I have only recently come across this "new-old" brand. I have been aware of them for some time now, unfortunately I have not been to visit them at Basel this year. There is a trend of re-floated brands that once disappeared or its history has been interrupted for a period of time. Most of the brands today have an interruption somewhere in their timeline. Practically all have some change of shares or ownership in their history. Some of the best known examples of buying a name and re-float it with success is A. Lange & Soehne. There is nothing wrong with that. What I don't think is very ethical in my book is speaking of the newly introduced brand since its begging as if there was no interruption in business at all. As far as I know only Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe have sailed through the times without interruptions or changes of the main ownership structure. To be honest, I am not sure they will last for much longer. The big Groups are exerting more pressure than ever to get a hold of these two manufacturers. This will be so unless they start buying other brands and grow themselves. A key rule in business is; "Buy or be bought." As simple as that.
Favre-Leuba was once a name in the industry. They ceased activities due to poor management in the 60's and the "Quartz Plague" in the 70's finished the job. I am not sure but Breitling has a similar story. There are still some old Favres to be found since before their demise they where quite popular. With the new "Bathy" the new Favre-Leuba has rescued their once popular membrane to mechanically measure depth. This system should in theory make the Bathy V2 much more affordable than the Jaeger Deep-Sea.
I like the Bathy V2. It looks hot yet without a price it is difficult to compare with similar products out there. I would love to compare this to Jaeger's Deep Sea or even to IWC's discontinued diver. Unfortunately there is little technical details regarding this piece other than the rescued membrane. No details on the movements, no pictures, etc...
I like the Power Reserve. However, today you should be offering at least 5 days power reserve with a double barrel. Make this a manual with an 8-Day power reserve and I am game! A standard reserve Automatic makes the power reserve redundant.
I love the Mercury Chronograph. Still no real reference of the price making it impossible to compare with others in the price range. Not to hot on the 45 minute counter (a bit too football/soccer for my taste...). The general design is quite interesting, reminds me a bit of the Panerai-Ferrari venture but with a little more class. A manual chrono with a power reserve would have put me in the market for a Mercury as well. This is another addition to the wave of unconventional chronos. I would have love to see this one just taken a little bit further. The power reserve on their other model would have looked awesome on this machine.
I am intrigued at the general look of the new Favre-Leuba. I was not able to hold and touch the product so my assessment is purely on looks alone. Plus, prices are not really clear. Ranging between 10,000 and 30,000 Swiss Francs. A bit high if you ask me for a revamped brand. I guess the regular entry level models in steel will be around the 10,000 dollar or 6,000 Euro mark and the chronos in steel close to double that. The chronos are interesting yet at that price I want a manual with a power reserve. There is also little info on the movement itself which makes me believe it could be a modified ETA/Valjoux... the usual suspects. There are several hard years ahead for non-consolidated brands. It will be much more difficult to sell the stuff that was being sold not too long ago. Aside from that I like their work, especially since it's much better than most for a start. I would not be surprised to see more interesting things from them in the few years to come.