Switzerland’s second oldest watch brand, Favre-Leuba celebrated its 280th anniversary in India with the launchof its iconic timepiece – the Raider Bivouac 9000 on the 12th October, 2017 at the Trident Hotel, BKC in Mumbai. The Raider Bivouac 9000 is indeed the ultimate instrument for all altitudes. It is the first mechanical wristwatch capable of measuring altitudes of upto 9000 meters above sea level. Until recently, this was thought to be technically impossible.
In 1962, when Favre-Leuba launched the world’s first mechanical wristwatch capable of measuring air pressure and altitudes of upto 3000 meters above sea level, the reliability and precision of this watch, and the fact that it was easy to use and read, quickly made it popular with mountain climbers, pilots, explorers. The Raider Bivouac 9000 is an homage to its legendary 1962 namesake, and still measures altitude with the aid of an aneroid barometer.
The Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Morf, their Chief Technology Officer Patrick Kury along with the team of Favre-Leuba and Yashoo Saboo from Ethos, the brands exclusive retail partner in India, were present at the unveiling. Mr Thomas Morf engaged the audience with a unique tribute to the Raider Bivouac 9000 by simulating the watch climb upto 9000m using tools and specially made equipment for such an endeavor. This exhibit proved the unique feat this purpose-built watch can perform. Mr. Patrick Kury gave a deeper insight into the technicalities of the watch and the research and development involved.
The design of the Raider Bivouac 9000, Favre-Leuba is inspired by its own timepieces, and is a modern interpretation of the brand’s characteristic design elements. Ensuring that the dial is perfectly legible in any conditions was the key. The style of the dial is minimalistic, with nothing unnecessary to distract the view from the important displays. Unlike the 1962 Bivouac, the new version is also water tight – this is because the air inlet in the case, which is required for the barometer, is protected by a fine but tough membrane made from a micro-perforated hydrophobic material. This membrane allows air but not water or dust particles to pass through.
The Raider Bivouac 9000 is of an impressive size-especially the robust case measuring 48 millimeters in diameter. It is constructed from light weight, hard-wearing, and hypo-allergenic titanium, which makes the watch comfortable to wear despite its size. The bidirectional rotating bezel, features Favre-Leuba’s trademark tetra decagon design, carries an altimeter scale divided into 50-meter steps. The arc extending across the sides of the case from lug to lug like a bridge spanning over time serving to further emphasize the dynamic aesthetics of this exceptional timepiece and is symbolic of the connection with its ancestor. The vintage-look leather strap also adds to its style statement.
The red central hand indicates the altitude on the bidirectional rotating bezel, which carries a scale divided into 50-meter steps, up to 3000 meters. One full clockwise rotation of the red central hand thus indicates a climb in altitude of 3000 meters. During a climb, the small red hand of the sub-dial located at 3 o’clock continues to turn too, until, after three full rotations of the central hand, it arrives at its final destination of 9000 meters above sea level. The bezel is held securely in place by a two-way ratchet mechanism that prevents it from being unintentionally moved to a different position.
The heart of the barometer is an airtight capsule made from a special alloy. The capsule expands when the air pressure drops as the wearer climbs and contracts when the air pressure rises during the descent. The expansion and contraction of the capsule triggers a linear movement, which is then converted into a rotational movement to indicate the altitude. The Raider Bivouac 9000 is also capable of displaying any changes in air pressure at the same altitude. The hectopascal (hPA) scale on the sub dial located at 3 o’clock displays the current air pressure on a scale ranging from 1013 to 300hPa.
In India, Raider Bivouac 9000 will be priced at INR 5, 31,000/-and will be exclusively available at Ethos Watch Boutiques from December 2017 onwards.