I rapidly warmed to the Favre-Leuba Raider Sea King watch the second I put it on when Swiss Favre-Leuba first launched it to me a year-and-a-half in the past at Baselworld 2018. I didn’t even take photos of the prototype fashions, as a substitute merely insisting, “I’m going to wish to evaluate one in all these.” My curiosity on this “gentleman’s diver,” was initially based mostly on the very fact that it’s the first fashionable Favre-Leuba watch that, to me, may function a day by day put on. A whole lot of the model’s extra novel merchandise, such because the Favre-Leuba Raider Harpoon, Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth, and Raider Bivouac 9000 are technically fascinating and practical sport watches — however hardly what most individuals would think about a day by day put on (until your days together with common climbing or underwater submersion). These are wonderful “collector’s watches,” for certain, however lots of people who even get pleasure from timepieces within the excessive need one thing a bit extra easy and versatile for day by day put on. Is the Raider Sea King that?
The final Sea King watch I wrote about was actually a Bulova, which I feel is one model to have used the time period traditionally. I actually get pleasure from trying again on the historical past of dive watch names, as most of them use the identical components (robust authoritative title + marine time period). Favre-Leuba tacks on “Sea King” as a mannequin designator together with “Raider,” which represents the case assortment. You’ll discover that the above-mentioned Favre-Leuba merchandise use the identical form of case — albeit bigger for these different fashions. For instance, the Fabre-Leuba Raider Harpoon watch case is 46mm-wide (and over 18mm-thick), and the Raider Sea-King is a much more wearable 41mm-wide — sporting massive, given the broad case form. The case is about 14mm-thick and has a lug-to-lug distance of about 48mm. Word that Favre-Leuba produces a fair smaller model of the Raider for ladies referred to as the “Raider Sea Chook,” which is available in a 34mm-wide case and accommodates a Swiss quartz motion.
These dimensions don’t translate right into a small watch, however it’s additionally not an enormous one. I’d describe the Raider Sea King as a large-medium watch with a daring wrist presence. It has a dress-watch character, however it’s also an actual diver with 300 meters of water resistance. No, it doesn’t have a rotating bezel with a lume pip, so you possibly can’t technically name it an expert dive watch, however it would serve you effective within the water and through your adventures. Over the dial is a flat, AR-coated sapphire crystal that has not given me any glare points (an excellent factor).
Favre-Leuba designed the Raider case impressed by the model’s historic sport watches from the 1970s. As I discussed above, the chrome steel case is a kind of huge tonneau-shape with an fascinating line throughout either side, which helps scale back visible mass. You additionally get a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces, which is especially good on the highest of the case across the bezel meeting. This additionally occurs to be my favourite a part of the watch as a result of, though it’s principally beauty, it suggests the look and character of a instrument watch, not a merely ornamental merchandise. The bezel is admittedly two visible elements that work collectively properly. First is the fast bezel across the crystal, which appears notched prepared for a wrench to twist it off. Subsequent is the outer bezel, which appears like a modified model of Rolex’s fluted bezels. Each of those design parts are suggestive of elements that may be screwed-down — an indicator of most all water resistant dive watches. In my view, this can be a very intelligent and enticing design for an interesting-looking, in addition to masculine, timepiece.
Extra Favre-Leuba model character is clear on the dial, which is relatively easy subsequent to different Raider household timepieces. The palms particularly let you know that this isn’t simply any random generic timepiece, and the polished and utilized squarish hour markers are straightforward to see and harking back to 1970s sport watch design. The palms and hour markers are given Tremendous-LumiNova paint for viewing the time and date. A window at three o’clock shows the date however in a means in order to not take away your complete three o’clock hour marker. Across the periphery of the dial is a raised and angled flange ring with a minute monitor. That is each a gorgeous factor and helps add a welcome sense of depth to the dial. It additionally helps the drop from the bezel to the dial really feel a bit much less dramatic or sudden.
My solely situation with the dial is that almost all of it appears a bit flat. The three colorways of the dial presently obtainable (black, blue, and grey) are all good and trendy, however the texture is a bit primary, for my part, on this grey. This doesn’t make me just like the watch any much less, and I nonetheless suppose the grey dial is cool, however maybe the blue dial with its sunray ending appears a bit extra “full.” I really feel that with a small quantity of texture or a sample the grey dial can be excellent (versus actually good). Nothing might be splendid, proper? That is my solely main grievance with the watch, which is in any other case wonderful.
Contained in the case is a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automated motion that operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with 42 hours of energy reserve. You possibly can’t see the motion by the rear of the case, however with a workhorse like this, you don’t really want to. This is among the most typical actions in mechanical dive watches (with Swiss actions), and I like that since they’re straightforward to repair and never very costly to keep up.
Favre-Leuba provides the Raider Sea King on both a padded leather-based strap or this matching metal bracelet. Provided that I’m a “bracelet man” I a lot favor the latter. Not solely do I typically really feel that watches usually look higher on bracelets, however on this case, I really feel as if the bracelet actually helps full the theme. What theme is that? Onerous to say for certain what Favre-Leuba was imagining after they designed it (maybe it’s for some ruler of the oceans?) however it’s clear that this product is supposed to be a extra informal/dressy companion to the model’s different extra critically journey merchandise. For me the attraction is an easy, snug, and enticing day by day put on that doesn’t look generic or like different watches. One option to sum up the seek for watches is that collectors search for issues which can be each enticing and distinctive. Typically getting the latter half is more difficult than the primary half as a result of it implies one product can’t seem like different merchandise. Managing this whereas retaining a way of “familiarity” in a design is an absolute problem that solely masterful watch designers are sometimes capable of get proper.
If I needed to make one other suggestion concerning the watch to ensure that Favre-Leuba to enhance it, then I’d ask for a extra subtle bracelet deployant. Maybe I’m getting spoiled with the great world of bracelets with micro-adjustments, however a easy butterfly-style deployant merely doesn’t impress me anymore. The Raider Sea King bracelet hyperlink sizes imply that for my wrists (it would differ based mostly in your explicit wrist anatomy), it’s both too free or on the verge of being too tight. I favor watches comfortable, so I sized it on the level at which it might constrict my wrist if any smaller. To check its consolation when my wrist expanded, I took the Raider Sea King with me whereas touring to Hong Kong. I used to be particularly to see how it might really feel after being out within the scorching, humid local weather for a number of hours. Surprisingly, the watch didn’t choke my wrist and I didn’t discover it uncomfortable. The purpose is that if the bracelet did have a micro-adjust, then assuming the watch felt briefly tight, I may develop it a bit. In fact the wisest factor to do for those who take a timepiece like this into such a local weather can be to take away the bracelet and use a rubber strap (humid climate and leather-based straps don’t have a tendency to combine very fantastically).
My very own opinion is often sufficient for me to return to a conclusion a few watch’s attraction, however I do wish to ask others how they really feel about what I’m sporting. The Raider Sea King earned some fairly spectacular feedback, with individuals actually liking how Favre-Leuba has such a compelling and distinctive design that isn’t “bizarre.” To many individuals, Favre-Leuba is an unknown model (though it’s a actually historic one), and I used to be to see how viewing the Raider Sea King resulted in individuals instantly beginning to seek for the model in an effort to be taught extra. Once more, enticing, distinctive designs are what you need to be searching for once you don’t desire a watch that appears like your commonplace Rolex/Patek Philippe/Omega/TAG Heuer, and many others… There are different choices on the market than simply the Raider Sea King, however at this value and high quality, I feel it’s value a really shut look.
Once more, I needed to say that Favre-Leuba produces a fair smaller model of this core look within the Raider Sea Chook watches for ladies. The Raider Sea King is presently obtainable with three dial colours, solely in a metal case (for now) and with both a strap or bracelet. Worth for the reference 00.10107.08.41.20 Raider Sea King on the bracelet is 1,950 Swiss Francs (1,750 Swiss Francs on the leather-based strap). For extra data, go to shop.favre-leuba.com.
>Mannequin: Raider Sea King (reference 00.10107.08.41.20 as examined)
>Worth: 1,950 Swiss Francs (as examined)
>Dimension: 41mm-wide, about 14mm-thick, and about 48mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer personally put on it: As a snug day by day put on or dressier sport-style watch with a particular character.
>Pal we’d suggest it to first: Somebody in search of to get one in all their first “severe” Swiss watches who needs to get one thing out of the norm however that will likely be modern for years to return.
>Greatest attribute of watch: Delivers on its promise as a “good worth” with a well-made case and dial, applicable motion, and high-level of design refinement as anticipated at a watch priced $2,00Zero and up. I additionally actually like how the case and dial work collectively visually.
>Worst attribute of watch: Matte grey dial can really feel a tad bit empty at occasions. Bracelet is well-made however easy. Raider Sea King assortment would profit by having a bit extra character within the type of higher story-telling or advertising to assist clarify the product’s values to a bigger viewers.