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One brand, three watches - Today, Favre-Leuba

One brand, three watches Today, Favre-Leuba

Spotlight on a historic brand with firm roots in the today’s world of active and extreme sports.

Do you know Favre-Leuba?

The name shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you, at the very least for the fact that the name has been around for a long time in the world of watchmaking. Favre-Leuba is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers. Its history spans eight uninterrupted generations of the Favre family, from 1737, when it was first mentioned in the archives of Abraham Favre’s watchmaking workshop in Le Locle (Switzerland), until 1980, when management was forced to sell, undermined by the quartz crisis. Since 2011, Favre-Leuba has belonged to the Indian group Tata, and this is by no means a coincidence. As early as the second half of the 19th century, the Favre family had launched the brand in India and established offices there, making this country one of its most important markets.

Unlike other venerable and prestigious watchmaking maisons, Favre-Leuba’s trademark does not lie in sophisticated watch complications. Favre-Leuba has always used its watchmaking expertise towards finely crafted watches, but whose robustness, functionality and precision make them true instruments of exploration. The brand has been able to veer towards the modern by keeping with the current trend towards leisure and extreme sports, keeping close to nature, and supports athletes in their passion for the outdoors. The brand offers high-tech mechanical watches for those who are driven by the spirit of discovery, for whom limits, whether on land or underwater, and comfort zones are made to be pushed, to match their thirst for adventure. Favre-Leuba’s team of ambassadors includes extraordinary people—mountaineers, divers, marine photographers, speed climbers, or professional adventure photographers—who take their timepieces to extreme conditions and to which they sometimes owe their survival.

The proof in three watches

1.Raider Bivouac 9000
Even if it’s not technically a mountaineer in itself, we love it for its technological innovation.

Aujourd’hui, Favre-Leuba

Raider Bivouac 9000 © Favre-Leuba

When it was launched in 1962, the Bivouac was the first mechanical wristwatch with a barometer capable of measuring altitude and atmospheric pressure up to 3000 metres. It accompanied several renowned mountaineers and explorers on their expeditions, providing them with indispensable data, such as weather conditions and their precise altitude and position at any given moment in relation to the summit to be reached. In 2017, to celebrate its 270th anniversary, Favre-Leuba unveiled the Raider Bivouac 9000, with a 48mm titanium case housing a hand-wound movement and a technological capsule capable of measuring the smallest variations in atmospheric pressure and altitude up to 9,000 metres. A central red hand displays the altitude by 3,000 metres per complete revolution around the dial, while another subdial at 3 o’clock provides information on altitudes up to 9,000 metres and atmospheric pressure in hPa. Aesthetically, the timepiece remains faithful to other Favre-Leuba watches, emphasizing a minimalist design that focuses on perfect legibility. It is available with a black or light grey dial.

2.Raider Harpoon
We love its innovative display based on functionality rather than by a search for originality.

Aujourd’hui, Favre-Leuba

Raider Harpoon © Favre-Leuba

For those seeking adventure underwater, Favre-Leuba has the Raider Harpoon, a diver’s watch. And since, for divers, time underwater is rather measured in minutes and not hours, the brand innovated with a main display of the minutes by means of a central, clearly visible hand, while the hours can be read on a rotating ring on the periphery of the dial. Both underwater and on land, the single-point view allows the hour and minutes to be read quickly. As for the seconds, they can be read via a central disc. Launched in 2016 and inspired by the Favre-Leuba Deep Blue Diver’s watch, the Harpoon was given a new look in 2019. The 46mm cushion-shaped case, water-resistant to 500 metres, has a screw-down back and crown as well as a helium valve. The unidirectional steel bezel has an anodised aluminium insert to keep track of dive time. The Harpoon features a patented automatic movement for time display and is available in a lovely choice of brightly colours—blue, orange, yellow.

3 .Sky Chief Chronograph
We love it for its versatility and subtlety while still remaining an efficient watch.

Aujourd’hui, Favre-Leuba

Sky Chief Chronograph © Favre-Leuba

Less sporty looking than the Harpoon or the Bivouac, in a more discreet, classic and urban way, the Sky Chief Chronograph is nonetheless a robust watch, ready for adventure, as shown by photographer Chris Brindle, who wore it during his motorcycle trips in remote areas. Powered by an automatic chronograph movement, the timepiece, available in stainless steel or steel with rose gold bezel and hands, is a reasonable 43mm in size, ideal for everyday wear with in the city. The caseback and crown are screwed down, the sapphire crystal domed. The two counters for the small seconds and 30-minute chronograph enliven a dial available in grey or anthracite, underlined by rectangular applied hour-markers and a date window at 6 o’clock.


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The brand

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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