Original fine and rare vintage, 1st generation Favre Leuba Bivouac, Ref. 53203, wristwatch featuring a mechanical altimeter. Made circa 1962. The iconic watch which is today a collector’s piece was worn by mountaineers, parachutists and adventurers and recognised for being the very first mechanical wristwatch, capable of measuring altitude of up to 3000m.
The dial with a barometer scale calibrated in millimeters of mercury enclosing a chapter ring with polished baton numerals, polished hour and minute hands, red barometric indicator, the rotating bi-directional brass bezel calibrated to use as an altimeter covered by black lacquer with white and yellow numbers. New fitting iconic “Marine Nationale” strap, made from elastic parachute braid and parachute hardware. Original box.
D: Silver dial with faceted silver batons & hands, outer scale with red pressure gauge hand. M: Manual wind movement signed Favre-Leuba, cal. 10032. C: Circular case with air pressure capsule, black rotating brass bezel; B: “Marine Nationale” strap. Case and movement signed Favre-Leuba Bivouac, numbered, original crown, case diameter measures approx. 40mm.
The Bivouac was introduced in 1962 for use by mountaineers, the company advertised the watch’s success on expeditions to Antarctica and on climbs of the Eiger and Matterhorn. The first wristwatch with an altimeter / barometer functionality, and was worn on the wrist of famous Italian mountaineer Walter Bonatti as he climbed the Grandes Jorasses, as well as on the wrist of Frenchman Paul-Émile Victor on his polar expeditions to Antarctica.
Runs great and all functions work as expected (barometer not tested). Please take a look at the photos for the condition. Case measures 40mm (excluding the crown). Age related condition with slight traces of wear.