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Favre-Leuba

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.

About

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.

1737
First official mention of the watchmaking workshop of Abraham Favre in Le Locle.
1865
Favre-Leuba is the first Swiss watch brand to be launched in India.
1962
Launch of the Bivouac, world’s first mechanical wristwatch capable of measuring air pressure and altitudes up to 3,000 metres above sea level.
2011
Acquisition of Favre-Leuba by the Tata Group of India.
2017
A new version of the Bivouac, measuring altitudes up to 9,000 metres, is presented at Baselworld.
Philosophy

Favre-Leuba’s motto of “Conquering Frontiers” involves following new paths and challenging the status quo. Its focus is on developing utilitarian tool watches to add value to people’s lives, even in the harshest conditions, across latitudes and longitudes, on land and also under water – all at a price that has a high perceived value.

Collections

Chief

The Chief collection offers a more classical look inspired by the vintage models in the Favre-Leuba collection and is available as a three-hand version with date or a chronograph. The case is in stainless steel or a combination of stainless steel with a rose gold bezel and a black or grey dial. All models are equipped with a Swiss Made self-winding mechanical movement.

Raider

Built for adventurers, the Raider includes two iconic models from Favre-Leuba. The Bivouac was the world’s first mechanical wristwatch with an integrated aneroid barometer than can be used both to predict the weather and measure altitude. It was worn by Genevan mountain guide Michel Vaucher and Italian alpinist Walter Bonatti in 1964 on the first ascent of the north face of the Pointe Whymper in the Grandes Jorasses that mark the border between France and Italy. The Bivouac 9000 is the flagship in this collection and is the only wristwatch capable of measuring altitudes up to 9,000 metres by purely mechanical means using an aneroid barometer. Since legibility is paramount for Favre-Leuba, the clear indications on the dial are housed inside an imposing 48mm diameter case in brushed titanium. Because of the need for a central hand to display the altitude, the Bivouac 9000 uses a hand-wound FL311 movement without a central seconds display.

The Raider collection also includes the Harpoon, which offers an ingenious display for divers using a central minute hand and a tiny central seconds hand (or function indicator in the diver’s watch parlance) to show the time – the hour can be read off a peripheral disc that rotates at 1/12th of the speed of the minute hand. It comes with a choice of dials in blue or black with contrasting blue or orange accents for the most important dive-related indications. Its 46mm diameter case is in stainless steel and the Harpoon is powered by the FL301 self-winding movement.

The Raider collection also includes the Deep Blue and Sea Sky models, as well as the Sea Bird ladies’ model.

Watches