Brand | History

A success-story


Brand | History

1718
1737
1749
1792
1815
1820
1851
1855
1865
1896
1908
1925
1945
1946
1948
1955
1957
1960
1962
1963
1967
1968
1970
1985
2011
2012
2016
2017

1718

Abraham Favre (1702-1790), who laid the foundation for the brand Favre-Leuba, began his watchmaker apprenticeship.

1737

On 13th March, 1737, in an official document, Abraham Favre was first mentioned as an independent watchmaker in Le Locle.

1749

Around 1749, Abraham Favre was appointed ‘Maître horloger du Locle’ (master watchmaker of Le Locle).

1792

On 1st October, Abraham Favre (1740-1823), the company founder’s son, together with his sons Frédéric and Henry-Louis, founded the company ‘A. Favre & Fils’.

1815

Henry Auguste (1796-1865), Frédéric Favre’s son and thereby the fourth generation of the watchmaker family, joined forces with Auguste Leuba from Buttes in Val-de-Travers.

1820

Henry-August Favre traveled around the world – from Germany to Russia, through Cuba to New York, from Brazil to Chile – to establish their own workshop’s finely-made pocket watches in remote markets.

1851

Favre-Leuba pocket watches received numerous awards at national and international exhibitions – in London (1851), New York (1853), Paris (1855), Bern (1857), and Porto (1865), among others.

1855

Fritz Favre (1828-1877) proved himself to be a worthy successor to his father and successfully pursued his expansion strategy in Europe, America and Asia.

1865

In 1865 and 1867, Fritz Favre traveled to India and launched his brand in the subcontinent, which was to quickly develop into an important market for Favre-Leuba.

1896

The company headquarters were relocated from Le Locle to Geneva.

1908

Henri Favre-Leuba (1865-1961) assumed leadership of the family business in 1908 and continued to steadily grow the brand. He remained president of the board of directors until his death in 1961.

1925

Favre-Leuba launched the first monopusher chronographs, just when wristwatches started to supersede pocket watches.

1945

After the Second World War, Favre-Leuba was able to count on a stable position in India thanks to their own office in Bombay. Step by step, the family company won back its position and relevance in other watch markets – first in Switzerland, then in Europe, and later in America and Africa. Branches in, among others, Hamburg, London, Rangoon, Karachi, Singapore and New York secured well-functioning distribution as well as a first-class customer service.

1946

After 1946, Favre-Leuba regularly exhibited at the Basel Watch Show, and after 1953, at the “Salon Montres et Bijoux” (Trade Show for Watches and Jewelry) in Geneva as well.

1948

Favre-Leuba assembled precision watches such as chronometers, the outstanding accuracy of which was awarded with multiple 1st prizes by the observatory of the canton of Neuchâtel.

1955

Favre-Leuba introduced the manufacture caliber FL101, which was used in the Sea Chief, Sea King, and Sea Raider watch models.

1957

The brand introduced the FL102 caliber with calendar used in its Datic models. It was followed by the automatic movements FL103 and FL104, which were equipped without or with a calendar indication.

1960

The very first divers watch, Water Deep, was introduced by the brand. It was the stepping stone for the success it garnered in this category.

1962

Bivouac

Favre-Leuba developed the legendary Bivouac, the world’s first mechanical wristwatch with aneroid barometer, for altimetry and air pressure measurement. It ranked soon among the indispensable equipment of those who overcame seemingly defined limits. The Bivouac achieved 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 wore a Bivouac in 1964 when he and the Genevan Michel Vaucher successfully ascended the north face of Pointe Whymper (4,196 m) in the Grandes Jorasses for the first time and when he conquered the north face of the Matterhorn on the most direct route. The young Walliser Michel Darbelley undertook his first solo ascent of the Eiger in 1963 with his watch from the workshops of Favre-Leuba, which reliably showed him what altitude he had already scaled and whether a change in weather was imminent. The famous French polar explorer Paul-Emile Victor relied on his Bivouac on numerous expeditions to the endless ice.

FL251 caliber

The patented FL251 caliber of 1962, with 11.5’’’ and a height of only 2.95 mm, revolutionized thanks to the use of two barrels, series production of extra flat movements with centered second hand.

1963

Deep Blue

Three years after the presentation of the first diver watch from the in-house atelier, the brand launched the Deep Blue, waterproof up to 200m.

New headquarters

Favre-Leuba reincorporated production of their own ébauches in the newly established company headquartered in Petit-Lancy near Geneva. The company was consequently named, as at the end of the 19th century, ‘Manufacture d’Horlogerie Favre-Leuba S.A.’.

1967

The Fédération Horlogère Suisse (Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry) awarded first place to Favre-Leuba in the “Chronographs and Sport Watches” category at the World’s Fair in Montréal.

1968

Bathy

In 1968, the brand introduced the Bathy – the world’s first mechanical wristwatch, which not only displayed dive time, but also current diving depth.

Twin Power

Favre-Leuba added an automatic winding to its groundbreaking double-barrel calibers – making it one of the first brands to use this combination in series production. The new movements were available with or without calendar function.

1970

Several models marked the transition into the 1970s, perfectly matching the fashion of the time with their distinctive pillowy design. Inside the Sea Raider with day and calendar indication ticked the automatic caliber FL1164 with 36,000 a/h, while the Memo Raider delighted the global clientele with an automatic alarm.

The Sea Sky and Sea Sky GMT models, which were introduced at the same time, combine the functionality of a diver’s watch with that of a chronograph and a 24-hour hand.

1985

The introduction of cheap quartz movements plunged the Swiss watch industry into a serious crisis, which did not stop at the gates of Favre-Leuba’s workshops. The family was subsequently compelled to sell the brand in the 1980s. After that, the company changed ownership multiple times.

2011

On November 16th, 2011, the Tata Group acquired the traditional brand Favre-Leuba and transferred its company headquarters to Zug.

2012

After extensive research into the history of Favre-Leuba and its legendary timepieces, the new team begins to develop a sustainable and long-term strategy that builds on the strength of Favre-Leuba and ties in with the brand values carefully nurtured over decades. The result is a collection of highly functional watches based on Favre-Leuba’s technical and aesthetic achievements, brought up to date with proprietary technologies and a strong, confident design, as well as a contemporary, innovative market presence.

2016

Favre-Leuba launches its ultimate diving watch, Raider Harpoon, which features a unique way of time reading. With its innovative functionality and by simplifying the complexity, it fits perfectly into a long line of legendary timepieces this watch brand has always been designing.

2017

280 year anniversary celebrated at Baselworld with the launch of the Bivouac 9000, the ultimate instrument for all altitudes