Finding yourself interested in watches has many roads. For me, it was a mechanical route as I first caught the bug from seeing a movement in an old Omega pocket watch. For some, it’s a combination of influences like style, history, and just plain coolness. It’s always an interesting conversation when someone new to the hobby questions why one watch is very expensive and a watch that seems identical or similar, is drastically cheaper. This is a question that I still can’t answer. Yes, quality in many instances, is dramatically different, but sometimes the reason cannot be rationalized. We all know that more than not, the brand on the dial is the most valuable thing.
Take this Favre Leuba. To me this watch could stand up to many brands that have similar offerings but are way more sought after and therefore way more expensive. This watch is seemingly rare as far as I can tell. I have never seen one quite like it and it was relatively inexpensive. What drew me to it is the polished steel bracelet with small links that blend perfectly onto the dial. Sometimes I really love the all-steel polished look. I’m always interested in something different yet for some reason this is so well executed that I’m surprised I don’t see more like it. It houses an automatic AS 1873 movement with date and only 2 hands. It screams 60’s or rather it whispers it. What’s interesting to note, is that I worked on a Tudor Oyster day/date a while back that had virtually the same movement (minus the day disk and second hand). That watch would easily be worth 4 figures, maybe even 5. Hence the name on the dial and the extreme hype the watch world is showing for Tudor at the moment.
Maybe its campy? Perhaps. Favre Leuba have not shied away from interesting and fun watches. They’ve dipped their toes in pretty much all styles. They’ve also become victims of certain sellers on Ebay who resell “restored” watches. I’ve seen Seiko, Oris, and Favre Leuba sell for 20-30 bucks. And I’ve bought these before thinking I’m getting a crazy deal only to discover that the price does reflect quality, as who ever restored these watches did a real number on them. You’ll notice their Ebay store is full of these watches just getting pumped out. They seem to have actual movements but they are of the lowest quality, usually thrown together (glued sometimes!) and sold en masse. You do get what you paid for, which is something the internet already seemed to know. I’m guessing this kind of unregulated selling has soured the reputations of such brands. I’d think it would be in their interests to do something, but that’s just me. Favre Leuba have been around for hundreds of years and they are still active today.
I am curious about its history, and like most watches you purchase online, its story will never be told. I like to think it could’ve been on the same wrist its whole life. This is the watch that I wish my uncle had gotten on his wedding day and left to me in his will. When I wear this watch, I really feel a connection to the past and I get a surprising amount of attention with it. Most of my watches are pre-80’s but none of my other watches really make me feel this way.
Who knows if I’ll keep it around. I seem to be somewhat of a watch collecting junkie and for the most part, I try to sell a watch for every watch I purchase. But if I ever start selling used cars, I know which watch I’d wear.