The successful Felix family of watches made by the Carinthian watch manufacturer Habring² has grown. And one could indeed speak of a "lightning-smart addition". Because the new Chrono-Felix Top-Second model flashes a signal every 2.5 seconds in a small window at 9 o'clock. It almost gives the impression of a flashing light, but the interior of the Chrono-Felix Top-Second is operated exclusively mechanically. Find out more about this characteristic and about the magic lamp, which is actually not a lamp at all, in a moment.
With the recently launched Top-Second chronograph, the Habring² manufacture is continuing its tradition of helping to revive complications that were sometimes thought to have been forgotten. In the past, this included, for example, the jumping second or the Foudroyante (the "flashing second"). Similarly, the Top Second complication has hardly been heard of for decades, unless you rummage through old manufacturers' catalogues. In fact, the Top Second was originally introduced in the 1960s by Swiss manufacturer Mondia. However, this company was later acquired by Zenith, with the result that both the name of the manufacturer and the Top Second complication gradually disappeared from the market. Nevertheless, there are still old collector's pieces with this supposedly blinking second to buy today.
But how does the seconds display that flashes every 2.5 seconds work? A look inside the timepiece, where the manufacture calibre A11FC ticks, reveals the mechanism. There, you'll find a small, spinning propeller with two blades. Every 5 seconds, the entire propeller rotates; however, because of the two blades, the seconds signal flashes every 2.5 seconds on the dial at 9 o'clock. The chronograph's 30-minute counter is located at 3 o'clock.
The new member of the Felix family has several very practical advantages: Thanks to the Top Second, the running second at 9 o'clock is unnecessary. This makes the dial look more harmonious, because not so many numerals are cut. Nevertheless, it is immediately recognizable that the watch is running.
You could also call the Chrono-Felix Top-Second a technically smaller brother of the Foudroyante Felix. This model by Habring² combines the flashing second (a hand rotating once per second on a subdial, giving the watch lover an impression of mechanical dynamics) and the jumping second. The Chrono-Felix Top-Second is thus a lighter version of the Foudroyante.
The exciting question remains, what the proud wearer of this model can do in 5 seconds (2 x 2.5 seconds) until the little propeller has turned in each case. Of course, the new Felix model measures the short time, as a chronograph should. But on top of that, the 5-second rhythm can help with time management. At least that's what motivational coach Mel Robbins says when she recommends an inner countdown if you just don't feel like doing some unpleasant task. This is what does the trick: For example, you decide to make an unpleasant phone call that you've been putting off again and again. Then you count backwards: 5,4,3,2,1 and dial the number on your smartphone. Supposedly, the 5-second countdown activates the so-called prefrontal cortex. This brain region is responsible for conscious decisions.
This way, the Chrono-Felix Top-Second could perhaps even become a ticking coach in the end.