There are not so many watches equipped with a mechanical altimeter out there. Among them is the Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000, a watch inspired by a vintage, 1960s model of the brand, already equipped with an altimeter. Presented at Baselworld 2017, the modern Bivouac 9000 stands out as being the first mechanical watch capable of displaying the exact altitude from 0 to 9,000 metres – virtually anywhere on earth. After the inaugural monochromatic model, the brand introduces the new Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000 Black Edition.
The way the Bivouac 9000 works is, in fact, pretty easy. The red centre hand indicates the altitude on the external bezel (3000m per full rotation). The 3 o’clock counter is used to keep track of altitudes up to 9000m. The rotating bezel is used to reset the altimeter and to use the watch as a barometer and, therefore, to provide information about weather changes. For more information watch our in-depth video here.
The latest iteration of the model retains the same functionality and look. The crisp black dial brings a more rugged and ‘tool watch’ attitude. It also enhances legibility with sharp contrasts.
The 48mm case comes in tough and light titanium. The matte dark grey finish is really appealing and the lightweight feeling offers great wearing comfort for such a massive case, making activewear easier. It is water-resistant to 30 metres, despite the presence of the altimeter that lets air inside the watch. A membrane made of perforated hydrophobic material allows dry air (but not water) to penetrate. So while the Bivouac is not suitable for diving, it is designed to withstand outdoor activities.
Inside is the FL311 hand-wound calibre. Based on the Eterna Caliber 39, it indicates the power reserve (65 hours) at 12 o’clock. The seconds are displayed on a subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock.
Developed in-house by Favre-Leuba, the altimeter module is based on an aneroid capsule. A copper alloy chamber expands or contracts with variations of the external air pressure. The tiny linear displacement (less than 4 tenths of a millimetre in total) is magnified by a set of gears and levers to operate a pointer.
The Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000 is worn on an antelope leather strap closed with a pin buckle. Another cool (and relevant for a mountaineering watch) feature of this new Bivouac 9000m, the watch is delivered with an additional RECCO® reflector strap. RECCO® is rescue technology which helps find victims of avalanches or search for people who get lost outdoors. The detectable device does not need to be turned on or charge and has an unlimited lifespan.
Price for the Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000 Black Edition is CHF 7,500. For more information, visit www.favre-leuba.com.