March 13th 2020, we celebrated our 283rd anniversary of Swiss Watchmaking. To honour Favre-Leuba’s long-standing heritage, we wanted to look back on the brand’s landmark achievements, and its ambassadors through the eras. Moreover, our aim was to research the key influences driving our Swiss Made brand forward for nearly three centuries. During the brand’s time we have witnessed the creation of electricity and radio waves, the first plane flight and the first man (and a woman) on Mt. Everest. And so, here is an insight into how the 2nd oldest Swiss watch brand has evolved throughout our ever-changing world.
Favre-Leuba is the 2nd oldest Swiss watch brand, with an enduring heritage dating back to 1737. Throughout our illustrious timeline the vision of the brand has been to push the boundaries of watchmaking innovation. Engineering high quality timepieces with a definitive swiss made reliability, built to accompany pioneers throughout all domains.
In the modern-era, Favre-Leuba’s passion for innovation grows. Our timepieces have further evolved into true instruments of exploration. Precise and enduring, purpose-built mechanical tool watches. Developed to provide it’s companion with live situational information in any arena. Our mechanical indicators support the critical decision making of those exploring the mountains, oceans and land in-between. Allowing them to know when to push-on or turn back and conquer frontiers another day.
In 2019 our team of ambassadors set-out to push their boundaries, conquering personal and natural frontiers, by exploring the far reaches of our world. Adrian Ballinger, Florian Fischer and Chris Brinlee set-out with their reliable Favre-Leuba companions to explore Higher, Deeper and Further.
K2, The Savage Mountain, is the second tallest mountain in the world. While slightly less tall than Mt. Everest, it is also considered a lot more difficult. The mountain is much steeper, requires thousands of meters of technical rock and ice climbing by even its easiest route, is subject to the region’s notoriously bad weather, and is exposed to almost constant rockfall and avalanches. Over its 65 year history since first being climbed, it has maintained a chilling fatality rate of over 20%. For those reasons, I have never been to K2 or its home, the Karakoram mountain range. But finally, after 25 years of full time climbing, and 8 summits of Mt. Everest including one without oxygen, I decided it was time. I felt emotionally prepared for a mountain with this much risk, physically prepared after a year of focused and specific training, and fortunate to have an incredible teammate attempting K2 without oxygen alongside me, and 3 more friends who would support our attempt on oxygen.
The mountaineering spirit conjures visions of alpinists enduring the harshest climates and significant exposures while focusing the mind on the pure objective of summiting the desired peak. Pushing the limits of calculated risk and ensuring it doesn’t transition into foolish bravery. The Scottish mountains have long been a testing ground for those wanting to pursue grander visions further afield. It’s rugged peaks reach from the valley floor to over 1300m into the mist. Furthermore, the ever-changing and unpredictable climate promises to push the endeavour of all those who climb here.
Cannes Film festival is an eleven-day event dedicated to celebrating the finest creations the film industry has conjured over the previous 12 months. For the duration of the event, the city of Cannes is descended on by film-makers, directors, producers, actors and film enthusiast, all looking to join in with the high class and celebrity-filled occasion. It is a whirlwind event everyone in the film industry must experience once in a lifetime.
The festival includes over 60 screenings of film features, crossing many genres and cultures to pay homage to the world of cinema. The event acts as a microphone to the world of film. Not to mention providing a voice to many stories, opening the opportunity to creative film artists to conquer frontiers in an extremely competitive industry. I met many empowering directors and true artists from many cultural backgrounds all of whom have a story to tell through their craft.
An overwhelming atmosphere dominates the festival for all arriving here for the first time. For me, I didn’t know what to expect but was quick to dive in with an open mind. Nevertheless, I found the city completely under siege since the film industry takes hold of Cannes for the full two weeks. Furthermore, wherever you turn, people are networking and collaborating, all with common goals.
Svalbard is a vast white land located in the Arctic Circle off the coast of Norway. A place surrounded by mountain peaks and glacial valleys. This is where James Austrums and the crew of 59 North Sailing embarked on the next stage of their journey. Their aim in Svalbard was to capture and document the ever fragile habitat and try to understand how the ecosystem is adapting to a constantly changing environment.
The crews first marine-life encounter crept eerily upon them while sailing up Smeerenburgfjorden, a magnificent fjord 20 kilometres in length and at times 4 kilometres wide. Five hundred ghostly white Beluga whales swam lazily alongside the boat. This was a rare sight, as Beluga often travel in smaller pods of up to 15 whales. They soon understood why Beluga are named ‘canaries’ of the sea, as their melodious chatter echoed from the water. It was a breathtaking experience for all aboard.
Pods of Orca descend on the Norwegian Fjords from the month of November through to January. A period when good weather and bright daylight hours are at a minimum. With this in mind, the planning and strategy behind the team’s next trip began long ago. Their goal was to document a pod of killer whales working together to hunt herring in the fjords of Norway.
Killer whales in Norway capture their prey with a unique collection of hunting techniques. As a pod, they create underwater air bubbles and belly flashes to drive schools of herring towards the surface of the water. Without delay, the fish move upward in a tightly packed rotating ball, likened to that of a carousel motion. Once close to the surface, the whales slap the ball of fish with their tails. This action shocks the fish and allows the killer whales to feast easily on the dazed herring. The level of intelligence and cooperation shown by the whales in this hunting ritual is rarely seen and captured underwater. Improving our knowledge by documenting these events is crucial for the conversation of these impressive creatures and the ecosystem they thrive on.
An objective that required precise timing and equipment that could handle the frigid waters in this region. The Raider Deep Blue diving watch was the team’s companion of choice. Its ability to manage challenging conditions while remaining a master of timekeeping suited the diver’s needs on this trip.
Favre-Leuba has a long-standing heritage dating back to 1737, a time when Abraham Favre was based in Le Locle, Switzerland. The brand vision was set in stone early. Creating masterful timepieces, with precise and pioneering technology. At the core of Favre-Leuba was and still is today, a desire to build instruments of exploration. Bold and enduring with character, to be companions to those who conquer frontiers.
As with many visions, they evolve and gain momentum through the generations. Today we unveil our coming of time, with the latest collection of Favre-Leuba Raider exploration wristwatches. These are the Bivouac 9000, Bathy 120 MemoDepth and the Harpoon. The Icons of sea to summit voyages from past and present. Introducing the latest in mechanical technology, guiding mountaineers on altitude and similarly divers on depth readings. Whilst also releasing an innovative new approach to timekeeping displays, read on to discover the future of exploration instrument watches.
Favre-Leuba is the 2nd oldest Swiss watch brand, with an enduring heritage dating back to 1737. Throughout our illustrious timeline the vision of the brand has been to push the boundaries of watchmaking innovation. Engineering high quality timepieces with a definitive Swiss-made reliability, built to accompany pioneers throughout all domains.
In the modern-era, Favre-Leuba’s passion for innovation has only grown. Our timepieces have further evolved into true instruments of exploration. Precise and enduring, purpose-built mechanical tool watches are developed to provide it’s companion with live situational information in any arena. Our mechanical indicators support the critical decision making of those exploring the mountains, oceans and land in-between thus allowing them to decide when to push-on or turn back in dire circumstances.
In 2019 our team of ambassadors set-out to push their boundaries, conquering personal frontiers, by exploring the far reaches of our world. Adrian Ballinger, Florian Fischer and Chris Brinlee set-out with their reliable Favre-Leuba companions to explore Higher, Deeper and Further.
In the modern world, there are no restrictions, and boundaries are to be broken. We see more women stepping into roles that were earlier primarily ‘reserved’ for men. Leading countries, climbing mountain peaks, flying planes, diving deep into the oceans – women are conquering new frontiers. In this inspiring time, we have caught up with Nadine Hachen, who forms part of the 5% female pilots within Switzerland.
Above the clouds
Imagine Zurich airport in autumn. Foggy, rainy and dull. But in just a couple of minutes after taking off it is blazing sunshine. That instant change of perspective was what struck Nadine Hachen as a plane passenger years ago. The fascination of being in the sky and seeing the changing nature from up above planted the seed of her later career development. Today, at the age of 32, she is an experienced pilot of independent Swiss airlines Helvetic Airways with more than 3,000 hours of flying.
Lying almost concentrically around the South Pole, Antarctica – the name of which means ‘opposite to the Arctic’ is the southernmost continent. A vast land mass – around 14 million square kilometres – which is very much so devoid of life. Aside from the ice kissed ocean shores where penguins and seals reside in the summer months. The coldest, driest, highest and windiest continent on Earth, it’s clear to see why only the hardier few dares to venture unto this bone-chilling ice desert.
On the 12th May 2019, Favre-Leuba is launching an auction in Geneva for our ground-breaking Raider Bivouac 9000. The actual summit watch from Adrian Ballinger’s record-setting 2018 ascent will be up for auction. 100% of all proceeds going towards supporting the Khumbu Climbing Centre co-founded by Jenni Lowe-Anker and Conrad Anker in Phortse, Nepal.
The Ultimate Testing Ground:
Mount Everest and it’s Sherpa community stand-tall as truly one of a kind in all senses. Nowhere else in the world can you place mountaineering equipment at 8848m. Thoroughly testing its capabilities in the most severe alpine terrain. On the 20th May 2018, the Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac 9000 became the first mechanical altimeter wristwatch to accurately convey altitude, air pressure, and time, on the roof of the world. In May of this year (2019), Favre-Leuba will be auctioning off the pioneering watch with 100% of the proceeds going toward supporting the Khumbu Climbing Centre (KCC).