The recorded history of Favre-Leuba starts on 13th March 1737 with the first official record of Abraham Favre’s watchmaking workshop in Le Locle, making it one of the oldest Swiss watch brands. Twelve years later Abraham Favre was appointed a master watchmaker of Le Locle and went on to develop his own brand. After his death in 1790, the company passed to his son Abraham who subsequently founded the company A. Favre & Fils with his two sons Frédéric and Henry-Louis in 1792. The Leuba family was added to the brand’s history in 1815 when Frédéric Favre’s son Henry-Auguste (representing the fourth generation of the Favre family) teamed up with Auguste Leuba from Buttes in the Val-de-Travers. The duo took their pocket watches to Germany and Russia, as well as to more distant markets like Cuba, New York, Brazil and Chile in order to strengthen their joint brand.
Henry-Auguste Favre’s son Fritz married Adèle-Fanny Leuba in 1855 and adopted the double-barrelled surname Favre-Leuba. In 1865 he travelled to India, where he launched Favre-Leuba as the first Swiss watch manufacturer on the sub-continent. As a result, the country soon became one of the brand’s most important markets. Henry-Auguste’s son Henri steadily grew the brand over a 52-year period from 1908 until his death in 1961, when he was succeeded by Dr. Henry A. Favre from the family’s seventh generation. He had the unenviable task of steering the company through the post-war years when, aside from a stable position in India thanks to an office in Mumbai, the brand had to be completely rebuilt in most other major markets.
The eighth generation of the family, represented by Florian A. and Eric A. Favre, was forced to sell the company in the 1980s after suffering from the arrival of cheaper quartz watches from the early 1970s. It subsequently changed hands several times, with owners including Benedom SA and the LVMH group, before India’s Tata Group acquired the brand on 16th November 2011. Since being taken over by Tata Group, Favre-Leuba has been managed by experienced industry professional Thomas Morf.