Friday, 1 February 2013

Shri Nathji's Watch

Shri Nathji used to wear a Favre Leuba watch. In 1990, Shri Nathji gives his old Favre Leuba watch of brass to HH Priya Nath and asks him to put it on, saying:
“Isse lagaa ke dekho, shubh hoti hai.
“Try putting on this watch, it is auspicious.”
HH Priya Nath takes it but reluctantly. Shri Nathji has had this watch for over 50 years and it is still in a very good condition.
There is a photograph taken in 1990 which shows the Favre Leuba watch on Shri Nathji’s wrist. A close up of the watch is taken from the same photo.
The history of Favre-Leuba begins in 1718, when watch enthusiast Abraham Favre decided to become a watchmaker. His profession was soon recognized, and his manufactory was officially registered in 1737. In 1814, Abraham Favre's grandson Henry-Auguste went into partnership with Auguste Leuba, a watch dealer from Buttes in the Val-de-Travers. The business remained in the Favre family for eight generations, until 1969, when the quartz revolution greatly increased competition for the company's relatively expensive mechanical watches.
The brand was among the first to be introduced to India, where it gained great popularity. During British times there were very few watch brands available in India. Favre Leuba was one of them and the most popular one. The wrist watch segment was available in India till late 70’s. As well, it is the most popular watch in India even today. It was a very popular and affordable brand in India before the advent of HMT in 1961-62. The Sea King and Sea Chef are the last two models which were available in India till a few years back. Notable Favre-Leuba watches include the Bivouac (1962), which had a barometer/altimeter, and the Bathy (1966), a diving watch, both of which are now collectors' items.
Favre-Leuba, one of the largest companies of its time, passed through different hands such as Benedom SA and LVMH before finally regaining its independence in 2003. On November 16, 2011, Titan Industries acquired Favre-Leuba for €2 million. But now there is latest news that Titan Industries is looking at selling off Swiss watch brand Favre-Leuba. The decision comes after the company felt that developing Favre-Leuba brand in India would take almost a year, while their own Swiss label, Xylys will help them grow in the lucrative premium segment.

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