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Favre-Leuba is a Swiss watch manufacturer

Foundation of the brand

Abraham Favre (1702-1790) founded his own watch workshop in Le Locle around 1737. Around 1749, he was appointed ‘Maître horloger du Locle’ (master watchmaker of Le Locle).

Abraham Favre jr. (1740-1823), the son of the company founder, worked with J.-F. Houriet, known as "father of Swiss chronometry", to build a chronometer in 1764 that is now in the MIH in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1792, together with his two sons Frédéric and Henry-Louis, the younger Abraham Favre formed a new company «A. Favre & Fils».

In 1814 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. 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. He married Adèle-Fanny Leuba in 1855, cementing the relationship between these families. In 1865 and 1867 he travels to India and launches his brand on the subcontinent, which quickly develops into an important market for Favre-Leuba.

In 1898 the company headquarters was relocated from Le Locle to Geneva. Henri-A. Favre-Leuba (1865-1961) took over the leadership of the family business in 1910 and continued to steadily grow the brand internationally.

Henry-A. Favre (1908-1972) took over on his father's death in 1961 after having worked for the company in India during World War II and in Geneva since. 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. Favre purchased SAPHIR in 1969, gaining control of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Important models

1925 the first monopusher chronographs are produced. 1955 Favre-Leuba introduces the manufacture movement FL 101, which is used in the Sea Chief, Sea King and Sea Raider.

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.

Model survey

Dive watches

Expedition watches

Sports watches


Favre-Leuba AG
Niklaus-Konradstrasse 25/27
CH-4500 Solothurn
[email protected]