The new Favre-Leuba Bathy V.2 mechanical depth meter is one of those diving watches any watchmaker can be proud of. Although it clearly won’t become such an omnipresent luxury accessory as Rolex Submariner, the device still deserves some attention of true connoisseurs thanks to its built-in mechanical pressure gauge, which is not only easy to read, but is also quite interesting from the point of view of industrial design.
After decades of financial troubles and hostile takeovers, the 290-year-old Favre-Leuba brand is making a major come back with a comprehensive collection of marvelous watches.
The FL Bathy V.2’s main point is its built-in pressure-gauging membrane.
Reportedly made of beryllium copper alloy, the membrane senses pressure of water with deviation of less than 0.18 per cent and is suitable for depths of 45m (150ft), 150m (490ft) and 300m (980ft) depending on the model.
As you can see on the photos, the watch sports not three, but four hands for displaying hours, minutes, seconds and depth.
While not particularly intuitive (it takes a nicely developed intuition or an owner’s manual to tell the hour hand from the depth meter indicator,) the watch still offers a high-contrast and clean dial layout.
The dial is divided into three main zones that include a minute track with a rather small round-shaped date aperture between 5 and 6 o’clock, a depth gauge (in this case it is rated for 45 meters,) and a traditional diving timer that was moved from bezel to the rotating flange.
There is also a decompression rate indicator.
All the elements are generously coated with Superluminova, so the legibility will not be an issue.
The watch is equipped with the new FL 305 automatic caliber, which is built on 27 jewels, comprises 297 components and offers 44 hours of uninterrupted power supply.
The Swiss watchmaker doesn’t elaborate on the movement’s origins, but, judging by the brand’s history, it is probably made by their long-standing partner Dubois-Depraz: another Swiss-based brand that knows a thing or two about building impressive complications. As far as I understand, the mechanism (or at least the complication that makes the mechanical depth meter gauge actually work) is made exclusively for Favre-Leuba making the watch an interesting item for a collector (at least, for the one who plays on a long distance, a flipper will probably lose money on it.)
The movement is hidden inside a bulky-looking case, which is made of high-quality grade-5 titanium.
Being 46 millimeters in diameter and 18 millimeters thick, the body may look somewhat intimidatingly heavy, but is in fact quite comfortable on the wrist thanks to the use of the lightweight material.
Of course, being a tool watch, it is designed to be worn with wet-suit, not with tuxedo.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: n/a
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
See also: Oris Divers GMT Date watch
Favre-Leuba Bathy V.2 specification:
Movement: Automatic, 27 jewels, caliber FL 305, Swiss Made
Complications: date, depth gauge to 45/150/300 meters, decompression stage indicator, diving-time gauge
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Diameter: 46 mm
Height: 18 mm
Dial: Galvanic black, engine-turned by Favre-Leuba
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Grey rubber with buckle
Crystal: Anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal