beautiful warmth in finish. It also receives the HSNY triangle insignia on the balance bridge to denote its chronometer status.
Just 66 examples of the ERWIN LAB03 will be produced, each at the price of $9,450. Expensive to be sure, but the value is on clear display here from front to back. The watch is available now for ordering exclusively through Massena LAB.