Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue The name Favre Leuba has been around since 1737. It is the second oldest watch brand, in name, ever. I can go on an on about their history, but that can be easily googled. The brand has changed hands a few times since going defunct in the 1970’s, but was purchased by Titan Co. Ltd in 2011. It took a few years to bring the company back from the ashes, but late last year, Favre Leuba rose again and started producing models that are reminiscent of some of the iconic pieces from the 60’s. The model in for review, the Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue is a combination of new and old, combining elements of their original diver, the Deep Blue, and using improved materials such as sapphire crystals, high beat automatic movements and well made stainless bracelets and rubber straps. This is definitely a watch that has got my attention, and for good reason. Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue Specifications: 44mm stainless steel case 52mm lug to lug 14mm thick 24mm lug width Aluminum Bezel Insert Sapphire Crystal Sellita SW200 Automatic Movement Rubber Strap or Stainless Bracelet Retail Price $2500 http://favre-leuba.com/ Vintage is the new black as they say. No, wait, that is Orange is the new Black. And that’s a tv show. Well, vintage is for sure in when it comes to watches, and I for one, consider that a good thing. The styles of the 60’s and 70’s are popular for a reason, there were a lot of fantastic looking watches produced at this time, especially when it comes to dive watches. As I stated above, this Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue is a throwback of sorts to the company’s first dive watch, the Deep Blue, and the Bathy 160, both pictured below. Familiar elements are easy to see and the basic case shape is represented in this new model. One thing that is noticeably different is the disk on that dial that functions as the second hand on this model. One of their other models, the Harpoon, utilizes this disk as an hour hand in a very unique way. The Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue is a little more traditional than its big brother for telling the time. You can see other similarities between the vintage and new models with the applied markers, shape of the minute hand and the brand name font and logo. I did some research but could not find a dive model from them that had crown guards such as the ones on this Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue, so that might be an element added to this new production. As I stated in the video, I do wish the screw down crown was larger or had more grooves to it, as it is hard to grip, especially for someone with bigger hands. My only other gripe would be that you can really only turn the bezel by grabbing it with your fingers placed at 9 and 2, due to the case design. These are the only two issues I have found with this watch, and both are minor issues in my opinion. Looking at the case design, you might be thinking that this watch is uncomfortable, or does not sit on the wrist properly. I thought the same thing when I first pulled it from the amazing packaging (Check the video). I could not have been more wrong. For my 7 1/2 inch wrist, this is one of the most comfortable watches I have reviewed in a long time. Most watches I review are comfortable in their own right, but this Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue wraps around my wrist so well, it is a watch I just did not want to take off. It might actually be one of the most comfortable watches I have worn period. Obviously this is going to depend on the shape of your wrist, I would consider mine to be fairly flat. The branded rubber strap is another reason the Raider Deep Blue is so comfortable. This rubber is right up there with some of the best rubber straps available on the market. If you are not a fan of rubber, fret not, a beautiful stainless bracelet is also available. The blue hue used on the dial and aluminum bezel is not your standard blue, and I think that is one of the reasons it stands out to me so much. It is definitely more of a blue/green and is a striking color for sure. If for some reason it is not tripping your trigger, there is a version with a black dial and orange accents. I actually requested the black/orange model for review but there was a mix-up in communication and the blue was sent instead, and I could not be more happy for said mix-up. These days most dive watches are moving to ceramic or sapphire coated bezel inserts due to their scratch resistance, but Favre Leuba went old school and used aluminum. I am glad they did. It gives it that vintage flair and the texture seen on the bezel is something that can not be attained using other materials. Remember when I said that I only found two issues with the Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue? Well, I guess I fibbed a little. The third issue would be the seconds disk. It functions just fine, but usability is not sublime in my opinion, as it is just a short arrow and accurately measuring time is hindered. The look is cool no doubt, but I find the seconds disk to be more gimmick than useful. While it does not state on the website what movement is used in this model, I have confirmed it is the Sellita SW200 movement. As with most readily available movements, the SW200 has been discussed in depth here on Watchreport. It is a Swiss movement, essentially a clone of the ETA 2824 and has been used in countless brands from Oris, to Tag Heuer and more. The BGW9 lume is more than adequate, and one of the unique features that you do not see until the watch is in the dark is the lume under the seconds disc, which shows through the cutouts. It has no real purpose, but it is something a little different and noteworthy. Lately, there has been a few watch brands that have gone under or have sold or partnered with other watch brands to stay afloat, so it is quite an undertaking for someone to relaunch a defunct brand. Sure, Favre Leuba was a big name decades ago, but they will have an uphill battle in this marketplace. As far as the Favre Leuba Raider Deep Blue, I do love the design and overall the I feel the watch is superb. I mentioned a few quibbles and with all things being even, the price is probably slightly high, but I can not deny how unique this model is, something that is hard to attain these days. The Raider Deep Blue is obviously paying homage to its past models, though it is not a straight copy of those either, nor it is a copy of anything else currently on the market. The look is there, the quality is there, but only time will tell if the current form of Favre Leuba is here to stay or just another flash in the pan. I hope it is the former, as I look forward to see what they produce in the years to come.
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