April 24, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Something very special is happening on May 12, 2019. The Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac 9000 that summited Everest on the wrist of well-known mountain guide Adrian Ballinger is going to be auctioned off for charity. The auction will take place in Geneva, and all funds raised from this sale will go to the Alex Lowe Foundation, which has set up the Khumbu Climbing Centre to support the indigenous community of Nepali Sherpas to make climbing and trekking in the mountains safer.
Favre-Leuba is the second oldest watch company in the world. Since 1737, the company has been creating timepieces in a variety of styles, excelling with both dress and sport designs. Unfortunately, the quartz crisis of the seventies hit the brand hard. After eight generations of family ownership, the brand was sold. After a brief hiatus in production, the name was purchased by the Tata Group in 2011. Five years later, in 2016, a new series of watches was launched. The new iteration of the company brought back many of the classic themes Favre-Leuba had explored previously — especially the technologically advanced watches for outdoor adventurers — and further built an already sturdy foundation. One of the brand’s most impressive pieces, and certainly its most adventurous, is the Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000.
Notably, the watch is able to record altitude and air pressure up to 9,000 meters. Just in case you were wondering, that’s a shade over the height of Everest (8,848m). So, unless you plan on lugging a really long ladder to the summit of the tallest peak in the world, the Favre-Leuba Raider Bivouac 9000 can keep you informed of your current height above sea level until you can climb no further.
Of course, as soon as a brand releases a watch with such purported functionality, the marketing team knows it’s going to be asked for proof (it was the first thing that popped into my head while reviewing this watch (in black) recently). And so, pleasingly pre-emptively, Favre-Leuba went and got it. By strapping the Raider Bivouac 9000 to the wrist of respected mountain-guide Adrian Ballinger and sending him to the summit of Everest, they got the practical proof they needed, along with the kind of positive press money alone just can’t buy. And now you get the chance to own this interesting slice of brand history and contribute to a very worthy cause.
The watch will be doing a short Asian tour, visiting Hong Kong and Taiwan, before returning to Switzerland to be displayed in Geneva for the three days leading up to the auction itself. In case you’re planning on paying this tracking timepiece a visit, here are the exact dates of the Bivouac 9000’s schedule:
Preview in Hong Kong: April 29 & 30, 2019
Preview in Taiwan: May 2 & 3, 2019
Preview in Geneva: May 9, 10 & 11, 2019
Date of auction: May 12. 2019
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Also, if you are interested in placing a bid and would like to dig into the specifics of the lot, the auction catalog will be available online from April 29th. Learn more about Favre-Leuba’s historical involvement in expeditions of endurance and discovery at favre-leuba.com.