Favre-Leuba Raider Deep Blue
Hands-On: Angus Davies gets ‘hands-on’ with the Favre-Leuba Raider Deep Blue
Sometimes in life, an object is too beautiful to be used for its defined purpose. The Favre-Leuba Raider Deep Blue is such an item. While the stylish diver’s watch is more than capable of meeting its deep-sea duties, courtesy of its maximum water resistance of 300 metres, it seems sacrilege to immerse this gorgeous timepiece in salty water.
The Raider Deep is available in a choice of colours with various strap and bracelet options. My press loan was delivered with a gunmetal PVD coating, orange and black bezel and luxurious leather strap. It looked resplendent when it arrived for a period of evaluation.
Unlike the Favre-Leuba Raider Harpoon, the Raider Deep Blue eschews the innovative rotating hour disc, employing conventional hour and minute hands. While the hour hand is comparatively normal in length, the minutes hand is very long, virtually kissing the internal flange. It also features an orange, diamond-shaped tip, aiding visibility.
Each index is rectangular in form and faceted, again, augmenting visibility, especially in dim light.
A running seconds disc at the fulcrum of the dial provides a suitable indication that the watch is operational. Crescent shaped apertures in the aforementioned disc provide intermittent glimpses of orange and silvery hues.
A date aperture resides at 3 o’clock. It consists of white numerals on a black disc. The inner flange is marked with a 60-minute scale, aiding the determination of the time.
The black dial colour provides the perfect foil for the white and orange detail. Indeed, the palette of colours employed co-exist happily, with everything appearing seemly and appealing.
The hands and indices emit a blue glow in darkness.
Typical of divers’ watches, the dial proves very readable with each indication simple to discern.
This is a handsome timepiece and, as stated earlier, it also fulfils its professional duties. The bi-colour bezel is unidirectional and proves easy to grip, turning with a positive clicking action.
The tonneau shaped case is formed of steel with a gunmetal PVD coating. Its dark tones provide a refreshing alternative to the highly polished steel found on most watches.
Measuring 44mm in diameter and 13.5mm in height, the watch proves more manageable to wear than its larger sibling, the Raider Harpoon.
The crown is cosseted in between two protectors, but proves easy to unscrew when adjusting the time. The case-band and the crown feature a gleaming finish which contrasts with the muted appearance of the case.
The thick brown leather strap which came with watch was rather stiff, impairing its ability to hug the skin. I suspect with repeated wear the strap will become increasingly malleable, more comfortable to wear and easier to unbuckle.
Running a discriminating finger over the case, it is impossible to discern any sharpness to the case. Everything is supremely smooth and impressively refined.
The case-back is solid and is of the screw-in variety. While some modern-day divers’ watches feature sapphire case-backs, traditionalists will always prefer a solid case-back as found on this Favre-Leuba.
Favre-Leuba says little about its movement, merely pointing out that it is automatic.
Owing to the solid case-back, it was not possible to appraise the movement finishing.
A key attribute of a diver’s watch is readability. The Raider Deep Blue has a highly legible dial which is also incredibly attractive. Moreover, its nocturnal lucidity is very impressive.
The tonneau shaped case looks especially attractive with the gunmetal PVD coating. The mixture of brushed and shiny surfaces is particularly appealing. Furthermore, appraising the case reveals an impressive standard of finish with no sharp edges to mar the ownership experience.
I suspect that most owners will only use this watch on dry land. However, should the wearer wish to explore the Raider Deep Blue’s capabilities underwater, I have no doubt it will prove adept at fulfilling its diving remit.
Personally, I think this is an attractive watch, ideally suited to use on land or in the sea. However, don’t use it for diving, quite simply, it is too good for that.
- Model: Favre-Leuba Raider Deep Blue
- Case: Stainless steel with gunmetal PVD coating; diameter 44mm; water resistant to 30 bar (300 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; running seconds disc; date.
- Movement: Self-winding movement.
- Strap: Brown leather strap with steel pin buckle
- Price: £2,150 (RRP as at 4.7.2017)