Favre-Leuba is a Swiss watch manufacturer
Foundation of the brand
1792 Abraham Favre jr. (1740-1823), the son of the company founder, together with his two sons Frédéric and Henry-Louis starts the company «A. Favre & Fils». 1815 Henry Auguste (1796-1865), Frédéric Favre’s son and thereby the fourth generation of the watchmaker family, join forces with Auguste Leuba from Buttes in Val-de-Travers. Favre-Leuba pocket watches receive numerous awards at national and international exhibitions – in London (1851), New York (1853), Paris (1855), Bern (1857), and Porto (1865), among others.
Expansion to India
Fritz Favre (1828-1877) successfully continues the expansion strategy of his father in Europe, America and Asia. In the years 1865 and 1867 he travels to India and launches his brand on the subcontinent, which quickly develops into an important market for Favre-Leuba.
1896 the company headquarters is relocated from Le Locle to Geneva. Henri Favre-Leuba (1865-1961) takes over the leadership of the family business in 1908 and continues to steadily grow the brand internationally.
Favre-Leuba was responsible for distributing Swiss brands such as Zenith in Asia through the 1960s. The company sold co-branded "Favre-Leuba Zenith" watches during this time.
1957 the calibre FL 102 with calendar function is presented, which is used in the Datic models. It is followed by the self-winding movements FL 103 and FL 104, which are equipped without or with a date display.
1960 the Water Deep is the brand's first dive watch.
The successful model Bivouac
1962 Favre-Leuba launches the Bivouac, the world’s first mechanical wristwatch with aneroid barometer, for altimetry and air pressure measurement. The Bivouac achieves one of its first missions on the wrists of the Swiss national parachuting team during the 1962 World Cup in the United States. The Italian mountaineer Walter Bonatti wears a Bivouac in 1964 when he and the Genevan Michel Vaucher successfully ascend the north face of Pointe Whymper (4,196 m) in the Grandes Jorasses for the first time and when he conquers the north face of the Matterhorn on the most direct route. The young Michel Darbelley from Wallis undertakes his first solo ascent of the Eiger in 1963 with his watch from the workshops of Favre-Leuba, which reliably shows him what altitude he has already scaled and whether a change in weather is imminent. The well-known French polar explorer Paul-Emile Victor relies on his Bivouac on numerous expeditions to the endless ice.
1968 the brand presents the Bathy – the world's first mechanical wristwatch, which displays not only the dive time but also the current diving depth.
The 1970 years
The models of the 1970s show the pillowy design typical of the current fashion: the automatic caliber FL 1164 of the Sea Raider ticks with 36’000 a/h, while the Memo Raider is equipped with an automatic alarm function. The Sea Sky and Sea Sky GMT models, which are introduced at the same time, combine the functionality of a diver’s watch with that of a chronograph and a 24-hours indication.
Rebirth after the quartz crisis
Favre-Leuba and Jaeger-LeCoultre were brought together in 1969 as the SAPHIR Group. During this time, it was positioned below Jaeger-LeCoultre, though today it is more of a luxury brand. Like the majority of Swiss watch manufacturers, Favre-Leuba was hit by the quartz crisis and was sold to Benedom in 1978. The brand passed to LVMH and private holders in the next few decades.
The brand was revived November 16, 2011 when it was purchased by Titan, part of the Indian Tata Group. The headquarters of the company is moved to Zug. Favre-Leuba returned to Baselworld in 2017 with a collection of new models that pick up on specific characteristics of the previous successful models and feature advanced technologies.
- Bivouac 9000, 2017
- Favre-Leuba, official site