This Watch Is Perfect for the High Mountains

The “Bivouac” of the watch brand Favre-Leuba is a classic. Now he is being reissued, alpine-like and without any trace of retro romance. This is mainly due to an Indian company.

Chocolate is something fine, clear.But too much chocolate spoils the stomach.And the same goes for me with certain watches at WatchTutorials. Vintage or retro watches are cool, often very cool.But when you see nothing else, it’s boring.

That was precisely what threatened to happen at the last watchmakers.Almost all the brands drew lavishly from their museums and archives and presented remakes from the past .It becomes problematic where the matter has gone through without a doubt, where no more work has taken place where nothing additional has been introduced.

The result: I see the somewhat vivacious and impotent copy of a classic – an uninspired-mechanical copy-paste.And I think quietly that the classic would never have existed if its creators at that time had thought like some watch managers today.Quite apart from the fact that every clock from the 1950s and 1960s will soon become an icon.The watch industry today has more icons than the Orthodox Church.Luckily, there are exceptions.And that brings us to the model “Bivouac” of the watch brand Favre-Leuba.

A watch for harsh adventure

I was in kindergarten when the model was launched in 1962, and later it was one of the watches that I would have wished for the first communion.The “Bivouac” stood for rough adventures, it was what we would call an outdoor clock today, robustly built for hard use in the mountains.Therefore, she also had a rare additional feature, the “Bivouac” had the world’s first mechanical heights in a clock.

By the way, Favre-Leuba also had other delightful inventions, such as the Bathy dive watch with depth gauge. Only the Indians have revived the traditional brand. In the last few decades, however, it was quiet around Favre-Leuba, the brand dripping lustlessly. She still lived, but she smelled quite funny – the clock crisis had added to her. For a time she was in the possession of the luxury group LVMH , hope flickered up, but also that did not really revive the brand.

Then came the Indians.The Titan Company, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, took over the Swiss brand.The Titan Company is the largest Indian watchmaker, building 15 million watches a year.The entire Swiss watch industry has exported 25.4 million watches last year.So it is a good thing not to underestimate the Indians.The Tata Group has just proved with Jaguar and Range Rover that he understands the luxury business very well.And what Favre-Leuba has just presented at the Basel watchmaking fair justifies legitimate hopes.

Thomas Morf, CEO of Favre-Leuba, is enthusiastic about his collaboration with his Indian bosses:”I am impressed by the high professionalism and reliability of my contacts,”he says.

Not a simple copy

In Basel , the brand introduced a new “Bivouac”.Morf had written clear guidelines for this:”It should not be a simple copy”, but a “reinterpretation using typical Favre-Leuba style elements”, the whole “in conjunction with exceptional technique”.The special:it can accurately measure heights up to 9000 meters mechanically – no other watch does this.

Of course it can be objected that such a thing (for 7900 euros) except for a few alpinists no one needs.But if mankind had only done what is really necessary, we would probably still have bear figurines in smoky caves today.Whether the clock is pleasing is always a matter of taste.She convinces me.Especially for one reason:it shows how to draw from the past without looking stern.