You’ve got divers, you’ve got fliegers, you’ve got racing chronographs. Now what you need is an aneroid barometer. You definitely need one next time you tackle Mount Everest before dinner, as one does.
Kidding aside, the Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac 9000 Extreme Black Edition is the horological equivalent of a supercar in city traffic. It’s not your everyday watch, and it has some really interesting functionality that you aren’t likely to put to practical use, similarly to those countless 500m+ dive watches out there. It’s the first mechanical wristwatch capable of measuring altitudes of up to 9,000 m above sea level. The barometer records changes in altitude and air pressure as they occur during ascents, descents, and changes in weather. The altimeter can record ascents and descents of 9000 meters. Developed in 2017 by Favre-Leuba, for 2019, the Raider Bivouac 9000 takes on a new look in stylish highly legible black. It will also come complete with a lifesaving RECCO® reflector strap.
SWITZERLAND’S SECOND OLDEST WATCH BRAND
For those not familiar with the brand, Favre-Leuba was founded in 1737 by Abraham Favre and is recognized as the second-oldest Swiss watch brand after Vacheron Constantin. Favre-Leuba was run by eight generations of the Favre-Leuba family until the 1980s when it was passed into the hands of Benedom SA and then on to LVMH. In 2011 it was bought by the Indian multinational conglomerate the Tata Group, perhaps best known for its 2008 acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover – two brands that the group has managed to turn around.
THE ANEROID BAROMETER AND ALTIMETER
In fact, the aneroid barometer/altimeter technology is not new. Japanese female mountaineer Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 16, 1975. To help her achieve this feat she wore on her wrist a Favre-Leuba watch. It was the world’s first mechanical watch capable of measuring air pressure and altitudes of up to 3,000 m above sea level via an aneroid barometer. Favre-Leuba had developed the technology as far back as 1962.
Like all those who want to take on the challenge of Mount Everest, Favre-Leuba wanted to challenge itself further still by developing an aneroid barometer capable of measuring altitude to 9000 – hence the Bivouac 9000.
BIVOUAC 9000 ‘BEST NEW WATCH IN THE WORLD’ 2018
The watch was duly acknowledged at one of the most coveted prizes in the watch industry: the Watchstars Awards 2018, where an international jury of trade journalists and watch experts voted it the ‘best new watch in the world’ in the “New Stars” category.
The fact the Raider Bivouac 9000 is entirely mechanical has proven to be of particular benefit to mountaineers and climbers. Swiss alpinist and speed climber Nicolas Hojac relies on his Bivouac 9000 to show him how far it is to the summit, even when batteries in electronic devices have let him down.
Explorers and sailors also count on the in-built barometer’s early indication of changes in air pressure to plan routes that avoid bad weather zones.
2019: BLACK FOR EXTRA LEGIBILITY
Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac Extreme Black Edition
The new-look Raider Bivouac 9000 Extreme Black Edition is not for the nervous. It’s a big black meaty 48mm watch. Its main design priority for this version is optimal readability even in the most appalling weather conditions. The idea is against the black background, the applied indexes and the striking hour and minute hands, which are white in daylight and glow in the dark, cannot be missed.
RECCO REFLECTOR STRAP FOR ADDED SAFETY
Fave-Leuba’s Raider Bivouac 9000 now has an added safety feature. The Kevlar strap on which the watch comes features an integrated RECCO® reflector that can help save lives. RECCO® technology is used by mountain search and rescue teams across the globe. The reflectors, which do not rely on a separate power supply, can be located by search devices and act as a useful addition to avalanche transceivers.
The Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000 Extreme Black Edition will sell for CHF 7,500. Check out the site for details of a chance to win a weekend in Switzerland.