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Favre-Leuba  - Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Favre-Leuba Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Favre-Leuba, always at the forefront, celebrates 283 years of watchmaking innovation and honours the Swiss passion for mountaineering as well as the Swiss engineering.

Since 1737, our pioneering philosophy has continued from one era to the next, supporting those individuals who persevere to conquer frontiers. This year, to celebrate our anniversary, we are bringing together two eras that have shaped human history and when Favre-Leuba clearly declared itself as a pioneering brand: 1960s, the era of exploration and new beginnings, and 2010-2020s, the time of high-tech and even crazier discoveries.

In 1962, Bivouac became the first mechanical wristwatch with an inbuilt altimeter (measuring up to 3,000 meters) and barometer. It was a technological revolution for the time, and for many years after.

Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Montre Bivouac © Favre-Leuba

Half a century later, in 2017, another record was broken by Favre-Leuba. The brand created yet another engineering marvel: the legendary timepiece returned as the Raider Bivouac 9000. The modern watch can measure altitude all the way up to 9,000 meters, being the only wrist timekeeper to do so, mechanically!

Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Raider Bivouac 9000 © Favre-Leuba

Nicolas Hojac, one of the fastest modern speed-climbers, and Ueli Bühler, legendary Swiss mountaineer and mountain guide, set-out on a mission to test both watches in the Swiss Alps. Mr Bühler took to the mountains the original Bivouac, while Mr Hojac wore his new-era Raider Bivouac 9000.

Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Nicolas Hojac and Ueli Bühler in the Swiss Alps © Favre-Leuba

Through decades the first altimeter wristwatch by Favre-Leuba was a true companion in most adventurous mountaineering endeavors. In 1964, the original Bivouac guided Walter Bonatti up the north face of Pointe Whymper in the Grandes Jorasses, an almost vertical continuous climb. In 1975, Junko Tabei, wore a Bivouac during her Mt Everest ascend. She was the first woman on the planet to conquer the top of the world.

The reborn of the Bivouac in 2017 was a promise of new successes. And the promise was fulfilled: the Raider Bivouac 9000 became the first mechanical timepiece to measure altitude on Mount Everest and K2 in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Being an homage to its 1962 predecessor, this watch is an incredible improvement of watch engineering and technology. The most significant refinement is the increase in the altitude it is capable of measuring, from 3,000 to 9,000 meters. This required the use of innovative materials for the barometer and precise calculations for the height and diameter of the capsule, as well as a new conversion mechanism for the altimeter. Unlike the 1962 Bivouac, the new version is also watertight.

Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Raider Bivouac 9000 © Favre-Leuba

Just like the watchmaking, mountaineering is also not the same as 55 years ago. “As everywhere else, changes have taken place in mountaineering,” says Ueli Buhler. “The equipment is better and lighter, and training has become more focused. So, the abilities of professional as well as leisure mountaineering athletes has improved. However, the motivation to go to the mountains still comes from within. That is how it has always been.”

Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Nicolas Hojac and Ueli Bühler © Favre-Leuba

To support athletes in this passion (but also to make it safer) was Favre-Leuba’s goal all along. Being at the forefront of innovation even in something as traditional as watchmaking is what ‘Swiss Made’ is about. It is a commitment to quality, a passion to endeavor, and philosophy to pioneer.

Swiss Made: At the cutting edge of innovation

Nicolas Hojac and Ueli Bühler © Favre-Leuba

 

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Favre-Leuba is the second-oldest Swiss watch brand and traces its origins to the workshop of Abraham Favre in Le Locle, which was first officially mentioned in 1737.

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