THE BATHY 120 MEMODEPTH
The Bathy 120 Memodepth
When it comes to diving watches, FavreLeuba is at the very forefront of the field. Its pioneering efforts go back to 1968, when it launched the Bathy diving watch – the first diving wristwatch with a depth gauge. This was a huge innovation at the time, and the Bathy is now a collector’s item.
Today, of course, deep-sea diving has become hugely popular, and accessible to virtually anybody – all that is required is the spirit of adventure and discovery. It is this spirit that drives the team at Behind The Mask, one of the world’s foremost set of diving experts. They have been exploring the seas all over the world and shooting spectacular underwater footage, and the watch they wore while on a shoot near the Azores islands was the new Bathy 120 MemoDepth. This watch pays homage to the original Bathy, but is in every way a totally new and advanced design.
“We felt honoured to dive with the Bathy 120 Memodepth diving watch,” the team said. “We are very happy that the new depth gauge allows us to explore until a depth of 120 metres. In exploration diving, it is sometimes necessary to dive very deep, to conquer new frontiers.”
The team was impressed with the advanced engineering that has gone into the new Bathy, such as the new membrane design and the special alloy used for the depth metre. Favre-Leuba engineers were able to incorporate the new technology and still keep the watch to a size that would fit easily on the wrist; crafted out of titanium, the case is 48mm in size.
Uniquely, the working of traditional diving watches is turned on its head. Water actually enters the watch through slits on the back of the watch, designed in the style of the Favre-Leuba logo; the pressure then causes the membrane of the depth gauge to compress, and a mechanical contact reacts to this compression and conveys the information via the hand of the depth gauge, which shows the dive depth. In addition, the depth metre is easy to maintain – all that is required is to take a coin, open the housing and clean out the salt with fresh water, after a dive.
Other than the regular watch functions – including hours, minutes, seconds and the date display – the watch shows the current dive depth, the maximum dive depth, and has a unidirectional, counter-clockwise rotating bezel, which allows you to keep track of your dive time and prevents miscalculations of the time left. Even if the bezel is moved accidentally the diver will be in no danger because the bezel moves only counterclockwise, and thus will invariably reduce the dive time from what was planned, and he will always surface earlier than expected. The coloured zones on the dial – splitting up the dive in different zones – and the red indicators marking the depths to complete decompression stops at are further additions. The rubber strap keeps the watch snug to the wrist. During deeper dives where visibility is virtually nil because of the darkness, the luminous indexes placed on the dial provides the diver a clear reading of the depth he has descended. After surfacing, the maximum dive depth can be checked, and the indicator then reset by unscrewing the crown and pressing it once.
The Bathy 120 Memodepth is a superb, multifunctional diving watch, which is ideal for adventurers and divers that have exceptional demands when it comes to design and functionality. We will definitely take it to many more of our exploratory missions,” the team at Behind The Mask signed off.
THE BIVOUAC 9000
The Bivouac 9000
Ask any mountaineer and they will say that summiting Mount Everest is the dream with which they began their passion for the sport. Adrian Ballinger, one of the world’s most respected climbers and mountain guides, is no different. “After a few initial forays into hiking and rock climbing at the age of 12, I found my first Everest book – Crystal Horizon, by Reinhold Messner – about the first ascent of Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen. I was hooked. Over the next four years, I read everything about the mountain I could get my hands on, and started dreaming a plan to someday get there. Fast forward to today, three decades later, and I have summited Everest eight times, including one summit, in 2017, without supplemental oxygen.” With him on his expeditions has been the new Bivouac 9000 – the first mechanical wristwatch capable of measuring altitudes of up to an amazing 9,000 metres above sea level. The watch pays tribute to a FavreLeuba model from 1962, which was the first mechanical wristwatch to be able to measure air pressure and altitudes up to 3,000 metres above sea level – this made it extremely popular with aviators and mountaineers alike.
The Bivouac 9000, like the original watch, measures altitude by way of an aneroid barometre. The red central hand indicates the altitude, on the bi-directional rotating bezel, which carries a scale split into 50-metre steps up to 3,000 metres; a full rotation of the central hand therefore indicates a climb in the altitude of 3,000 metres. A sub-dial located at 3 o’clock also has a red hand, which continues to rotate; after three full rotations of the central hand, the sub-dial arrives at its 9,000-metre limit. The bezel is securely kept in place by a two-way ratchet mechanism. The watch allows air to enter an airtight capsule, made from a special alloy, via a 3mm opening in the case. This capsule expands when the air pressure drops and contracts when it rises, triggering a linear movement, which translates into a rotational movement, to indicate altitude.
one of the many places my Favre-Leuba Bivouac 9000 helps me – I need to time my workouts, but more importantly, see my altitude change over a workout. Even more than mileage, when training for a big peak, I track how much altitude I gained each day. And I track time.”
Other than altitude, the watch can also display any changes in air pressure that take place at an altitude. This is indicated by a hectopascal (hPa) scale on the sub-dial at 3 o’clock, which displays the current air pressure on a scale ranging from 1,013 hPa to 300 hPa. For example, if a climber sets the watch to the correct height of a particular base camp the evening before an ascent, the air pressure gauge will set itself accordingly. If the air pressure drops, the central hand will turn clockwise and the air pressure hand will show a lower value, which warns the climber of low pressure and possible rough weather; in the opposite instance, the gauge will show a higher air pressure and the likelihood of good weather.
The 48mm, titanium-made Bivouac 9000 is watertight, has a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock (the reserve is 60 hours), a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and a date window at 6 o’clock, all set in an absolutely clear, legible manner for maximum readability in any weather conditions; it comes with a vintage-look leather strap.