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Favre-Leuba Is 283 And Going Strong

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The Swiss watch industry originated in the 1540s, when jewelers were forced to learn another trade due to the ban on wearing jewelry by popular reformer John Calvin. Since then, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds, evolving over time and contributing greatly to watchmaking craftsmanship. A Swiss brand that has stood the test of time and continues to be futuristic is Favre-Leuba.

With a history stretching back 283 years, it is the second oldest Swiss watch brand in the world. His career began humbly in 1737, when Abraham Favre was officially registered as a watchmaker in Le Locle, the cradle of the Swiss watch industry. The following decades saw him perfecting the craft of watchmaking which manifested itself in exquisite pocket watches. These timepieces were met with enthusiasm and won awards at exhibitions in New York, Bern, London, Paris and Porto. Favre was appointed to the distinguished post of Maître Horloger du Locle in 1749.

In 1792, Abraham Favre and his sons, Frédéric and Henry-Louis, founded their company, A. Favre & Fils. The next century saw a dramatic period of growth and expansion, with Abraham Favre’s grandson, Henry Auguste Favre, at the helm. He joined forces with the Leuba family to create the Favre-Leuba brand in 1815 and traveled the world to establish the brand. Henry’s son, Fritz Favre, traveled to India in 1986 and 1867 to launch the brand in the subcontinent. Favre-Leuba was arguably the first Swiss watch to be sold in India, and over the next century it became the country’s most famous watch brand. The modern Favre-Leuba, in many ways, is the creation of Henri Favre-Leuba (1865 -1961). It moved the company’s headquarters to Geneva and in 1908 launched wristwatches and was among the first companies in the world to embrace the dawn of the new era of watchmaking.

The company entered the 20th century with a multitude of innovations. He launched the first monopusher chronograph in 1925 and the Reverso mechanism in 1940. In 1955 he introduced the manufacture caliber FL101 with a 50 hour power reserve which was used in watches like the Sea Chief, Sea King models. and Sea Raider. In 1957, the caliber FL102, with calendar and automatic movements FL103 and FL 104. 1960 saw the launch of the first diver’s watch, Water Deep. Recognizing the construction craze for mountaineering, Favre-Leuba launched in 1962 the very first manual-winding mechanical watch with altimeter and aneroid barometer – the Bivouac. In 1964, mountaineers Michel Vaucher and Walter Bonatti reached the summit of an almost vertical north face of Pointe Whymper in the Alps, carrying the bivouac. The watch kept them abreast of bad weather conditions. The year 1968 saw another Favre-Leuba invention, as Bathy was introduced when deep diving gained momentum as an adventure sport. It was the first mechanical watch in the world to display the current dive depth in addition to the dive time.

The transition to the 1970s saw FavreLeuba match the fashion trend of the era with the distinctive cushioned design of the Sea Raider, with day and calendar indication, and the Memo Raider, which boasted an automatic alarm. . The Sea Sky and Sea Sky GMT models were also introduced around this time. They combined the functionality of a diver’s watch with a chronograph and a 24-hour hand. This long and historic journey has not been without challenges. The decade of the 1980s saw the introduction of the cheaper quartz movement. This plunged the Swiss watch industry into a serious crisis, but did not stop the workshops at Favre-Leuba. This, however, forced the family to sell the brand. After changing owners several times over the next two decades, Favre-Leuba was acquired by the Titan group in 2011. The brand’s strong comeback over the past decade illustrates its core brand values ​​that have been nurtured for nearly of three centuries. The result is a collection of highly functional watches based on the technical and aesthetic accomplishments of Favre-Leuba, brought into the 21st century with proprietary technologies and contemporary design. The Raider Harpoon, Bivouac 9000 and Raider Bathy 120 Memodepth were introduced in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Favre-Leuba’s long and successful journey has come on the back of product innovation, excellence, foresight and a futuristic approach to staying relevant during times of change. Every setback has turned into an opportunity by going back to the drawing board to reinvent yourself. The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 the most difficult year in living memory for businesses around the world. Favre-Leuba has, once again, taken up this challenge and plans to launch a classic line of watches specific to India, as a tribute to the country which has been an essential part of its historical heritage.

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