Favre Leuba brings back 279 Years of Exceptional Watchmaking to India – Launch of the Year7:31 pm
Favre Leuba has a watchmaking heritage of 279 years. It’s the second oldest Swiss watch manufacturer, second only to Blancpain. To put things in perspective – when they set up shop in India in 1860’s – Favre Leuba was already 120 years old.
Favre Leuba has achieved many firsts – they were the first to produce a single push chronograph, first to produce the only diver’s watch with a depth gauge (Favre Leuba Bathy 50) and the first to produce a Barometer watch to assist mountaineers and pilots (Favre Leuba Bivouac). They were also the first watch company to set up a subsidiary in India but they had to leave the country because of prevailing economic conditions which weren’t suitable for luxury products.
Favre Leuba watches are rich with horological history. Their new collections – Raider Harpoon, Sea Sky, Deep Blue and the Sky Chief are inspired by its historic collections and so, we’ve highlighted the best watches from the historic brand for you:
The Raider Harpoon:
Favre-Leuba’s Harpoon was originally designed in 1968. A prototype was made but it never made it to the production stage because the quartz crisis hit the Swiss watch industry in 1969. It was designed to be the ultimate diver’s watch with the world’s first automatic helium valve and a single hour hand with a moving inner bezel that would allow the wearer to observe only the one hand on the watch.
With the global relaunch, Favre-Leuba took this gem of a watch back into production. The modern version of the Harpoon carries all the historic elements of the original 1968 prototype.The impressive 46mm stainless steel case with gunmetal PVD is very bold and the deep gray color of the case is equally unique (as seen in the pictures below). The tetradecagon, unidirectional rotating bezel is made of anodized aluminum and creates a strong and distinctive look . It features the patented single hand movement which along with a moving inner bezel tells the time and the minutes. There is a small seconds pointer which marks every second. The signature Favre-Leuba indices can be found on the dial as well. The screw-down crown of the watch can be found at 4 o’clock and the automatic helium valve can be found at 2 o’clock. The Harpoon carries one of the most interesting stories of Swiss watch-making heritage on your wrist and also has a staggering water resistance of 500m.
The Raider Deep Blue:
The seven seas have been in Favre-Leuba’s blood since 1956 when the models Sea Chief, Sea King and Sea Raider were first released – however these weren’t actually divers’ models per se. It was in 1960 that the world saw its first true diver’s watch – the Favre-Leuba Water Deep. But the 1968 Deep Blue version of the watch was an instant success and became an iconic watch recognized by watch connoisseurs around the world.
The New Deep Blue is inspired by the original. The 44mm, 300m water-resistant new Deep Blue is also named after Favre-Leuba’s originally 200m water-resistant model from 1963. The Deep Blue shares the same tetra-decagon case design, with hours, minutes, a small seconds ‘tail’ and a neat date display at 3 o’clock, which is available in either brushed or polished stainless steel versions. It’s clearly inspired by a diver’s watch with specs that comply with industry norms for a diver’s watch, i.e., sufficient indication when the watch is running in total darkness and water resistance of over 250 meters. The Deep Blue has the strongest luminosity among all other Favre-Leuba watches. The Deep Blue also carries the signature raised Favre-Leuba Indices which slope outwards to meet the dial.
The Raider Sea Sky:
The Sea Sky is Favre Leuba’s sports chronograph that also borrows its name from the original 1970s model. The 44mm stainless steel watch has been powered by one of the most accurate chronographs in the world, the Valjoux 7200. Sometimes a superior water resistance is an indication of the kind of toughness a watch can take, which is probably why the Sea Sky is also water resistant up to 200m.
The Raider Sky Chief:
For those who appreciate style will appreciate the timeless aesthetics of the Sky Chief collection. Built with distinction even across seemingly simple parameters, both the Sky Chief Date and the Sky Chief Chronograph master the game of exuding confidence and character. These timepieces take their inspiration from the greatest moments in aviation history.
The anthracite dial of the Sky Chief Chronograph featured in the picture above is brushed to perfection. It features a beveled date window in its bottom half and two chronograph sub dials in the middle with white Chrono hands and markings. Each index of the watch is a masterpiece in itself. It is a raised rectangular index filled with super – luminova. Every index slopes outwards to meet the dial. The detailing of every index just shows the extent to which the brand is willing to attain perfection on the dial. There are two bezels – an inner bezel in white with the minute markings and an outer bezel made of steel or gold. The attention to detailing can also be seen in the screw-down crown and the Chrono pushers. The leather straps are absolutely gorgeous. They are made from vintage brown calf leather and perfectly contrasting stitching. The watch is available in a black dial and black strap version as well.
History of Favre Leuba:
The name Favre-Leuba still has a good sound with true watch lovers. One of Switzerland’s oldest watch manufacturers (2nd oldest to be exact), the brand has a nearly unbroken, almost 280-year-old history.
In an official document in 1737 in Le Locle for the first time, Abraham Favre (1702-1790) was named as a watchmaker. His son, also by the name of Abraham Favre, inherited his father’s passion and was determined to take it to new heights. From the very beginning, their goal was to craft some of the most reliable and accurate movements available in the world. There was no doubt that they were driven by innovation more than anything else, which is why almost all of their watches were well ahead of their times. But the brand only got its name in 1815 when the fourth generation Favre, i.e., Henry-Augustus collaborated with Auguste Leuba, whose family were also renowned watchmakers & merchants. The collaboration was a strategic one considering the families wanted to expand their business into distant markets to conquer the world watch market.
But when Europe was facing challenging times, the sixth generation of Favres took charge, who worked towards strengthening the brand overseas even further. India became a very important market for Favre-Leuba and this was the first Swiss company from the industry to have formally established itself in our country. During the British era, Favre Leuba was the most popular one of them all.
By the 20th century, Favre Leuba had given the watch world path breaking innovations, innovations that even today would be considered spectacular if someone did manage to pull them off. From the single button chronograph in 1925, the Reverso mechanism in 1940 (yes the Reverso belongs to them) to the Bathy in 1964, the first mechanical watch that not only indicated the dive time and duration but also accurately measured the dive depth. It was clear that the dream of creating revolutionary timepieces was still very much alive. The brand’s focus was not limited editions but entirely on technical innovation.
Favre Leuba’s Milestones:
- 1737: Abraham Favre starts his workshop in Le Locle in Switzerland .
- 1751: Abraham Favre gets promoted to the position of ‘Master Watchmaker’.
- 1890: The brand designs pocket watches that are launched in India.
- 1925: Developed the first ever single button Chronograph wristwatch.
- 1940: The brand launches the Reverso mechanism wristwatch.
- 1946: Developed an 18 carat, gold, manual winding wristwatch with a triple calendar – first in the world.
- 1956: Developed the Sea King and Sea Chief models.
- 1960: Developed one of the first dive watches, the Water Deep.
- 1962: Developed the FL251, extra thin (2.95mm), twin barrel calibre with 50-hour power reserve.
- 1962: Developed the Bivouac, first ever altimeter / barometer wristwatch.
- 1964: Developed the Deep Blue watch, water resistant up to 200 meters.
- 1965: FL251 twin power calibre developed and launch of Sea King model.
- 1966: Developed the first diving chronograph wristwatch.
- 1968: Development of the model Bathy 50, first ever wristwatch with depth or pressure gauge for divers.
- 1968: Development of the Twinmatic movement with 36000 vibrations per hour in partnership with Schild and Girard-Perregaux.
- 1968: Developed the Harpoon watch model.
- 1980-2011: Favre Leuba changes hands several times. It is owned by LVMH for 20 years and even merged with Jaeger- LeCoultre.
- 2016: Favre Leuba brand re-launches globally with renewed leadership.