Wristwatch restoration, servicing and repair

Posts Tagged ‘Favre-Leuba’

Favre-Leuba Deep Blue (FL Cal. 1165)…

Another vintage diver on the blog, this time a ‘Deep Blue’ from Favre-Leuba.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

Favre-Leuba created the ‘Deep Blue’ range of diver’s watches during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, a rich seam for “visually striking” watches. Just like this Breitling Chrono-Matic from the same period, some of the models in Favre-Leuba’s Deep Blue range were certainly eye-catching, and though the subject of this post is one of the more sober models, get ready with your sun glasses as here are a few of the others…

The watch arrived in decent condition, though the stem was broken and the inner bezel (operated by the upper crown) wouldn’t turn. Opening the caseback revealed a Favre-Leuba cal. 1165 in very good condition.

The calibre FL1165 is the date only version of the FL1164 which I wrote about in this post concerning a Sea Raider model from the same period. Both of these calibres were based on the A.Schild Cal. 1687, the escapement being modified to make it “high-beat” (running at 36,000 bph rather than the standard 21,600 bph), and an automatic winding mechanism was also added – the product of a joint development between Zodiac, Doxa, Girard-Perregaux, Eberhard and Favre-Leuba.

Removing the bezel ring and crystal from the watch quickly revealed the source of the problem with the inner bezel – our old friend, emulsified gasket… always an unwelcome visitor!

The melted gasket was literally sticking the inner bezel to the crystal, and had to be very carefully removed to avoid it smearing all over the white inner bezel. I couldn’t risk using any kind of solvent for fear of damaging the print on the inner bezel, so it had to be wiped off a little at a time.

The other problem was that the stem was broken. It had broken off flush with the threads of the crown and there was nothing to grip to try and remove the old stem, so I had no alternative but to fit a new crown and stem. I couldn’t source a Favre-Leuba marked crown, so a generic screwdown crown of the same size and style had to be used instead.

With the movement serviced and the problems resolved, the case was cleaned and a new crystal gasket fitted before the watch was rebuilt. Here is the result.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Kevin van der Zouwen of the watch collectors trade and information site Some Time Ago for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Favre Leuba Sea Raider 36000 (FL Cal. 1164)…

Last summer I wrote a post about a Longines Ultra-Chron watch which had a high beat calibre (here if you missed it). Here is another high beat model from a different manufacturer, a Sea Raider 36000 from Favre-Leuba…

(Click pictures to enlarge)

Although it arrived in reasonable cosmetic condition, it would tick for a few seconds which was encouraging, but wouldn’t run for long.

The calibre in this watch is Favre-Leuba’s own FL1164. As I mentioned in the Ultra-Chron post, high beat calibres were only made by a handful of manufacturers, Favre-Leuba being one of them releasing the cal. FL1164 in 1970.

In terms of general servicing there is little difference between this and any other automatic calibre, the only variation being a different grease used on the pallet stones, Moebius 9415 in place of 941 to cope with the higher rate. There was nothing wrong with the movement this time, just a lack of servicing, so with a clean and oil it was looking good again…

One interesting feature of this calibre is the fine adjustment mechanism on the escapement…

Called a “Triovis” system, it consists of a tangential micro screw which acts on teeth the regulator index. The components are made to very tight tolerances and allows very precise regulation, giving a maximum adjustment of +/- 3.5 minutes from the centre point.

With the movement up and running again, here’s the completed watch after a cosmetic tidy up and fitting a new bracelet…

Favre-Leuba have one of the longest histories in watchmaking, being first established in 1737. Although not one of the most widely recognised brands, the company brought a few interesting technical innovations to the market in the 1950’s and 60’s, namely their “Twin Power” movements which were the first to have two mainspring barrels, the “Bivouac” with a built in altimeter, and this Bathy diver which featured a built in depth meter…

Like many others, the company suffered financial difficulties management issues and the name eventually disappeared. However, the brand was relaunched in 2006 with a range of new models, including a re-issue of the Bathy diver.

More interesting, well to an ‘engines man’ like me anyway, is that they are about to release an all new manually wound high beat calibre, the cal. FL-401, which also features two mainspring barrels to give a running time of 8 days.

They are also releasing a new limited edition high beat automatic model later this year, not based not on the FL1164 from the Sea Raider, but on the A. Schild cal. 1962. It’s a fine looking watch…

For more information on the “all new” Favre-Leuba, check out their website here.

Rich.