Classical Masterpiece: The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Chronoperpetual

Not every car has to be a Lamborghini (and it’s just as well; who’d want one if everyone had one?) As with cars, so with watches: while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing the latest magnificently aggressive sandwich of aerospace alloys tricked out with gold trim and driven by a movement that uses photophores harvested from the giant squid to tell the time, it’s not always appropriate to the occasion to do so (nor is it necessarily to everyone’s taste).

Just as there are those for whom the charms of a vintage Bentley R-Type, or the discreet elegance of a classic, drape-cut Saville Row suit are to be preferred to the ostentation of an Italian road-shark or the latest kilt-and-Hellraiser mashup from Thom Browne (go look if you don’t believe me) so for many in the world of watchmaking, the greatest pleasures are to be found in the intelligent execution of a classical complication, with particularizing details, in the time-honored idioms of haute horlogerie.  For those whose hearts beat to a classical rhythm, we present the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Perpetual.

A name less well known in the United States than it deserves, Carl F. Bucherer began as a carriage-trade jeweler and purveyor of luxury watches in Switzerland in 1888, where the firm’s still headquartered today.  For many decades, it’s retailed watches under its own name and in recent years has even undertaken the extraordinary step of creating one of the most technically advanced movements in watchmaking, the CFB calibre A1000 and related family of complicated watches.

It has also, however, kept a strong hand of watches made with the timeless good taste one might expect from a firm with a legacy and history of unostentatious excellence and integrity, and one of its newest examples of its mastery of the art of the classical watch is the Manero ChronoPerpetual.

The Manero ChronoPerpetual is as the name indicates, a perpetual calendar chronograph; the perpetual calendar, one of the three classic high complications of watchmaking (along with the repeater and the rattrapante chronograph) is a mechanical computer which performs the marvelous task of showing the correct date, regardless of the length of the month or the advent of a leap year (which inflicts upon us, once every four years, a 29th day in February to correct for the irregularities in the Gregorian calendar.)

The Manero ChronPerpetual revels in its complexity, in its own quiet way –not only the date, but also the day of the week, month, and the time to the next leap year are shown, as well as the age and phase of the moon; there’s also a tachymetric bezel calibrated to measure speeds up to 500 mph over a measured mile.

Though it’s a celebration of horological traditionalism in many respects, it’s full of distinctive details as well, including the location and orientation of the moonphase window (usually found at six, rather than three o’clock) and the lovely elegance with which the date indications have been integrated into the running seconds and chronograph subdials without losing legibility.

It’s been said that the pleasure of a sonnet is the demonstration of how, within a very strict form, the poet can achieve great creativity.  For lovers of mechanical poetry in a similar vein, there is the Manero ChronoPerpetual.

The  Carl F. Bucherer Manero ChronoPerpetual is available in 18k rose gold for $46,200.

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